I'm surprised that Paul's Permaculture Knowledge Scale (?) hasn't popped in here.
C Gillis is essentially wondering why the community isn't making a concerted effort to reach people in the 0 and 1, maybe 2, levels. I think Paul's book is a serious attempt to reach these folks, but I think its much much easier to grab the attention of people at level 2 and encourage them to be level 3 because they've already sampled the kool-aid and found it to their liking. The level 0 folks are absolutely bombarded by other messages/priorities and its really hard for them to see Sepp Holzer's path as better than Peter Thiel's plans to live in floating sea cities or just giving up and going to the ultimate gated community on Mars.
I share the frustration that Permaculture as a movement isn't packaged in a way that I can grab it, open the package, follow the instructions and miraculously be happy like every other consumer product out there (... or is sold that way). But at the same time if it were packaged, I would totally reject it because I know that packaged products are dumbed down crap that is bad for you and have to be sold on infomercials.
Personally, I'm not an evangelist. I can't sell someone on something I'm not even fully embracing. hence I'm trying to make a model, a mini Joel Salatin of sorts, that people can see and feel and absorb and decide to emulate or support in some way. I'm still absorbing and digesting, not even close to selling.
Rufus Laggren wrote:DO NOTE: If you hook up one side of the faucet, one way or another, then power up and try turning the faucet on, you can only turn on the side of the faucet you have hooked up. If you turn on both sides at once, the water will just run straight across the faucet and back out the other side that you have not hooked up. Quite shocking the first time that happens! Wet feet.
That's totally true with standard kitchen and sink faucets. But this sink is designed to run off a single line, so it doesn't have a mixing valve. Rufus has a totally valid point if you're trying to convert your old sink faucet to a garden faucet, but doesn't apply here.
Rufus Laggren wrote:
Any plastic will die in the sun
I dunno. White plastic certainly gets eaten by UV, but I think that black ABS pipe is UV stable. Am I wrong?
That sure looks like 1/2" NPT. You could easily remove the whole faucet too by unscrewing that cream colored nylon nut, and then just take the whole assembly to the store and make sure things fit!
So curious where that leak is ... I have to ask... are you certain it is coming from the gap at the top of the black piece? I'm thinking its more likely to come from the gap between the green and black piece. Since leaking water sprays and can move UP from the problem place the best way to tell is to turn on the hose and then wrap your thumb and forefinger around the body of the black fitting. Water on the top of your hand or water on the bottom? It really doesn't look like water is sneaking past the threads of the faucet, but it might be sneaking past the green threads on the quick release - and that might be address with some thread tape (aka teflon tape... 79 cents or so for a roll) or maybe a replacement gasket. If its the black piece ... its probably cracked or something and its time to get a replacement.
Funny thing ... that black piece is your 1/2" to hose thread adapter. You should be able to unscrew the green piece and attach a hose directly to the black piece. That's also another way to test for the source of the leak....
I'm deeply amused that you need a portable sink to wash fleece. That need is somehow simultaneously both perfectly appropriate and totally unnecessary. If I may be so bold, its very you.
r ranson wrote:One option I was thinking about was to make a 2 - 3 foot length of hose, with an adapter on one end and the regular hose hook up on the other. Not sure if this is possible.
Absolutely. Just take any old section of hose and head into the "hose repair" section of your hardware store. Then you can assemble a double male or double female hose! Good hose ends (brass) are about $7 each, plastic about half that. I really prefer brass as the plastic doesn't hold up well with frequent connect/disconnect.
Adapters suck. There are absolutely NPT to Hose Thread (or Hose Bib) adapters. Most every hardware store has them. Its just a question of which size NPT you need.
The drain pipe ... drains are easily plumbed with rigid pipe. Probably black ABS drain pipe, 1.5". You could run it over at a nice angle and then let it dump into a bucket so you can actually use the shelf underneath. This is REALLY EASY and CHEAP to do.
I worry about connecting your rain barrels to the faucet. That's a kitchen style faucet with small orifices, and it probably has an aerator as well. Gravity feed is unlikely to give you enough pressure to do anything like spray wash veggies - sure you can fill the sink with water, but that water isn't very motivated. Also, unless you have a good filter system for the collection or the outflow you are likely to clog something - probably the aerator first, possibly the valve. You can remove the aerator, but then (if you have any pressure) you'll have a splashy sink.
