Aquaponic Gardening

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I just bought 2 275 gallon ibc tanks, I have plenty of space in Tulsa Oklahoma, and I am looking for any advice on building the best possible system for both future growth, as well as ease of Newbie ignorance. I do have some things going for me though, as I was born and raised in a mechanic shop, and learned plumbing as well as electronic skills thier, also, I spent 15 years as a finish carpenter, and then progressed into construction project management, so the mechanical aspects of this project, as far as the building of it, should be a breeze... The bad news, I have grown 1 garden in my life, and never had any type of a fish tank... so these will be new lessons, and i dont want my innocent fish or groceries to pay. I havn't built or plumbed anything atm, as I currently have the 2 tanks, and was thinking of something simular to this (link) or maybe this as my second thought (link). I have 2 different pumps that were free, 1 is an 1800gph, the other is a 2200 gph, and i was wondering if these were 2 large, or if i could timer them down to a lower gph... what is you guys advice... many questions i have, so thankyou in advance for any and all advice... Ron

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Hi Ron, the pumps are a little on the big side, there is nothing wrong with that just uses more electricity so gets a bit costly. There is no limit to system design options so I will let you figure that out as every situation is different. That being said some principles I suggest you stick to would be SLO (solids lift overflow) from the fish tank this meas you have the fish tank at the high point in your system and have a pipe running to the bottom of the tank to draw the solids out. There are lots of discussions on here and other sites about it so use the search function. The other key IMO is to use only one pump and have it pumping the water from the cleanest pointing the system this helps reduce the wear on it. FYI my basement system is 350 gallons an is powered by one 17 watt pond pump, I think I does about 250 GPh and has been running for two years less power outages. My greenhouse system is on a timer and that works as well - both systems have air stones you can't really have too much air (unless the fish are starting to levitate above the water) too little air is a major problem for fish, plants and most importantly the bacteria. Have fun!
:D

Hi Ron.  What Bart is saying about the cost of electricity being your biggest issue with the bigger pumps is dead on.  If you decide to go with one of them anyway, then you can turn that cost into something of a benefit by redirecting the excess flow back into your fish and sump tank in a way that agitates the surface of the water and actually oxygenates the water.  

Best of luck to you!

One of the pumps the better of the 2 has a flotation bulb that would turn the sump on when the water level reaches a certain height, then automatically turns it off when it gets almost empty, would that work, as both a way to conserve energy, as well as, not affect the livlihood of the fish, or does the pump need to run continually...

That can work no problem'o. The only downside would be having a switch - just one more thing that can go wrong but as with most things there are good ones and not so good ones. Cheers


Ron said:

One of the pumps the better of the 2 has a flotation bulb that would turn the sump on when the water level reaches a certain height, then automatically turns it off when it gets almost empty, would that work, as both a way to conserve energy, as well as, not affect the livlihood of the fish, or does the pump need to run continually...

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