Author Topic: Greenhouse anyone?  (Read 46688 times)

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SparWeb

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #81 on: May 23, 2013, 01:23:28 PM »
Try looking at the variety of blinds/shutters made for skylights for ideas, since your windows are inclined.  If the shadecloth doesn't work.

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Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #82 on: December 17, 2013, 07:35:34 AM »

 Just tried to contribute to this thread and the server times out. The server on Fieldlines is always slow to connect for me,compared to other sites I go to. Might have been a photo upload thing ??

 Anyway, I will try the text and maybe add the photos another time ?

 I live in Costa Rica and have put together a small green house Aquaponics system. We built the wooden frame and covered it with 7 mil plastic sheeting.
We also built the fish tank with wood and lined it with the same 7 mil plastic sheeting. All the grow beds are wood with the 7 mil plastic sheeting.
We have a portable sawmill and lots of trees, so, we are stocked up with lumber. We pulled shade coth over the roof to help take the suns rays from wilting the plants. Now, we have it off.
Soon, the rains will taper off and the sun will get stronger so, we will need to put the shade cloth up again.

 The system is powered by a large car battery and a small computer UPS battery for the 2 air pumps that are located in the fish tank.
The water is pumped to the grow beds using a boat bilge pump, submerged in the fish tank. We have trouble with the power company and have burned up 2 computers and several light bulbs,
from the constant outages and surges as the system comes back online. This is why we use the 12V battery system. Right now, I keep the batteries charged with the power company and 2 battery chargers.
Works very well. Pumps are reasonable and easiy obtained. Soon, we will have more Sun and 3 solar panels,once I get them built. Then, I will start upgrading to better batteries.
We have a string of LED lights over the grow beds on one side of the green house. Tha has made a big difference in growth rates. They are on all night and off during the day.

 Cleaning the fish tank involves using another pump as a vacuum cleaner, and dragging a hose around the bottom of the tank, pumping the solids into a bucket, then, using that water on fruit trees, etc. I also use a whole house cartridge filter, with a pup, to run aabout 4-5 hours every 8-10 days, to filter the water.
That cartridge is washed off and all that residue is used on outside plants. 

 We started the fish about 9 weeks ago. We bought 20 Tilapia from 50-65mm in length. We had put water in the tank and ran pumps for a little bit, each day, to keep the water from stagnating, then, we put the fish in.
The plants we had going were not doing very well, even after the fertilizer factories were introduced. The little fellers just didn't get the job done, in the beginning. After about a week, we started seeing the yellowish colored leaves start to show signs of greening up and new leaves were forming.
Lately, the plants are standing up and blooming. We have several long shape bell pepper plants with peppers from just past bloom, up to 60mm long. Other planys are doing well but, no blossoms.
Bees have not found the plants, so I hand pollenate for now, with a very soft small paint brush. Seems to be working, I guess.

 We have 8 grow beds wit 5 in use. We are having problems getting seeds to germinate, even several different varieties of lettuce? We are going to go back to using dirt and transplant once the small plants are strong enough. This has held us back quite a bit.
We tried cabbages, brussel sprouts, Broccoli, Radishes, etc. Tomatoes are no problem getting started. We have moved some plants outside the green house, since they were getting too tall and falling over.

 Our biggest problem, is mosquitos. The water from the beds goes directly into the fish tank. We know the fish are eating them, because lately, they clean up more feed. We only feed them what they clean up, but, several times a day. We have used 2 kilos of feed, so far.

 I have worn out the keyboard on this computer, trying to find something to kill the mosquitos on the walls and ceiling, without killing the fish. All i find is scientific babble. No laymans talk, at all. If anyone has any helpful advice, we would greatly appreciate it.
We live way out in the campo, so, it's difficult to find a lot of things we want, until the wife goes into San Jose.

 On the Internet, I see a lot of aquaponics systems out in the open. How do they keep the rains from diluting the fertilized water and the fish from jumping out of the overflowing tanks ? This is why we built the green house.

 Any advice as to our system is good or needs changes, we welcome. We are very new to this.

 Thanks,  Harold in CR

Frank S

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #83 on: December 17, 2013, 10:21:51 AM »
Harold thanks for the report I saved it to my computer because I am  wanting to do something similar in the future
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Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #84 on: December 17, 2013, 02:24:30 PM »

 Glad to help, Frank. I could not get the photos to post. Might try another post with a couple if you want a look, or, could email them to you.

