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My wife and I are just getting started with AP and just getting our system set up.  We have decided to set up a small indoor system so as to avoid the added expense of a greenhouse at this time.  Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.  Do you think this is wise?

As my wife and I were talking last night we both started thinking about nutritional value of our soon to be newly grown vegetables that we plan to use primarily for juicing.  Then we got to thinking about will the foods from an AP system be nutritionally valuable since much of our nutrients come from soil.  This being said we all know that much of our soil is depleted of the nutrients thus leaving us with dead food which is why we are considering AP in the first place.

FYI: We are planning on using a 55 gallon drum as our fish tank and have 4 24X36" grow beds about 12" deep and also have a few towers to start with. 

Hope to hear from many of you,

John

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Congratulations and good luck on your adventure!

Indoors presents its own challenges.  For me it has been lighting.  I currently have a 25 gallon fish tank that supplies a 10 gallon tote flood and drain and a 15 gallon trough constant flow.  Issues I had with lighting was:

1.  Not having enough

2. Wrong Color Temp

3. Mixed species of plants in beds

I eventually ended with homemade pendant lights using daylight 13w CFL 6500k bulbs.  Each, with bulb cost me about $5.00 a piece.  Problem with them is if they do not have domes they can burn plant leaves if they touch the bulb and there is the risk of breakage (without a dome) and mercury in the bed.  Has not happened but it is a possibility.

The bulbs need to be close to the plants and be able to be raised as the plants grow, hence a problem is created if you have a mixture of plants that grow at different rates in one bed, the lights eventually get mixed at different heights and plants start  bend and lean towards other lights. Yes this has happened to me.

Nutrient wise that all depends on how many and what type of fish you are raising.  I had 3 goldfish for my setup and as of right now I have too much Nitrates for my fruiting plants but all my green leafy plants, broccoli are going nuts.  I do not have exact numbers on what they ratio of tank to bed with fish is and that is an area I am currently working on but I am sure others who are way more experienced than me can assist with that.

Thanks John for your reply it is very good info.  We are putting our AP system in a room that gets alot of sun so I'm hoping lighting wont be too much of a problem.  I was thinking of buying some regular florescent lights for grow lights to substitute lighting as well.  Did not realize the light had to be close to the plants.  I will make the lights adjustable for this reason.  About how close would you say the lights should be to the plants? 

John Cubit said:

Congratulations and good luck on your adventure!

Indoors presents its own challenges.  For me it has been lighting.  I currently have a 25 gallon fish tank that supplies a 10 gallon tote flood and drain and a 15 gallon trough constant flow.  Issues I had with lighting was:

1.  Not having enough

2. Wrong Color Temp

3. Mixed species of plants in beds

I eventually ended with homemade pendant lights using daylight 13w CFL 6500k bulbs.  Each, with bulb cost me about $5.00 a piece.  Problem with them is if they do not have domes they can burn plant leaves if they touch the bulb and there is the risk of breakage (without a dome) and mercury in the bed.  Has not happened but it is a possibility.

The bulbs need to be close to the plants and be able to be raised as the plants grow, hence a problem is created if you have a mixture of plants that grow at different rates in one bed, the lights eventually get mixed at different heights and plants start  bend and lean towards other lights. Yes this has happened to me.

Nutrient wise that all depends on how many and what type of fish you are raising.  I had 3 goldfish for my setup and as of right now I have too much Nitrates for my fruiting plants but all my green leafy plants, broccoli are going nuts.  I do not have exact numbers on what they ratio of tank to bed with fish is and that is an area I am currently working on but I am sure others who are way more experienced than me can assist with that.

If you have natural sun light then you might be good.  For my seeds, seedlings the light was always about 1-2" above the plants.  The fluorescent lights are a good option with a box fixture.  Just make sure they are daylight 6500k color temp.

John Wolff said:

Thanks John for your reply it is very good info.  We are putting our AP system in a room that gets alot of sun so I'm hoping lighting wont be too much of a problem.  I was thinking of buying some regular florescent lights for grow lights to substitute lighting as well.  Did not realize the light had to be close to the plants.  I will make the lights adjustable for this reason.  About how close would you say the lights should be to the plants? 

