Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hello everybody,

I'm Gabriele, 35 years old, Italian.I moved in Canada on September 2009 with my wife.

I have been studying English for the last two years, but as you can guess I'm still learning...

I like the idea to grow my own food, so I started looking on the Internet... and here I am.

Aquaponics seems to be the perfect answer.

So i focused my research on this this "Tecn(atur)ology", i writing to share my project with you , asking for advice and help, because this is going to be my first experience on it.

The system is going to be located in a basement. the temperature will be around 17/24 degree Celsius.

I only bought the the fish tank and an air pump(4 way), i'm still looking for water pump (which size), and a liner for the grow bed(i'm looking for a billboard,green house cover or a last a pvc pond liner).

I know that we DWC system i'll to manage the solid waste.It is not in the project because i do not know how to do! (small media bed with worms?/ gammourus/ swirl filter, flood and drain grow bed before the dwc growbed)

Any consideration?

Thanks a Lot

Gabriele

p.s.... and thank you for your patient with my English

  

Views: 849

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hello Gabriele,

If I were building such a system, I would definitively go with a media bed and some worms. First you could use the growing space offered by a media bed to grow more food for your family, and you would not need to take valuable nutrients out of the system the way you would if you used a swirl filter. Also a media bed would help out a bit with oxygenation.

You could use something like a CHOP system where water from the fish tank flows by gravity to the media bed, the media bed drains into your DWC (again by gravity), the DWC drains into a sump (gravity again), and a pump in the sump pumps sends water back to your fish tank.

thanks Vlad,

I DO like the idea to keep all valuable nutrients in the system, so i prefer the media bed solution,but...

... when you say media bed, you intend a media bed as  "Flood and Drain system"?But in this way i will not have a constant flow to the DWC Bed, right?is that a problem? 

another problem could be the room, the system is going to be in my basement, i would prefer to have a raised dwc bed so the fish thank can be underneath it and save same space. 

could be something like this:

1) FT with pump > media bed > gravity > DWC > gravity > FT :

is this way the solids waste go trough the pump (not desirable, considering the pump is going to be one of this fountain pump) and i will still have the problem (?)of the non constant flow to the DWC.

2) FT raised (1 foot but still underneath the DWC ) > gravity > media bed> sump with pump> DWC bed >gravity> FT:

now i'm lost with the plumbing and sump size.

Thanks again

Gabriele

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hello Gabriele,

If I were building ....

My syste,m took about a half a day to get up and running, and a constant checks and ballance since. In my neck of the woods, we setup a small, 120 gallon tub, home depot $70.00 pond, some store bought tubs @ 2' x 1 1/2' x 6" deep. Some concern with the depth of my tubs, as it is recomended the grow media has a 12" base, but like you, I'm starting out and will learn a long the way. 3/4" pvc and fountain pumps should work fine. Make certain you colonize your pond by ridding chlorine and metals normally associated with drinking water. A flood and drain system you can experiment with while your pond is cylcling, so take your time with the plumbing to come up with a fully automatic system. Basically, you are going to be pumping water from your pond, to your grow beds continuously. So, drill a 1" hole in bottom of a grow bed. Insert a 3/4 male adapter, pvc through the hole. Find an O ring to fit over the threads on the male adapter, then secure it snug with another pvc fitting being a 3/4" female adapter, snug fittings to grow bed. The bottom side of the grow bed pipes back to the pond, the topside fills with pond water by pump submersed in pond, pumped to grow bed. Tell me you got this so far, and I will continue with thw automatic, bell siphon that fills and drains your grow beds automatically.

thanks Jerry, but your system is "Flood and drain" or you have a DWC?
my main GB will be the DWC, i have to use a media bed to filter the water.

Jerry Walsh said:

My syste,m took about a half a day to get up and running, and a constant checks and ballance since. In my neck of the woods, we setup a small, 120 gallon tub, home depot $70.00 pond, some store bought tubs @ 2' x 1 1/2' x 6" deep. Some concern with the depth of my tubs, as it is recomended the grow media has a 12" base, but like you, I'm starting out and will learn a long the way. 3/4" pvc and fountain pumps should work fine. Make certain you colonize your pond by ridding chlorine and metals normally associated with drinking water. A flood and drain system you can experiment with while your pond is cylcling, so take your time with the plumbing to come up with a fully automatic system. Basically, you are going to be pumping water from your pond, to your grow beds continuously. So, drill a 1" hole in bottom of a grow bed. Insert a 3/4 male adapter, pvc through the hole. Find an O ring to fit over the threads on the male adapter, then secure it snug with another pvc fitting being a 3/4" female adapter, snug fittings to grow bed. The bottom side of the grow bed pipes back to the pond, the topside fills with pond water by pump submersed in pond, pumped to grow bed. Tell me you got this so far, and I will continue with thw automatic, bell siphon that fills and drains your grow beds automatically.

