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  #61  
Old 04-11-2012, 03:32 AM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default hard water saftey tips

Don't fall down water skiing.

With all that free sun you should distill your water. seems like you could have a black barrel or system of some type and evaporate a ton of fresh pure water every day to keep up. Be nice for a emergency drinking back up as well. add to project list, ask wife for funding

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  #62  
Old 04-11-2012, 05:46 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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watercatwn6535nd,
That subject has been brought up before somewhere in this forum. But It's not just funding, it's practicability in my situation. First I have no room for a water collection system, much less for a water storage system that can hold over 1000 gallons underground where I can control pathogens (it cant be above ground in 120 degree heat, even If my neighbors somehow wouldn't complain about a water tower/tank). My water bill will only increase by about $30-$40 a month (including the added sewer bill) at most. Not to mention our water vapor (relative humidity) is usually less than 10% most of the year, unless it's monsoon season or just rained. So I would never be able to collect the amount of water needed monthly. I would need to be able to collect 30 to 60 gallons a day, and have a place to put it until I used it. Bottom line the money needed to build such a system would would blow away the $30 to $40 a month extra water bill, even if I had somewhere to put it.
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  #63  
Old 04-11-2012, 03:21 PM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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I was thinking more along the lines of your city water plumbed into a black barrel to create evaporation. Collect the evaporated water as it condenses and its pure distilled clean water with no filters and the mineral build up in the tank can be used around the yard or just drained to waist every once and a while. i was just looking at the aspect of your sun shine is free and filters are not. plus its always pure minerals cant turn to gas. The rate of water you could create could be substantial. I see a black barrel at ground level with a large black sewer pipe running up and down the peak of your green house. the pipe heats the water you have plumbed with a float level and the water gas floats to the roof peak pipe. the pipe going straight up from the barrel is a pea trap that rises above the pipe on the peak. this stops any water from draining back. the moisture level will be so great even on super hot days you will have a steady flow of water draining out the other end of this roof top pipe back down into a barrel in the ground to keep it clean and let the earth suck the heat off it. Then with a float switch and pump it can be added as needed to top off your tanks. Then will elevate you to god like status. or if you make some wine will call you Jesus.
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  #64  
Old 04-11-2012, 03:27 PM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default water

Also this system could be as simple as 4" black pipe runs hanging on the side of your green house wall. the bottom pipe is your water source and the gas rises up the pipes that are on slight up bubbles or angles connecting to the next pipe. Then the top pipe is angled down so that water flows down into you tank when it turns back to water droplets. you could use your tank water and run it around or on the top of the pipe to help condensation form. Or you may just go with a filter but if some one that cant afford or get access to a filter system and there is lots of sun light its easy to get around.
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  #65  
Old 04-12-2012, 03:08 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hey watercatwn6535nd,
I like your idea of purifying/distilling the city water through evaporation? I may even try a proof of concept (small scale version) someday. It's now on my list of things to try. I would like to see how much water can actually be be evaporated (year round), as well try different designs for efficiency. I'm sure it could be designed in a way to be able to make 30 gallons or more a day, but I would need to do a lot of testing to see what it would actually take to do so reliably, as well as the most cost effective and efficient design (before even trying to figure out how/where to store it).

For now trying is simply not practical for me. I cant attach anything to the greenhouse, I even placed the flood and drain lines underneath (where it's not easy to get too) because I don't want them to block light to the plants. Attaching anything to the outside of the greenhouse will only block/shade the light the plants in the middle will need. Also I have three 275 gallon reservoirs to fill. Basically I'll need about 1000 gallons of water every 2 weeks or so. I simply have no place to put a water storage tank, much less the money to buy it, pump to pump it out when I need it etc.. The water filter system only cost me about $150 to build, and I can order any replacement filters I cant get here in town online. Their small and don't weigh much, so shipping will be fairly reasonable. Also generally buying in quantity (stocking up) cost less, and sometimes have reduced (or free) shipping cost. Though I think it's an interesting concept, and I would like to do some testing on it in the future.