Please, try the gravity feed b/c that would be cool. But to get the pressure you are used to you'll need to get that tank up like 100'.
Edit - I see that's probably a Lee Valley product. They've provided some of the best customer service experiences in my life - I'd think a call to them complaining about the adapter will see a new set of adapters mailed to you.
Wine barrels are generally made of white oak, which is a pretty durable/rot resistant wood. They are often cut in half and used as planters and they seem to hold up well. The vertical axis one pictured works with the structure of the barrel. Trying to put one on its side to minimize the leverage of the weight is a good idea - and I think the top & bottom could bear that weight- BUT the structure of the barrel depends on the staves being intact. You might be able to cut a door in the staves in between the hoops.
The hardware cloth version can also be built with bicycle wheels.
In any case - solid wood and open mesh need protection from the weather. The wood won't like being super wet, and the mesh version can render your compost a soggy mess in the rain. Even our plastic tumbler needs to be carefully positioned to keep it from turning into an elevated bog.
Albany is out of my local circle, but I think you're onto something. You might find some traction with oregonfarmlink.org. I get lots of people there looking for a place to stay, and if you were in my area I'd be interested in seeing what situation we could arrange.
I'll add that I'm in the Daley thought camp that filling from the top is better (but not the only way, obviously). That underground pipe is effectively an underground reservoir that is below the outlet from the tanks... thus it will never dry out and it may not flush out either. So consider:
a) adding a T junction in the middle of the pipe with a drain pipe running away from the building. Nothing fancy ... just a standard plumbing clean out that you can periodically unscrew and let it drain.
b) there's a chance that you could run the drain across the side of the building, above the windows. Hard to tell from the photo. You might be able to use gutter downspout... which is cheap and easy to work with. Maybe not ... but then you have both gutters joining together so a flush/filter system is easier to install (one of them... instead of two). Well, you could run the pipe ACROSS the windows but then you're really placing function above aesthetics and that can be hard for others to accept!
Basically, the tires continue to offgas into a an enclosed space. I think you can delay the effect with thick interior walls, barriers, etc... but that ick is coming out of those tires and its gonna go somewhere eventually. Maybe if you got a boatload of the Nokian tires made from plants (corn? soy? something ....) it wouldn't be so bad - but good luck finding them new much less used.
Walk into a tire store... take a deep breath. That's concentrated new tire goodness! Extrapolate to hours and days and .... and build with something else.
But here's the thing: Aspen is a relatively soft wood, so its easy to work with. Oddly it can be hard to finish nicely b/c it tends to get fuzzy when sanded. But its not among the most useful species, structurally speaking. Consider this table: https://www.woodworkweb.com/woodwork-topics/wood/146-wood-strengths.html. For a yurt I think the column that's most useful is the Modulus of Elasticity, which essentially tells us how much it can take as a span. Aspen is ... OK.
I'd suggest comparing your species of Aspen to some of the oft-used wood in yurts - such as Douglas Fir. Note that Aspen and lodge-pole pine have fairly similar properties - and if you're using a whole tree (roundwood framing) then you're probably fine. Do consider about snow loads, diameter/span, etc. You might just want to increase the size of the lumber used for the span and call it a day.
D Nikolls wrote:
My second-hand understanding is that beavers generally *will* dam the pipe inlet, even though it should be fully underwater and those not making much noise. The supposed way around this is many small slits in the sides of the pipe upstream of the dam, and closing off the upstream end of the pipe..
My second-hand understanding is that the pipe is protected by a large box (hence the "baffle" in the name). Apparently the beaver is very specific about placing sticks where they can hear the water. If the water noise is inside a 2'x2' box then its like it doesn't exist (adding doulbe-entendre to "baffle"). If a creek flows in a forest, but a beaver isn't there to hear it, does it make any noise?
I WISH I had Beavers. But that's because I can't (legally) make a pond without them...
Lorinne is right on the Beaver Baffle thing. There are different designs, but the key is that it allows the beaver to fulfill their instinctual drive to dam flowing water yet subverts their goal by sneakily moving the water past their dam. Beaver comes, builds dam ... and goes away to tackle some other beaver-perceived problem.
And yes, as George suggests the new beaver dam might achieve a new normal. There is the possibility that the dam will help filter the water so your pond gets less debris etc.
