"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - President Ronald Reagan
I went to the hardware store to get the fittings I needed, and missed 3! GRRRR!
Here's all the plumbing
That closed ball valve pointing up in the pool is for future strawberry towers. That'll have to wait, tho. I'm going to try to resist buying any goldfish for a year and get a bunch of free ones next fall when everyone is shutting down their ponds for the winter. I need about 100 gallons worth of rock to fill the other 3 GBs, but the landscape stores are only open during the week around here. If I get the same deal as last time, I may just pick it up 20 gallons at a time!!
A couple weeks ago, I heard a rumor that a local aquarium store had some 5' T5HO fixutres on sale for $25. I have a 5' tank in my living room with a couple LED fixtures (designed for growing aquarium plants) over it, and thought if I could get 2 of these T5 fixutres (single bulb) for that cheap, I'll move the LEDs to grow veggies!
Well, instead of getting 2 T5 fixtures for my tank (I did buy them, but to canibalize for another project), I got 24 72" T5HO bulbs for the amazing price of FREE!! Guess how long these metal racks are!
When I ask what kind of ballast I'll need to run these bulbs, he tells me that everything runs off the same ballast as 48" T5HOs... Boy was he wrong!! That's OK, I found a lighting supplier in town that has ballasts for signs and he sells me one that will work... wrong, again! This morning I swapped ballasts for something stronger and a little lower cost. When I get home, I'll wire one of these babies up and post some pics... assuming it all work, of course.
Surprise, sur-effin-prise... The ballast had a min of 16' of light and a max of 24'; my fixture is 3x6' for a total of 18' - no problems, right? The ballast fired up one completely, one only half way and the third was barely a flicker... PLUS, the lights are purple. Ef this, I'll stick with the hodge-podge lighting I have for now.
Getting the media I need at this time of year is quite the chore! It's frozen, so I have to get the landscape store to get the loader to load up my 2 pails! I finally got enough rinsed for another GB.
Since that last lighting FIASCO, I remembered I had a bunch of 12W LED Spotlights, so I went out and bought 2 48" Sunblasters to supliment. My 7yr old son helped me put this fixture together today.
Here it is turned off
Here are the spotlights... I thought I put in all "mixed spectrum", but looks like the far end is all red... I'll dig around to see if I have another mixed. I know I have all red, all blue and mixed kicking around. I might switch things up if I want to get things blooming.
I set up the smaller GB as an herb garden. I planted most of these seeds a week ago
And looks like the Thyme is already sprouting! I got the fixture built just in time!