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Ok, I've been reading a ton, but for some reason my brain is having a difficult time wrapping my head around the fish / FT to GB ratio. I think I might have it, so for those in the know, does this sound about right?

I am planning to have a 4' x 28' x 12"deep (112sqft) grow bed growing everything from tomatoes to peppers to cukes/zucs. 

So, I would need 112 fish, therefore a 784gal tank, right?

I would also have some worms in the bed. I would also be babysitting this thing like a newborn infant.

Thanks.

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Interesting info on long beds. Based on some of the info here, I've decided to go back to the drawing board. I'm going to build 3 smaller systems; a media with a tote for a FT, another media with a below ground FT and a raft w/ a tote for the FT. Just need to figure out the specifics on size. 

I forgot to add that one of the media systems will be timed F&D, the other will use a siphon.

Phil Bowyer said:

Interesting info on long beds. Based on some of the info here, I've decided to go back to the drawing board. I'm going to build 3 smaller systems; a media with a tote for a FT, another media with a below ground FT and a raft w/ a tote for the FT. Just need to figure out the specifics on size. 

Cool, you could almost take over where the BYAP trials left off.

They had three systems set up

One was a constant flood media bed

One was a siphon flood and drain media bed

One was a timed flood and drain media bed

Was very informative to see their results

Was the plumbing for the BYAP systems interconnected or were the 3 system independent? It would be really cool to see direct comparisons between grow bed methods within the same system. If not, still pretty cool to see results of the different methods in the same climate.

Phil do you plan to grow the same things in all 3 systems or are you going to mix it up some?

TCLynx said:

Cool, you could almost take over where the BYAP trials left off.

They had three systems set up

One was a constant flood media bed

One was a siphon flood and drain media bed

One was a timed flood and drain media bed

Was very informative to see their results

Chris, 

Each system will be independent. I'm still in the planning stages, but so far this is what I'm thinking: 

Raft: leafy greens, herbs, a tomato plant or two, a duckweed pond, and some strawberries (in towers).

Both media beds will have similar things; bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes (4 varieties), and I'll also throw in some greens just to see if rafts really do outgrow media in that respect. Down the road, I'll add some cukes and zukes as the system gets stable and a bit more mature. 

Right now, each system has 48sqft of grow area (not including the dw pond and towers on the raft). 

I'm also tossing around the idea of having different fish; carp, goldfish and tilapia. 

This, along with a seedling grow area and an area to grow root veggies, will all be housed in a 658sqft greenhouse. 

I'm pretty excited about it. 

I tried to find BYAP's trials, but couldn't :(

Sounds ambitious, I like it! Can't wait to see how it develops.

The BYAP trials were three separate systems just one tank and one grow bed each.

I thought it would be great to have all three beds hooked to the same system so that the variables would be minimized to see what method works best for different things.  but I guess I'll just have to try that trial myself sometime.

Phil, it might be quite a bit more manageable to have those things in one connected system IMO. (except for the duckweed pond, you may actually want to keep that separate from the dwc troughs :)   sounds like a fun project...

So you scrapped the garage eh? Good way to take care of some lighting issues...using the sun is always way better than paying for lighting, extraction fans, timers, electricity etc...

Phil Bowyer said:

Chris, 

Each system will be independent. I'm still in the planning stages, but so far this is what I'm thinking: 

Raft: leafy greens, herbs, a tomato plant or two, a duckweed pond, and some strawberries (in towers).

Both media beds will have similar things; bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes (4 varieties), and I'll also throw in some greens just to see if rafts really do outgrow media in that respect. Down the road, I'll add some cukes and zukes as the system gets stable and a bit more mature. 

Right now, each system has 48sqft of grow area (not including the dw pond and towers on the raft). 

I'm also tossing around the idea of having different fish; carp, goldfish and tilapia. 

This, along with a seedling grow area and an area to grow root veggies, will all be housed in a 658sqft greenhouse. 

I'm pretty excited about it. 

I tried to find BYAP's trials, but couldn't

Here is the link to those trials over at BYAP.

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=86...

Yep we scrapped the garage and decided to do a greenhouse. The lighting just wasn't practical or sustainable (and it was expensive). 

The reason for the 3 independent systems is more to learn than to grow. I want to see how each system operates and see which one performs best - or should I say the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

Tho, I'm curious why the duckweed should be separate? My original idea was to have an actual pond and have the fish and the DW in the same tank, but my trial run didn't work so hot (although I made some mistakes). Since DW likes ammonia, I was thinking that the DW could act as the first filter, then pass that water to a filter, and then to the rafts.

Thanks for the link on the BYAP trial, I'm going to check that out. 

 

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Phil, it might be quite a bit more manageable to have those things in one connected system IMO. (except for the duckweed pond, you may actually want to keep that separate from the dwc troughs   sounds like a fun project...

So you scrapped the garage eh? Good way to take care of some lighting issues...using the sun is always way better than paying for lighting, extraction fans, timers, electricity etc...

Phil Bowyer said:

Chris, 

Each system will be independent. I'm still in the planning stages, but so far this is what I'm thinking: 

Raft: leafy greens, herbs, a tomato plant or two, a duckweed pond, and some strawberries (in towers).

Both media beds will have similar things; bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes (4 varieties), and I'll also throw in some greens just to see if rafts really do outgrow media in that respect. Down the road, I'll add some cukes and zukes as the system gets stable and a bit more mature. 

Right now, each system has 48sqft of grow area (not including the dw pond and towers on the raft). 

I'm also tossing around the idea of having different fish; carp, goldfish and tilapia. 

This, along with a seedling grow area and an area to grow root veggies, will all be housed in a 658sqft greenhouse. 

I'm pretty excited about it. 

I tried to find BYAP's trials, but couldn't

Well as TC points out, managing 3 separate tanks means you have 3 individual sets of controls. Plumbing all of your FT and sumps together and feeding each bed system independently is not only easier to manage, it closer to a valid experiment. Having 3 systems means their are too many variables to draw any real conclusive results unless you can be sure all your controls are equal.

Keeping the duckweed separate and feeding that with humonia is a better choice. It is a great at filtering water by eating up all the nutrients, but that isnt a good thing if you plan to grow anything else. It wont be able to live in your fishtank because the water isnt still enough (or it shouldnt if you have good aeration) and more importantly, the fish will eat it all.

True that, Chris, if you have tons of aeration. But if you don't, DW grows great in your FT, and provides shade for fish. But it won't last a week if your fish like it. I put it in most if my tanks as a back up feed. If it's gone, I know they were hungry. I've got a pool with catfish, a few tilapia, and Sac perch in it, no air, a very small biofilter, and the duckweed there doubles every day.

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