Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

i love geting a good deal, repurposeing or just dumpster diving. curbmart is my favorite store. many of us have found that one place where that one item is way cheaper. here is where you let us know. AP can be unnecessarily expencive if you dont know where to get a deal. this whole thing is all about redusing waste. so share what you have found.

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 Great Topic!  Hopefully what I am going to add here is what this thread was meant for....


    Seeds:   If you live in an area where there is a local County Extension Agent or a Farmers' Market group start asking now if they have (or might be willing to) hosted  seed swaps.   This is a great way to get seeds without cost.   In my area many people have collected LOTS of a particular seed ( whatever grew well that year) and may want something someone else has.....The seed swaps are usually held in the you AP-ers start saving seeds now for the exchanges....   Don't have any seeds to ?  Take some of the redworms you have in your AP set-up or vermicompost, and use them for barter.  I do this, and the redworms and/or redworm cocoons (package and label them "Redworm Seeds"- including directions for hatching) are a very popular trade item with gardeners/farmers and I can get all sorts of seeds this way.   


       Hope this is helpful to others....I'm looking forward to reading about inexpensive AP sources others have.



exacty! this is the right spot for, ideas and info. if you see something that will help another save $$$$$ tell someone.  

Take pictures of your space and possible intended materials, take measurements and start a discussion to share your plan online and get ideas from others since they might see ways you could simplify things to save you money.


Also, take a jar of vinegar with you and a jug of water if you go to a rock place so you can test some samples of the gravel before you buy a whole truck load of something that won't work well (in many parts of the country the cheapest gravel is limestone.)  You want to avoid limestone or anything that after being rinsed well still fizzes when dropped in a jar of vinegar.


Beware False Economy, a cheap pump doesn't always save you money.  Spending a little more money up front on an energy efficient pump can save you lots of money in the long run on the electric bill.  The energy efficient pumps are often also quieter and will last longer too.


Cutting barrels around the middle instead of the long way can save you on building support stands for the barrels but weigh the options on the barrels carefully since each half barrel is only about a 25 gallon grow bed.  Can you find a good deal on a larger container that will also save you on the extra plumbing bits if it is all added together?



TCLinx shoots and scores again. yes "lo barato sale caro" or the cheap comes out expensive.

yea, my first big system pump was really cheap, as in FREE, but it was an above ground pool pump, after the first electric bill I went and spent several hundred on a new pump.
You can get free glass from local window replacement companies. The installers usually scrap the aluminum frames but they still have to dump the glass. Sliding glass door panels are usually pretty consistant in size. I have built a few really nice greenhouses with these panels. They are usually tempered so you cant cut them. Double paned units can be split with a heat gun and a razor blade if you do not want to use them as is or if they have leaked.
Craigslist.  Ask and you shall find. I've picked up a few scratched acrylic fishtanks, buckets of supplies from former aquarium enthusiasts, and plants for free. Most people would rather recycle than than dump, and they often look on CL to find what their stuff is worth, or if there is even a market for say, a scratched old fishtank. The trick is intercepting them before they go to the dump. TC, I know you don't like barrels split lengthwise, but there is a place for them. In order for gravity to return the water, GB's must be elevated. In order to elevate a half barrel cut on the circle, you probably have to build a platform, which may be more costly than a framed rim support for a lengthwise split barrel. Also, they are 25 gallons either way, but lengthwise they are 6 sq ft, as opposed to 3.14 sq ft, and rectangular. I also like the rounded surface to gather the water, minimizing anaerobic spots. 

The dump is another good material source. Actually, dump scrounging is illegal here, but allowed if discreet. 

yea I think they are afraid that if some one gets hurt while dump scrounging they will get sued so they don't allow it.


The barrels cut round just need a surface which could be a table or blocks or a couple rails under them to bring them up to height while the barrels cut long ways need a cradle.  Truth is it's kinda 6 to one half a dozen the other but it usually takes a little more material for the cradle.  The barrels cut the long way make for less likely hood that something like potatoes or a banana plant will crack the container.  I've got them both ways.

  Tell your friends what you are doing. It is suprising what is thrown away at the work place.

well electrical tape wont hold once the sun hits it. almot pumped out the tank. oooops


Yea, string or wire last longer.
Any ideas on using discarded stainless steel commercial double door refrigerators?  Is stainless steel safe for use as a fish tank? Laid on it's back, doors off?

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