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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Sorry Sylvia, I couldn't get any where in Blogs, and the Aquaponics Gardening Blog only showed the words WORDPRESS, and a symbol with "share", but nothing did anything, basically I find these sites pretty confusing, as you can tell by the multiple entries during the "Edit" stage
Hay Eric,
I had a terrible time with this site when I first started here. Part of it was my firewall blocking the internal frames and stuff. I just had to tell my firewall that this was a safe trusted site and to allow it. (I know easier said than done sometimes as for some reason my internet security suite was actually blocking me from getting into the firewall to change those settings, but once I told the virus software not to scan the firewall, I was able to do what needed doing.) Ugh.

This Ning site is the first one I've had that kind of trouble with. I'm not into the social networking sites normally.

Or perhaps Sylvia could send you a link for the direct rout to the Blog site and you will probably be able to get into that while you sort out your firewall issues.

Eric J. Friesen said:
Sorry Sylvia, I couldn't get any where in Blogs, and the Aquaponics Gardening Blog only showed the words WORDPRESS, and a symbol with "share", but nothing did anything, basically I find these sites pretty confusing, as you can tell by the multiple entries during the "Edit" stage
Great idea Sylvia, (adding the 'start' button) especially for us newbies who like to jump in over our heads without checking for obstacles first. With regard to my 'project', it seems to make more sense to use liner for the grow beds, for simplicity and cost, if I can find this in Nicaragua, this may also work for my 'hole in the ground', thanks again, Eric
Has anyone tried raising minnows in an AP system and if so what do you feed them? Im trying to design a system and keep operating cost down.From what I've read and after checking around fish food is going to be expensive for me. Minnows will allow me to put my tank outside and give me more room in the greenhouse for more plants.Please offer any advise you can and thanks again.
HI LF. I think my good buddy John Thompson was into minnows at some point. He's in this community...

L F said:
Has anyone tried raising minnows in an AP system and if so what do you feed them? Im trying to design a system and keep operating cost down.From what I've read and after checking around fish food is going to be expensive for me. Minnows will allow me to put my tank outside and give me more room in the greenhouse for more plants.Please offer any advise you can and thanks again.
I am very interested in aquaponics. Can someone give me an estimate as to how long it usually takes to get a small backyard system up and running? I'm wondering about the time after actual construction, thanks for your patience
Hi Lucy,

I think you are talking about the cycling process and how long it takes to get the nitrifying bacteria established in your system...is that right? If so, the answer is unfortunately a pretty big "it depends". If you just add a few fish and wait for nature to take it's course (and it will take it's course) then the process of getting to where you start generating nitrates could take between 1 - 2 months. There are lots of ways to significantly speed this up, however, and they all involve you helping nature out by actually introducing the bacteria yourself. This can be done by adding water or media from a fish system that is already cycled, or by using an off-the-shelf product. Places where you might find nitrifying bacteria include, of course, someone else's aquaponics system, an aquarium (the water and the filter pad), and ponds. Products that claim to speed up this process include Proline (Aquatic Ecosystems) and Bacter Boost, but there are several others out there.

Hope this helps!

lucy said:
I am very interested in aquaponics. Can someone give me an estimate as to how long it usually takes to get a small backyard system up and running? I'm wondering about the time after actual construction, thanks for your patience
oops, I think I answered this on your page. Anyway, it depends. If you were to collect all the parts/tools needed to build a barrel ponics system, it can be built on a weekend no problem. The cycling takes longer and of course design of the next system can be much longer than that.

lucy said:
I am very interested in aquaponics. Can someone give me an estimate as to how long it usually takes to get a small backyard system up and running? I'm wondering about the time after actual construction, thanks for your patience
thanks, hopefully I am replying in the correct segment, forgive me if I'm not. I was wondering about the cycle times at start up. Thanks again for your replies.

TCLynx said:
oops, I think I answered this on your page. Anyway, it depends. If you were to collect all the parts/tools needed to build a barrel ponics system, it can be built on a weekend no problem. The cycling takes longer and of course design of the next system can be much longer than that.

lucy said:
I am very interested in aquaponics. Can someone give me an estimate as to how long it usually takes to get a small backyard system up and running? I'm wondering about the time after actual construction, thanks for your patience
I can usually get nitrates in about 2 weeks but I cheat. In the 350gallon system I put about 250 gallons of de-chlorinated water. I then add 40 gallons of water from my 55 gallon aquarium let it run for a week with about 20 1-2 inch tilapia Then add about 100 tilapia a week later put seedlings in the grow beds and finish filling the tank with water. If it looks like there is not enough nitrogen add seaweed extract this does not decrease the time to cycle but helps the plants. I have not lost any fish following this system. If you do not have access to an Aquarium you can purchase bacteria as Sylvia stated

lucy said:
thanks, hopefully I am replying in the correct segment, forgive me if I'm not. I was wondering about the cycle times at start up. Thanks again for your replies.

TCLynx said:
oops, I think I answered this on your page. Anyway, it depends. If you were to collect all the parts/tools needed to build a barrel ponics system, it can be built on a weekend no problem. The cycling takes longer and of course design of the next system can be much longer than that.

lucy said:
I am very interested in aquaponics. Can someone give me an estimate as to how long it usually takes to get a small backyard system up and running? I'm wondering about the time after actual construction, thanks for your patience
If you mean cycle times as in how long to run the pump on a timer. Well many people will run the pump 15 minutes per hour or 15 on 15 off or 15 on 30 off or 30 on 30 off, It really all depends on how long it takes to fill the beds and then let them drain. In a new system, running the pump more can help keep water quality better.

If you are talking about cycling up your bio-filter, Then plan on it taking 6-8 weeks to get the bio-filter established. The first phase of cycling usually only takes about 3 weeks but the next 3 weeks usually require careful water quality testing as feed rates are slowly increased since sudden increases in bio-load can still cause spikes (actually, spikes can happen in an established system so paying attention to water quality and fish behavior is ongoing.) In cool weather or with other adverse conditions it can take longer. The first part can often be done fairly quickly and stress free by doing fishless cycling but then when you add fish water quality must still be monitored to keep an eye on things.

I repeat 6-8 weeks. You will probably have already gotten through the major ammonia and nitrite spikes and have nitrate long before six weeks and be mostly cycled but that does not mean you can assume it's all done and feed as much as you want. Then next several weeks are to build up the bio filter's capacity slowly by watching water quality as you increase you feed rates slowly.

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