The bell siphon, the magic plumbing, that makes your system fill and drain is your creative genius as was ours. From the inside of your grow bed, cut a peice of 3/4 pvc approximatly 3" below the top of your grow bed when inserted into female adapter, this is your "stand" pipe. Now, get an empty soda bottle, gatorade, plastic cup, anything that will cover the stand pipe by simply using the open end over the pipe. Put some v notches or 1/4" holes around the base or open part of your container about 1" up from the bottom. Pipe the bottom drain of your grow bed to pond or some method of containment. Fill your grow bed with water. You will notice the water level rises higher then your stand pipe. The water level will actuall raise the cover, bell, off your stand pipe and drain the water in your grow bed all the way down to the holes or v notches you just made. Then it's just a matter of fine tuning and your fully automated. The system fills and drains automatically with some maintenance occasionaly.

It should not be a problem to not have constant flow to your DWC, since your fish tank is 50 gallons you want at least that much water flowing through the entire system in an hour.

With a flood and drain type bed, your DWC trough will get its water in 'rushes' as the media bed empties (which shouldn't be a problem...just don't be too skimpy with your cycling per hour :) Of course you could always run your media bed as constant flood/constant flow if you want to. It doesn't have to be flood and drain.

 Maybe look into SLO (Solids Lift Overflow, could be interesting for you).

If you don't have to have the fish tank as the lowest component it would be a bit easier, a simple overflow pipe leading to the media bed would do. No pump in the fish tank necessary, as long as you had good ample air churning up solids.  

Gabriele Barocci said:

thanks Vlad,

I DO like the idea to keep all valuable nutrients in the system, so i prefer the media bed solution,but...

... when you say media bed, you intend a media bed as  "Flood and Drain system"?But in this way i will not have a constant flow to the DWC Bed, right?is that a problem? 

another problem could be the room, the system is going to be in my basement, i would prefer to have a raised dwc bed so the fish thank can be underneath it and save same space. 

could be something like this:

1) FT with pump > media bed > gravity > DWC > gravity > FT :

is this way the solids waste go trough the pump (not desirable, considering the pump is going to be one of this fountain pump) and i will still have the problem (?)of the non constant flow to the DWC.

2) FT raised (1 foot but still underneath the DWC ) > gravity > media bed> sump with pump> DWC bed >gravity> FT:

now i'm lost with the plumbing and sump size.

Thanks again

Gabriele

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hello Gabriele,

If I were building ....

Oh yeah, sump size is generally about 40% of your media bed volume.

So if your media bed is 100 liters and it's filled with rocks, you could only fill it with about 40 liters of water (in reality you'd have even less water than that in there, since its probably not filled to the top with media, and you are only flooding it to an inch or two below the surface of that media...but I'd use 40% as a sizing guide anyways) 

Vlad Jovanovic said:

It should not be a problem to not have constant flow to your DWC, since your fish tank is 50 gallons you want at least that much water flowing through the entire system in an hour.

With a flood and drain type bed, your DWC trough will get its water in 'rushes' as the media bed empties (which shouldn't be a problem...just don't be too skimpy with your cycling per hour :) Of course you could always run your media bed as constant flood/constant flow if you want to. It doesn't have to be flood and drain.

 Maybe look into SLO (Solids Lift Overflow, could be interesting for you).

If you don't have to have the fish tank as the lowest component it would be a bit easier, a simple overflow pipe leading to the media bed would do. No pump in the fish tank necessary, as long as you had good ample air churning up solids.  

Gabriele Barocci said:

thanks Vlad,

I DO like the idea to keep all valuable nutrients in the system, so i prefer the media bed solution,but...

