Aquaponic Gardening

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 Well, it's time to get out of the 'backyard' and move to 'The Farm'. We found a defunct green house just out side of town. It hasn't been used since the hirricanes blew through central FL ( '03 ? )  It's 70 ft x 165 feet...

 It will be a trough system. It will have swirl filters for solids seperation and 3 - 4 ft x 8 ft media beds as part of the filtering system.

 

As you can see, we have a lot of clean up to do. We are starting in one 1/4 of the green house. Once we have the fish tanks (IBC's) , the filters and the first of the rafts started ( so we can start the water cycling) ...we will build more troughs in the second 1/4 and tie them into the others.

 

Here, is the start of the media beds....lots of blocks to hold them up, more then enough. I'm more concerned with them settling.

 

The 2x4's are PT, so is the 3/4 ply. The sides will be made from corral boards. The ply and corral boards are being coated with the white rubber mobile home roof coating, for a little extra protection. The beds will be lined with20 mm dura-skrim.

We will be covering the arch's with 50% alumi-net. The sides and ends will be screen.

Once the 1st half is done, we should have about 540 ft of troughs (4 feet wide) plus the 24 feet of media beds (also 4 feet wide)

 

I'll post more, as we get stuff built and installed.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi...The tanks are set. The water is flowing and we have a few tilapia in each tank.

 

We've been transporting system water from my backyard,  to the farm. In oreder to speed up the bacteria growth. So far, about 600 gals. Which isn't much compared to the 9,000 or so gals that this 1st section holds. I've also taken some of my gravel from my home system, and buried it in the gravel beds at the farm.

 

We have two diaphram air pumps just for the fish tanks. I'm trying a couple of things to add air to the water 'before' it gets to the fish.

!st, made a coil out of soaker hose and added it to the trough, about 4 feet from the pumps....

(the troughs will have regenetive blowers addding air to them)

 

Next, I'm adding air to the discharge lines from the pumps....

 

 

The water and air bubbles travel through the dischage lines. They go over to the fish tanks, where we have a 4 inch pipe standing vertically. About 5 feet of the 4" is in the ground, about another 5 is above,

The 1 inch lines enter the top, and travel to the bottom of the 4" .... then the water and bubbles 'perk' to the top. There, the water enters 2 " lines, going to the fish tanks.

That's probably, as clear as mud...here's a drawing... (only drew 1 waterline, there are 2 running side by side)..

 

 

Here's a photo ...

 

 

From the other side of the tanks...

 

Each IBC fish tank, also has a 3 foot long soaker hose / DIY air diffuser.

Lot's more to do...will post more soon.

Thanks for looking....

I'm enjoying watching your progress David!

Thanks SW...

I really like your avatar. Hopefully, there will be lots of commercial launches from there soon...

WOW! Looks awesome! I hope one day in my future I will have something similar.
Thanks DJ. Someday soon, I'll be saying how nice your's looks too...

Hi David,

Really happy for you. I'm excited from here, could imagine how you actually feel! Thanks for posting your progress so far and looking forward as you go along.

What is the air valve you are using to add air to the discharge lines? How much air pressure?

 

I'm trying to figure out how to do the same thing... for my "eventual" green house. Thanks.

 

Thanks Harold...

 

Sue, The air valves came from aqatic-eco.....

http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/2522/Plastic-Valve

 

I'm not sure how much pressure, the pump is actually producing...? It's a diaphram pump that produces around 4 cfm. It doesn't take too much pressure Sue. If I open the valve too much, the air back feeds to the pump.   I'm  considering moving the valve, .to where the discharge line starts up the outside of the 4 inch pipe..

Thanks!

 

Looking at the product description I see it's 5 PSI max. Your system looks great compared to mine...

Great stuff, David.  Thanks for sharing!  Love your idea for using the soaker hoses for aeration!
Thanks Sue and Sylvia....
I've found that soaker hoses vary greatly in the amount of air pressure required to push bubbles out of them, I suppose it depends on how long they have been used as actual irrigation soaker hoses before being converted to air too.

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