Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

We're currently constructing an aquaponic system using Growers Supply's channel system (4: 4"W x 2"D, 2: 6.5"W x 2.75").  The 3 smaller channels are going on the top row, the 2 larger channels are running along the back wall on the bottom row, and the remaining smaller channel will run in front of the larger ones.  I have a few questions before we begin:

  1. Tomatoes (especially indeterminate varieties) would be too large for the space.  They'd shade the plants next to them out, grow too tall for the bottom row, and their roots would probably take up too much space inside the channel.  For the two larger channels, would certain pepper varieties be an appropriate choice?
  2. Because of the extremely tight squeeze, there's only about an inch of space on each end of the tables to run the plumbing to the reservoirs.  Then, the plumbing would have to be run horizontally along the floor to the reservoirs (in order to get the lids to close on the reservoirs and to prevent corrosion of the metal tables, we're not setting the table legs in the tanks).  Instead, we were thinking of drilling a hole in the side of 4 of the channels to run the pipe in and out of the system.  We anticipate that the plants beyond that hole may not get enough water; so we were thinking of putting in a little dam in front of the holes so that water runs back to those plants.  Are there any foreseeable difficulties involved with drilling a hole in the side of the water intake / water outtake channels and running the pipe along the legs directly down into the tanks (holes will be cut in the lids of the tanks). 
  3. The black reservoirs are going to be holding goldfish in the short term and tilapia in the long term.  The greenhouse does have a fan / heating system.  Do you think there will be problems with the black tanks getting too hot for the fish?  If so, what can we do to prevent overheating?

Thank you so much and I'm so excited to hear what you have to say!

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You still need a filter before the channels. use something like motar trays($12 at home depot), or build a box out of plywood and 2x12s, and fill with gravel. the nft trays will clog without a pre-filter. Once you have a media bed in place then you can go into the grow channels.

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