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Hello I am looking for info and ideas to design my first  aquaponics system.

I have a 4'x 8'x 18" tank with some kind of black whatever on fiberglass, plant nursery used it for a display .. they had fish and plants in it.
Then I have 2 black liners that are 4'x4'x 10" they have a small run over spout they probably are used in making waterfalls for ponds. I also have a 27 gallon rubbermaid tub that I could use as a sump.
I am thinking of making the 4'x8'x18" a raft tank with prawns under the rafts of lettuce/basil. Then run that into the 4'x4'x10" tanks one after another with big net pots filled with compost and coco coir for tomatoes eggplant etc... the water will run continuously with the pots just sitting a few inches in. I was thinking of gettting a 275 gallon tote ( a 275 gallon cube , food grade ,used once for olive oil) for the fish tank .

But I am not sure how to hook it all up together. ??????? the fish tank will be taller than the 18 inch tank which will be off the ground about 4 inches on a giant pallet.I can post picures of the components I am talking about tommorow.

Will a 275 gallon tote  fish tank work with the other pieces I already have ?

Will that be a good ratio of fish tank to grow area?

Do I need a tank that has gravel or hydroton to have more surfaces for the bacteria to grow or is the sides of the raft tank sufficient ?

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Jane,

From your design you have approx. 50 cu ft growbed surface area as raft. At .3 lbs/sq ft, that's about 15 lbs of fish. So you can grow a maximum of 15lbs of fish for the beds you have and have proper nitrification without adding media. The IBC can be used as a FT(Fish Tank) placed in-line with the GB's (growbeds) with the water pumped from the lowest component to the highest one ( A Tiered system) and the water is allowed to return along the component line, by gravity flow, back to the pump. 

Thanks for the input. But of course I now have more questions .

To be able to grow a significant amount more lbs.of fish, do I need to have media beds and not just raft?

I am putting up pictures of the components  I have , I am open to suggestions on how to put together what I have and what to get to go with it. The only thing  I what todo is  grow prawns and trout or talipia and plenty of veggies.



Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Jane,

From your design you have approx. 50 cu ft growbed surface area as raft. At .3 lbs/sq ft, that's about 15 lbs of fish. So you can grow a maximum of 15lbs of fish for the beds you have and have proper nitrification without adding media. The IBC can be used as a FT(Fish Tank) placed in-line with the GB's (growbeds) with the water pumped from the lowest component to the highest one ( A Tiered system) and the water is allowed to return along the component line, by gravity flow, back to the pump. 

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Hi Jane,

There are several ways to combine these components. If you're using an IBC it can be free standing as the highest point of component gradient or it cab be buried as the lowest point. If it is the highest point, i suggest you raise the 2 smaller bins as Growbeds with gravel/hydroton( you can set on blocks which is easier as they are small) as a filter from the FT, so that the water going to the raft will be filtered and you won't have root clogging issues( you can accommodate 6- 1lb fish this way). From here it can go in one end of the 4' x 8' x 18" and exit to the pump at the opposite end.(raft will allow 14- 1lb fish). Total of 20- 1lb fish.

If you bury the FT which helps keep water temperature cool( I don't know the water temps you are dealing with but cooler water holds more oxygen) you can pump to the raised media beds cascading down to the raft and flowing back again to the FT.

 

You can use all components as raft or media or combination, it all depends on what you want to grow.

ok well that all makes sense  .... I was wanting to grow alot more fish but I see I will need more media for bacteria to be able to do that.
Jane I would lean you towards gravel beds initially and stock fish accordingly. You could pick up some cheap plastic kids pools and have each of your black beds filter the water with gravel into them, for about 40 bucks you could double your growing power. My system is along these lines.I personally think for the hobbyist grower rafts are overrated. Gravel is much more forgiving and you can grow alot more variety. You will get a ear full here and no system is better than the next just some are easier for the newbie. If you use affnan siphons you dont necessarily need a sump.

Hi Jane,

Since your Ft will be 275 gal, you can start with this model and later on expand the beds in proportion to the fish as you go. At 275 gal FT you can eventually carry up to 55 One pound fish!

