Although most of you are way ahead of me, I thought I would start a thread to chronicle my progress. I will add to it as things get done.
Here is what I'm am planning - Build a CHIFT PIST system, That is a Constant hieght in fish tank , pump in the sump system, raise tilapia ( if I can purchase them from some one) and vegtables year round via a radiant heated greenhouse. I am planning on constant flow using loop siphons in the grow beds and river bed systems made of 6" PVC.
For radiant heat I am going to build a hot water storage system copied from Mother Earth news utilizing a pond liner and insulated box. I will pump this hot water thru the pad via the radiant heat tubing. Although I am a big believer in buying locally you should shop around for this Item as it is varies in price from one distributer to the next. I am planning on taking advantage of solar and wind power to reduce operating costs but will also use electric for a backup.
I purchased a 275 gallon IBC from a local barrel cleaning company to use as my fish tank. I plan on enclosing and insulating it with a styrofoam/plywood box hopefully reducing any drastic temperature fluctations. After all this is Kansas and the weather changes to all extremes.
I have already purchased a 10x12 Harbor freight greenhouse and have installed the radiant heat tubing in the pad for it with 3-1/2" of concrete. I did this a couple of weekends ago. Mother Nature has been fighting me all the way! First working with 3/4" radiant heat tubing in the cold is a drag! Doesn't bend or manipulate very well. Since this is a greenhouse with water involved I also installed a small drain in the center.
Then the weekend we poured we recieved an unforecasted cold snap right after we poured. Fortunately the only damage to my pour might be a little scaling on the top layer. I can live with that, after all the concrete is there for thermal mass. Notice the light dusting of snow on the pad after we uncovered it.
Well I was hoping to get to constructing the greenhouse last weekend but that didn't pan out because of high winds(part of life in Kansas), so I decided to start building my growbeds.
These are made up of 30 gallon sterlite containers my wife found on sale a few weeks ago. they were a littlle tall, so I broke out the die grinder and cut them down to 12" deep on the inside.
Since I am planning to use a loop siphon system I constructed a internal drain pipe with 3/16" holes drilled in it for the water to drain thru. I made these removable, in case I need to make a design change (add more or bigger holes) and to aid in cleaning.
The next step in this process was to drill a 1 3/8" hole in the grow bed to allow the drain pipe to connect to the loop siphon . I connected it with a home made bulkhead fittng using 1" pvc to 1" pipe male and female adapters and hand cut rubber grommetsand 90 degree elbow. These seem to be fairly sturdy, but I have yet to test them.
I worked fairly steady at these and was able to complete 9 growbed assemblies this weekend. This will give me approximately 170 gallons of growbed capacity. I may add more But I really need to get the greenhouse up first to see what I am dealing with when it comes to room to work.
I hope you enjoy this thread and please don't hesitate to offer advise! We all could use a little help from our friends.