Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey guys!  I'm wanting to set up a small system inside my apartment.  I'm thinking a 55 Gallon Fish Tank and 2 concrete mixing tubs from Home Depot.  

I can't really screw anything into the walls or ceiling.  

Can you point me in the direction to find some lighting that would work?  

Also...I'm going to ask the question that gets asked all the time.  What light will help the plants grow the best but won't cost as much to run?  Our electric costs here in Hawaii are crazy high. I'm aware that sunlight is the best but what about inside an apartment that doesn't get sunlight?  

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I have 2 indoor systems going right now, one with HPS and one with CFL. The plants do best when they are close to the light source and with the HPS lamp there is high heat near the bulb that scorches the leaves. With CFL you can have multiple light sources so you can get a more even distribution of light for the same wattage. If you are growing fruiting plants then HPS works well for the fruiting stage and CFL for the vegetative stage. You really need to be paying less that 20c per KWH for it to be worth doing from a cost standpoint and even that is assuming great results.

Hawaii's average price is 35 cents per KWH

Probably a better option to have a few conversations with your neighbors who have patios who would love some fresh veggies in exchange for the use of their space. Nothing beats the SUN!

I'm really happy with the Lumigrow Pro 325. It's an expensive fixture, but it costs next to nothing to upkeep. And it gives impressive results :)

Alex, I really would love to try one of those LED gizmos, how many square feet of coverage do you get from the 325 if it is your only light source?. At that price you would need to grow 600 heads of lettuce to have it pay off so I hope it covers some sizable grow beds.

Hey, so what light did you end up going with?

I actually ended up setting up the lights over my outdoor system as it was only getting like 1-2 hours of light a day.  I got the 8 bulb t5 system.  It does pull a lot of power but that's OK for now.   Here's the video:

Neat video. So if I decide to get a t5 system like that. What size to get if I have a 4x3 grow bed?
The t5s are 2x4feet. And from what I heard you would want to do a 2x4 foot growbed.
It has to be the same.

Maybe the HIDs would light a 4x3 foot bed well

Sorry Jonathan, I must not have seen your post :/

I'm using my LED growlight as sole lighting for a 3'x7' growbed right now. Finally ran the numbers and it's costing me slightly less than half of what a 400w MH bulb costs to run. We ran the numbers (which I don't have on me right now) and takes about 4 years to pay itself off in power savings (if I was running that 400 watt fixture all that time. Replacing metal halide bulbs every six months was included in that estimate). Also, the LEDs were on sale for around $750 when I got them.

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

Alex, I really would love to try one of those LED gizmos, how many square feet of coverage do you get from the 325 if it is your only light source?. At that price you would need to grow 600 heads of lettuce to have it pay off so I hope it covers some sizable grow beds.

And the growth is good?  That's pretty awesome.

Hey Alex, Ive been reading a lot of your post on here and you seem to really know you stuff when it comes to lighting and AP. I tried adding you as a friend to send you a message. I started my own post hoping you would reply. I know this is like beating a dead horse when i comes to asking questions about lighting.

For the setup that i have in my shed with heat already being a factor,summers here are 100 degrees plus.,  what would be the best system for me to go with for a 4x3 area? . LEDs are very expensive.

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