So did you mean the kiddy pools for grow beds and my big tank 4'x8'x18" for fish

or

get the IBC tote for the fish and have the big tank for raft/prawn tank and kiddy pools for grow beds

or

kiddy pool fish tanks , and .......

 

thanks for the input......

 

David Waite said:

Jane I would lean you towards gravel beds initially and stock fish accordingly. You could pick up some cheap plastic kids pools and have each of your black beds filter the water with gravel into them, for about 40 bucks you could double your growing power. My system is along these lines.I personally think for the hobbyist grower rafts are overrated. Gravel is much more forgiving and you can grow alot more variety. You will get a ear full here and no system is better than the next just some are easier for the newbie. If you use affnan siphons you dont necessarily need a sump.

thank you



Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Jane,

Since your Ft will be 275 gal, you can start with this model and later on expand the beds in proportion to the fish as you go. At 275 gal FT you can eventually carry up to 55 One pound fish!

I was thinking along the lines of Kid pools as raft tanks, the black beds as gravel beds and the large tank for fish. It would look along the lines of two black beds filled with gravel and affnan siphons draining into two raft tanks (kid pools) which then drain into the fish tank. This gets you started with low initial cost. Each black gravel bed would have its own supply directly from the fish tank cascading through your beds and rafts then back to the fish. Clear as mud. Keep in mind you have the ability to run 275 to 400 gal of gravel beds off of your fish tank of 275 gal.

Jane said:

So did you mean the kiddy pools for grow beds and my big tank 4'x8'x18" for fish

or

get the IBC tote for the fish and have the big tank for raft/prawn tank and kiddy pools for grow beds

or

kiddy pool fish tanks , and .......

 

thanks for the input......

 

David Waite said:

Jane I would lean you towards gravel beds initially and stock fish accordingly. You could pick up some cheap plastic kids pools and have each of your black beds filter the water with gravel into them, for about 40 bucks you could double your growing power. My system is along these lines.I personally think for the hobbyist grower rafts are overrated. Gravel is much more forgiving and you can grow alot more variety. You will get a ear full here and no system is better than the next just some are easier for the newbie. If you use affnan siphons you dont necessarily need a sump.
Great that is part of what I was wondering . What the potential for that size FT could be thanks

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Jane,

Since your Ft will be 275 gal, you can start with this model and later on expand the beds in proportion to the fish as you go. At 275 gal FT you can eventually carry up to 55 One pound fish!

Great thanks ....now all the ideas and info you guys are Giving me are starting to really help me get a plan together awesome.


David Waite said:
I was thinking along the lines of Kid pools as raft tanks, the black beds as gravel beds and the large tank for fish. It would look along the lines of two black beds filled with gravel and affnan siphons draining into two raft tanks (kid pools) which then drain into the fish tank. This gets you started with low initial cost. Each black gravel bed would have its own supply directly from the fish tank cascading through your beds and rafts then back to the fish. Clear as mud. Keep in mind you have the ability to run 275 to 400 gal of gravel beds off of your fish tank of 275 gal.

Jane said:

So did you mean the kiddy pools for grow beds and my big tank 4'x8'x18" for fish

or

get the IBC tote for the fish and have the big tank for raft/prawn tank and kiddy pools for grow beds

or

kiddy pool fish tanks , and .......

 

thanks for the input......

 

David Waite said:

Jane I would lean you towards gravel beds initially and stock fish accordingly. You could pick up some cheap plastic kids pools and have each of your black beds filter the water with gravel into them, for about 40 bucks you could double your growing power. My system is along these lines.I personally think for the hobbyist grower rafts are overrated. Gravel is much more forgiving and you can grow alot more variety. You will get a ear full here and no system is better than the next just some are easier for the newbie. If you use affnan siphons you dont necessarily need a sump.
Hey I was thinking since prawns are territorial and I need more area for bateria to grow I could make window screen/PVC dividers in the raft tank. I am not sure what the formula would be for knowing how many more fish I could add?

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