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I am almost ready to start building my system. My question is, will one IBC (with the top cut off, the top to be used as a grow bed) used as the fish tank be large enough to supply all of the grow areas? I am thinking about having two IBC media grow beds, to filter the solids. The media beds will drain into a sump tank and from there I want to supply 80-112 sq. ft. of DWC. Then from the DWC beds the return can be pumped back into the fish tank.

I am sure I am not the 1st new aquapon to ask this question, but somebody told me long ago there are no stupid questions. Increasing the fish density is my 1st thought, but I don't want to over do it.

Thanks!

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John, If you can ditch one of those pumps, you'll probably be better off. Maybe FT gravity flow to GB, gravity flow to DWC  gravity to Sump then pumped back to FT. Though this will be complicated a bit by having multiple GB's. And no, don't align the GB's in series (cascading) as the first GB in line will be getting an undue amount of solids and will in all likelihood cause problems. Jons right, having a bit of extra wiggle room with the sump volume can sure be handy so make it bigger than you think you need. As far as volume Archimedes tells us that your rock filled media bed will hold about 40% its volume in water. Keep in mind that it wont be filled to the brim with rocks, and your high water line will always only be a couple of inches below the top of your media. So in reality 1/3rd, but using 1/2 GB volume for sizing would be smarter...If you ever want to use constant flood (like for when it gets chilly out, if it does where you're at) and you have say, 3 GB's you need to take into account that electricity might cut out and all 3 beds drain into your sump...So size according to you (immediate as well as eventual) needs...

Thank you Jon. I think you missed the "last" one:

Although good for business, depending on which side of the fence your standing on, IDK...it just doesn't seem right somehow either...(And still quite scary in it's own right ;)

So I decided to go with one that best visually represents commercial aquaponics (rather than business in general), as it stands today...I probably wont be changing it anytime soon...

Okay, on my budget I will be happy to go with gravel. That is the easy part. Now, I want to gravity feed from the FT to the media beds and drain into the sump. Then from the sump I can supply the DWC. My DWC is at ground level and from there I want to use 1 pump to go back up into the FT. Is it a no no to not go back to the sump? Or, do I need to add a sump between the DWC and FT?

Now to my day job  Thanks for your input gents.

When you say ..."Then from the sump I can supply the DWC..." how do you mean to supply that exactly? Gravity, or a pump? Bearing in mind that by definition, a sump is usually the lowest tank in a system...Does space not allow you to run a constant flood beds that feed right into the DWC trough?

John, here is a diagram of a pump in sump/raft hybrid layout.

sounds like you guys kinda have it under control.  People have done the let the meida bed drain into the raft/sump tank and the one pump lifts water back to the fish tank.

Otherwise you would need to have a pump big enough in the sump tank to pump to the fish tank at the same time as pumping to the raft bed and both the media beds and raft bed drain back to the sump, this is also a viable option.

Any suggestions on where to find IBCs in the central Florida at a reasonable cost. I can get all I want at $100 a pop, but surely they can be bought for less.

there is a place in riverview, fl that sold them for i think for $70 it wouldn't hurt to call them if not google it, in your area should be a few places

Tanya Bateman
Product Coordinator, RCP
813-451-4689
I called Tanya today. She wants $95 each. I don't rhink so.

that's still cheaper then what i can pay.  i have to travel 50 miles IF they have it. there was someone in your area i just can't remember that had it in the tampa area for $70

Tanya Bateman
Product Coordinator, RCP
813-451-4689
Her IBC's had fertilizer like miracle grow in them so not technically not "food grade" but the next best thing, and they are pressure washed out.
Now if you can get IBC's that had something safe in them for free, more power to ya
but $70-$100 a pop for an IBC that you know what was in them is a far price. 
I know the food grade ones often go for as much as $175
Thanks TC. I have no doubt that Tanya's tanks are a good buy. There are good tanks available for $100 just three miles from my location. Although I am obsessing on getting started, my budget requires me to be patient.

TCLynx said:
Tanya Bateman
Product Coordinator, RCP
813-451-4689
Her IBC's had fertilizer like miracle grow in them so not technically not "food grade" but the next best thing, and they are pressure washed out.
Now if you can get IBC's that had something safe in them for free, more power to ya
but $70-$100 a pop for an IBC that you know what was in them is a far price. 
I know the food grade ones often go for as much as $175

the one i bought had olives in it and i had to clean it out the other one i was going to buy had some kind of drink mix in it so i know it was food grade

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