 I read all your much earlier posts and learned a few things.

 Harold

Bruce S

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #85 on: December 17, 2013, 02:37:50 PM »
Harold CR;
 Posting can be confusing, took me 5 times and 1/2 hour of string at computer on my first tries.
1st: Make sure they are under the 100kb size, along with 640x480 max size.
Then select the Attachments ,etc, browse to pic, then most importantly change the end-of-post, to inline expandable to the right of browse .
After the first one press Preview, make sure it shows
"attach=" yours will not have quotes around it, but instead brackets and starting with number one after the equal sign
Then follow for more by selecting "more attachments"
You should be working then
Let us know if you're still having problems we can look into it from here.

Cheers
Bruce S
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Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #86 on: December 17, 2013, 06:57:06 PM »
 Bruce
 I checked all the photos but 1 for size. They were all under 640 X 480 and all were under 65K. The one I didn't check might have been oversized. Anyway, I checked them all again, and I did follow the instructions for the first post.

 Lets try this one more time with 7 photos. Well, not perfect but it did go this time.

 

Frank S

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #87 on: December 18, 2013, 12:29:20 AM »
your fish should be about half way to harvest size assuming you harvest them at a little over 1 lb each
 I like them to go a little longer to reach nearly 2lbs but it takes nearly twice as long to add the 2nd lb as it does to reach the first lb and a full year to reach 3 lbs in most Tilapia species  or this is what I found while helping a friend increase the size of his farming operation in Romania
I live so far outside of the box, when I die they will stretch my carcass over the coffin

Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #88 on: December 18, 2013, 07:52:39 AM »

 You are close enough on your estimates, Frank. I assume Romania has a cold climate, like snow and freezing temps ??   We don't have that here.  ;D ;D  Right now, they are about to cover my open hand from wrist to finger tips. They eat like Piranhas when I throw some pellets at them.  :o ;D They should grow faster, here.

 I just found out, a local guy gets $9.00/lb or $20.00 Kilo, so, I almost have the 2nd tank frames ready to install. I could use more colonnes ($).
 The 2nd tank will go in the center of the green house, providing walk around space all around.  Right now, we are having rain day and night for the past 9 days. very little Sun, and, it's chilly here. Wind is blowing nearly all the time and, does slow down during the night, sometimes.

 Here is a photo of the fish tank and rats nest wiring or the pumps.

 

Bruce S

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #89 on: December 18, 2013, 02:42:50 PM »
Harold;
Glad to see the pics!
I gotta ask though  8) what do you consider chilly  :o.
IF you begin to see wilting on the larger plants, try getting some of the RED LED light strings already set for 12Vdc, they come pretty cheap on ebay, even by the roll.
The red will help in Cloro uptake.
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Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #90 on: December 18, 2013, 02:59:18 PM »

 AHA, thanks Bruce.  My wife saw a program on the tube that showed using both Red and Green LED's.  Different color for different reasons.

 Chilly= 60F or 30 something degrees C ?  8) ;D ;D ;D

 The rolls of LEDs I use come from Hong Kong. They are plenty bright if one gets the ultra brights. That's what I am slowly changing the house over to. I pay less than $10.00 per roll that's 5 meters long, about 300 LEDs per roll, free shipping. They are self stick, also.

 Have no idea how to put spacing between the photos.  ::)

 Speaking of lights, (yeah) it's my post,  ;D The morons that have banned incandescent bulbs after Jan 2014, have not told us where to get oven and refrigerator bulbs. Fluorescent won't work well at severe heat and cold, from my experiences.

Bruce S

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #91 on: December 18, 2013, 04:23:43 PM »
Oh for some 60F right now, then of course 1/2 the city would come down with pneumonia  ;).
Green is bad juju for plants, purple for flowering like tomatoes are awesome. Green is opposite of sun , I found out too late for French Thyme  :(.
For spacing merely press enter.
The trci I found was to attach photo, then cut/paste the attach= part where ever you want it, just add extra return for better spacing.
The Mods can fix spacing if you ask, and they're not out throwing snowballs at the dogs  ::).
Cheers 
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Simen

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #92 on: December 18, 2013, 11:50:28 PM »
Most plants are green, because they don't need the green light from the sun... (They reflect away the green light.) It's Red and Blue light they crave... (Which makes a nice purple.)

