Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I am new to this forum and to AP. I started experimenting with AP about two months ago with a small investment just to get the idea. I decided to brighten up my dreary windowless room by installing an ebb and flow system with a 17 gallon storage container as a grow bed and a 20 gallon storage container below as an aquarium. I have an 1 1/2" overflow pipe draining through a flowerpot filter into the fish tank and the overflow has two small holes drilled into the pipe at the bottom so that the GB will drain slowly when the pump shuts off.

The GB is an amazing bio-filter but I have gravel and river rock and a lot of aquarium plants in the tank too so it gets a lot of treatment. The fish are so healthy it is quite incredible and they eat constantly. Even if I'm not feeding them they are hunting and pecking all over when they are not engaging in fish romance. I put in live bearing freshwater tropical fish, a pair each of mollies, guppies, swordtails and two types of platies. Now the tank is full of babies and it only threatens to get worse. The first batch of babies swords has 11 females that are coming of age and will soon be having babies too with many right behind. I need to move and expand. This is fun.

I just stuck in two 12 watt fluorescent bulbs that they are touting now and then added a Rona Hardware store  sylvania gro-bulb of  60 watts  when the plants didn't seem to like the light that much. I couldn't see any discussions about grow lighting so I wanted to see what others do. Basil does fine just plugging cuttings into the grow bed but my two tomatoes were spindly and didn't flower yet. Their brothers outside on my balcony in pots have tomatoes. I would like to get an economical solution for lighting before I play with the cycling and perhaps go for a bell siphon idea and constant flow instead of timer.

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