Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I am in the process of putting a system together that I designed (in my head that is).  Also, I am in the process of trying to convince my wife that this is ideal for our family of 7 along with the greenhouse in which I use my worm castings to grow veggies as well.  But I have one question:  Is a 3200 gph summersible sump pump too much for a 100 to 200 gallon tank?  Another question: Is a constant flow the best for someone like myself to use, or should I find a timer to do a 15 minutes on and 45 off routine?  I am very intrigued in this and I am thinking about doing an experiment with my kids and possible with the local 4H with aquaponics, hydroponics, and farming with worm castings.  Also, I ordered the Aquaponic Gardening from Amazon yesterday and should receive it next week.  Any advice given is and will be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Brian, welcome aboard!

Yes, it probably is too much pump.  The rule of thumb is to cycle about 4 times per hour.  So a 200 gallon system would need 800 gph.  But the real answer is it all depends on what you are doing with it.  Some people use a larger volume pump to operate things like waterfalls, etc.

If you are going to feed your family of 7, you will want a larger system.   Think about how much food you need to make the outlay worthwhile and work backward. 

Well I was thinking about starting small due to financial constraints.  I am also thinking about starting with goldfish.  Now would a waterfall in a aquaponic system help generate oxygen for the fish?  And would a constant flow be best for a newbie like myself?

any splashing in the tank will provide more oxygen for the fish.  if you want to start small and budget then how about getting a 500gph pump?  it would be much cheaper.

im also a newbie and my pump is on continuously.  you can run it constantly flooded or make a bell siphon.  bell siphons can be frustrating but a newbie can figure it out.  at least i did :)

read the book before you make another move... knowledge is key in AP, learn before you burn... cash that is.


I use a waterfall for aeration, so it works. 

A timer and a pair of different height stand pipes work in place to the bell siphon, that's what I use successfully...

I agree with Rob  -- read, learn, do

Well I got the book yesterday and I am going to start reading it.  I am pretty stoked.  However, my wife wants me to build a porch and a her pond with koi before I start on my new project.  So I guess I will start on her project this weekend.  Thanks for everyone's input.

attach the AP grow bed to the pond to control the algae in the pond, that's how/why I got started, just to keep the pond water clean

Yeah but the key is to talk my wife into it.  She wants it to look pretty.  And knowing her she would not want to be able to see the grow beds.  But I do like the idea of letting her see how clean the pond water would be.  That might just be a tool for my tool belt to use.  Does anyone know how to use the design setup on Google Sketch Up.  I am trying to use it but I am a little confused.

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