Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Please don't rag on me if you saw this on the practical aquaponics website.  I'm just trying to find a forum home so I thought I would post there and here.
What a wonderful hobby. My backyard isn't full of grow beds yet but it won't be long. The wife has actually started to enjoy it too. Growth is tremendous compared to our raised beds in the front yard.

Something has happened though. The only thoughts I'm having now are how to change it and make it better like moving the sump to the bottom of the hill so the grow beds can be lowered, build trough grow beds lower to the ground so the indeterminate tomatoes can be trellised and start building a raft system (including solids management) to grow leafy greens this fall.

The system is 3 weeks old and is located in Dallas, Texas. I'm really proud of this aquaponic system. If you have any questions/comments/suggestions, please feel free to respond.

Here are few pictures of the construction:

Here are the fish (and they are very happy I might add):

Tomato Transplant Before:

Tomato Transplant After 3 weeks:

Current State:

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Looks fantastic! The tote covers are great, you gave me an idea of what to do with mine.

Thanks... People just give old fence panels away.  I like their personality.

Hi Todd,

Nice system! I live in southern california and have a tote system also. I assume your circulation pump is located in your sump? Looks like you have one GB directly over the sump - limiting your access to the sump? You will want to design the system so that you have better access to the sump so you can clean and maintain it (like replacing the pump when it dies). I recently found 23 tilapia fry in my sump, which really shocked me. I have removed the fry and placed in an aquarium until they are large enough to go into the FT but just another consideration when designing you layout. You will also have climate issues come winter which I'm sure you realize already, you are going to need a green house my friend :) I have a 10x12 greenhouse I purchased at Harbor Freight, inside my green house is a complete 3 tote system (3 GB, 1 FT, 1 sump).

Good luck,


Thanks for the tips Russ.  It was only after I was admiring the system I thought, DOH, I CANT GET TO MY PUMP!!!  The wife and I came up with a plan though.  We cut a section out of the sump in the back.  But, you're absolutely right.  That will be one of the first changes we make.  Thanks again!!!

Hey Todd, nice clean sys...

I'm in the low desert of AZ and got away with a solar heater for my fish the last 2 winters.  I used a total of 500 feet of 1/2" black drip system hose coiled in 100 foot sections to reduce the foot print.  Of course, you can't run the system when the sun is down or it gives the heat back.  You may need to cover your plants during a freeze warning but that is pretty easy to do a couple of times a year.

Also try drilling your pvc fittings with an 1/8 drill bit and screwing them together with sheet rock screws instead of gluing.  Makes it easy to take apart to change the sys around or clean it up

all the best


Do you have any pictures of the solar heater?  That's interesting and should suffice in Texas.  I was also thinking of insulating the tank underneath the fence panels.  That would surely slow the temperature changes up or down.



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