Nice to me you all. We, my better half and I, are newly retired from the Military and getting ready to move somewhere where like Tennessee where we can have a greenhouse and start playing with aquaponics. We would like to use a rock type media. Any suggestions? Also thinking of using 55gal. drums cut in half for the beds. We would like to set up an auto fill and drain set up any suggestions for a layout and what type of valves to use? With that being said you guys have been doing this for a while, and we would love to hear your input. We all wish we could do things over after we have been doing them for a while. What are your wished do overs? We are both pretty handy, I am an aircraft mechanic by trade and she is amazing in everything she does and loves making her own furniture.
Tara and James
It's a big subject and there is a lot of material archived on this site - participation has died down here and moved to facebook, or so I've heard. Take a look at Smoky Mountain Aquaponics - Jim Fish is in Tennessee. He may still be active here in the IBC group.
I've had a productive system for 5 years and I enjoy it. What I use is timed flood and drain with an indexing valve, no siphon and no sump.
Avoiding fish kill is rather important but many people kill them early on due either to not enough oxygen or inadequate cycling (establishing nitrifyiing bacteria).
Keep reading and best of luck
My wife and I are both retired military. Both aircraft mechanics then the last 10 years flight engineers. We for now live in Costa Rica for 5 years but are trying to sell our place and return to west Kentucky. We have a 7 bed media system here now. When we return to KY we intend to build a greenhouse and do only DWC rafts. If you do it right you can grow pretty much anything in them that you can in media. The greenhouse design there is probably the most important decision you will have to make. The temp range is pretty broad and you have to design accordingly. Read all you can. there are many good info sites on the web besides here. As George said it is kind of dead here. If you need the address of some other sites let me know.