... when you say media bed, you intend a media bed as  "Flood and Drain system"?But in this way i will not have a constant flow to the DWC Bed, right?is that a problem? 

another problem could be the room, the system is going to be in my basement, i would prefer to have a raised dwc bed so the fish thank can be underneath it and save same space. 

could be something like this:

1) FT with pump > media bed > gravity > DWC > gravity > FT :

is this way the solids waste go trough the pump (not desirable, considering the pump is going to be one of this fountain pump) and i will still have the problem (?)of the non constant flow to the DWC.

2) FT raised (1 foot but still underneath the DWC ) > gravity > media bed> sump with pump> DWC bed >gravity> FT:

now i'm lost with the plumbing and sump size.

Thanks again

Gabriele

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hello Gabriele,

If I were building ....

I don't see why that would not be possible. Though you might be limiting the media bed to very short plants by placing it where it is, but if you primary concern is filtration and not growing space, then why not. 

I followed Vlad advices(if i undestood well):

I added a 18G media bed and as small sump (FT,SUMP and MB have the same deep)

I added a SLO (3)

the green line is the PVC 1/2" pipe

question:

A) with this plumbing the water in the tree tanks will be the same, right?

B) is the SLO piping right?

C) the media in the MEDIA BED must be lower or higher the water level(i will add worms)?

D) the sump in this configuration doesn't have to be too big, just the same height of the other tanks, right?

thanks for your help

Gabriele

Hi Gabe, 

Do you have the space to get that 18 gallon 'media bed' above your DWC? It would be a keen thing to do IMO.

Since the media bed capacity is only 18 gallons that would mean that your fish tank is only fluctuating 7 or 8 gallons. (Remember that your media will displace about 60% of its water holding capacity, and your not filling it to it's brim anyways).

a)You wouldn't need a sump.

b)You wouldn't need SLO plumbing.

c)You could use your media bed to grow food (if I understand your drawing your media bed is more of a just gravel filter).

There is absolutely no reason that I can think of for you to have to have a constant, continual flow moving through your DWC. (In any case you could do with a couple of air stones in there for sure). If your media bed were above your DWC you could use either a timed flood and drain or a siphon to fill and drain your media bed intermittently and hence move water through your DWC. (I got the idea that you want constant flood/flow media bed because you thought that your DWC needed a constant trickle of water flowing through it at all times, which is not the case).

I doubt that you are going to be able to stock so many fish that pumping from the fish tank directly will cause your pump to fail.

If you are going to add worms, then you had better be supplying 'a lot' of dissolved oxygen in that water (unless you decide to used flood and drain and raise your media bed above your DWC).

Mineralization/nitrification eats up a lot of oxygen, and your worms wont survive being under constant water without ample DO (Dissolved Oxygen). Again getting your media bed above your DWC and using flood and drain method would help this oxygen situation. And it wont hurt you DWC one bit. It would also take less equipment, less plumbing, help supply more oxygen, and would enable you to grow more food (and maybe more diverse kinds of food).

 

Interesting design.. Vlad I've got afew questions for you. I did the friendly training in April and have practically no experience in the world of aquaponics, I do have a zeal to learn from people who clearly have practical experience in aquaponics. I have begun building a small system as I mentioned before in one of my restaurant locations to see how it goes. I'd love to pick your brain with some questions regarding your last post, only to learn from it. seems that you know alot of stuff.

a)You wouldn't need a sump.

Would it serve as a good purpose to have a sump for the event of expansion of grow beds, or any probe/sensor additions you made add in the future (assuming you have the space for expansion) and can simply utilize the sump as your "main junction point"?

b)You wouldn't need SLO plumbing.

I dont know much about SLO, but from what I've gathered it "sucks" up water from the bottom "up" and brings it over to the next area. in this case the media bed. Is this the most effective way to remove all the "detritus" from the fish tank and bring it over to the media bed? I've got afew aquariums and find that the bottom of the tank always ends up with fish waste and I end up siphoning it out manually.

There is absolutely no reason that I can think of for you to have to have a constant, continual flow moving through your DWC.

When you say constant, continual flow of water - are you referring to the friendly type system? Is it practical to have a friendly type system, (with continuous flow of water through DWC) with the addition of a large media bed with worms using a flood and drain?


Thanks for taking the time to read/answer! Your information is always appreciated! I may be in Serbia this summer, I'd love to come see your operation!






if you can get ahold of some gammarus they'll be your best bet for a low energy source of solids filtration.

the answer to your water pump problem is really a question. it depends on the size of your growing area... the more you plit from the main fish tank, the bigger pump you'll need to push the water through the troughs.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2019   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service