Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

So I've been planning a natural swimming pool for the last six months, and I'm ready to break ground. Also called a swimming pond, the idea is to use natural plants and bacteria to keep your pool chemistry in check instead of chlorine. I've got a few basic principles I'd like to design around, would love some feedback.

1. First and foremost, swimming is of primary importance
2. O. Mossambicus planned for fish stock, and perhaps plecos
3. Pool will be 30' x 30', depths are negotiable
4. There is several thousand sq. ft. available for grow beds both above and below pool grade
5. Pool and grow beds will be heated, and covered with an atrium (fancy word for greenhouse)

Views: 1799

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Sure Jon, hit me up with an e-mail and we'll work something out.

 

On a side note. How are you going to heat this puppy? Tilapia go retarded and off their feed under 70 degrees. Maybe you might be better off keeping native cool water species. Catfish, Bass, Bluegill, Minnows all inhabit the swimming holes I go to. If you keep it balanced like a farm pond you may not even have to feed so much.

Jon Parr said:

Hi Chi, thanks for that. Bullheads that I'm familiar with are saltwater with semi-venomous spines on there heads, could make for exciting times while wading in the pool. I'll look up the freshwater kind that you must have. I have plecos in my AP tanks, they do a great job of cleaning as well, but again have quite an array of spines, and tend to chill in the corners during daylight. They don't move until you touch (step on) them. I'm in Santa Cruz, and you're in Saratoga, right? We should meet for a beer. I lost my adult red claws about the time I read that you lost your babies. My only survivor was a berried female moved to a different tank. So now I have a couple hundred 1" long red claws, but only one adult female. Maybe we can swap some, eh?

Hi Jon,

Because of the sheer volume of water in filling and during operation, considering evaporation, you can build a simple DIY dechlorinator  ( http://www.aqsolutions.org/resources/DIY.pdf ) with a simple toiler float valve for automatic top up, to address the chlorine from city water. If you are interested in a more natural and complete fish feed you can look at TC's group "Feeding" ( http://aquaponicscommunity.com/group/feeding/forum/topics/algae-cul... ), showing how to grow Spirulina. SP can be grown separately in a remote set up and fed to the pool, without fear of the Algae propagating in the pool setting because of the PH difference. This is in keeping with a more natural eco-system which us extra terrestrials can visit and observe as it actually is in the wild. I think your project is a very exciting one!

Chi, heating the monster was my first concern before I decided to proceed. So far it's all talk, but I plan to use a wood gasifying electrical generator. There is a place in Berkeley that builds something called GEK's. Basically it is possible to break down all organic matter into it's volatile lightweights, and reform them into whatever organic compound you're after. This process can be very simple, or very complicated, depending on what you are trying to end up with. In the old days, the petrol industry 'refined' crude oil by distillation into it's various components; methane, ether, hexane, gasoline, diesel, lube oil, grease, tar etc. Nowadays, they blast a barrel into syn gas, and reform it into a barrel of gasoline, if that's what they're after. It turns out that we laymen have had the ability to turn common organics into motor fuel for hundreds of years. There were over one million cars in Europe running on wood chips during the war, when gasoline was rationed. Seriously. So this outfit in berkeley sells a kit that you feed with wood chips, and it gasifies them into syn gas. Syn gas is a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen H2, and carbon monoxide CO, which can be burned directly in a spark ignited engine. Said engine is mated to a 10kw gender, and hoopty Doo, free power and heat, lots of it. I say free because I can get free loads of woodchips dumped by tree service companies. The GEK folks sell a turnkey pallet sized setup, fully automated. The exhaust heat from the engine is recycled to preheat the wood chips, but there should be plenty left over to heat domestic hot water, and a pool or two. Once cooled, the exhaust, which by the way is cleaner than your Prius, can by piped to greenhouses as a CO2 boost. 
Harold, thanks for the tip. I'm on well water, so no chlorine issues. I'm Interested in growing my own fish food, as well, but my opinion of SP is that it's just complicated enough to be a hobby of it's own, and I'm trying to cut back on those. Although I may soon have an abundance of CO2, and that pumped into SP tanks would keep the pH up and make it grow twice as fast. I think I'd rather grow a tilapia edible plants, then grind up in a pellet mill for self sustaining feed. I'd love to hear somebody argue a lazy way to keep SP going though, maybe my fears are unwarranted.  
Pumping CO2 into tanks will lower the pH not raise it.
My bad. CO2 + H2O = carbonic acid, right?  Thanks for setting me straight, TC

