Aquaponic Gardening

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I'm building a small DWC system, and am trying to decide what kind of filter to use for solids removal.

Is a swirl filter better, or should I use one of those filters with a sheet running through the middle the the water has to go under.

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So it does not rot in the growbeds. I ran without a clarifier (swirl filter) for over a year and the constant removal of rotting solids from the media at the inlet gets old. They continue to break down in the swirl but I drain the sinkers off about once a week and it goes to the fruit trees and dirt garden. My Nitrates are running at 100ppm so there is ample food for the GBs. My FT surface skimmers do not allow the uneaten food to linger too long in the FTs. I only need to view the filter to see if I am over feeding. I may add the bio part so that bacteria have a place to make nitrates right in the filter like the one below.

I failed to mention that the bird netting is the "plate filter" in my full fledged Swirl/Biofilter that I add to the Trout tanks as they need very clean water and lots of current to be happy. I did not want to up the overall system flow just to accommodate the trout. I use small kiddy pool filter pumps for each trout tank to circ the water and I use my PU tube design with air assist to keep the IBC bottoms very clean. Ebay 25.00 delivered (pump) if you get lucky.

Latest Pool pump. No cover so I made one. Can't beat the price and ball bearings on this one to boot. A real gem:

Steve R said:

Why remove plant food?

Steve........there is salt in the scum of course, but not a lot (I would think)..........I know a lot of people who use there skimmings for the same purpose (dirt gardens/house plants ect) and I haven't heard any thing but good from them either...some swear its better than miracle grow.......all I can tell you is I have use it (I cup of skimmings diluted in a gallon of tap water) for 3yrs now and have no complaints.

as for if it works with freshwater, or even if there is a reason to try it, I don't know. like I said before im still learning how this works (aquaponics).......and just feeling around to see where the strong points and weak points of it are vrs what I do now.........fish in the tanks, plants in the dirt lol...............funny side note though, I have used the water I remove from my freshwater tanks for water changes for watering the dirt garden since forever :/

I'l have to try that i just assumed it was too salty to try. Using water change freshwater as fertilizer is GREAT! Lots of good bacteria and plant food in there thats what feeds the plants in your AP system. My questions is what problem are you trying to solve by adding a protein skimmer?

jim, I have cases and cases of a product called bacter plus. its a product used for aquarium startups in both fresh and saltwater tanks...........nitrifying bacteria product that is fish and plant safe...........again, im new to this combo of raising fish and plants for food in the same system  but I see no reason it would do anything but good. I plan on using it to cycle my system when I get it up.

steve, not realy trying to solve a problem with it yet........just seeing if one had a place in a system I guess........im all about free equipment and I have lots of them on hand lol...........idk if they even have a place in this, but I could realy use more of the skimmings in the fall if I could produce it.........those skimmings realy are liquid gold for me that time of year. its the base of my lure for trapping and its a freakin magnet for otters, coons, ect.

If its more than 1.5 - 2 years old its dead and wont do much of anything. Most self stable bacterias have a short shelf life. Bacter plus is ok it doesn't do that much tho and I don't think is even made by API any more if I'm not mistaken. 

You can use a UV steralizer, or ozonator from salt water for pathogen control and algae control. I'v also tinkered with using co2 in nonfish non plant chamber in a system for constant PH control but havent had the time to finish building it. The other thing id like to try is using a calcium reactor on an ap system to see if i could setup something on a slow release nutrient feed but again will take a ton of time and effort to fine tune an figure out what would work best. just some food for thought on salt water equipment use in AP

larry poe said:

steve, not realy trying to solve a problem with it yet........just seeing if one had a place in a system I guess........im all about free equipment and I have lots of them on hand lol...........idk if they even have a place in this, but I could realy use more of the skimmings in the fall if I could produce it.........those skimmings realy are liquid gold for me that time of year. its the base of my lure for trapping and its a freakin magnet for otters, coons, ect.

I was afraid of that.....it not being made anymore.....wonder if there is a way to test if what I have on hand is still "live"

if its old its not lol

funny you should mention that, I have a brand new CA+ reactor still in the box I was thinking about finding a use for :)
 
Steve R said:

You can use a UV steralizer, or ozonator from salt water for pathogen control and algae control. I'v also tinkered with using co2 in nonfish non plant chamber in a system for constant PH control but havent had the time to finish building it. The other thing id like to try is using a calcium reactor on an ap system to see if i could setup something on a slow release nutrient feed but again will take a ton of time and effort to fine tune an figure out what would work best. just some food for thought on salt water equipment use in AP

larry poe said:

steve, not realy trying to solve a problem with it yet........just seeing if one had a place in a system I guess........im all about free equipment and I have lots of them on hand lol...........idk if they even have a place in this, but I could realy use more of the skimmings in the fall if I could produce it.........those skimmings realy are liquid gold for me that time of year. its the base of my lure for trapping and its a freakin magnet for otters, coons, ect.

I have used dolomite in small amounts but thats all i can contribute i haven't even started looking into what i would use as additional supplements for inside a reactor. You don't need CO2 for a fresh water calcium reactor because your PH is already below dissolving thresh hold.

larry poe said:

funny you should mention that, I have a brand new CA+ reactor still in the box I was thinking about finding a use for :)
 
Steve R said:

You can use a UV steralizer, or ozonator from salt water for pathogen control and algae control. I'v also tinkered with using co2 in nonfish non plant chamber in a system for constant PH control but havent had the time to finish building it. The other thing id like to try is using a calcium reactor on an ap system to see if i could setup something on a slow release nutrient feed but again will take a ton of time and effort to fine tune an figure out what would work best. just some food for thought on salt water equipment use in AP

larry poe said:

steve, not realy trying to solve a problem with it yet........just seeing if one had a place in a system I guess........im all about free equipment and I have lots of them on hand lol...........idk if they even have a place in this, but I could realy use more of the skimmings in the fall if I could produce it.........those skimmings realy are liquid gold for me that time of year. its the base of my lure for trapping and its a freakin magnet for otters, coons, ect.

Jeramiah, sorry didn't mean to hijack your thread lol........

anyway I will set it aside steve and see if I can find a place for it in the system once its up and running.......

Im not realy worried about my system being totally "enclosed" or self sufficient per se .........I can always pump water off to the regular dirt garden if needed or use the solids ect...(2acre dirt garden can always use it)....an advantage I guess over some idk.....the main reserve is going to be a MONSTER cistern that collects rain water off the house. its been the main reserve for watering the garden for years.. literaly thousands of gallons (8-10ft wide x  10 or 12ft deep maybe more). in ground so im hoping for some geo benefits as well. building the greenhouse there to take advantage of the house blocking the north wind and some heat in the winter from the thermal mass of the walls ect..........

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