Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello all I am in the processing stage of taking my system to a different level and need to know if it has anything that will make it not work correctly or be a major pain to keep up. I have made a hand sketch of what I am thinking of doing. I was trying to use google sketch but it was more work to learn will get back to that later. I am wanting to use this system with the fish tank being the highest point and the water flow is all by gravity to the media beds then the sump then onto the DWT friendly style with one pump pushing the water back up to the fish tank to start the whole process over again. I am not sure if this will work with the auto siphons in the loop but if it does this setup to me gives you the best of both worlds and keeps the fish tank super clean with the gravel beds being the first thing the used fish water goes into. Please let me know if this looks like it would work or is there something else I need to think about before I take my system apart to set this up. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

 

HybirdAquaponicsSystem.pdf

 

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Hey Wes,

Just wanted to catch up and see how you are getting on with your design... have you started building it yet?

I had a small idea that you might like - you have the pump fro the DWC beds returning the water back to the fish tank... but if it is a sizeable pump, you could try putting some vertical towers above the fish tank and have the water pumped up to them and just let it fall down into the tank.  Could add a bit of vertical growing space for some strawberries or something like that, and as the water should be pretty clear by that stage you wouldn't get much solids build-up in the towers.

Just an idea!

Great Ideal and have been throwing that thought around. I have a system up and running already so right now I am in the process of collecting old greenhouse frames so I can cover the new area that I am going to be creating for the new system, so I am only in the gathering and planning phases right now.

Thanks Chris that clears it up, wow didnt know you had this already in place way cool. Any chance of seeing a photo or sketch?
 
Chris Smith said:

I was referring to the first sketch in the discussion. I had not read all the posts as I was just about to head off for work.

wes said:

Chris, Wes here which sketch are you refering too??

Hey Tom any chance you could post a photo or sketch so I can see how you set it up?? I get most of what you said but the pumping from the sump to ft and too DWT I got lost with the DWT's???
 
Tom McLemore said:

I designed my system similar to yours. I use the sump as the lowest point and gravity from my FT to the media beds then to the sump. I then pump to the fish tanks and rafts that gravity to the sump. This way I can control the movement of water through the system and isolate each section for maintenance. I also have the option of shutting off return water to the fish tanks when it gets cold so I don't lose heat through the gravel beds and still recirculate water to the grow beds to keep them from getting too cold in the night. It seems to work well so far.

Wes,

If this helps you any, here is a diagram of the system I am currently in the middle of building. There is a pump in the fish tank, and a pump in the sump. Sump is buried in the ground. (Add-ons like NFT from sump and verticals above the fish tank are not shown for simplicity's sake).

There are 96 sq.feet of "deep" IBC grow beds (14" to 17" deep) and 568 square feet of Friendlies style rafts. My stocking density will be low. You really need to research this part yourself depending on what you hope to get out of your system. I have no interest in the fish side, other than them being the fertilizer. So, I think I can get away with this grow-bed to raft ratio...

Are you calling the IBC beds Bio fliter in this diagram??  Wow this is a great design only thing is with the indexing valve dont you have to have it stop and start to change over to each bed???? How are you going to do that? or am I missing something???

Yep, the IBC totes are my bio-filters (or media beds as you can also call 'em). 

Yes you are correct, the indexing valve needs to stop for about a minute in order to advance to the next "irrigation zone".

Each pair of beds is treated as a single zone (so 4 zones). Here is how I start and stop the water flow...

Pictured in the upper right hand corner is the repeat cycle timer that I purchased from Aquatic Eco Systems. It will start and stop the pump and hence the indexing valve...

I have many pics posted on my page.

wes said:

Thanks Chris that clears it up, wow didnt know you had this already in place way cool. Any chance of seeing a photo or sketch?
 
Chris Smith said:

I was referring to the first sketch in the discussion. I had not read all the posts as I was just about to head off for work.

wes said:

Chris, Wes here which sketch are you refering too??

I'm trying to understand this diagram. You are pumping from a sump to a fish tank. Your indexing valve is off your FT so do you have a second pump for the indexing valve? I thought indexing valves need some psi advance.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Wes,

If this helps you any, here is a diagram of the system I am currently in the middle of building. There is a pump in the fish tank, and a pump in the sump. Sump is buried in the ground. (Add-ons like NFT from sump and verticals above the fish tank are not shown for simplicity's sake).

There are 96 sq.feet of "deep" IBC grow beds (14" to 17" deep) and 568 square feet of Friendlies style rafts. My stocking density will be low. You really need to research this part yourself depending on what you hope to get out of your system. I have no interest in the fish side, other than them being the fertilizer. So, I think I can get away with this grow-bed to raft ratio...

That's right Chris, there are 2 pumps, one in the sump and one in the fish tank. The indexing valve needs a flow of 6 gallons per minute (but I think 10 is what is being recommended). I'm not sure I understand what psi advance is. Unless you mean that the valve needs a certain psi to advance to the next 'zone'. (Which it does).

Wow very impressive indeed, thanks for the update and wow way to go.
 
Vlad Jovanovic said:

Yep, the IBC totes are my bio-filters (or media beds as you can also call 'em). 

Yes you are correct, the indexing valve needs to stop for about a minute in order to advance to the next "irrigation zone".

Each pair of beds is treated as a single zone (so 4 zones). Here is how I start and stop the water flow...

Pictured in the upper right hand corner is the repeat cycle timer that I purchased from Aquatic Eco Systems. It will start and stop the pump and hence the indexing valve...

Thanks Chris I will take a look.
 
Chris Smith said:

I have many pics posted on my page.

wes said:

Thanks Chris that clears it up, wow didnt know you had this already in place way cool. Any chance of seeing a photo or sketch?
 
Chris Smith said:

I was referring to the first sketch in the discussion. I had not read all the posts as I was just about to head off for work.

wes said:

Chris, Wes here which sketch are you refering too??

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