Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Greetings all,

Being new to the whole aquaponic idea of farming food and fish has peaked my interest in getting started. I have been doing my homework but have so many questions.

From what I have read so far, keeping the water at the right PH seems to be a major issue. From other things I have read the system itself should sustain a proper balance ... so which is right?

Also, once I get my system built and running, I plan on using some basic cast net bait fish in my system before investing in tilapia or some other edible fish for my system. This I feel will insure that in fact my system is healthy and will support consumable fish. Do you think this is a good idea?

I am planning on starting with a small 250 gallon system strictly for our consumption (2 people) and wondered about fish to gallon ratios? Is there a chart or guide for this kind of information.

What is the recommended gallons per minute/hour flow rate for a system? Would a solar powered fountain pump with battery backup work for this kind of system? Must the water be circulating 24/7? Do you use any other kind of filtration besides the plants?

In some articles I have read people have used clay balls or soil for their planting medium, while others seem to be using a floating sort of mushy stuff that the roots of the plants stick out of the bottom. What can you tell me about that stuff?

I think that is enough to get us started.

Thanks in advance for any guidence or help in this new adventure,

Miami Florida

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It happens naturally but just like in soil worms play a vital function, although it could be argued unneeded. This must be confusing, so just put the worms in. As to the type most people use red composting worms, or red wigglers.

AKA...Eisenia fetida 

But don't go throwing in a fresh handful that have been busy composting cow manure recently...As this may be a way of introducing pathogens into your system. I think that's covered in some of  those threads on the topic, and probably the one I linked.

don't get upset if you dump a container of worms in your system and dont see a result so fast..  i added some a year ago,  every time i go fishing i add the survivors to the systems,  now they are every where i look,  i feed the  fish with them,  use them for bait,  and let them do their jobs.

it is actually a huge amount of work to grow enough worms to use as a substantial amount of fish feed, and this is probably a good thing cause things like worms and BSF larva are too high in fat to be the sole feed for fish.

Most of us add some composting worms to the beds but some people have found that they some how just show up even when they were not added.

And as the others say, if you want to harvest from the system, you will have to put something into the system and fish feed is the most logical thing to add into the system for most of us.

i too am a newbie but everyone here is great about helping each othere out and giving advice.  my head swims faster then the fishes at all the new things i try to pack in there and there are so much more to learn.  MY advice to you is the one main one i had to learn here, patients.  i kept wanting instant results, well instant results could be a week or two here.

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