Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

this is a site for the aspiring aquapon to post their questions and have them answered by the more experienced members.  No question is too basic!  This is a great opportunity to tap into advice from some of the most experienced growers in the country.  Go for it!

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Chris has a stunningly beautiful garden! While I was sitting in the dentists chair thinking about stuff, I came to the thought that maybe the mineralization tank would still be a good idea even if not necessarily needed for classical mineralization...

My thinking is I could add heat to the the water before it flows into the floating raft containers. The water would then run its coarse (cooling a bit as it does) and end up in the sump tank, them back to my trout (losing more heat along the way back). 

What kind of plants are you thinking and what temperatures are you thinking appropriate for the trout.

 

See there are many cool weather crops where water temps below 70 F would actually be better than heating the water.  My lettuce has been growing gang busters while my water has been between 50-65 F and I know most broccoli and cabbage type plants and many others in that family also do well with cool water.  It is actually a compromise to have water at 74 F when growing lettuce and tilapia in the same system, the tilapia would actually like the water warmer and the lettuce would like it cooler, especially if there is a lot of sun light.

 

It is only if you are trying to grow warm weather crops that heating the water would be very helpful.

For this first winter I thought I would grow almost exclusively lettuce with a few square meters dedicated to experimenting with warmer weather crops. Ideally I figured 68 degrees would be the mark to shoot for. Trout thrive at 55 and start to die at 75 degrees. I have NO IDEA as to how well the compost powered heating system will work. It may work too well, in which case I will have valves to shut off heat to the tables. It may not work well enough, in which case I will have to heat the greenhouse using more traditional methods.

I am also thinking about having the option to cool the water before it reaches the trout by diverting the last 20 feet or so, to a portion that lies the outside the greenhouse, just in case the compost is working too well.

We get about a month worth of pretty low teps. (at around or below zero fahrenheit). The compost reaches a temp between 135 and 160 but this cycle doesnt last more than 4-6 weeks, then it cycles down to under 100. You can 'kick start' it back up by a notch or two by adding nitrogen. I will have a better idea after the first winter, but want to set thing up so that I can both heat and not heat as necessary. I hope to document EVERYTHING about this project and keeps good notes. That way someone else may not have to experiment so much :)

 

I definately do not think I could keep the tilapia happy during the winter months. And its mostly pretty cloudy during the winter, so not much sunlight. Hence the compost. (plus once the tepms warm up the compost will be ready to use in my pepper/tomatoe/eggplant garden). 

 

50 to 65 sounds great for the trout. What were you air temps during this time?



TCLynx said:

What kind of plants are you thinking and what temperatures are you thinking appropriate for the trout.

 

See there are many cool weather crops where water temps below 70 F would actually be better than heating the water.  My lettuce has been growing gang busters while my water has been between 50-65 F and I know most broccoli and cabbage type plants and many others in that family also do well with cool water.  It is actually a compromise to have water at 74 F when growing lettuce and tilapia in the same system, the tilapia would actually like the water warmer and the lettuce would like it cooler, especially if there is a lot of sun light.

 

It is only if you are trying to grow warm weather crops that heating the water would be very helpful.

I'm in a sub-tropical zone.  We can get freezes but temperatures rarely drop much below freezing for more than several hours.  Daytime temps usually come back up over 40 F and over our winters we can still get very warm days up into the 80's but more typically daytime highs through the winter for us are in the upper 60's F.

 

Sounds like your climate is colder than here.

Wow, nice! Yeah its definitely colder here. We are classified as 'Plant Hardiness Zone 7" (10/0 degrees f), so heating is an issue.

Hey everyone,

I have no experience in aquaponics but I want to get a small system setup either in my apartment or my backyard. I have only a very basic idea on how to get started.  I would love to get others' insight about how to get started before I start investing in anything since I'm as new to this as anyone could be.

A couple of questions to start off:

1) What size system should I start off with? I'm wondering specifically about the aromas the system might emit in my relatively small and confined living space. The maintenance is another concern, but I assume that since I'm doing this at such a micro level the maintenance wouldn't be too bad.

2) What are the essential components I need to get the system up and running? I have a pretty good idea of what I need from researching this on the forums or other places, but it would be helpful to get the insight of someone who's been in my shoes.

If anyone would be willing to chat on the phone sometime, that would be great. I know that sort of goes against the concept of an online discussion forum, so I'm more than happy to keep a log of this aquaponic journey I'm about to embark on and post it here (or anywhere else that might be appropriate).

Thanks!

Cooper

Cooper, it might help if you start a Discussion and perhaps post a picture or diagram of the space you have to work with to help us help you with the first question.  Larger systems are generally more stable but only if you have the space to manage them.

 

2- you will need a fish tank container, grow bed container, media or filter, water pump, probably an air pump, a freshwater master test kit, water, fish, fish food and some plants or seeds as well as enough light for those plants.

 

The people on the plantedtank.net all swear by Prime,it's a red bottle, as a water conditioner.  With Prime you will add alot less conditioner compaired to all other pet store conditioners. When keeping aquariums I always try for natural balance and try not to use chemical remedies. Prime is good though.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
David, never a problem mentioning other forums. We are all in this together!
Thanks, TC. I'll start a new discussion and try to have some more specific questions.  Stay tuned...

TCLynx said:

Cooper, it might help if you start a Discussion and perhaps post a picture or diagram of the space you have to work with to help us help you with the first question.  Larger systems are generally more stable but only if you have the space to manage them.

 

2- you will need a fish tank container, grow bed container, media or filter, water pump, probably an air pump, a freshwater master test kit, water, fish, fish food and some plants or seeds as well as enough light for those plants.

 

If you are setting up an ornamental fish tank, water conditioners are a simple solution to chlorine/chloramines in tap water---but, personally, I wouldn't use any of them with fish I intended to eat.  Most brands of the conditioners state this caution in regards to food fish on the bottle.  

Even this sounds too sketchy for me:  ClorAm-X™ may be used on fishes intended for human consumption. The United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the use of the chemical that constitutes ClorAm-XTM (sodium hydroxymethanesulfonate) in water with fishes, intended for human consumption, does not come under FDA jurisdiction. For a copy of the FDA's "letter of determination" please write or fax us.



Jonathan Farrand said:
The people on the plantedtank.net all swear by Prime,it's a red bottle, as a water conditioner.  With Prime you will add alot less conditioner compaired to all other pet store conditioners. When keeping aquariums I always try for natural balance and try not to use chemical remedies. Prime is good though.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
David, never a problem mentioning other forums. We are all in this together!
still getting started so don't know much about the plant side yet but used to own a pet shop so lots of knowledge on fish.  looking at using the koi i have in my pond as the fish to start and running lines to beds using cut 350 gallon totes cut in half and putting drain at one end.  What is the differ between soil and raft soil i am fimilure with but how does raft work and what does it look like and how to keep stuff off bottom of raft /  So far i am fimilure with the pea gravel fill with water then drain style I have plent of time and space what would you suggest?  Koi are in 18 foot round swimming pool over 600 fish varius sizes.  And also do i need to run uv to clear up the green water for the plants?

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