Aquaponic Gardening

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Is it OK to use regular fish tank de-chlorination drops to remove chlorine? I am having to do a lot of water changes right now with fry so I was wondering if these drops are considered ok even in the context of aquaponics. In other words, are they safe for the plants, fish, bacteria, and worms, etc.?

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most de-chlorination drops aren't meant for use with fish/plants that you plan on eating..

for chlorine, 24 hours of aeration or a couple days in the sun will break it down... for chloramine, i'd use ascorbic acid (vitamin c).. there is a commercial fish safe product for chloramine "removal" but i can't remember the name off-hand.. i think chloram-x

Chlorine is a essential plant nutrient.  For every one pound of plant grown you need one gram of chlorine.  The problem is that city water has to much chlorine.  If it were me, I would not add De-clorination drops to the water inside the system.  I would only use the drops in a emergency situation as they are not a viable long term solution.  

I have been thinking a lot for the last 1.5 years of the best way to get rid of excess chlorine and how to add water safely to the system.  I think i finally got it....  Let me know what you think..   >>> :)  < 

 I would add water to a top off tank, and let the water sit for a day.  Most all the chlorine will gas off to an acceptable level for the system.  You could use a filter for the water getting fed to the top off tank. That filter would be unneeded to get the chlorine to acceptable levels.    The water feeding into the top of tank should be limited flow.  A 1/4" line getting fed from a needle valve should do the trick.   The 1/4 line would run to a float valve inside the top off tank.   Now you have a barrel of water and can add the water manually using a pump or valve.  If you are adding it manually, size your pump or gravity fed pipe so you can add the water quickly and not have to weight to long.  If you have to weight a long time you will probably get distracted and forget to turn the water off.  After the water is added to the Aquaponics system the top off tank will slowly fill and be ready for the next time you need water.  The slow filling water could theoretically agitate and break the surface tension of the water making the chlorine gas off faster.  

After the Top Off Tank Project is Complete...

If you want to get fancy get a controller.  I got a Neptune Apex controller.  My controller turns on and off all growbed pumps.  After all the beds have filled and are fully drained the water in the sump will be at its highest level.  At a set time for 30 minutes or so, pumps for all grow beds will stop running.  During this time the fill pump, pumping water from the top off tank to AP system, will be programed to run until a low voltage float switch is activated.   Now you wont have to ever add water again! 

To Add redundancy to the system, two additional things must be done.

1) The Float Switch needs to be wired Normally closed which i refer to as NC.  NC refers to what state the contact will be in when there are no external forces.  If the switch is NC it will  be closed when the water is low and open when the water is high.   If someone was to cut the wire or a connection became loose, the controler would think that it was full of water, and nothing would happen.  If you purchased a NO switch and someone cut the wire the controller would think that it needed to add water, and the controller would keep adding water until something else was triggered.

2)  a second fill level low voltage float switch should be installed higher than the first one.  This float will hopefully never have water touch it except when doing testing.  If it does become activated I will program the controller to shut power to the fill pump and i will program the controller to send out a alarm.

Wow, great stuff! I appreciate the responses. I will probably just setup a bigger tank to let water sit in for 24 hours to de-chlorinate over time. I don't like adding or paying for chemicals anyways. This will take care of emergency needs for good water for big water changes etc. But, I also would like to just set something up to avoid the weekly topping off. 

Jonathan, your Top Off Tank project sounds great, but I am trying to keep it really simple right now. I don't have a sump and I don't even drain my system. I have a constant level system with one fish tank, one grow bed, and one pump.

I was thinking about just having the city water connected to the fish tank with a simple float valve. It seems like the small amount of water that would be added in a day to replace what had been evaporated would be so little that the chlorine would be negligible, and have no bad effects on fish or plants. What do you think of this? Am I wrong? Anyone, set this sort of low tech solution up to add small amounts of water with chlorine? I am getting tired of filling 5 gallon buckets everyday and waiting for the chlorine to float away. Even with a bigger de-chlorination tank it seems like a bit of work to manually top off every week. Yeah, I'm a bit lazy...or at least don't have much time to work on this stuff. :)

They also have screw on hose dechlorinators. They're a little expensive, but definitely could come in handy.

http://www.amazon.com/Rainshowr-GG-2010-Garden-Filter-System/dp/B00...



Arwen Vaughan said:

Wow, great stuff! I appreciate the responses. I will probably just setup a bigger tank to let water sit in for 24 hours to de-chlorinate over time. I don't like adding or paying for chemicals anyways. This will take care of emergency needs for good water for big water changes etc. But, I also would like to just set something up to avoid the weekly topping off. 

Jonathan, your Top Off Tank project sounds great, but I am trying to keep it really simple right now. I don't have a sump and I don't even drain my system. I have a constant level system with one fish tank, one grow bed, and one pump.

I was thinking about just having the city water connected to the fish tank with a simple float valve. It seems like the small amount of water that would be added in a day to replace what had been evaporated would be so little that the chlorine would be negligible, and have no bad effects on fish or plants. What do you think of this? Am I wrong? Anyone, set this sort of low tech solution up to add small amounts of water with chlorine? I am getting tired of filling 5 gallon buckets everyday and waiting for the chlorine to float away. Even with a bigger de-chlorination tank it seems like a bit of work to manually top off every week. Yeah, I'm a bit lazy...or at least don't have much time to work on this stuff. :)

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