John Cubit said:

Congratulations and good luck on your adventure!

Indoors presents its own challenges.  For me it has been lighting.  I currently have a 25 gallon fish tank that supplies a 10 gallon tote flood and drain and a 15 gallon trough constant flow.  Issues I had with lighting was:

1.  Not having enough

2. Wrong Color Temp

3. Mixed species of plants in beds

I eventually ended with homemade pendant lights using daylight 13w CFL 6500k bulbs.  Each, with bulb cost me about $5.00 a piece.  Problem with them is if they do not have domes they can burn plant leaves if they touch the bulb and there is the risk of breakage (without a dome) and mercury in the bed.  Has not happened but it is a possibility.

The bulbs need to be close to the plants and be able to be raised as the plants grow, hence a problem is created if you have a mixture of plants that grow at different rates in one bed, the lights eventually get mixed at different heights and plants start  bend and lean towards other lights. Yes this has happened to me.

Nutrient wise that all depends on how many and what type of fish you are raising.  I had 3 goldfish for my setup and as of right now I have too much Nitrates for my fruiting plants but all my green leafy plants, broccoli are going nuts.  I do not have exact numbers on what they ratio of tank to bed with fish is and that is an area I am currently working on but I am sure others who are way more experienced than me can assist with that.

Thanks again John.  I will make sure to get those particular bulbs..    and keep that distance..

Regards,

John



John Cubit said:

If you have natural sun light then you might be good.  For my seeds, seedlings the light was always about 1-2" above the plants.  The fluorescent lights are a good option with a box fixture.  Just make sure they are daylight 6500k color temp.

John Wolff said:

Thanks John for your reply it is very good info.  We are putting our AP system in a room that gets alot of sun so I'm hoping lighting wont be too much of a problem.  I was thinking of buying some regular florescent lights for grow lights to substitute lighting as well.  Did not realize the light had to be close to the plants.  I will make the lights adjustable for this reason.  About how close would you say the lights should be to the plants? 

John Cubit said:

Congratulations and good luck on your adventure!

Indoors presents its own challenges.  For me it has been lighting.  I currently have a 25 gallon fish tank that supplies a 10 gallon tote flood and drain and a 15 gallon trough constant flow.  Issues I had with lighting was:

1.  Not having enough

2. Wrong Color Temp

3. Mixed species of plants in beds

I eventually ended with homemade pendant lights using daylight 13w CFL 6500k bulbs.  Each, with bulb cost me about $5.00 a piece.  Problem with them is if they do not have domes they can burn plant leaves if they touch the bulb and there is the risk of breakage (without a dome) and mercury in the bed.  Has not happened but it is a possibility.

The bulbs need to be close to the plants and be able to be raised as the plants grow, hence a problem is created if you have a mixture of plants that grow at different rates in one bed, the lights eventually get mixed at different heights and plants start  bend and lean towards other lights. Yes this has happened to me.

Nutrient wise that all depends on how many and what type of fish you are raising.  I had 3 goldfish for my setup and as of right now I have too much Nitrates for my fruiting plants but all my green leafy plants, broccoli are going nuts.  I do not have exact numbers on what they ratio of tank to bed with fish is and that is an area I am currently working on but I am sure others who are way more experienced than me can assist with that.

I had all my systems (4) indoors for nearly 2 years.  Three were extremely small, though.  Lighting for the big system in my garage was an issue.  Once I worked it out, all was well.  I found that green leafy veggies did great indoors as did herbs.  By trial and error I discovered that my fruiting plants like tomatoes and peppers grew best in containers fed by the fish tank water.  I had a couple self watering containers and ordinary containers in my sun room where I grew the fruiting plants.  I was also able to grow pineapples and citrus.  Once every few months I gave the container plants a shot of epsom salts, chelated iron and a seeweed fertilizer foliant spray.  My fish tanks and raft system needed occasional hits of chelated iron and calcium as well.  Other than that, it was on auto pilot.  Oh, I used coconut coir as my growing medium for my indoor self watering containers.  The wicking was awesome. 

