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I come from the Hydroponics side of things and want to know if any member is, or knows of a commercial producer using NFT. Any feed abck appreciated.

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One of Murray Hallam's YouTube videos is a hydroponic NFT converting to aquaponics.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7wqpR8IiFc
You just need to understand that simply pumping fish tank water through NFT tubes doesn't work, you need to make sure to filter the water before sending it to the nft pipes.  (Aquaponics is really a triangle not just fish and plants, the bacteria bio-filtration are just as important as either of the other two, well actually more important because a system can operate without fish or plants for a period of time but without the bacteria it doesn't operate at all.)
Yeah, Morray Hallam , the Australian guy! I saw his NFT system in a video clip posted on You Tube. But it's a bare system having no plants yet. To my idea, AP NFT is not as easy as Hydroponic NFT since it need very effective filtration system and  proper water level in growing pipe or gullies otherwise your system won't succeed.
Thanks. The replies sofar seem to tell me it is not a real goer... Appreciate the response.
Actually Cabbage Hill Farm, cabbagehillfarm.org, uses a mixed system with media beds, deep water culture, and nutrient film technique. If you want to use NFT, also have solids filtration, media beds provide the best filtration. Also media beds are great for growing whatever you want, to a certain degree. (insert dazed emotocon)

The method described where there are troughs with media and a thin film of water flowing through the bottom of the media is what many in Hydroponics call Modified NFT.  I will warn that modified NFT can become a clogging nightmare depending on the size of the trough and the length of time you leave the plants in and how much you clean out the troughs when you harvest/re-plant.  It seems a bit more appropriate to hydroponics than to Aquaponics in my experience.

 

There are Aquaponic operations that do use NFT but as noted, they filter the water well before sending it to the troughs.  Biggest challenges with NFT seem to be with temperature and dissolved oxygen in the troughs.

In large media filled grow beds, provided you have enough of them to handle filtering for the amount of fish tank/fish you have and you add some composting worms, they don't fill up so to speak.

 

It is only when you expect small or shallow grow beds to filter for a large amount of fish tank and fish load that you wind up with clogging issues.  Now I will amend that statement to warn people about certain very aggressive rooted plants like oh, BANANAS!!!!!  MINT!!!!!!! and probably a few others but most of them perennial.

 

I have set up situations where a small grow bed is filtering a far larger amount of gunk than it should be expected to and they will clog up  (like a 10 or even 50 gallon bed filtering like 300-700 gallons of tank.)  They will clog up quickly even, like less than a season.  But if you have more grow bed volume than tank volume, then clogging is going to be far less likely unless you let a beast banana break the bed or a mint monster take over.

Hi Alan,

I have seen this done at Ceres Community Environment Park, I attended the aquaponics course they have there and they have a NFT system.   Led by Green Technology Project Manager Stephen Mushin and Biologist Dr Wilson Lennard, construction of the first prototype aquaponics system began in June 2010 and is now in the final stages of testing.  http://www.ceres.org.au/greentech/aquaponics

 

What you can’t see in the image is the bio-filter that sits between the fish tank and the grow beds, it is a bio-filter and aerator made from 4 levels of crates, the top level has a aquarium white sponge filter media, the second layer has large stones to create aeration, the third layer has ceramic fish tank media, and the last layer has small stones that sits just above the water level of the grow beds.

 

Hope this helps

Alfio

I'm going to follw this up.  Looks like things are moving forward in the aquaponic world.  Thanks for link.

 

Alan

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