P.S.
If I remember correctly from researching making my own moonshine (many years ago), as well as my research on building the Sub T system. For the vapor (humidity) to condense, the tubes needs a cooling chamber/area. The bigger the difference in temperature between hot and cold, the more condensation can take place. In moonshine stills, they run the condensation coils through a barrel of cool water to cool them off. In the Sub T system I built, the underground corrugated tubing act as the cooling tubes, and I know that is what cause the condensation to happen (and thus the system to actually work). Moonshine stills also force the vapor through the tubing by boiling the mash (liquid), causing pressure that pushes it through the tubing. In the Sub T system, air movement is done with a inline duct fan.
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  #66  
Old 04-12-2012, 07:19 PM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default water volume

Why do you need so much water? that seems like so much even in your warm climate.
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  #67  
Old 04-12-2012, 11:21 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I have 3 levels of hydroponic systems. Each level has it's own 275 gallon reservoir (filled to about 250 gallons) buried 4 feet deep in the ground to keep them cool during the summer. Each level has 7 different grow beds. The water level in the grow beds will be adjustable, but at a height of about 3 inches (where I plan to keep it) it will take more than half the water in the reservoir to flood the 7 grow beds. Depending on the phase the plants in that level are in, each level will have anywhere from 500+ to 2,000 plants growing in it at any given time. That comes out to about 1/2 gallon of water per plant for the levels with 500+ plants, and about 1/8 gallon per plant for the level growing 2,000 plants. I plan to be able to sell 1,000 plants a week, and have a continual supply of plants to sell all year long. That's the goal (1,000 plants a week) anyway.

P.S.
I don't really want more than half the reservoir emptied during flooding because the more water that stays underground, the more stable and cool the water will stay throughout our summer heat.
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  #68  
Old 04-13-2012, 02:27 PM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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I had no idea it was such a large operation. very exciting what is the size of the green house foot print. what are you selling, are you cloning or going from seed.
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  #69  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:49 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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It's not a large greenhouse by commercial standards. But it is the largest I can build without needing a permit. It's 10 feet wide by 20 feet long (200 square feet). The sides are about 9 feet tall, and it is about 11.5 feet tall at the top apex.

The plants I will be growing in it will all be fresh herbs. I will be growing them from seeds. So far I have 3 types of basil (Common, Lemon, and Dark Opel), I also have chives, Dill, and lemongrass seeds. There are a few other seeds like sage, thyme and mint that I want to grow/offer too. Although I expect the Basil to make up about 80% of sales, but I'll adjust to what people are wanting as needed.

The plants wont be big, about 9-10 inches tall when sold. Here is a link to the fresh live herb plants currently being sold here: Fresh Live Basil. That is exactly what I'll be selling under my own brand name (Havasu Hydro Farms). The ones currently being sold in the local market are being sold for $3 each, I will be selling them for $2 each, I may even do a 3 for $5 deal.

I attached some drawings I made of the planed hydroponic system/s before I started building it. Their not exact to what is built, but gives you a good idea of how the 3 levels will look with the plants when finished. For now the bottom level will be the prorogation system, the middle level will be for seedlings, and the top level will be for plants ready to sell. Basically rotating them up as they get bigger. For now that will be about 500 plants a week. I plan to build a prorogation system in the garage with the profits from sales, then I'll be able to use the 2nd level for plants ready to sell too. Thus going from 500 plants a week, to 1,000 plants a week.

It will be a lot of work running around marketing them, but well worth the effort. I'll be able to make anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 a year (after operating expenses) from it. Then I'll be able to expand the operation into other crops (strawberry's, tomato's, peppers, melons, green onions, lettuce etc. etc.) with the profits. Eventually I want to have my own farmers market fresh produce store, right on the same property where the produce is grown. Even give tours of how it's grown to the customers, possibly even give tours to school classes etc..
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  #70  
Old 04-16-2012, 04:22 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I missed this post watercatwn6535nd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by watercatwn6535nd View Post
Well i just mostly stared out the window over the winter and did nothing but i'm back at it now that the sun has re appeared. New Aquaponic Green House Update - YouTube this is where i am as of a few days ago. I bought some starts today and put them in and hope to have drip lines this weekend. i am having one hell of a time making the fittings not leak and am about ready to use some sealant myself. I even paid extra for the good fittings with rubber gaskets on both sides.

