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Hello, I am starting a new system blind (I live in Germany - no aquaponics here yet). I really need help w/ my Raft and Media design. - any comments will be greatly appreciated. With my plans I wonder if the ratio of fish water to beds will work. Also do I really need Bell siphons in all the media beds vs. letting the water continually just drain through the media beds to the raft beds?

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Looks pretty good Sharon. Changes I would make is to have the fish tank as the highest level and the sump on the same level as the DWC raft at the lowest point of the system. Pump from the sump up to the fish tank and let gravity do the rest.  And yes you will need bell siphons in each grow bed to flood and drain (this provides O2 to the roots and bacteria) Also use a SLO (Solids Lift Overflow) drain from the fish tanks. You may need additional aeration in your rafts. Ratio wise you should be fine with this design supporting around  10-20 5 inch goldfish providing plenty of poo for the plants.

Thanks Jonathan, great suggestions. I revised the plan. Do you also think the 2 - 45 Gallon Fish Tanks are enough to support the systems? The rafts stay full to the top?? so I would not displace any water here just the 40% of the media beds.  Any input would be very helpful.

Sharon : )

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

Looks pretty good Sharon. Changes I would make is to have the fish tank as the highest level and the sump on the same level as the DWC raft at the lowest point of the system. Pump from the sump up to the fish tank and let gravity do the rest.  And yes you will need bell siphons in each grow bed to flood and drain (this provides O2 to the roots and bacteria) Also use a SLO (Solids Lift Overflow) drain from the fish tanks. You may need additional aeration in your rafts. Ratio wise you should be fine with this design supporting around  10-20 5 inch goldfish providing plenty of poo for the plants.

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Thanks Jonathan, great suggestions. I revised the plan. Any input would be very helpful.

Sharon : )

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

Looks pretty good Sharon. Changes I would make is to have the fish tank as the highest level and the sump on the same level as the DWC raft at the lowest point of the system. Pump from the sump up to the fish tank and let gravity do the rest.  And yes you will need bell siphons in each grow bed to flood and drain (this provides O2 to the roots and bacteria) Also use a SLO (Solids Lift Overflow) drain from the fish tanks. You may need additional aeration in your rafts. Ratio wise you should be fine with this design supporting around  10-20 5 inch goldfish providing plenty of poo for the plants.

Sharon,

You probably want to pump water to both fish tanks, with your current diagram the left fish tank would get very little fresh water. Since your SLO is in right tank you will need to pump water to the left tank.  Having the SLO going to the sump and then pumping from the sump back to the fish mean that you would be sending some of the solids back to the fish. I suggest your SLO go directly to the grow beds. You don't need to filter the water going to the grow beds - the grow beds are the filter. This is why I suggested the fish tank be the highest point. Your tank to bed/raft ratio is fine.

=||

|| [Fish tank]==||(SLO)

||               [ Grow bed] [Grow bed]

||                  ||                  ||

||=[Sump]=[Raft ]=[Raft ]=[Raft ]=[Raft ]

Hi Jonathan,

Sorry I had a chance to reply. Please take a look at this revision - I rather not have the fish tank so high up see option 2, the water would have to weave through. Thanks again for all your help.

Sharon ; )

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For option 1) The water level in the fish tank does not need to be more that 1 foot or so above the spigot in grow bed for the SLO to drain into the grow beds. This will save you from going too high with the fish tank. In fact if your fish tank is 24 inches tall and your grow beds are 12" tall then they can probably sit on the same surface.

For option 2) This should be fine too although you should be able to have the sump, fish tank and DWC all on the same level, in fact there is no need for a sump in this design as you could pump right from the fish tank.

Cheers,

Jonathan

Thanks Jonathan, I really appreciate all your help and excellent suggestions. I will let you know how the final works. Take care, Sharon ; )

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

For option 1) The water level in the fish tank does not need to be more that 1 foot or so above the spigot in grow bed for the SLO to drain into the grow beds. This will save you from going too high with the fish tank. In fact if your fish tank is 24 inches tall and your grow beds are 12" tall then they can probably sit on the same surface.

For option 2) This should be fine too although you should be able to have the sump, fish tank and DWC all on the same level, in fact there is no need for a sump in this design as you could pump right from the fish tank.

Cheers,

Jonathan

I was thinking a bit more on option 2 and that it  is advantageous to keep the sump to increase the volume of water in the system, that way the level won't rise and fall as much in the fish tank. With option 1 the fish tank will always be full. That is the major advantage of option 1. You could also have a SLO going from the fish tank to the sump in option 2 which would keep the fish tank full. I look forward to the updates.

Sharon Ritter said:

Thanks Jonathan, I really appreciate all your help and excellent suggestions. I will let you know how the final works. Take care, Sharon ; )

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

For option 1) The water level in the fish tank does not need to be more that 1 foot or so above the spigot in grow bed for the SLO to drain into the grow beds. This will save you from going too high with the fish tank. In fact if your fish tank is 24 inches tall and your grow beds are 12" tall then they can probably sit on the same surface.

For option 2) This should be fine too although you should be able to have the sump, fish tank and DWC all on the same level, in fact there is no need for a sump in this design as you could pump right from the fish tank.

Cheers,

Jonathan

With your revisions, how many grow beds are you going to have now?

3 tanks 100 Gal. see sketch. My design has changed once again and I keep find new information, like the swirl tank, so I am getting pretty confused.

Sylvia in her video course said simply letting the media beds drain into the raft did not work/grow so well, the solids stick to the roots. So I put a filter in my raft since I don't need so much space here. I am trying to save cost by using 1 media /1 raft vs. 2 media -( less clay). Since the raft is always full w/water - this system would run continuously - I think I would have enough water with just one 100 gal. fish tank? Any ideas? Do you have a sketch of your hybrid system and did it work well? I can't find any good free plans - there is not a lot of info on hybrids.

Thanks for all you help,

Sharon : )

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I have a bunch of videos up at http://www.YouTube.com/user/NonHippieFarmer

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