Aquaponic Gardening

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The idea is to post the overall description of your system: fishtank and GB size, pump timing and drain method, type of fish, how long it's been running, and the overall purpose you have in mind (and anything else interesting about it!). A couple of pictures would be nice.

 

I'll Start!

 

Houston Suburban Backyard setting.

In-ground "Ornamental" waterfall pond serves as both fish living quarters and the sump, averages 600 gallons. One (1200 gph) pump to lift and it's gravity the rest of the way, along a fence to my 300-Gallon Rubbermaid. Simple bottom drain so it's timed (15 off per hour) or continuous flow, depending on my mood and the fishes' and the water condition.

This has been putting water thru expanded shale for ~ a year and a half, has supported two dozen 1-2 pound Channel Catfish and two dozen Comet Goldfish aspiring to be Koi. 5 months ago I added 4 dozen cat fingerlings.

This has grown leaves and vines like crazy. Okra and Eggplant have fruited enough to harvest. Tomatoes, Chiles, Corn and Squashes grow and flower, but are under-performing in fruiting category; I suspect high pH from my concrete sump lining. If I fix the fruiting, I'll be hauling bushels to the Farmer's Market every week...

 

I had a die-off of the largest Comets, and the smallest Catfish, from last Thursday thru Sunday. The Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates did not spike nor did the pH drop, so I suspect I had some toad/tadpole toxins. Added an aeration pump and turned on continuous flow and the fish are breathing easier and have an appetite!

R.I.P. Rizzo, Orson and Braniff the goldfishes.

 

I plan to quadruple the filter/grow media, add sequencing, and drain them all thru a "hub" tank with a FLOUT.

 

 

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How deep are your 4x8 GBs, Bryan?

Hi Rick,

I made them out of 2X12 treated boards and 3/4 thick plywood sheets. The pond liner inside is 6mil thick.

Rick Op said:

How deep are your 4x8 GBs, Bryan?

I have the granite filled almost to the top of the beds so about 12inches deep.

Bryan,

How is the 6 mil liner holding up?

Hi Lance,

The liner is really tough and holding up very well.

Lance Rose said:

Bryan,

How is the 6 mil liner holding up?

Hi Bryan:

Granite is very heavy. What king of corner joint did you use on the GB box?

Cheers,

Dave

Hi Dave,

The 2x12's are held together with a lot of screws! I haven't noticed an issue yet, but may reinforce the corners with l-brackets in the future.

Thanks,

Bryan

txdurk said:

Hi Bryan:

Granite is very heavy. What king of corner joint did you use on the GB box?

Cheers,

Dave

I'm going to try this again, my first reply was lost in space.

Greetings Rick, I was reading your August 25, 2011 post. How is your system doing now?

Have you made any changes or improvements? Have you gone larger in grow beds?

If so what type of sequencing valve did you use? Also do you know of a expanded shale source

in the Houston area? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Jim

Anyone in the DFW area? I would love to see your system. I am new and have only started dabbling. I am trying to find the best set up for my area. I am particularly interested in seeing how your outdoor systems are handling the heat.

We're located in Mineral Well, on the outskirts of town, on a largish lot. The greenhouse is an accurate rendition of Tim Mann's 592 sq ft "chinese style" greenhouse with a 600 gal homemade plywood fiberglass/epoxy lined fish tank complex with a heat exchange section and a makeup water section. See Friendly Aquaponics greenhouse designs. There are three grow troughs of the deep water raft type, of about 300 sq ft., expandable. First harvest is in the next couple of weeks. Began the building on 1 Feb 14. Started up the system on about 15 Mar 14 with six comet goldfish and a small test planting of pak choi, broccolini and Salanova lettuce and others.. All are happy and getting close to havesting. Fort Worth's Meuseum of Modern Art cafe', Chef Dena Peterson, has expressed interest in seeing our first harvest. A CSA startup in Weatherford will probably get some of it, and the Annette Valley Farmer's market will eventually see us setting up a table. Our focus is on the small scale, Ma and Pa, farmer's market level as a meaningful use of our retirement years, supplementing our social security income. We're happy to share all we've done and learned, just as our mentors, the Friendly Aquaponics folks do. This coming week is about getting the geothermal cooling system in the ground, wiring the greenhouse for 220v for the new regenerative blower, setting up the barn with a cool room for produce, building another plywood/glass/epoxy tank for more rainwater storage, repowering the old rear tined tiller, planting out the other two thirds of the greenhouse capacity of 2500 plants, more dirt gardening...oh yah, some harvesting and marketing, maybe a bit of sleep. Anyone in the Mineral Wells area interested in interning? Must like chickens. Jim Dell



Jim Dell said:

Fort Worth's Meuseum of Modern Art cafe', Chef Dena Peterson, has expressed interest in seeing our first harvest. A CSA startup in Weatherford will probably get some of it, and the Annette Valley Farmer's market will eventually see us setting up a table.

Great stuff, Jim! The outreach thru the CSA and Farmers' Markets will introduce the concept to receptive minds.

I finally installed a "master siphon" chamber and am probably about to seriously expand. My only growbed, the 300 gallon one, has had a leak so I've had to bypass it. A grape vine and a couple of citrus trees still are in there and are just living off whatever rain falls and the worms bring to them. 12+ bunches of grapes forming on the one vine so life isn't too bad for them.

 

Rick

Looking forward to seeing your new creations, Rick!

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