Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

A. Simon  Posted these questions to me. 

First, I thought I wanted to do hydroponics and ordered the Vertigro system with EVERYTHING included. When it got here, (Caribbean) I found that the hydroponic system would need more monitoring than I could do...as I travel and it was a little complicated for my roommate. The system has been sitting in storage until I bumped into aquaponics and your experience with tranferring your Vertigro system. 


As I'm sure you experienced, my system came with a lot of cocouts...which I see you say doesn't work. Is there any good way of adapting, until I have used up the core. As I can't afford to buy anything else and the expense of shipping overseas. 


 


Just a few quick questions:


1. How did you update your system to flow back to the tanks?

I tried many the Vertigro recirculation pots and it didn't allow enough flow. I eventually moved to what Ih have now which is hanging stacks over DWC float beds.  You can see many pictures of my systems and the current hanging stacks on my photo albums.  You can do this with pvc and I suppose it could be done with bamboo.  


2. Are there any suggestions you would give me through trial and error?

I tried many different medias.  Coir fiber is too dense. I finally settled on Coir chips - Med. They should be available in your area. I put some plastic filter material in the bottom of the pots.  I am now changing over to large coir chips instead. I flow to all of my stacks through a indexing valve.  On for 15 mins off for 15 mins then it flows to the fish tanks then off. So it flows through the stacks 15 out of every hour. My whole system runs on one danner 18 pump. You can see pictures of this also. 


3. Do you think you vegetable yields are as good or better than when you were hydroponic?

The answer so far is NO. I think for many reasons.  Controlling my PH has been  a problem.  I think I have this fixed.  I do believe I can get the production up to the level I had with inorganic hydroponics. I will also be adding some iron. My system is a research design. I am developing a no-filter low density high production per sq ft greenhouse. 

 


Any help or advice you may give would be greatly appreciated.

Take a good look at the pics and read what I have written about the vertigro stacks. 

 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Is your cistern lined or made with local sand?

 

I am quite familiar with Caribbean island living (I have a place on Roatan). Many cisterns were made with concrete made with island sand, the sand had a high salt content and that lead to a few problems. The biggest was the re-bar rusting and swelling, then the concrete would crack open. The second issue was the salt  would leach into the water. Both issues could be problems for your system.

 

Then there are the standard cistern issues of what was on your roof (dead birds are always a pleasant surprise). If there is any copper or lead, and that is just the start.

 

I would consider at least lining the cistern or using a food quality drum to collect water separately from your standard cistern.

Hi Ron, wow, Roatan! Lucky you.

I actually have those that are made of plastic and above ground. I have added a picture of them. 

Nice cisterns.. My mother-in-law has the the one on the right for her home on the mainland. They are nice but too small for most of our island. We can have wells but they are deep and expensive to drill, so most share a well and use a cistern whenever possible. It isn't unusual to see cisterns in the 5,000 gallon plus range. Those are usual concrete block inground or pour, reinforced concrete above ground.

 

I just assumed yours were the same.


A. Simon said:

Hi Ron, wow, Roatan! Lucky you.

I actually have those that are made of plastic and above ground. I have added a picture of them. 

We never use the backup one, the primary is enough for us. So I'll use the secondary.

Ron Thompson said:

Nice cisterns.. My mother-in-law has the the one on the right for her home on the mainland. They are nice but too small for most of our island. We can have wells but they are deep and expensive to drill, so most share a well and use a cistern whenever possible. It isn't unusual to see cisterns in the 5,000 gallon plus range. Those are usual concrete block inground or pour, reinforced concrete above ground.

 

I just assumed yours were the same.


A. Simon said:

Hi Ron, wow, Roatan! Lucky you.

I actually have those that are made of plastic and above ground. I have added a picture of them. 

I would recommend rinsing the egg shells very good before using them.
Will do!

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