Are you still selling GPS's? i need one for my boat. I was thinking a a 5" or maybe a bit bigger unit chart plotter depth sounder with the DSC system for showing other vessel locations. Mokai X-Wing update - YouTube
I saw your second post, but never saw this one. Sorry to say I'm not selling GPS devices anymore. A lot of things led to that decision. But the biggest one was a computer crash that I couldn't afford to replace at the time. So I couldn't take and process orders, or even update the site. The other biggest issue was so much competition, both in stores as well as online. That's a cool looking boat. I saw another video I believe you said you were in Prince William sound. Do you live in Alaska? I've wanted to move up there since I was a teenager. Ya, I know, "Arizona," quite the opposite. How ironic I strive for a cool place, and wind up in such a hot place. I took a wrong turn somewhere. But they do both start with an "A." By the way what ever happened to the show Northern Exposure? I haven't seen an episode in half a decade.

Anyhow, I saw the video you posted on your greenhouse. That's quite impressive too. If I remember correctly the last time you posted on it, you were just laying things out, had a bunch of the white barrels, and may have some of the greenhouse framing done or started. You also said you needed to raise chickens to make the wife happy if I remember that correctly as well. So I'm not surprised to hear about those. I've never had rabbit, but we have a lot of them around here (I could never eat one of my friends). Though if you don't plan to sell the fish, what are you going to do with them all?

I would also like to know more about your planed lighting system. If I understand correctly, your going to have a 32 watt florescent light hang down directly in the center of each plants foliage. Giving it a kind of glow, and having the plant foliage absorbing all of the usable light from it. Have you done any testing on that before? I assume you use a some kind of spacer to keep the bulb from touching or being too close to the plant foliage.

It would be great if you could start a few threads discussing different aspects of your operation. I may even use your lighting design in my greenhouse. I spaced the levels 3 feet apart to let as much light in as I can without it being to tall, but I may have spaces along the back side that don't get as much light as I want once the plants are growing (especial the bottom level).

I'm also interested in how the dabble wall poly is working for you. How the air flow through it seems to work. Also if humidity gets trapped in-between layers causing condensation. I went with single layer for now, but plan on using the double wall in the future on new greenhouses when I expand.
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  #71  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:15 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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OK,
I know it's been a long time since the last update. But without going into a lot of detail yet, I'm going to be able to post some updates soon. I had to shift gears due to the summer heat, and I've had to make many other small changes due to other things as well. But for those interested the Sub "T" system, it seems to be working quite well. It is taking in 120 degree air, and putting out 78 degree air. But I have more testing to do on air flow to determine how much air it can handle going through the system before the cooling effect suffers.
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  #72  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:43 AM
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Rodger Dodger!
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  #73  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:47 AM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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I also have had some issues but I'm working thru them. Just back from our Alaskian cruise and have much to do. Looking forward to seeing some updated picts. I have the other end of the weather, too much wet stuff! I did build two water jug systems and they are doing great! Will post some picts later.
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  #74  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:33 PM
Pineywoods Pineywoods is offline
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I'm really looking forward to the results of your sub T system I think I want to use one in my next greenhouse if yours works well.
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  #75  
Old 07-16-2012, 03:41 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello Everyone,
Well I have made some progress, but not near as much as I thought I would have since my last post. I thought I had enough money to finish just about everything. But later come to find out that the $1,900 was really only supposed to be $900. I've got the ventilation dampers in, the water line in, the sub "T" systems almost done (made a few changes), and I already have the pool liner tape I will use to stop the grow bed leaks. I've also been going back and forth on how I will run the swamp cooler through the greenhouse.

Yesterday I just got finished back filling the trench for the water line to the greenhouse. But when it rains it pours, literally. We have had thunderstorms for 3 straight days, and last night our house almost got flooded. The water level was one inch from coming in our back sliding glass door. The backyard, and the side of the garage was flooded. I took a old water pump I used for hydroponics and connected the line to a garden hose, ran the hose through the house and out the front door so it drained down the front yard into the street. Then I had to create a trench around the side of the house and garage (where my new water line is) to get the water to drain down the driveway.

