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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I've seen people use food grade stainless steel things like sinks and milk vats for aquaponics but I'm not sure the Fridge would really make a lot of sense to use, First most of the surfaces inside a refrigerator are probably not food grade so there is worry there.  Second and probably more important, most referigerators are not designed to hold water and so the extra effort and expense of sealing it up will probably negate the benefits and I expect they usually are not all that deep either.  I like fish tanks to have 24-30+ inches of water in them so the container is better if you can make it deeper than the desired water depth.  A Fridge might work for a grow bed but then you have the issue of trying to plumb through it.


Might make more sense to use the fridge for some other purpose like making a solar dehydrator or something.

got these coolers from a clinic that gets a lot of cold meds and gives them away. the drains are 2 inch the holes are just snug enough that i didnt have to use a sealer. i cut the coolers shorter to keep the weght down. the lids lay on the water inside (mini rafts) i know that this modle dosent give me a lot of footage for growing but by raising the bed i get more sun (tall fences east and west) and its just somthing i felt like trying for a bit.  saw that kmart has the popup hard side pools in 6 and 8 foot wide this week for $12 and $15. the 8 footer gives about 50 sq. feet to a raft bed.

I expect they will last for a little while.  I used one kinda like em for hydroponics for a while but then I had to line it because it started leaking, the foam isn't water tight indefinitely But it should work for a time.

Now I have that cooler with holes in the bottom filled with perlite and coir floating in my raft bed with sweet potatoes growing in it.

You can post pictures directly in threads by using the image button second from the left at the top of the post box next to the link button.

I just found a Freecycle Yahoo group for my county!

I hope you all can find one near you.

i found that out the hard way. i had 2 kinds of foam 1 was soft and let the water filter through slowly the others are very hard and dense (like blue board). i only need to get through the winter. calculate that the shadows will just hit the edge. in the summer i will switch to ponds

If you know of any home water treatment companies that do water softeners or water tanks.  Check their dumpster to see if they are disposing of the oblong water tanks, sometimes they repo systems and other times the tanks are just getting old with UV attacking the fiberglass resin.  Ask if you can raid their dumpsters.  Ya know the Tanks that are nasty fiberglass on the outside and HDPE plastic liners inside.  I've gotten some that I've painted and used as rain water tanks and others I've cut the long ways and used as grow beds or wicking beds.
I've used fridges as outdoor garden planters. Every so often, my local community has free appliance dump days. They remove the freon for free, and you're welcome to the duds. I took them home, slammed a pick through the back several times for water drainage, then laid them on there back and filled them with compost. They are mismatched and ugly, let me tell you. But they blend in with the rest of the recycled containers in the garden, like sinks and toilets, even a couple of small sailboats, all just to keep our produce away from the gophers. Once the plants take over, they're not really ugly, kind of cool actually.
I think they would make fine growbeds or fish tanks, just line then with a pond liner and you're good. I can't see a case where the stainless steel portion of a fridge would contact the water, so moot point there. They certainly are strong enough, and very well insulated.
what a great idea thanks for sharing

Rick Stillwagon said:
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.
Ah ok, I didn't realize you were thinking of lining the fridges.  If you are willing to go there they would make fine grow beds or sump tanks but probably still a tad shallow for fish tanks though with some liner and ingenuity you could probably extend them deeper.
But at least you have the great story to pass on....
You blew it Snowman, if you only paid yourself $5/hr you could have saved yourself $65!  Funny story. Look on the bright side, you just tripled the surface area for nitrifying bacteria with all those plastic scratches. 
I agree. I often find myself burning through time and dough to save a buck. Live and learn ;)

Yea, it is sometimes a hard less to learn NOT to step over the dollars to pick up the pennies.  Some things may seem to cost more in the first place but by spending that little extra, you may be saving far more in other ways.  My first big system pump was FREE, wanna know why a month later I went and spent about $500 on a new pump?  (hint had something to do with an electric bill and a few minutes of calculation.)

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