Hi John,

I was wondering if you could provide me with a little more information regarding your pendant lights.  All of the lights I am looking at so far seem to be much more costly than what you mentioned and it looks like I am definitely going to provide additional lighting.  Perhaps if you don't mind send me some pics of your system to j.wolff47@gmail.com

Thanks,

John



John Cubit said:

Congratulations and good luck on your adventure!

Indoors presents its own challenges.  For me it has been lighting.  I currently have a 25 gallon fish tank that supplies a 10 gallon tote flood and drain and a 15 gallon trough constant flow.  Issues I had with lighting was:

1.  Not having enough

2. Wrong Color Temp

3. Mixed species of plants in beds

I eventually ended with homemade pendant lights using daylight 13w CFL 6500k bulbs.  Each, with bulb cost me about $5.00 a piece.  Problem with them is if they do not have domes they can burn plant leaves if they touch the bulb and there is the risk of breakage (without a dome) and mercury in the bed.  Has not happened but it is a possibility.

The bulbs need to be close to the plants and be able to be raised as the plants grow, hence a problem is created if you have a mixture of plants that grow at different rates in one bed, the lights eventually get mixed at different heights and plants start  bend and lean towards other lights. Yes this has happened to me.

Nutrient wise that all depends on how many and what type of fish you are raising.  I had 3 goldfish for my setup and as of right now I have too much Nitrates for my fruiting plants but all my green leafy plants, broccoli are going nuts.  I do not have exact numbers on what they ratio of tank to bed with fish is and that is an area I am currently working on but I am sure others who are way more experienced than me can assist with that.

If you go to my page here on The Aquaponics Source I have photos there that you can view.

What I purchased was a bottle light kit (make a light kit).  At Walmart I found them in the store for $5.00 and .99 for open packages.

I also used the bulbs similar to this:

CFL Bulbs

Just making sure they are 6500k color temp and daylight.  I wanted ones with domes but Home Depot was out of them.

I also purchased a timer and and extension cord for $11.00.  All in all I spent about $40 including some PVC to make a rack above the bed to allow me to shift and raise or lower the lights when needed.


Hi,

I'm using LED lights, they provide red and blue light to my little plants for almost 12 hours , from the late evening to the early morning.

Here you can see the system working upon the LED light.

This is my first indoor application in aquaponics, do you have any advices or notes about what I built?

I really appreciate your kind attention and your further comments.


John Cubit said:

If you go to my page here on The Aquaponics Source I have photos there that you can view.

What I purchased was a bottle light kit (make a light kit).  At Walmart I found them in the store for $5.00 and .99 for open packages.

I also used the bulbs similar to this:

CFL Bulbs

Just making sure they are 6500k color temp and daylight.  I wanted ones with domes but Home Depot was out of them.

I also purchased a timer and and extension cord for $11.00.  All in all I spent about $40 including some PVC to make a rack above the bed to allow me to shift and raise or lower the lights when needed.

Not really versed on LED's.  I have read some good and some bad reviews.  Most of the complaints seem to be on the side that people had to buy so many and at the cost of LED's it was just not practical using them.  I understand some of the daylight LED's provide some better spectrum, but I do have a hard time swallowing the cost.  There was also recently and issue with a few brands of LED lamps catching fire.  CFL's are not with out their problems, specifically the potential mercury contamination if a bulb was to break in to the growbed or tank.

Your setup looks fine except I would get those lights closer to the plants, try about 3 inches /7.5 centimeters above the tops of the plants.


Fabrizio Borrello said:


Hi,

I'm using LED lights, they provide red and blue light to my little plants for almost 12 hours , from the late evening to the early morning.

Here you can see the system working upon the LED light.

This is my first indoor application in aquaponics, do you have any advices or notes about what I built?

I really appreciate your kind attention and your further comments.


John Cubit said:

If you go to my page here on The Aquaponics Source I have photos there that you can view.

What I purchased was a bottle light kit (make a light kit).  At Walmart I found them in the store for $5.00 and .99 for open packages.

I also used the bulbs similar to this:

CFL Bulbs

Just making sure they are 6500k color temp and daylight.  I wanted ones with domes but Home Depot was out of them.

I also purchased a timer and and extension cord for $11.00.  All in all I spent about $40 including some PVC to make a rack above the bed to allow me to shift and raise or lower the lights when needed.

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