Once my crises was taken care of, a fire truck pulled up in front of my friends moms house across the street (about 12:30am). I go over to see if she was OK, and her house got flooded. So I helped my friend and the fire department dig trenches to divert the water at there house as well. Then I spent about 3-1/2 hours sucking up water from her carpets in 3 rooms with my carpet cleaning machine. By the time I got home, and got a shower (I was drenched), it was about 5:30am and I still hadn't had dinner yet.

So I made a BLT sandwich. By the time I was done eating it was already day outside. So I went out to check the aftermath in our backyard to find among some new water gullies that washed through the yard and down the side of the house into the neighbors driveway. The water rushed down the hill behind our house directly onto my two in-ground reservoirs, caving in at least one of them. I don't think that one was completely full of water before it rained, thus why the side caved in.

If it isn't one thing, it's always another. Now it will probably take me a week to dig out the dirt, just to see if the reservoir is salvageable. On top of that It will take me quite a while to dig new gulleys for the water on the hill to wash down and around my reservoirs.

Are you having fun yet???
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  #76  
Old 07-17-2012, 04:19 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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P.S.
I guess I forgot to mention that the white coating on the greenhouse plastic is something called shade paint. It's a biodegradable paint on type of shade cloth designed for greenhouses. I applied it a few weeks ago.
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:51 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I don't have new pictures yet, but I was able to fix all the damage to the reservoirs without costing anything. It took about 5 days to dig it all out, but once filled with water again they popped back into place without any leaks. I still need to clean out the muddy water from inside them. But that makes me happy.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:22 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Yea!!!! love free fixes. I had some small obsticals this week too. First the drill slipped off the screw and went thru my thumb nail. OUCH! Then my husband had a cardiac event and spent some time in the hospital. I took off my Monday (Thursday) to work on the fair displays and spent it in the hospital. Now some serious catch up time. The hardest part is finding enough "sun free" time that I can work on the system. I am getting darker and have not burned again so maybe the reaction is over for the year.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:20 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Not sure If I mentioned it, but I had a problem with my laptop. Spilled a drink on it (but it was the spiders fault). Never the less, the power button was sticking, and I couldn't power it on. But I took it apart and cleaned the power button up, and now I have a laptop again. It's been almost two weeks since it happened, and I was using my moms laptop when I could in the meantime. But thanks to the guy at the local computer shop that showed me how to take the keyboard out to get to the screws underneath it, I was able to get to get the power button out to clean it off. Well that's $400 of my mind.

On a greenhouse note, I have been working on a Sub "T" system modification, and I will probably clean the mud out of the reservoirs in a day or so. I plan to test the Sub "T" modifications tomorrow, or the next day. I expect to get better air flow through it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:07 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Well my target date to start growing plants in the greenhouse is October 1. With all the problems and issues I have had, I felt it was a waste of time and money to get the cooling systems running just in time for winter. Even though it would be great data for refining the systems for next year. So I figured I would just wait a few more weeks, and take the money I had earmarked for the swamp cooler, and use it for the heating system for winter.

For those interested, I have been having a air flow problem in the sub "T" system. The fans put out enough air flow into the system, but it dosen't seem to be coming out the other end. Even after upgrading the inline fans, and using a air diffuser in the lower chamber, the air flow coming out is lower than I expect. However after working on a temporary swamp cooler to cool the greenhouse enough to work in it, I think I have identified the problem. If I'm correct, I need to turn the fans around. In other words, pull the air through the system, rather than push it through the system.

In the temp swamp cooler I'm building, putting the cooling pad "behind" the fan, instead of in front of it, increases the air flow by at least 3 times. In other words sucking air through the pad, rather than trying to push air through it increases air flow. I'm guessing it will do the same in the sub "T" system. The air temp coming out of the sub "T" system is fine (about 78F-79F).

I know I said this before but, I'll try and post some new pics this week. With all the changes, their almost obsolete before I even post them. I have a friend coming this week to install all the electrical for the greenhouse. That will be even a whole other new set of pics.

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