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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Aquaponics WBS

Everything is in place.

It is like Christmas Eve when you have to assemble all of the freaking toys.

All of the equipment minus water, plants and fish present and ready to be assembled.

  • Solar Panels
  • Battery Bank
  • Charge Controller
  • AC Power inverter
  • All PVC fixtures to assemble three Bell Siphons
  • 55 Gallon Blue Barrell for the Swirl Filter
  • Two 275 Gallon IBC totes to fabricate into one fish tank and three grow beds.
  • PVC fixtures and tubing to assemble all of the drainage and Plumbing
  • Aqua Rox Clay stone growing media (a whole shitload of it).
  • 1100 GPH water pump.

Now there is nothing to it but to do it.

I've taken the time to item this into a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) which we Professional Project Managers are trained to do..... yet never really do in real life.


  • Assemble Pressure Treated Lumber frames for the Solar Panels.
  • Dig a trench from the Solar Panel location to the battery pack and inverter station under the Deck.
  • Run the solar cable and grounding wire through PVC Pipe in the trench and power up the system.
  • Dig a trench and run PVC conduit for the Pump to AC Inverter Power Cord.
  • Cut 1/4 of the Fish Tank IBC Tote and set aside as a grow bed.
  • Use the 3/4 remaining IBC Tote for the Fish Tank and drill a hole to connect the pump.
  • Assemble the 55 gallon swirl filter and install hole fixtures,
  • Run the pump infeed tube from the fish tank to the swirl filter.
  • Cut the other IBC Tote into two grow beds utilizing the top and bottom quarters of the tote.
  • Set up the grow beds on a pressure treated elevated frame allowing access to the bottom of the beds.
  • Cut holes in the beds and install the Bell Siphons.
  • Connect the Bell Siphon outlets to draninage to PVC plumbing running back to the Fish tank and spilling into it to oxygenate the fish water.
  • Run PVC plumbing from the Swirl Filter to the Grow Beds.
  • Wash the Aqua Rox Clay stone against a sifter screen to minimize dust.
  • Add the Stone grow media into the grow beds.
  • Add a layer of stone to the bottom of the fish IBC tote for appearance.
  • Add water to the fish tank
  • Turn on the pump to move water to the swirl filter.
  • Adjust the infeed and outfeed water flow from the swirl filter to the grow beds.
  • Keep filling the system from the fish tank, to the swirl filter to the grow beds until the Bell Siphons start to discharge.
  • Monitor water filling until the fish tank, the swirl filter and the grow beds are in balance.
  • Add ammonia to the fish tank to begin the nutrient cycle.
  • Add plants to the grow media.
  • Cycle the system for a few days.
  • Go fishing for Golden Shiners.
  • Introduce the fish to the fish tank and establish feeding cycles.
  • Trim out the tanks and grow beds in wood.
  • Tend to the grow beds and care for the fish.
  • Monitor pH and tweak to find out why plants aren't growing and fish are dying.
  • Become discouraged and disenchanted... beginning a spiral of self loathing.
  • Watch pitifully as the entire thing turns into a quagmire in my backyard.
  • Endure catcalls, taunts and various levels of vituperation from former friends and loved ones.
  • Abandon and dump the evidence.
  • Deny that you ever even contemplated such a project.

The  End.



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