Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I've kicked off a new Aquaponics project with several other people (who will be named later if they want to be, but I'm not just going to plaster their names all over the web without asking first), that looks like it is going to be lots of fun, and considerably larger than the other systems I've got going. And this one is "for the children!", seriously.

Not far from the Atomic Monkey Action Squad HQ, in fact within walking distance, is the Frisco CTE Center, which is part of the Frisco ISD.  The whole campus is almost brand new, and I've been envious of their greenhouse since it was constructed.  Long story short, we're going to add "Aquaponics" to their course curriculum, and the AMAS - after a fashion - gets to help.

Here's how we're getting started:

I had a spare 12,000 gallon tank lying around (don't ask!), so rather than give our HOA further cause to want to bomb the HQ, we decided it would be better donated to the school than to try to violate all sorts of local regulations by having it installed in our back yard.  Thusly, last week we had it delivered to the center, courtesy of one of their teachers (who did all the hard work and driving).

We're planning on cutting this tank in half, to create two 6000 gallon open-top tanks, which will go under that metal shed in the center of the next picture. The tanks will then be piped into the greenhouse you see to the right.

As you can see below, the greenhouse already has gutters installed, but at the moment the rain isn't being captured. We're going to change that by adding a 500 or 1000 gallon tank, most likely at this end of the greenhouse, and redirecting the downflow into it.

Once we get the big tank cut in two, the resulting tanks will still be about seven and a half feet tall, so they'd still be difficult to service.  We're going to place a portable staircase between them, courtesy of a local commercial pool construction company (again, to be named later if they care to be), so that they can be serviced from either side.  Note: in this picture the stairs are lying on their back in the parking lot:

The kids are going to be constructing their own personal systems as part of their project work, using either 55-gallon plastic barrels, 275-gallon IBC totes, or both, but I'll go into more detail about that at a later time.


  1. Good to see you blogging again Hunter. That looks like an interesting project.

  2. Say... did that ladder fall over because Wonder Woman moved her invisible jet?

  3. Man I wish I had that excuse. Wonder Woman doing anything has historically been worth watching. But sadly, no, her gantry ramp (I have on reputable account) is made of clear acrylic - to go along with the whole "nothing should distract from, or impede the view of, Wonder Woman" motif (from whence the determination of the jet's allowable opacity springs), whereas the origin of MINE is, in keeping with my own motif, "murky at best".

    I mean, *I* know where I got it from, i.e. who generously gave it to me, but beyond that I have no idea.

    And speaking of humor, I've got to tell you that the entire planet missed out on one of the great physical comedies of all time when there was nobody there to watch me load that thing into my trailer all by my lonesome. Clue: I may occasionally be ingenious, but I'm not graceful.