Updated indoor Aquaponics setup

After about a year I felt it was time to upgrade the inside setup to something that looked nicer.    Using some scrap wood I built a new enclosure to house the 55 gallon tank and a new grow bed.   More to follow.

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Auto turn off wifi in Mac Labs

We have about 1400 macs and about 3/4 are hard wired to our network.  The rest are on wifi.   I was starting to run out of IPs on some vlans.  This was because students are turning on the wifi.  The ethernet connection has priority but this is still extra devices talking to our WAPs.     I had found this older article that had a simple way to auto turn off the wlan card if the mac was hardwired, but then re-enable the wlan if the hardwire was removed.    I wanted to make this into an app that I could deploy and run  with admin rights on our network with ARD.

Using Platypus I created such an app and bundled the two files needed.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 5.06.58 PM



The here is the script

cp toggleAirport.sh /Library/Scripts/
chmod 755 /Library/Scripts/toggleAirport.sh
cp com.mine.toggleairport.plist /System/Library/LaunchAgents/

ARD pushed this app out without a problem.  After rebooting the labs I saw an immediate drop in the number of DHCP leases.

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Beer to the rescue!

Our indoor system was running great until we brought home some new plants from Sprouts. One of these plants had an unwanted guest. We thought at first aphids were the problem. After adding ladybugs with no results a closer inspection reveled slugs. We where not expecting this because Colorado does not have slugs. After some Googling a small lid with beer seems to be doing the trick. As a side note slugs do not eat mint.



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The IBC has arrived!

Our IBC tote for our outdoor aquaponics setup arrived today! Used only once to transport agave nectar. Bonus was about 3/4 of a gallon of nectar left in the tote and easily captured. Should be good for home brewing

275 Gallon IBC

agave nectar

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The StarPlates have arrived!

I just bought a StarPlate to build a greenhouse / dome for my outside aquaponics setup this summer. I could not find very much information before ordering and the photos on their site are not that great.

I scanned in the how to manual and made a PDF of it 

buildgreenhouse_photo_s starplateandkit2

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Visited the GrowHaus in Denver – So cool!

They have a setup that is the same size I want to do this summer in the back yard.
Such a cool place and helping the people near by.

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Our Inside Aquaponics Setup

So Morgan and I wanted to get our hands wet trying Aquaponics before investing in a large outside system.   I found a used 55 gallon aquarium on Craigslist for cheap and built around it.   If this setup works well, I will replace the plastic tub with a longer wooden box to fit closer to the window.

The full Flickr album can be found here

Side view with support board (1)

Inside view of the bell siphon

Bell Siphon


Bell Siphon outside with air hose

After running a full day, to make sure the siphon was starting and stopping, we put the clay media in.

Putting clay beads in

The water was cloudy for about 2 days.  It was -3°F outside, it would have been to hard to prewash that much clay.

Cloudy water

Being January it was difficult to find any plants to add.   We put in a half dead rosemary bush to try and revive it.  Luckily a new Sprouts opened a week later and they had live herbs!

 2 Weeks Later

Week 2 water test

PH looked good so we added fish

Happy Fish

More happy fish

Happy Fish (1)


We have not lost a single gold fish so far.    We took time to equal PH and temp before adding them.   They are growing very fast.   We will use trout or tilapia outside


No losses 1 week later

Our Mint took off and smells so good

Orange Mint Taking off like a weed (1)

Project Supervisor / Reddit Karma – Hobbes the cat

Hobbes our Cat

More Photos

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Fun Window 7 Feature

I had a user call today that no mater what icon they clicked on it open adobe reader.   I figured out some how they had put a “open with” option for any .lnk file to adobe reader.
I downloaded this little app to unassociate the .lnk file fixing the problem



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2nd ride – Douglas Pass, CO

Our short ride turned into 120 mile trek.  What a view from the top

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1st Motorcycle Run

Steve and I did our first trip.  Almost 300 miles to the dot from Grand Junction to Gateway, Bedrock, then up to Moab Ut and back home on I70.

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