Nick Graalman

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since Nov 04, 2017
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Recent posts by Nick Graalman

Thanks Pearl and William. I think I may be stuck with rocks as I already moved 2 tonne onto the platform. There are some advantages to this design (very buoyant offset by very heavy), a persons weight barely impacts the structure by comparison. So it feels solid when you get on it. Also by using rocks, the weight to buoyancy ratio won't change much (other than plant matter) and roots can weave there way right into the crates and beyond, hopefully adding structural integrity. Sand unfortunately would fall through, unless I cover the platform in weed mat (or something) but then roots would struggle to work their way through. Sand above the water line would get heavier when it rains and potentially sink the platform beyond the desired amount and (I think) never dry out again. Is that right or have I confused myself?

The disadvantage of my approach is everything you mentioned and I'll add, if it breaks, it could be dangerous and a hell of a job to clean up. In hindsight, i should of explored lighter options but hopefully this will still be ok.

Re nutrients, I do plan on sending rainwater directly into the pool via a nearby roof. We are coming into a very dry summer here so won't expect much anytime soon. So I'll attempt to work with the water I have. Fingers crossed!
5 months ago
Wow wow wow. Thanks William for the compliments. Very encouraging! I love the idea of peat moss or coconut coir but I'm going with rocks because it's TOO buoyant. I probably should have only used 3 milk cartons per crate (lying sideways in the crate). That would have required about 1/3 the weight on top to suitably submerge. I need roughly 30kg/66 pounds per crate to sink it the right amount. So hopefully the structure is up to that!!! I did a test with just 2 zip ties (not 14) on a bottle filled crate with 45kg/100 pounds above and they did not snap or even seemed that stressed. So in theory (I think) i have ample strength....?
5 months ago
Thanks for the comment Eric. So you think Aquaponics and natural swimming pool can work together? I'm cool with swimming with fish
5 months ago
So I've been working hard on the construction of this idea although it's changed a lot. I came up with the idea of using milk crates for the floating structure. It's way more structurally sound that loose bottles in hessian bags (what was I thinking haha). The concept has changed too,  I'm going to first try a natural swimming pool (plunge pool really) and if it doesn't work out, a aquaponics system and failing that, a floating garden/rainwater tank combo. To follow the project, go here: https://permies.com/t/72189/Poor-man-natural-swimming-pool. That thread I posted is more relevant to the idea. Here is a video of pt 1 though.


5 months ago
I've been working on the idea and made a video about it. I look forward to your thoughts, suggestions and feedback. Thanks

5 months ago
Thanks, I will definitely post some images! Thanks for the additional idea too. I was going to plumb something from the roof to the pool and your suggestion might just be the ticket.

At this stage my biggest concern is how many bottles to use for buoyancy. I have to get the ratio right so soil is not sitting in water. Especially as plants gain mass/weight. There is gonna be some guesswork involved. Anyway, here goes nothing!
7 months ago
Thanks for all the great ideas and contributions. I also have another idea to share. I'm been thinking hard on it and I've come up with this...

What if I filled hessian bags with sealed but empty drink bottles. Then tossed them into the pool until it was completely covered in them (perhaps sewed together). Then covered with dirt to emulate a floating island (only you can't tell so much). I'd have to do something clever at the edges so dirt doesn't go underneath though. But assuming that's not too hard to resolve, I then have a sort of wicking bed and a sort of rain water tank. The floating island can move up and down as I use water for the rest of my garden. As plants grow on the 'island," it'll help meld the bags and bottles together. It's also easy and completely reversible (should it not pan out) and only requires free/waste items to create. Am I on to something or should I check myself in?
8 months ago
Thanks for the ideas everyone. To be honest, I feel torn as which way to proceed. I like the idea of avoiding another structure on the property and just keep my yard green. So that's where hidden pipes and a wicking bed is a good combo. To make a "garden Pool" like in the video means another structure. I like what it can offer though! Tricky! I'll keep thinking on it. Bring on the ideas if you have any to share. Thanks heaps.
8 months ago
Thanks for your thoughts Mike & Michael. No worries on the delayed reply - i figured the post had disappeared into the ether haha.

"Pipes ain't free." Yeah that's probably where the idea falls apart huh. Unless (maybe?) if I use cheap perforated pipe and soil for the bottom section of the pool. Then add a waterproof layer/liner around 50cm from the top followed by stones to 30cm from the top. Layer wicking material and then top with soil. This way no need for waterproof pipes and still get two uses out of the pool. Would the piping still add up to an unjustifiable amount...maybe? Thoughts?
8 months ago
Legend, thanks Thomas. Much apprecaited.
8 months ago