Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello everyone! I recently finished Sylvia's Aquaponic Gardening book and feel empowered to make my own system. My goal is to eventually have an Urban Farm using Aquaponics, but I would like to start on a small scale first. I have about 500 SQFT of warehouse space at my disposal (lucky me!)

Our system will be a hybrid system--we will integrate media beds and DWC rafts. The water will be gravity fed from the fish tank to the media bed then to the DWC. Then at the end of the DWC there will be a pump (or sump w/ a pump?) sending the water back to the fish tank. 

My question is this: can we pump the water back into the fish tank using a pool pump or do we need to utilize a sump tank? I am of the belief that we need a sump tank, but my business partner does not agree! I need a very good argument for why we need a sump tank--any suggestions?? Thank you :)

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That's good news. I'd like to see pics of your setup. My system runs from the fish tank to the radial filter then to my 2 media beds and DWC then to the sump where it's pumped back to  the FT. I feel this lessens pump problems due to the sump water being cleaner.

That's great! Our fish tanks drain to a radial flow separator and biofilter and then goes to the sump tank. Here are some pics!

Don't know if that's your final configuration but you're going to need some room on both sides if the grow beds so you can reach the rafts for harvest and planting. What type of lighting will you be using?

Drastic changes in water level in the fish tank can cause stress on the fish.  The sump tank removes this problem.

Just one advantage.  I'm  sure there are more.  New at this myself, but really enjoying putting it together.

Water level is a biggie. On more than one occasion I've had a catastrophic leak in my system but with a sump the fish tank stayed full even though the sump was empty. The sump is also a great place to add nutrients. The sump will give you another place to aerate water just from the water splashing.

Thanks everyone! Here are some photos of our system. We've learned and fixed a lot!

That'll never work. It;s just too darn neat!

The sump tank is a simple safety for your fish tank, to prevent it from going dry. Also adding more water to your system helps the stability of the water.  Its also the best place to make water adjustments.

I have to agree with Jeff, its sure neat. 

Neat because we just cleaned the entire facility. I love gardening but I hate weeding and mosquito bites so indoor aquaponics is perfect for me!

Aquaponics is  why I started gardening for those same reasons but kept seeing all the neat things on Youtube so now I have a plethora of gardens going on outside too.

Yours is a model for others to emulate,

we barely missed a frost last night, 33 now, but it soon will be. We are moving shortly so our project gets moved right at its beginning. A major upgrade is a 265 gal IBC, with a 150 gal sump, and two 4' b 8' growbeds.  The move happens just after Thanksgiving, and will be a major one. Now I am reducing the aquariums to one 90 gal, my Brichardi and some long time pets. The fish in the system will be Blue Tilapia, coming in first of Dec so much to get done. Hopefully there will be pics.

The grow beds are 15" deep but will have 12" of media, a slope of 3" on the 8'. High enough to drain into the sump. As I said, I hope to have pics as it comes together.

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