Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

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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Replies to This Discussion


I have been doing AP for more than 4 years in Tucson as an urban farmer. I used a solar greenhouse with a 300 gal  and a 150 gal fish tanks with two 100 gal fish tanks in the cold and heat of nature to feed our plants in four grow-beds. One grow-bed was 22 inches deep for growing trees.

Now we are moving to Van Horn Texas to setup a larger facility. We have  five 700 gallon tanks and three 300 gallon tanks for fish. Our farm is registered  as "Greening the Desert-Texas." If you are interested you can follow us on facebook as Greening the Desert.

We picked Texas as the place to build our dreams. Hope to see you there.

I'm just a backyard AP for now, and decided to start small just to learn what I can and enjoy another form of gardening in the middle of the city. My system has been up and running for over a year now and continues to grow a little at a time. I currently have 2 IBC totes (275 gal each) tied together with 60 gallon sump. Almost all water is rain water saved in another IBC tote.

I have 16 mosambique tilapia (6" to 8") in the system (saved from the cold last year as fingerlings) and about 30 comet golds 3+inches. Running as NFT only right now but looking for grow bed (or maybe building one) soon. Plan on using lava rock or river rock as the media with a bell siphon and constant flow. 

My biggest challenge is doing this cheap and making it look decent so my wife will like it too. So far I have around $300 to $350 total into the system. 

My wife was a fan as soon as the salad stuff and basil started coming in steadily. Pretty sure some grilled Channel Catfish will seal the deal.

Larry Miller said:


My biggest challenge is doing this cheap and making it look decent so my wife will like it too. So far I have around $300 to $350 total into the system. 

Back when I started, I was single and I started with a 100 gal fish tank and a 50 gal grow-bed. Starting small was best for me. I still use those tanks. Have fun

Dave and Yvonne

Yes, I need to get some channel cats in there since they can handle the cold and heat here in San Antonio. That and maybe some copper nosed blue gill. We'll see if I can get the tilapia big enough to harvest this year since I know she likes them. My strawberries are doing good as are the herbs, so that will help too. 

bok choi is GREAT. fall and winter blooms will bring in bees.

My guy for channel cat and bluegill is Dave at 816-866-1172

have fun

As an update from my above post, I just put in my first media grow bed to aid my system and grow some of the larger plants. I bought a 40 gallon tub and filled it with red lava rock (BTW, does anyone know if this adds Iron to the system??). I also got rid of the two 30 gallon garbage cans I was using for a sump and switched to the top of an IBC tote (100 gallons). I also just picked up another IBC tote for free which I will turn into two more media based grow beds. 

Just an update. I live in North East Texas (Mt. Vernon). I have three 300 gallon in ground tanks. They have perch and bream from my cattle pond. I overwintered the fish with no heaters and only lost 1.  I think the in ground tanks help moderate the freezing cold and the blazing heat. I am growing strawberrys, kale, cabbage, lettuce, okra and tomatoes. For the grow beds, I am using 5 foot bunk feeders I got from Prieferts scratch and dent sale. I have 2 on each tank. I usually start the plants in ground and transplant them into the growbeds when they are started.


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