Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hey there Sacramento folks (present and future):  would love to hear what your aquaponics system is, or if you haven't got it started yet, what you're planning to do.  A bit about mine to start things off:  I've got two small flood-and-drain growbeds and two fish tanks, about 200 gallons total, on a south-facing porch in downtown Sac. You can see a short video of it at  Raising mostly bluegill at the moment, with a few goldfish for good measure.  Started raising black soldier fly larvae this summer to feed the bluegill, but not enough to represent a big part of their diet (yet).  Still got lots of basil growing but about to replace it with lettuce.  Am open to visitors if you ever want to check it out in person.  So--how about yours?  (Susie, I know about yours, but feel free to post it here for others to hear about too).

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Well, I'm committed now!

I set up a 10x12 greenhouse in the back yard. From Harbor Freight, it had mixed reviews but I think it'll do fine.

I bought 3 IBC totes, cut 2 in half, 1 for fish.

I have 3 beds and 1 sump tank with pump.

I've got hydroton in the beds, just need to add a few more bags.

I've been playing with the bell syphons to get the flow just right, what a pain! Very touchy to get the flow right so it isn't too much or too little.

Next is conditioning the water then looking for fish! Woo hoo!

Wow, this is a great thread! I do not have an AP system yet, as I am currently in the wrong hemisphere thanks to the military (currently in Kuwait) and will be until early next year.  What I am doing, however, is gathering as much information as I can so that i can plan out my system and get some cost estimates so I can hopefully start building as soon as possible  after returning home.  Jason Rampollo's system design and Paul's greenhouse are probably the closest to what I want to do, but I'm open to all sorts of ideas and I look forward to seeing more people post their systems so that I can build the best system for my limited buck. 

Thanks for your service Phillip, we hope to have you back and building soon.

I entered into this discussion months ago, but I'd like to update.

I have three systems if you count my pond which technically is an aquaponic system.

The other two systems are an outdoor IBC system with combination of raft and flood & drain media beds.

The other is an indoor system.

I've learned over the past few months that large grow beds are important to utilizing the full potential of an aquaponic system.  With large grow beds you have room to grow enough vegetables to make it worthwhile.   My indoor system has no room for more grow beds so it's mainly for experimentation, seed starts, and winter spinach.  Media beds provide a more stable bio filtration, but I really like rafts so when I changed the media bed into a raft I placed 2 yards of pumice in the bottom of the fish tank.  This provides a large bio filter to create plenty of Nitrates while maintaining a healthy environment for the fish.

This summer I produced a good garden in only 32 sq the outdoor IBC system.  Next year I will plant more wisely and keep the tomatoes pruned and trained.  I recently added more grow beds doubling my planting area.  By supplementing more ammonia into the water I have been able to create even more Nitrate.

I would eventually like to build a system with four fish tanks so I could keep the fish separated by age and always harvest from the last tank.  As it stands the runts are difficult to find amongst the younger fish. 

As we go into Winter I'm thinking about adding solar water heat.  Utility costs have become my primary focus.

thanks for the pix Bob! Good to get more of an idea of what you've got going on up there.

I haven't built yet, just doing all the reading i can.  Trying to figure how i can insulate/protect my future setup, as i am in Placerville and the winters can be alot colder than Sac.  I'm still learning all the possibilities, but as a learning startup, I'll probably do this kind of setup-


I'd also like to have crawfish as my edible water-dweller!  Any plans, advice, or anything appreciated.  Thanks for this group!


Hi Mikio,  Thanks for chiming in.  Studying up and following plans like the ones you found seem like good ideas.  Others may have more to say than I could about the viability of crawdads in an aquaponics system.  Best wishes...

Hello all,  I just moved here from the Palm Springs area. I am going to start another build next week.  I will have about a 200 gallon fish tank, sump tank and two 4x4 flood and drain grow beds to start with.  I plan to add another two beds after the system is up and running for a while.  I do not have any land right now so I am building on property owned by some folks I just met and plan to leave the system with them in the long term.  Here are links to a couple slides shows of my previous systems:

I will post picks of my new build as soon as I have them!  Tim  -


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