Well I finally have a first system semi-completed. Next weekend I'll add the second grow bed. As you can see, it's all barrel based. My plan is to keep fish in the two outer barrels. The grow beds will drain into these, which will overflow into the center barrel.
I'm running the system without fish at the moment. My plan is to put some tilapia in one of the barrels once the water warms. I'm thinking of keeping bluegill in the other. Given my minimal grow beds, I'm thinking I should start with a max of 10 fish total and probably less (in roughly 130 to 140 gallons of water).
It's been a while since I posted. I've added two of Nate's Grow towers, and after a short while, the rest of my plants went on a growth spurt and my nitrates dropped to zero (Matching my ammonia and nitrite readings of the last couple of months). Good thing my tilapia fry arrived on Friday! (Thanks Sylvia!) I've been testing daily since then and have yet to see a spike in ammonia, Nitrite, or Nitrate levels.
I'll post some photos this weekend.