The negative wire is nothing more than a ground wire. Its only there so that in the dry season there is better conductivity. I suppose if it were full of resistance (bad splices and such) then it wouldn't work well, but I really don't think wood will matter to it.
In fact, since its a ground wire, you could actually tie the wire to the steel posts - if activated then the current will find the path of least resistance (hopefully via the wire direct back to the charger), but if something has happened with that wire then the charge can merrily find its way through the steel post, earth, grounding rod and then the charger.
T Melville wrote:My go to is put a step in post against the metal post ...Effectively that adds several insulators for multiple strands.
That's a good idea too. I think you're referring to the style of post that has 5 or 6 built in catches for electric twine or tape? I'd say it could just be hose clamped to the steel post.
Only problem I see with those step-ins is that they aren't designed to hold any tension ... just to hold the line up and support it. The little plastic tabs aren't aren't for holding a corner (are they?)
You've got a steel fence post there. You can still build a wood fence on those using adapters. So .. you could just mount a 2x4 to the steel post, and then all sorts of electric fencing adapters are an option - many of which are less expensive than wire tying ceramics. Home Depot has "Yardgard Wood Adapter Clamps" for $2.68 ea.
Thanks for sharing Erica. Ernie (and you) have done so much that its hard to grok it all. I hope the move back to the coast is going well and that you and the sea bear are settling in. I look forward to whatever lessons this next phase produces.
Huh. You're right. I loaded up the instruction manual and there is nothing in there about greasing the head. I have a higher-numbered unit (the 131, I think ...) and its does have a grease port on the right side of the head - and the manual is all about doing that every twenty five hours. Think I'm overdue...
I like the idea of making a grease port- A small hole drilled into the side of it, tapped and then shut with a bolt? 'That does involve some specialty tools you may not have around - but you can buy a single tap for $5-10. Might be worth experimenting on this head - and then even if its dead you could buy a replacement head and add that port.
Jay - thanks for the thorough description of your setting and goals.
I agree with Mike that the metal roofing cries out for something water proof to go under it. The Roxul material doesn't particularly care about water (duh - its fluffy rock), but water can move through it and water does affect its R value.
For the walls -- less possibility (nill maybe?) of water condensate behind the siding. I'd just caution that wind and rain can produce some strange outcomes so be sure to manage your exposure with tight laps, eaves, etc.
One thing I don't see stated : some sort of barrier to protect the air gap in your wall and ceiling. Bugs, birds, pine needles, etc love to get in there. Fine Mesh, steel wool ... and some fancy plastic products you probably don't want ... do the trick.
I'll also toss out ... cork panels instead of Roxul isoboard? Not sure about price/availability but 2" of cork insulation is great. And it sheds water. Not sure if it should sit under a metal roof without a barrier, but it might be an option to help you keep your design AND avoid synthetic materials.
Nissa Gadbois wrote:to shop, to learn, to eat, to sleep, perchance to dream.
Nissa: These things vary state-by-state so you're going to have to go in and ask. But what you ask is very, very important! The department is built to say "No" to anything that doesn't fit the right category, so you have to define the category.
First, you're a farm. (Assuming you are actually zoned "farm" or equivalent). Generally, you can build any kind of structure you want - so long as it doesn't look anything like a place for people to sleep or live. Its up to you to make sure the building doesn't collapse and kill your critters, but its very much their job to make sure anything that people are "supposed" to sleep in doesn't fall down and go boom. There is likely another code that says something like "farm building can't have more than 10 people in them at a time" - again a public safety oriented idea.
Second, you might need to fall back on the "home based business" category. I'm going to have to do that because the definition of "farming activity" is, IMHO, too narrow and precludes adding any value to the product after its grown. Calling it a home-based business solves that problem (for the activity, not necessarily the excuse for the building).
In my area (Oregon) there are many, many restrictions on residential structures. I find the restrictions on even building a deck frustrating. But if its a farm building then the zoning people only get to make sure that its built with proper setbacks from the property line. If I add electricity or plumbing they need to inspect those, but again they pay no attention to the building itself. And so long as my home-based business doesn't use more than 1800 sq ft (I think...) then they don't care about that. So I can build a 30x50 "farm maintenance" building with a woodshop.