TCLynx said:
Pumping CO2 into tanks will lower the pH not raise it.
But you can pump Co2 into the green house during the day for the plants :)
But this can be useful none the less

Jon Parr said:
My bad. CO2 + H2O = carbonic acid, right?  Thanks for setting me straight, TC

TCLynx said:
Pumping CO2 into tanks will lower the pH not raise it.
Take a look at Wayne Keith woodgas videos on youtube.  Running a heater on woodgas should be no problem if you have a wood supply.  5000 miles per cord of wood = 1 cent per mile were his numbers I think, assuming you would buy wood, which Mr. Keith does not.

Jon Parr said:
  So far it's all talk, but I plan to use a wood gasifying electrical generator.
I know of no aquaculture operation that pumps CO2 into the water. Kind of defeats the purpose of pumping air into the water column. The CO2 will have to displace something. That something is Oxygen and other gases. It isnt concievable that you could pump enough CO2 in the water to drop ph and not effect oxygen levels and suffocate fish.

Jon Parr said:
My bad. CO2 + H2O = carbonic acid, right?  Thanks for setting me straight, TC

TCLynx said:
Pumping CO2 into tanks will lower the pH not raise it.
I've known of only one person who pumped CO2 into their system in an attempt to lower pH due to their media affecting system pH.  I don't recall them killing their fish but it was a small system and probably not highly stocked.  Just seemed rather costly to me to bubble bottled CO2 into the water when it would also not be all that good for the fish and the extra liberated calcium would probably also affect the potassium availability.
Thanks David, you're spot on with that, sorry if confused the subject. I never suggested pumping CO2 into aquaculture tanks, but rather spirulina tanks. CO2 is very commonly pulped into aquarium water, though, to boost plant growth in heavily planted tanks, and saltwater reef tanks. It is regulated by an electronic pH meter, and is very effective at holding pH to an exact number. Also, a spirulina tank would not be circulated with the fish tank, as the pH is very different. In aquariums where CO2 is added, it does not hurt the fish or displace the oxygen, because is is added on a very controlled basis during photosynthesis, at which time the plants are pumping off O2 simultaneously. I have looked at some websites featuring "aquascaping". Very very cool, and virtually all of them pump CO2 into the water. TC, I'm way too cheap to buy bottles of CO2. I would never brought it up, except it is a great use of free engine exhaust. In a warm, properly tuned, fixed RPM, fuel injected engine; the exhaust is very clean, and contains a lot of CO2, and water. In fact, there is more water weight liberated from burning fuel than the weight of fuel burned. Heating my swimming pool with exhaust heat will also cool it enough to condense water, which will help offset pool evaporation as well. Even though I'm too cheap to buy CO2 in bottles for plant growth enhancement, there is a line of "medicinal" growers every day at every hydro shop in town, refilling CO2 bottles. Worth it or not for veggie growers, it is effective. I have a buddy who put a T in his hot water heater exhaust vent, piped to his greenhouse. It is very low-tech. When the ventilation fan kicks on, and the water heater is burning, it draws CO2 rich air into the greenhouse, with noticeable improvement in growth. A carbon monoxide alarm keeps it all safe, and he floods the room with fresh air before he enters. CO2 has another advantage that most don't think about. If levels are brought very high in a sealed grow room for several hours, I think 10,000 ppm but I'd have to double check, then pest are killed. All of them. Suffocated. Spider mites, leaf miners, fungus gnats, all dead, and plants thrive, as long as there is adequate light during such time. Careful though, it will kill composting worms, pets, and you if youre in there. 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2019   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service