Aquaponic Gardening

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i have gone round and round on this so many times my head has about unscrewed.

Please check my thinking on this. I am considering two proof of concept AP ebb & flow systems each with a rubbermaid 300 gallon stock tank as a FT buried 18" into tne ground to gain a 2-3 degree temperature advantage for the fish in the summer time. I need to maximize veggies but raise enough fish to harvest for a family of four. The fish will be 12 lbs of flat head minnows in one FT and 12 Coppernose bluegill or black crappie fingerlings in the other FT. i'll set up a restricted organic-only compost pile with red wigglers and African nightcrawlers feeding them garden and other veggie waste. The FTs are a little underpowered for a 32sf GB I think but I want to grow into the FT component as i learn more and also allow the CNBG or BC room to grow. The worms I'll feed to the FHM, which will, in turn, feed the CNBG. I can supplement feeding the CNBG as needed with pellets. I can't source IBCs locally without chemical residue so one of the most cost effective solutions besides that seems to be to frame a 4'x8' bed using 2x12 pine with three or four 2x4s bracing the long ways from below like flat floor joists. Instead of 4x8 5/8" ply, I can make it easier on myself and use 3/4" tongue and groove pine planks 6" wide x 48". I'll floor the GB with the t&g and cover that with glued FRP before lining with a 45mil pond liner. The FRP will prevent the wood from rubbing the liner. The completed GBs can sit on raised cinder block or four 4x4 pressure treated sticks on top of concrete deck footings that are 12" off the ground. This allows me to keep watch for termite tunnels going up the concrete block or other insects for that matter. The GBs can also straddle the FTs. Lastly, Dr Lennard's XLS tells me I need a low 30-40 gph pump IIRC due to the low density of fish which is good since the pumps are cheap. For summer, I 'll add an aerator pump in addition to venturi input to and output from the GB per George's demonstration. Sorry, forgot his last name.

Is there a better alternative to this build out? Trying not to get too complicated and keep things simple but maximize yield. However, I realize i may be all wet here or succumbing to my AP OCD.

Sorry for the typos. It's hard to poke a virtual iPad keyboard when my brain is dumping at three times the speed of my typing.



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At 3AM this morning I woke up and decided I would do a third stand-alone system with a 150USG Rubbermaid FT and a 50USG GB. The FT will house the minnows and the Growbed will nurture sacred and medicinal plants separate from the veggies.

Dave, just to be clear...what exactly do you mean by sacred and medicinal plants? As some of them may need special considerations in an AP set up, particularly a brand new AP set-up...

E.G. white sage, sweet grass, tobacco.

Thanks. A lot of people comment thinking that someone meant something along the lines of the above mentioned plants, only to find the newly termed "medicinal herbs" was what the person is talking about. My grandmother grew many medicinal herbs, none of them pot. Thanks for clearing that up :)

No pot I'm afraid. Just old fashioned legal remedies and sacred plants like above. A couple other medicinals are st. John's wort anf ginko. There is also one that provides pain relief like aspirin but i forget its name. There is a thread starting in one of the forums for those of us interested in growing our medicine chests.

That's wonderful. I'm surprised that sort of thing is still legal in the states (ironic huh) and isn't regulated to death.

I know some people use the salicylic acid from the white willow bark as a kind of natural aspirin, but I'm sure there are others as well. It's good to see people taking an AP interest in those types of traditional medicinal herbs! 

Willow baek may be what I was trying ro remember. In any case, The use and preparation of medicinal plants has become a lost art. it's a shame we have to re-learn it.

Of course we could just let folks like Monsanto (who recently bought one of the worlds largest makers of pharmaceuticals, Pfiezer Inc., who by the way just in 2009 pleaded guilty in the largest ever case of health care fraud in United States history) take care of our ills for us. I guess they can make us all sick with crappy GM food, then sell us little pills to make us "better"...Anyways...

You're right, it is a shame that we have to re-learn such things.

@Vlad: You are spot on. We have a similar distaste for and lack of trust of Monsanto et al. If we aren't careful, there won't be any heirloom open vegetable seedes left and they will have a monopoly of our food source.

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