I think i read somewhere that they prefer more of the blue light as seedlings, then more of the red when they start the flower/fruit business - or was it the other way around? :?
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Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #93 on: December 19, 2013, 08:31:58 AM »

 Thanks Simen.

 I found Purple LEDs last night and will order a roll and some red ones, also. It's so cheap, I can't imaging everyone not using these things.

Simen

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #94 on: December 19, 2013, 01:54:03 PM »
Some links on the topic of led for grow light.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grow_light#LED
http://www.ebay.com/gds/LED-lighting-for-growing-plants-/10000000010850157/g.html

It seems that one cannot escape using some power to the lights, even with the use of led's.
 I have one 8W led 'grow light', with red and blue high intensity leds, and it's barely enough for one plant when placed 15 cm above the plant...
I will accept the rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. - (R. A. Heinlein)

Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #95 on: December 19, 2013, 07:33:31 PM »

 The white LED's I have over the one side of the plants lights up the area around the green house, outside. It's part of a strip light ribbon.

 I just this evening, ordered a 5 meter roll of SMD Purple Ribbon strip, for $10.40 USD delivered to my sons house in Florida. He will be sending a crate down around the end of Jan. so, I will see how that works. It may be that the darker colors don't give off much light.

 These super bright whites do though.

 Thanks for the links, Simen.

 Harold

Harold in CR

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #96 on: March 14, 2014, 06:44:16 PM »

 Time for an update.
 Been eating green peppers for a while from the plants. The plants are tall and spindly, so, we pick the peppers at around 4" long. They grow long peppers here, not the block type.

 Have a couple tomatoes getting big enough to eat in another 3 weeks or so. Outside tomatoes are putting on blossoms and small tomatoes, also. I use a whole house filter, inside the fish tank, so the pump doesn't clog with fish poop, which comes out in a clear tube, like intestines. That gets caught up in the rubber valves of the pump. The filters get clogged after a few changes, so, to make them last longer, I cut up a coupe of old socks, and put the cartridge down inside the sock and hold it n with a rubber band. Then, screw on the top and lower the whole thing down into the tank. Makes it easier to clean and then, set the cartridge out on some yard debris, and the ants clean them up pretty well, so they are usable again.   ;D  The washed off pop water gets poured over the outside tomatoes that are pot planted with dirt. Also, we have a few pot planted peppers on the ground, inside the green house. They also get that poop water. Must be 40 blossoms on the pepper plants, right now, along with about 15 peppers. The peppers are really tasty.

 I add water every week or so, because of the evaporation, and, sometimes forget to shut it off, and, over flow the tank  :-[  Last time, one of the fish jumped out. I found it still alive, covered with dirt, so, washed it off and did some CPR. After an hour, I decided it was futile, and, the animal lover wife was happy that I tried so long.Then,I let her eat it for supper. She was hesitant, but, afterwards, she said it tasted GREAT.  ;D
 Fish are over a pound or so, now. I need to get the second tank built in place, so we can start cycling the water. Pumps are in the crate that should finally be here, in a few days.

 Still having trouble starting plants from seed. We have no east-south facing windows in the house to start seeds in.  No grow lights, either.

 Still waiting for that crate with the purple LEDs. It finally got picked up, yesterday, so, figure another 15 days until I get it.  Have 5 modules of Nissan Leaf Battery modules in the crate. They are 7.7V @ 33A, so, 2 modules will make 15.2V packs for the house battery set. IF they work out, I want to buy a whole battery and use it for my house and my electric bike-motorcycle. These are used, but, should last me forever, being high Amp and lithium chemistry. They are pretty big pouch cells, though.

 On another thread, I was informed by Xeonpony to use shower heads for the growbed drains, to break up the solid stream of water and add air to the water tank.  Shower heads are hard to find here, except for the suicide shower heads, so, yesterday, while in town, I bought a few " PVC pipe caps, and drilled some small holes in them. Works like a champ. Thanks for that idea.

 Rainy season is about to begin, so, another chapter of modding to keep the plants going.