The other thing is figure out what you "can not build". Codes are made to apply to certain things and say it very explicitly - so figure out what they don't apply to! If the code says "a structure for gathering 10 or more people", then you specify that your building will only have 9 people in it at a time (and maybe even hang a sign to that effect).
And always avoid the word "commercial" at all costs!! That word means something very different to zoning and planning people than it does to you... to them a commercial building/activity means traffic, signs, parking lots, public access, idiot customers, police calls, employees. "Home based business" evokes quilting circles, spinning wheels and quiet cups of tea, jars of honey and no phone calls from the neighbors complaining!
steve pailet wrote: The real question other than to keep a frame from racking ... do we really need to apply a layer of sheathing..
Sheathing is needed at the corners and that's it. Our (stupid) house in Wisconsin was built that way, with 1" extruded foam sloppily placed down and then vinyl siding over that. No one shared my California-raised concerns about this (earthquakes and energy use codes...). If you build in diagonal bracing then you might not need OSB/plywood sheating at all - but of course this may all depend on how much you care about inspectors and local building codes!
"High performance framing" uses 24" oc framing with very carefully considered window and door placement to minimize thermal bridging without double studs. The best combination of cost * effectiveness seems to be a 2x6 wall with 2" of external insulation (for my area ... your mileage will vary).
You're paying careful attention to vapor and air movement - that's good! I'll add that you can, with care, design a wall without the interior plastic barrier. Drywall done well with appropriate paint will give you a perm rating of 1.0 or better. Electrical runs and outlets seem to be the major hazard here ... as well as a happy homeowner who thinks a wall is just for making holes in.
Everytime I've tried to work with hand-cut sod (not even close to your Sod Ziggurat!) I've been disappointed. The layers aren't even, it tears in weak spots and so it doesn't stack well and then it settles in a very lumpy fashion.
So although noisy, a rented sod cutter might be the thing.
Mike is on the right track. The strap & pintle variety allows you to adjust the pivot point of the hinge to any arbitrary point away from the pole, regardless of the wobbles and curves in the post.
I prefer the threaded bolt variety over the lag-screw style (as shown by Mike). The bolt version is a lot more adjustable and they come in two or three different lengths - by adjusting the tightening nuts a little bit you can get a self-close or self-open gate. Just be sure you drill your holes in the same plane!
Indeed! Losses in transmission and conversion are a real thing. I suppose its unfair to consider that "wasted" because it is simply a cost of the activity. A car generates increasing wind resistance as it accelerates, but we don't consider that energy used to overcome it "wasted" - although it sure is inefficient to go fast!
My point, if its not clear, is that NOT using a unit of electricity, gas, whatever has greater and largely unseen savings.
One could also make some conclusions about grid vs local solar in terms of rejected energy - it doesn't change the immediate economics but it can change your thinking.
The shocking thing about that chart isn't how much energy is taken from natural gas and coal ... but the "rejected energy" category accounts for 2/3 of the input. Yes, that means that 2/3 of the input is just plain lost to assorted inefficiencies such as friction, electrical resistance, surplus heat (your car radiator), etc. See https://energycultures.org/2014/07/rejected-energy-much-energy-unloved/
So roughly ... every watt you pledge to save has mother nature kicking in a double-matching gift!
p.s. this is partly why electric cars are so efficient. Something like 90%+ of the battery energy actually goes into making the car move. There is some electrical resistance loss, some heat in the motors - but nothing like the excess heat of an ICE and nothing close to the friction losses either.
Nikolai Stepanovitch wrote: No money for big irrigation systems or equipment (somehow I doubt most homesteaders use that anyways) and no money for our own excavator to dig irrigation ditches everywhere.
Nikolai ... I'm trying to balance that statement with being on as little as 5 acres. If you're on five acres, your irrigation problems can't be that big! You can get water to 5 acres with very inexpensive drip tape and supporting equipment - presuming you have a water source that can actually handle 60+ gpm.
I don't mean to dismiss your concern - this is an important consideration! If you're planning on commercially farming right away, then you'll either need to match water to your planned crop, or match your crop to the rainfall & water. I like the approach of observing for at least a year, then getting going with earthworks. Water strategies are built into Permaculture and so you might consider hugels, silvopasture and water-stacking techniques and bypass the whole idea of irrigation instead.
And definitely no need to get a loan on a tractor. Tractors are tough and can live (?) a long time. A used one can serve you well!
