Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi all! My name is Jonathon and I am trying to become an aquapon!

I just set up my small scale aquaponics system. I am trying the vertical method and hope that it will work. My plants are still growing. As of yet I just have a 10 gal fish tank with a couple of fingerlings that I caught in a nearby pond.

My system is set up without a reservoir and just has straight flow through the grow beds (Which are housed in 3 inch PVC pipes that I had laying around.

I have a small aquarium pump that has a max flow of 220 and head height of 7 ft. the pipes are about 5.5 ft above the pump. I used 3/4" black sprinkler tube to go off of the pump up to a horizontal flow about 2" above each of the grow Pipes. I have 1/4" tubes coming off of that dumping straight into the grow tubes about 1/2" away from the base of each plant. The water goes through the grow tubes and dumps into another 3" PVC that I cut in half as a drain trough, this drains back via another 3/4" sprinkler tube straight back into the aquarium.

The water looks murky because it is. There is a lot of hard water here in idaho and so I went and just got the pond water where the fish are as well as a canal that runs right by my house is what I use to refill the water. We have been catching aquatic bugs and using those as feed for the fish.I'm not exactly sure what 

I was having a couple of leaks so I fixed those today and the water is staying pretty constant.

I got a Titan Controls Apollo 12 timer that allows me to adjust the on/off time. So I have it set 1 minute on 8 minutes off.

What adjustments should I make?

The system has been going for about 2 weeks and 5 of 7 fish are still alive. The 2 that died were yellow perch whereas I don't know what I have now. It may be bluegill, but I'm not sure. I have a bubbler going constantly and the fish seem to be happy.

Any and all advice is welcome!!!

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Neat little set up. I wonder though why don't you leave the pump on constantly? Of course you need to make sure the water is draining through as fast as it is being pumped up, but water that murky would suggest need for more filtration, which could be gained through constantly pumping, or perhaps adding additional grow pipes for more filtration (or both).

Also, algae will grow wherever there is light and water, so you may want to put a cover over the fish tank to reduce the algae growth. Just my two cents...

You can find details about my systems on my website www.WhatIsAquaponics.Co


What types of plants do you plan on growing in each pipe?  

I would run the pump 24/7.  Get the junk in the water running into pipes through the biofilter.  

Here's an update.
I was worried about leaving it running 24/7 because it might spring a leak and then it would drain the 10 gallon tank pretty quick. I just upgraded to a 29 gallon tank so it is a little more water hardy now. It is running 24/7. I also put a box around the tank so that it would inhibit algae growth. I have been feeding "pond pellets" from walmart to the fish, which I believe are bluegill/sunfish. They are between 5" and 8".
I have 4 plants. Swiss chard, yarrow, camomile, and strawberry. More to come. Next project is going to be coming up with an indoor system with the 10 gallon tank. My wife wants to grow all her herbs there.

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