I have the base for my test and starter system. My husband found a little rack with tubs, similar to the IKEA aquaponics system I found on YouTube. I am working on finding a nice little pond pump or something simple.
I am curious, what kind of medium do you use, usually, for the plants? And what fish would be good for a smaller container? I am thinking maybe just testing with goldfish, since they are inexpensive and easy to get. I'd like to see how things grow in a small environment before pressing forward into a larger system. Do you use some kind of container for the seeds in the medium? Do you use seeds or do you use plants? I think that's where my main confusion lies with setting up a system. I want to use Kale and cabbage as my test plants, being that they are simple and bushy and stuff.
Otherwise, my garden veggies are thriving, well most of them, and I am going to be building a small greenhouse soon. So I@m looking forward to that project! :) I haven't picked out location where my system will be sitting yet. So i am working on details and planning before building it out right. i at least have a framework and base, while working on getting a pump and figuring out the little details like growing medium and how to grow the plants/seeds in there.
Coming to this site was a good fist step. Knowledge of the good and the bad can be found here. A copy of Sylvia's book Aquaponics Gardening would help you figure out the goals you hope to achieve, but all the answers are here if you have the time to look for them. Knowledge and a lot of patients is the key to success and you will get plenty of help here.
I may get the book as well. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I have made notes on a notebook from other things i've been reading and watching. I just am starting with a small system to see how it will work for me. And I plan on a bigger system later. I may incorporate it into the second greenhouse my husband and I are planning eventually (mainly to be a hothouse for pepper plants!)
Many types of rocks, stones, glass, or clay pellets (just to name a few) can be used for grow media as long as it doesn't fizz when put in a cup of vinegar. White river gravel 1/2 to 3/4 in. size is about the cheapest but is very heavy, while expanded clay or expanded glass can be quite expensive but less than half the weight. I went with red lava rock. It works good, and is about 1/3 the weight of gravel but very hard to clean. Getting your grow beds set up and cycling with out fish is easiest on the nerves, when things get out of hand there is no fish to kill.