Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

hello everyone,

my name is austin and im from mississippi. my family and i are going to start a semi commercial ap system. i found this site and was told this was the place to get help and the right answers. currently we have gotten all our materials free except for the 16' above ground pool that was too cheap to pass up that we will use as the fish tank... I would like to know where to go from here as in what kind of filter systems i will need and how many/kind. i will post the specs im leaning to at the bottom of this post.. we were also want to make sure our placement of the fish tank is correct.. ive heard bury it,make sure its higher than all the beds/raft systems, etc. im hoping to get a more definitive answer here.. i would like for the tank to be higher so gravity will do its magic and drain to all the beds then to a sump which is where it will be pumped back up to the fish tank. if this isnt viable someone please let me know..

Would like to have Tilapia,Catfish.Worms,and maybe crawfish/shrimp

Here is what I have So far.. minus the filter contents of the filters..

4000 gallon fish tank

55 gallon fish tank

30 gallon fish tank

swirl filter 55 gallon

bio filter 55 gallon

sand filter with massive pump

http:// here is a link to a drawing layout.

Any and all info would be awesome! 

PS also looking for best/cheapest places to buy fingerlings,any additives (iron),uniseals,raft system liners,testing kits/monitoring kits,etc

Thanks Guys!

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I don't think you want to "drain" your fish tank into the grow beds... you want to have the "overflow" from your fish tank feed the grow beds; so that when your pump fails your fish tank stays full.  You can still have the overflow water come from the bottom of the tank (look for Solids Lifting Overflow).

yes sorry about that wording but that is correct.. overflowing into the beds/raft systems .

A bunch of the commercial farms here in Hawaii go from the Fish Tank to a couple media beds and then ebb and flow into raft beds and then back to the fish tank.  

Their farms, the 2 i'm talking about are Mari's Garden and Nalolicious Farms, pump from the fish tank in the ground.  

Olomana Gardens, Glenn Martinez, has his tanks above ground and pumps to a bunch of 4 ft by 4 ft Growbeds all connected to one 55 Gallon Barrel that has the Bell Siphon in it.  The Siphon also flows into the raft beds which also have a bell siphon that flow to a sump that then pumps back to the fish tanks.  

i currently have a guy coming out saturday to level out the 1 acre spot where we will begin our journey into aquaponics! we are extremely excited about it and hope to gather enough info to increase our chances of "getting it right the first time" if at all possible.. i have found out the 2 filters i will be needing to use in the system and they are a "Swirl Filter and a Bio Filter".

then they will overflow into the raft systems and bed systems until they reach the sump at the end which i will probably have a little more media filteration in case any by through the grow beds/raft systems.. then it will be pumped back "UP" to the fish tank.. I will also be using some air stones throughout the system in hopes to keep the plants happy all day long! :D. we still have yet to decide if we should bury the swimming pool/fish tank yet. still havnt gotten much info about the advantages except maintaining water temps.. hope to learn more from the replies from these post.. 

can anyone tell me how many beds or sqft of grow area i would need to be able to have a 4000 hole/plant system to go with my 4000 gallon tank? is this viable or possible? i would like to be able to harvest 1000 heads of lettuce a week..

thanks for any and all info/replies!!


Is there any recommended PH meters ? maybe ones you guys may have that work well

Austin,  I use a Nutradip Tri-Meter.  It measures Ph, Temp, and PPM.  Largely the reason is I do both aquaponics and Hydroponics.  In the hydro world I manage my feed ratios by PPM.  I'd love to find something other than the standard fresh water test kit to measure ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate concentrations.  It would also be great if there were a meter out there that measured nutrients in the water.  But in any case, the website below shows a picture of the meter.  My friend just bought a good meter for Ph only from the same place for about $30.  Be sure when you buy a meter that you buy the calibration solution with it.



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