Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello eveyone

I'm new to aquaponics...been reading a lot over the last week.  I drafted up a guideline to work off of in fine tuning the design, and was wondering if you all could take a quick look at the sketch and suggest anything you see that might be out of line or a bad idea?

Appreciated much your input...


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Thanks. Just making sure I wasn't making an assumption that was wrong and I was overlooking another reason for it.

Thanks Much TC... I appreciate the links very much.  The bypasses are a great idea as is the float fill !  I am planning to feed the "top-off" water supply with a filter that supposedly takes out the chlorine and Chloramide (or whatever it's called) the filter supposedly does it's going on the cost analysis sheet right now.

Well, back to the drawing board!  :-)

Thanks again for the assist... I was watching the sun and shade in the area I am planning to build this, and it looks like the fish tank will be in sun from morning to about I'll have to build a shade awning and maybe even side shade shields to keep the temp down on that fish water in the hottest parts of summer.  I may make it removable so that in early spring the sun can heat the water a little as need be.

Well, lots of planning and learning to do....

Thanks again


Well,  Here is Draft #2.  It will get me close enough to work up some costs.  I may increase the size of the standpipes to 1.5" (rather than the 1" shown) after reading your comments about the slime buildup inside the pipes.

Now I have a lot of reading/learning to follow thru on in regards to controlling the water....etc...

Thanks Much for all your help so far





One trick, if you have the SLO drain leaving the tank low enough, you can use the top of the T as your "overflow".  Now this will work as an overflow if the tank is overflowing because the screen at the bottom of the SLO gets clogged but if the pipe beyond the T is clogged then an additional overflow might be a good idea.  Atrium grates or Net pots can work as grates for pipes in the fish tank.

Thats a 10-4 on the overflow.  I'll have to see what tank I end up getting and see if that will work.

Net pots are a good idea for grates for pipes...Main thing I guess is having them big enough so that little fish don't get "pulled" against the intake of the pipe...although using the overflow like I am there won't be a huge amount of suction probably so should be fine.  (I used to draw Hotel plans, and had to design the swimming pools and spas-and the suction was a big consideration to not "pin" people down at the drain intakes by the suction).

Thanks for giving draft #2 a look-see TC



Cool. Thanks for the plans. What will you use for the beds and the fish tank?  

This is a general question for the gurus. Will it create water circulation issues if you put the drain in the center of the grow bed? I have wondered if this is an issue. I would like to do mine that way in my next system.

Also, what software did you use to draw the plans?

I'm leaning towards IBC Totes for the grow beds, fish tank, and sump.  I'd like to get a 500 gal circular UV resistant water tank for the fish tank if I can make budget work-but will kick cost of system up by like $300 likely won't happen. I contemplated building out of wood and lining with EPDM Pond liner but would cost more $$$ and would likely be more difficult to make pipe connections to pond liner.

I'll probably just paint exterior surfaces of plastic with white Latex to help protect them from the sun as well as reflect sun off the surfaces to keep cooler.

Great question on the drain being in center...I'll see what gurus say also.  They can be moved off center of course to whereever...

I use Autocad 2004 to draw with, I draw electrical plans right now for a living for past 3 years....when there's work to draw that is.

Lance,  one more little change I think:


I think I'm going to upsize the standpipes to 1-1/2" pvc with 3" pvc size bell pipe over it.

I'm guessing that the 1" pipe will drain kind of slowly (maybe like 4 gpm) so I'm upsizing it to speed it up a little with the 1-1/2" standpipe to maybe like 7 gpm.... (a calculated guess on the gpm actuals). 



I generally say bigger is better for plumbing but when it comes to bell siphons, that isn't always the case.  Siphons actually drain water faster than a gravity drain of the same size.

Good point... I got the original standpipe suggested 1" size from Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa's paper on line. 

I'll probably go back to their suggested 1" standpipe with the 2" bell then....or maybe when I build this thing I'll build 1 as a test and then see if I like the results before I build the other 2.

Thanks for the heads up.



After looking around, the answer to the question about putting the siphon drain in the middle is, like most questions about AP, it depends on your setup. I get the feeling that the issue is "dead" corners. So a more square design may not work as well with a middle drain as a more round design. But either could be handled depending on where the water enters. For all of this, I assume an ebb and drain system (why else would you want a bell siphon?). 

I could still use some validation from experience.

My thinking is that most of the solids are introduced from on top, and will thus stay in the media.  The drainage it seems only removes the water... if I'm understanding the process.  It might be good to maybe put a few supply pipes spread around the grow bed to maybe evenly distribute the water and guess.

Now in the fish tank, it seems to me you want movement of water and solids so I'd guess you want water flowing in a specific direction.

We'll see if anyone comments about my guesses  :-)

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