After reading Est's how-to and trading a few PMs I thought a circulating bog was quite feasible for me. Pictured is actually a reworked version of my first go. I learned quite a few things from trial and error:
Problem 1: A completely open circulating system with just a pond pump and irrigation drippers will quickly get clogged.
Solution: A sponge prefilter cut to fit over the pipe draining into the reservoir. Secondary measure: A prefilter attached to the intake of the pond pump and use flag drippers which can be dismantled for cleaning.
Problem 2: Reservoir was never designed to hold water and is bowing quite profusely.
Solution: Invest in an appropriate container. I chose a 20 gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck plastic trash can, used by many keepers of reef aquariums for just this purpose.
Problem 3: Sterilite container used as growing unit will break down with constant UV exposure.
Solution: Since this type of plastic is polypropylene and infuriatingly resistant to many adhesives and and paints, I used matte white Krylon Fusion (designed to adhere to plastics and other hard-to-paint surfaces) as a base layer. Followed up with a clear coat that also protects from UV.
Problem 4: Only using 1/4" irrigation line will severely inhibit flow and will limit how many drippers can be used.
Solution: Use 5/8" irrigation tubing for main line and 1/4" tubing for taps.
Here is the bog as of last week (it's now been rearranged after a visit to Mr. D'Amato's place )
Left of circulating bog:
Middle of circulating bog:
On the right is my mini bog
Left of mini bog:
Right of mini bog:
I'll add more pictures of the inner workings like the prefilters and the new residents tomorrow.
I also have a question concerning fertilizers. I picked up a bottle of Maxsea 16-16-16 fertilizer after talking to Mr. D'Amato but I forgot to ask him if I should dose any differently in a constantly circulating system. After some searching on the forums I discovered that Butch also uses this fertilizer (here's hoping he sees this and has some advice hehe). Does anyone else use Maxsea and/or have advice on dosing in a closed system?
Also concerning Trichoderma: I sprayed a systemic insecticide after seeing some aphids on my Sarracenia and flytraps. Will this affect any attempts at inoculating Trichoderma? How about systemic or topical fungicides? The flowable and granular forms just arrived yesterday and I used the flowable as a drench for everything. I understand it's inadvisable to inoculate Trich and fertilize within a week of each other so I'm planning on copying Butch's method of Trich on the 1st of the month and fert on the 15th.
Thanks for looking and comments, advice, input, criticisms, witticisms, and whatnot are welcome!
(Standard YMMV disclaimer applied here )