That's a totally different scale of building! But the quote "Not only has the rock never leaked, it maintains a temperature of 68 degrees throughout the winter" shows you something about mass inside your envelope.
Mike Autumn wrote:My grand question now is: how difficult would it be to work with that large granite boulder to take advantage of its natural properties? should I build some kind of earthbag / cob structure attached to it, or something like an earthship structure? what would I need to do to level off the top, can you drill into the rock, pour a little cement on top and make it stick in order to eventually place a large cistern on top?
An experienced natural builder has a more valuable opinion than mine ... but ... cob is probably a good idea for joining any structure to the rock. Its gonna be hard to get any wood to sit against it well. BUT cob requires clay - not a big deal unless, you know, Baja.... An earthbag seems like a good idea too... there seems to be no shortage of dirt about, and you might find that digging down a bit is helpful for thermal management as well (closer to cooler subsoil, less exposed wall area).
You can absolutely pour concrete on top of a boulder. You just need to drill some holes to place rebar or similar (bolts?) so that the concrete doesn't depart sideways... There are also many fancy substances for working with holes in concrete (aka synthetic stone) - epoxies, special cements. With a hole in the rock you can add a bolt to the rock and then attach something.
Drilling holes may be difficult - it really varies - but know that you need a serious hammer drill to make holes in concrete/ hard rock. Most are corded. Might be some ok cordless ones now.
I totally understand the impulse to use that rock as a wall. I think its a great idea. If its really granite then you could sink some bolts into it as well and sort of use it as a foundation piece to hold the roof/walls.
A different idea is to actually build the house AROUND the rock. I know that might be larger than you are presently considering, but it might be worth some thought. By putting that mass inside the structure you have a huge thermal mass that you can, sort of, control. Alternately, if its used as a wall consider building a simple shade wall/roof to protect the rock from solar heating - anything you can do do keep that rock cool so it can soak up heat from inside your structure will be great.
I hear that any day now we'll have coops for this here [/sarcasm]. Its a possibility, but we're early.
Flip this thing around to understand ... this isn't a market driven by the sequestration of carbon, its carbon polluters who want to buy their way out of their hole. So 160 acre units it is because otherwise its not worth their time - or something. You can imagine. They're just "Give me the credit, who cares what you're doing."
A coop that bundles together properties to make a 160 acre unit IS a possibility that I would consider.
The other thing is be prepared to show an inventory and a plan.
I fear that silvopasture might not float their boat ....
As much as I wish they just had a program to measure carbon accumulation in the soil and tree mass, I'm pretty sure this isn't happening. These are programs aimed at existing modes of production and are full of interest groups that are trying to warp/influence these programs to their benefit and ensure they keep the existing conventional systems in place as much as possible. Thus in order to qualify you have to be big, have trees that are ready to harvest and (it seems) be willing to essentially donate a lot of the value in the trees as well. Thereafter the program pays you for additional carbon - and some logging/thinning can be done so long as you stay on the accumulation curve.
Of course, this is what's available to me. Options in BC might be different, but it would take an extremely enlightened program to accept your plans. Let us know if you find such a program!
Rob, I wish I were. I've got 20 acres of timber in Oregon that I'd like to enter into such a program but I can't without 160 acres. And that 160 acres has to be of a certain quality as well. The problem seems to be the cost of administration, verification, etc is too high on small parcels. So the cost of a carbon credit needs to be higher.
It would be nice to think about getting credit for increasing organic matter in my pastures as well, but I'm not holding my breath for a program.
David - glad we made some progress in understanding the problem! Sorry its bad news but I'm glad that my rough sleuthing (and really, those are estimates, not calculations) has given you some tools to repair the situation.
Given your existing investment, the ability of the equipment to scale ... I agree 2b may be the solution. But do get them lifted up to the optimal winter angle this time! And plan on doing something with all that hot water in the summer!
Don't give yourself a hard time for getting something too small. It happens but fortunately there's a fairly simple fix.
Do let us know how the fix fares!
p.s. getting those collectors lifted seems like a simple thing - but don't underestimate the desire of Mother Nature to see that lift as a dare for her to blow them off. Commercially available racking is seriously engineered, assembled and attached to your roof. Do the same.
Wait ... lets pause. The INTAKE pipe needs to be fat and the ram mechanism itself seems to be best with heavy steel or iron. The OUTPUT from the pump to your field can be pretty much anything that is appropriate for the expected flow and pressure - which are pretty low (unless that's 400 VERTICAL feet!).
