Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey all.  This is my first post.  Here is a pic of my system. This really worked out great as the grow beds fully support themselves with no additional bracing.  Nice little system.  This pic is from about 3wks ago and since the growth has been pretty crazy.  I added two supplemental lights to the bed on the right as well.  I currently have about 40 gold fish (feeder) as canarys in the coal mine.  It's cycling now as the Amonnia and Nitrates disappear quick.  I used the Maxicrop to get it going and am still supplimenting with it. A cap or so a day.  I have 2 questions.

1 - What do you do for backup power.  Here in FL power surges are common and it trips the GFI extension I have.  I have seen backup aerators but they are either too small or run all the time.  I just want a backup power source.

2 - Where do you buy fish.  I want catfish as they are sturdy.

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You can get catfish from florida fish farms but in my estimation, that is not a big enough tank for channel catfish.  I'm gonna recommend that you get bluegill instead for that size tank, they are also available from Florida Fish Farms.

 

For backup power, get a deep cycle battery a battery charger and an inverter (get a much bigger one than you think you need) and you can plug your air pumps into that.  Heck with a small system like that you could probably run your system pump on it too but a switch over relay that would only use the battery power when mains power was out would probably be a good idea.

Were do I get a switch over relay?  I was thinking of butchering a 12v USP for a computer and wiring it to a car battery for simplicity.  My main problem is finding the actual switch/wiring to make it work.

I grew up in missouri and we used to catch bluegill by the bushell so that sounds good to me.  I will check out florida fish farms.

Look up their phone number in google or something and call them (might take more than one try).  They don't answer e-mail in my experience.

 

for the switchover relay I actually went and got a relay and a wall wart and wired one myself but I think I need to find such a product that I can sell since many people seem interested in it.

Florida fish farms is only an hr or so from me so that's good but wow is their website bad...

yea, just find the phone number and call them. Then never respond to the e-mail I set to say their web site was messed up.  It wasn't always quite so bad.

I've seen on some other AP forum (not sure where), where they used a computer power supply backup and deep cycle marine batteries as their backup source. When power goes out, it kicks in  and visa versa. Seems like a good solution and a way to recycle again.

Inverter and switch all in one... Will be trying this when I get my system up and running. I know the batteries are good for about a day in our RV.

I saved the file on my computer cus I knew I couldn't find it again...

 

TCLynx on April 12, 2011 at 4:33pm

 

For backup power, get a deep cycle battery a battery charger and an inverter (get a much bigger one than you think you need) and you can plug your air pumps into that. Heck with a small system like that you could probably run your system pump on it too but a switch over relay that would only use the battery power when mains power was out would probably be a good idea.

 

The computer UPS are a good idea for small systems that don't use much power.  Beware that the life of those batteries is limited though and using an old one might mean you need to replace the batteries in it.
Actually, the discussion said to replace the old (stock) batteries with the deep cycle marine batteries -- which makes sense to me. Just use the UPS wiring and housing instead of "re-inventing the wheel" -- worth trying, I think.
If you can find deep cycle marine batteries of the right voltage and size to fit in the housing and be sure that the charger in the UPS will be sufficient to charge the deep cycle batteries.

One thing to remember is during charge and discharge regular 12 volt batteries off gas toxic/flammable gas. Do not have them in your house unless you build a cabinet for them that vents outside.

Very good advise there Jared.  Batteries need venting to the outside.

AGM batteries are sealed and do not require venting.  I have two of them, charged by three 195-watt solar panels.  I do more pumping than the electrical system can keep up with but believe it will work fine as backup with less pumping.  I'm still working it out.  Two long power outages due to hurricanes a few years ago made an impression on me. 

http://www.yachtsurvey.com/boat_battery_basics.htm

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