Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey guys!

I took all your advice and was able to add the things you recommended.  I added two 5 gallon buckets as the grow beds and have it pouring into the NFT System through a pantyhose.  

Here's the video: My First NFT Backporch Aquaponics System Part 2 - Troubleshooting

Here's my 2 questions:

1.  Should I set up some sort of Bell Siphon so the two buckets will fill up and then flush out?  Because it seems like the buckets are not filling up just going out the 2 holes in the bottom (Go figure!)

2. With NFT is it okay to not have a continuous flow of water?  If I do the Bell Siphon the water will stop running as the buckets are filling.  Is that ok?

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Hey Non-hippy :D


1. Should I set up some sort of Bell Siphon so the two buckets will fill up and then flush out? Because it seems like the buckets are not filling up just going out the 2 holes in the bottom (Go figure!)

You could add a bell siphon, but you would also have to add a surge tank with a metered outflow to prevent the rapid draining of gravel bucket from overflowing your tiny pipes. You could also do constant flood of media, but you would have to increase your flow to maintain DO, and again be subject to flooding your tiny pipes.
You could reconfigure the buckets into swirl filters, and forget all about the media.

2. With NFT is it okay to not have a continuous flow of water? If I do the Bell Siphon the water will stop running as the buckets are filling. Is that ok?

Yes, intermittent flow is fine in NFT as long as roots stay wet and cool, so the answer here will depend on the time of year, and the time of day. Water heating is always a problem with NFT in hot climates, so best to keep it flowing as fast as your tiny pipes will allow on warm days. I fear the 2" pipe size will be a problem with blockage. Keep us posted on your results.

two legit questions... however, nft is no place to start.

...i would recommend a DWC set up, over NFT. if you must stay this small, you could do one motar tub for the media filter, then a bucket full of orchard netting to polish the water, then go into another motar tub for the raft, then drop down into the fish tank, then pump back up to the media bed.  this will give you a nice taste of the mechanics of aquaponics. 

...i would discourage NFT ... its always too cold, or too hot... until you can control the growing environment, its just to risky. 

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