I can buy 1/2" black poly irrigation tubing for 10 cents a foot. I don't think that can be beat on price.
David, I think this community might be short on experience with evac tubes specifically. For ... reasons? ... evac tubes never seemed as popular as panels in the States... and that's where most of the comments are coming from. I for one have no experience with the capacity of an evac tube - or even the surface collection area of one.
There's a LOT of hand waving and magic there. My takeaway would be that, given an optimistic average on irradiance the system just barely makes shower water. That 27 MJ/m2/day figure is super rough ... it might be as little as a third which would totally explain why its not working!
My first thoughts - as I try to remember some details about these contraptions...
1) What sort of controller do you have on it? I'm wondering if its running the pump when the delta T is too low, or worse if its confused and is sending boosted water to the tubes in the middle of the night.
2) is this an open or closed system? Your diagram looks like an open system I'm wondering if the open system is creating too much of a thermal sink. And is it possible that the water is either flowing the wrong direction through the tubes, or the tank input/output is reversed? Some detail is niggling at the back of my mind about this but I don't remember the specifics.
3) Your wonderfully detailed diagram shows that your roof is well below an optimum angle, especially in the winter months.
4) Any chance some of the tubes are clogged and aren't flowing? That would really reduce your collection area.
5) the booster seems really weak. Yes, that's a large tank but given 6 hours of heating potential it should be doing better. My calculations show that you should be able to heat the whole tank to 48C using just 14.7 kwh, which a 2500w element should just be able to do in 6 hours. Given that the element is in the middle of the tank and you're only heating half of it, then it really should be doing better! Is it properly wired? (not sure how you wire up a water heater there since you're already operating at 230v. up in 110/120 v land its possible to accidentally send half the current to your water heater)
For reference, we had a 100 ft2 panel collector on a closed system going to an 80g (300l) tank. In the summer it was too effective and it would regularly release boiling water/steam so we had to upgrade the controller to actually cool the tank at night. In winter - even in sub freezing temps - that tank would get to 80F/26C. We had an external booster heater (a natural gas fired Takagi) that was tremendous.
I generally accept Nathanael's clarifications, and I could have written my post better to reflect his points. Sadly, my dictionary defines a swale merely as "a low or hollow place, especially a marshy depression between ridges" and the Appropedia (https://www.appropedia.org/Swales) doesn't even mention contour so I don't find the appeal to a definition helpful.
So regardless of name, lets talk about function.
My caution is that simply creating any earthwork on contour is problematic as it may turn into an inadvertent dam and that can lead to dam failure. Allowing the water to escape via a well designed spillway or a "meandering water channel" prevents a dam from forming yet slows the progress of the water. The relative benefits of slightly flowing vs captured water depend, I think, on local conditions and goals.
My reference to the top most swale capturing all the water needs clarification... yes, rain fall hits the whole of the hillside and thus you can calculate the volume of a swale to match 100 year rain events. I made the error of presuming there is some surface water flow above the top most swale, and if it is functioning as a dam would prevent that surface water from moving down the hill. If the sole purpose is infiltration then mission accomplished, but if the swales are planted then distributing the water is probably desireable. In an instance on my property I'm considering berms (not really swales as we are discussing them), but a consideration is that near the tree line the effective rate of precipitation is greater as the canopy pushes the water outwards.
Steve Freeman wrote:I also would like to remove turbidity\sediment after the pump prior to storage tank.
Not sure this applies but I'll at least prompt some smackdowns!
In the woodshop a cyclone filter is an awesome way to remove bits from the air without a filter. There is real science to making it super efficient, but you can also just ensure that the dust laden air comes in at the edge of a barrel and the outflow is from the top dead center - and that its air sealed. Dust comes in and spins around, giving gravity a chance to get ahold of it and pull it out of the airflow.
That one is for a closed, constantly circulating system (fish pond). I'd imagine that you'd need a bigger one for a one-way system, and that you'd want to match it to the gpm of the pump and the total daily flow (want to keep that water spinning in the tank so it can do its centrifugal magic). Ideally a cone-bottom tank, but anything round might do for a test. I'm imaging two 55 barrels stacked might work nicely, or maybe a 250g round tank. Taller is better than wider, to a point.