A blog to document the trials and tribulations of starting a home aquaponics operation without any prior knowledge or experience of aquaculture or hydroponics or plumbing (or blogging!).
Monday, January 28, 2008
Waterfall and First Bog Rough Draft
So, as you can see, it's starting to take shape! We had some nice slabs of slate lying around the yard, so I gathered up what wasn't being used, and am now using it for the waterfall. It makes a nice path for the water, since it's so smooth and natural looking. After I finish up this web design gig that I'm doing, I'll have enough money to get another load of rocks to finish up the landscaping and pretty it up. Note that the pond is only about half full at this point. Still need a couple of big rain events to finish it up. I've attached the garden hose to my rain barrel on the porch, so I'm using the water from my roof to fill the pond.
Here's a side profile of the design. You can see the 110-gallon bucket "bog" on the right. There's a PVC inlet on the right. This is where the pond water will come in. The PVC pipe has a bunch of holes drilled in it starting about half way down. The theory is that the water will fill in the PVC pipe (which keeps out the gravel), then pour out through the holes to fill up the rest of the bog. The outlet for the bog is contained in the PVC pipe on the left, which also has holes drilled in the bottom half. The water rises up to a point just below the surface, where it exits via another pipe, that is drilled through the bog wall.
If you look carefully, you can see the mistake hole on the right side of the PVC. My first try, the pipe was tilted up so that it almost came to the top of the PVC. This turned out to be too high to drain the water out before the water reached the surface of the bog and spilled over the side. No harm done - redrill - and recaulk (using aquarium-safe silicone).
Next step will be to install a two-way switch (ball valves and a T), so that I can direct the water flow through the supplemental 2 grow beds during the summer when there are more fish in the pond. Then, I'll probably try and set up the other two grow beds, fill in with gravel, and connect to the bog pictured above. Then, I'll need a little dirt to fill around the bog above. The plan is to put dirt all the way around, then carve in some steps for some above-ground planters. Then, when the rocks are in, rock all around and tidy up.