Aquaponic Gardening

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I am setting up  a small system in my basement. I have a 4 ft x 4ft grow space and 100 gallon fish tank. I was going to put bioballs in a sectioned off area of the fish tank and opt not to have an additional filter. I will be doing DWC for the plants. Will that be ok for cleaning the waste out of the water?

In addition, I am not clear on specifics for cycling the system. If anyone has a basic outline on the steps to cycle the system, it would be appreciated.

Excited to get started and learn more!

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Bio balls should be fine, yours is a small system. I  would still work in a settling tank somewhere, preferably before the filtering. It will pay off , trust it.  The first day you start the system, before any fish add some ammonia. Check it daily, when its coming down add your smaller fish, Then monitor it daily for a couple months, and weekly once its stable.

Is the tank set up now?


Tank is set up, still working on the flow rates of the pump. The water is pumping faster than it is draining out of the system. So all the pieces are there, but I think I need to put an overflow in. Thanks for the info, I have a piece I can use as a settling tank, so I will try working that into the system. I will post a pic when it finally comes together. Thanks for the info!

You may need to put in a timer to let the flow out catch up with the input.

Put a valve in to slow down the flow to the system. And a bypass before the valve, to divert excess water back to the tank. This will stop pressure damage to the pump, and aerate the tank.

I've found out a filter is indispensable - or one need more grow bed. One need also access to feeder pipes to clear muck in sections were flow rate is too low (earth worm congestion). - I got rid of T-s in growbed and the feeder pipe now dump from a few mm above the growbed.My feed from the fish tank is split into one going to the radial flow/media filter and the other one goes to the grow bed. -  will look at sump with inline feed filter for larger system.


Put an overflow with a valve to take care of the overflow issue. Decided to play with NFT instead of DWC, just to gain some experience with pvc and growth output. Trying to decide how big of a settling tank or filter I need. The fish tank is 100 gallons, any thoughts? Or suggestions for design?

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