Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey all, im in the process of building my system which consists of, 200 gal of fish tank, 120 gal sump tank, 4x8' growbed, 88 ft of 5" nft channels folowing that, 1 drip bucket for tomatoes or green tea tree, and a 4 tier e+f seedling system.  Im about 3 days out from completing as im waiting for some supplies to come in to from local hydro store.  Ill share the pics that i have so far and will keep everyone updated as the system progresses. Im planning on growing tilapia in this system. There is one window in the room for supplemental light; for the rest of the plant lighting, i will have 1 1000W dimmable HID on a light mover, 1 400W dimmable HID on a light mover, and some T5 single strip lights for more supplemental lighting. The last picture shows that all the sides r zippered and velcro-ed for roll up walls (needed in order to plant and harvest nft channels.  Thanks for checking my future system; ill update when i put in the nft channels going vert.up the walls.  :)   Also any suggestions are always gr8!


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No you dont want to clean the moving bed filter, it will develop green algae like substances which is what is responsible for helping take care of your ammonia problems.


As far as the solid filters you might not need anything in them because of the distance the water would require to travel to get to the top. If you put anything though just make sure water can easily pass through it while not letting the solids through.


Also if you do go with a actual physical barrier in the 4" pipe then there is no need to make it so big, it can be made smaller. Just make sure the out flow is above the level of your beds.

Questions for ya AJ.


What did you use for the "moveable" walls is it a preexisting product or did you make it yourself (I know a preexisting product is available but I am sure it's expensive)

Some of the walls look like they are made from black / white poly with duck tape the same color.


I noticed you lined your floor too, something I will have to do as my system will be going in my current living room >.< what did you find cost effective for this?


And your tank covers, i am assuming the same material but with some type of insulation between?


Also i was looking at your cost for the system a month, do you really eat "4 large salads" a day? What is "large" for you because  I try to eat 4 compressed cups of greens a day :) ... wonder how much 45day old lettuce heads that would be lol

All I know is my mixed greens (10 servings) container I get for $5 at the store lasts me half a week, maybe...



A suggestion for you too, or I should say a request, could you upload your images to your profile and place them in a album? :D


I like it!!

Thanks Jon, im still waiting for some aquatic life, but it should be here next week.


Burton, Not having to clean the moving bed biofilter is nice.  Ill have to set some of those up. As to your questions:

  • I made the movable wall myself.  The walls are black/white poly (panda film) as you said.  I bought zippers which are attachable to plastic (its like duct tape on the back, and Velcro.  I always use Gorilla duct tape for any grow rooms, because regular duct tape blows for this purpose.  Reg duct tape will fall off in a week, gorrila suct tape will last a year or more.  I also used a staple gun to secure things before i used the tape.  I plan on adding C02 so i used the tape to seal thing up a bit.
  • The floor has pond liner on it.  I used epdm fish safe liner, it was like $120 for 10'x15'
  • The tank covers are metal deer fencing (for sturdiness), with black+white plastic on both sides.
  • I really do eat 2 salads a day, but my life partner Cassie aslo east 2 with me = 4 total.  And i will tell you these are humongous salads.  When we have people over, they normally cant finish them.  Im putting a picture here; these are mid sized salads in my opinion.  My large salads are in these bowls, but the are mounded! In compressed cups, im guessing each salads is at least 4.
  • Yeah ill upload my pictures to my profile soon.


Heres a picture of a medium salad; ill put a picture up of the salad i eat tomorrow, tomorrow lol.

Wonder if you could sew the panda film together to make the seams last longer, might have to add a fabric into the mix to farther strengthen the mix ...

When I get a chance I will post one of my daily salads and show you a "real" bowl lol ... its big enough to fit two other bowls in :D

Was the silver stuff on your wall just mylar?


As for going to the ole CO2, your hardcore :) But I guess if your growing for public consumption CO2 helps

Is the growth on your 4x8 bed (waist height with hydroton) exclusively from the 400W on a mover we have talked about?

AJ Grottke said:

Thanks for the input guys.  I will draw up some plans sometime this week for my "Macgyvered" filtration system.

Here are some pictures i just took.

^Early Palla Rosa Radicchio^

^Australian Yellow Leaf Lettuce^

Josh: the basil grow bed, is a 1000W.  The grow beds with the seedlings in them is a 400W.  Im not sure how well they will grow with a 400W ill let you know as they get bigger. Honestly, its hard to tell right know because there no fish; so no nutrient source.  This could affect growth.


Burton: You could sow the Panda film with fabric behind it; but honestly staple gun + gorilla tape is a pretty wicked combo.

Its not mylar on the wall.  Mylar has much more of a mirror effect.  I have lightning 97.  This reflects 97% of the light back (i think thats the highest available).  It has 2 advantages over mylar; it spreads the light and it is cleanable so it can be reused.  Mylar is mirror like so hot spots and uneven spread of the reflectivity will occur.  Also mylar is a 1 time deal; if you touch it with your hands your human oils will smear it, you take it down same thing and it is unclean-able.


Co2 is important to maximize yield is small spaces. especially if you dont run a ventilation fan to pull in fresh air (which im not in this setup).  I also i won a Co2 boost bucket in a drawing, so i should definitely use it :)

I was looking into heat welding the poly sheets, and found that poly is used for most glue bottles because nothing adheres to it properly >.br/>The only problem I see using the gorila glue is it not flexible at all ... Might have to get my heat gun out and experiment to see if I can create a heat welded seam then cover that with a interfacing fabric on the edges and sew it :)


Think the best film out now is orca with 94% but that's 94% over the full spectrum, most films are only at specific light waves for the high number given 0_0

based on the research I did last night ... It's uber expensive though, will probably just use poly for now then upgrade later as needed.


What types of events do you attend where the door prize is a CO2 boost bucket!? lol


My GB's will be near two windows, while they have most of their light blocked from trees fresh air isn't a problem. But I will probably build a tent to reflect more of the HID light back to the plants

Gorilla tape does have some flexiblitly.  Do what suits your scenario though.


Nice graph on the Orca sheeting; but it doesnt have lightning 97 on it.  I wonder how that would look on a similar graph.


If you go to the website for Co2 Boost, they have weekly drawings.  I entered in online, and i won.  I couldn't believe it, but it came in the mail like 5 days l8r.


If you build a tent fresh air could be a problem.  Using windows for fresh air never worked well for me especially in the winter.

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