Aquaponic Gardening

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My aquaponic system set up in a small bedroom underneath a windowsill.
The system consists of:

  • A bench made from a water bed frame, milk crates and paint buckets. Surprisingly able to support the mass of 2 adults
  • 45 gallon Rubbermaid tote filled to about 12" in depth with water. Framed for support
  • Two 10 gallon Sterilite totes plumbed out with 1/2" PVC and filled with Hydroton, expanded clay pellets, to a depth of 12". These are the grow beds.
  • Bell siphon in each grow bed. Made from 1/2" and 1-1/4" PVC piping as well as a 4" PVC fence post. More on these later.
  • 184 gallon per hour submersible pump. Plumbed to 1/2" PVC . Flow regulated with 1/2" ball valves
  • Air Pump and Air Stone for fish.
  • 30-60 gallon submersible water heater. My water temperature is around 72 degrees fahrenheit.
  • 20 Comet Goldfish
  • API Freshwater Master Test Kit for water quality. This is what I am using to test the pH levels as well as Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. I record results on a chart daily.
  • Omega One Veggie Flakes fish food.


The system has been cycling for about 12 days. I will plant around day 30, give or take a few days. I plan to plant carrots, green onions, cilantro, catnip and possibly a jalapeno. I will eventually set up a shop light with plant/aquarium bulbs as supplemental lighting. Any feed back would be great!
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I can't tell how many holes are in the gravel guard but it doesn't really look like enough from the picture.  Most of the holes are needed at the bottom to keep the siphon working properly.  If the siphon works well for you then it may be fine though.
Thanks for the input! 

There are quite a few holes on the down low on the guard. Hard to photograph down deep there. The siphon seems to work pretty well. If I seem to have any trouble I will keep that in mind!
Hi Sean. Nice clean set-up, well thought up.....especially like the drain pipes set to create the counter clockwise vortex to the pump at center.

Hey Sean,

 Good to see you're putting a system together and I like some of the choices you have made. You must have gone to a hands on workshop somewhere! Over time you may find you can add more goldfish and more grow beds. The grow bed to fish tank volume ratio can be as low as 1:1 and increase to 2:1 or 3:1 as your system matures. But I would start with what you have and keep track of the water quality and monitor the health of the plants as you're doing and make adjustments as you see fit.

 

Keep us posted.

 

JD

Very good ...you seemed to have put together a nice home system :-)
I took a great workshop at the Grow Haus in Denver, Co. I would like to thank you for facilitating such an awesome experience. 

JD Sawyer said:

Hey Sean,

 Good to see you're putting a system together and I like some of the choices you have made. You must have gone to a hands on workshop somewhere! Over time you may find you can add more goldfish and more grow beds. The grow bed to fish tank volume ratio can be as low as 1:1 and increase to 2:1 or 3:1 as your system matures. But I would start with what you have and keep track of the water quality and monitor the health of the plants as you're doing and make adjustments as you see fit.

 

Keep us posted.

 

JD

Just curious if this system is still in operation and if so how its working out. I'm thinking of building a 45 or 50 gallon system in the garage.

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