Aquaponic Gardening

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First of all, hello to everybody out there, I've been lurking around for a few months now, playing with my backyard barrel and IBC systems.  I am in the process of getting out of the Navy and am hoping to step my game up into the commercial realm back in Michigan.  I was thinking that I would set my system up in a 3 tier setup.  The bottom would be the fish runs, the middle would be rafts and the top would be media beds.  In theory i would run continuous flow to the media bed which would drain via bell syphon into the raft beds which would drain back into the fish run via standpipes.  I have tried to put the idea to paper many times, but as it turns out I am terrible with google sketch-up.  I'll probably setup a small scale test version before I go into full scale production, but I was just wondering if anybody else is doing something similar?



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Currently my plan is to build the runs 4 foot by 70 foot.  I was initially planned to build each bed as on e big unit, but you have me thinking tjat it may not be the way to go.

I'll have to monkey with things a bit to ensure I'm able to bury enough tubing in the grpund.  I'm almost thinking that I can ru some of it under the runs as long as i put them in before building the runs.

After a lil more research, I'll likely also look into floor materials that will help retain heat.

By the way, I can't thank the two of you enough for helping me out and getting my gears turning some more.

Definitely make sure to insulate below, but running hydronic heating lines below raft beds is definitely a viable way to heat a system.

I just had a thought, what about a concrete floor and fish tanks?  With proper insulation I could still run the subteranean heating and cooling underneath it, and could also put radiant floor heat in.  We already have on of the big radiant wood stoves on the property.

Hydronic radiant heating is what I was thinking about.

Hey Kyle,

Good luck with your system, should work out well for you. 

I personally use a 4 foot bed made from plywood with pond liner, works out okay but you will need access from both sides.

Safety first with raised operations as you suggest Make sure you secure the racks to the floor well so they are not able to fall over sideways.  They are very heavy and would be deadly if a leg gave way and pulled the entire run down...

Try going with commercial racks like they use in warehouses, they are safe and very cost effective over building your own.  Your insurance carrier will like them better too...  Thanks to the economic downturn there are lots of used racks available...

keep us updated on the respiration floor tubes.  I have a friend who needs to do something similar and would like to hear a second opinion with like and dislikes, thanks.

all the best, Jim

Looks like a 2'-6" will work well (30 inches)

Jon Nose said:

should insulate at least around perimeters so heated mass isn't leached out from external walls ... have some links for heating mass if interested. as far as height goes for beds  .. just need some tracks and a trolly to harvest the high stuff .

if you are running 4 foot rows would recommend keeping gravel beds at a 2 foot width ... plan to do peppers on the upper beds ... things that like the heat.

Nice to see you are going 30 wide ..

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