Sorry for being a week late on this post - I actually worked myself so hard on this 3 day weekend by pruning fruit trees and setting up the pond that I was too tired when I got back to do much of anything. This weekend(2/22-23) I stayed in Walnut Creek and that gave me time to rest up and be able to summon the energy to write. (Another thing to note - I left my regular camera at home. The pictures here are from my phone camera and while they aren't bad, they aren't what I am used to having for posts.)
The goal of the weekend was to set up the fish pond with the grow beds and hook up the solar power to the pump that will circulate the water. Solar systems aren't really "plug and play" and you have several parts to them.
1. The solar panel itself with the connecting cables.
2. The solar charge connector (below) - this takes the panel cables in and the cables to the battery out. ( I can also hook up a light to this one if I wanted to..)
This is what I was starting with.. all the parts were there but nothing was hooked together.
|Ready to go!|
There are cables that hook everything together and I was missing the cables that go from the solar connector to the battery. I went to Harbor Freight and got a connector set that was labelled for "solar"... big mistake. It was for a much smaller battery and when I finally got the wires to work in my connector the whole thing shut down. The gauge of the wires couldn't handle the amount of power being generated. I had to make my own connectors with a thicker gauge wire... never did that before but hey, that makes this fun!
I went to the hardware store and got some bulk wire and connector clips that looked like the right size and brought them back.
|This looks right - I hope!|
|Wires connected to the clip|
|Battery connected to inverter - I cleaned up the wires after this picture.|
|Parts to the siphon|
|Connecting the drain tube to the underside of the tub - after drilling a hole in it|
|Drain tube installed|
|The siphon is inside the media guard over the drain tube. When the water hits a certain level the siphon kicks in and pull the water down through the hole faster than if it was just draining via gravity.|
I filled this bed with the expanded clay and I am building another bed that will use a raft system to drain into this one via gravity. My grow beds only hold 20 gallons of water each and the fish tank is 100 gallons (or 80 since you don't fill it to the top) so I need to add one more to keep the system healthy. You want to turn over the water as much as possible to add oxygen to the system. My pump is capable of 200 gallons per hour, so it will cycle the tank every 30 mins which might be a bit much...
|This is the bed that drains into the fish tank.|
Here is the video link with the gravel and the drain going... i realized after watching it that you can't understand a word I am saying over the water noise so don't try to adjust the volume. Sorry - the next one will be better.