Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I just had a thought and need some information.  I am building a fish tank to media bed to a raft bed to a sump tank.  Or should I go from the fish tank to the raft tank to the media bed and then the sump tank?  Has anyone else tryed this layout?  Which would you do?

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The same order/sequence I use and I am happy so far......

Media first, then raft. The media is the filter.

Definitely. Media bed (with worms) first, then raft. Keeping your stocking density on the low side will help too. 

As above.... and don't forget the worms....

Thanks everyone.  Its media then the raft.  On a 275 gal IBC I was thinking about 75 tilipa to start.

Don't stock according to your fish tank's capacity, but rather according to your bio-filters capacity.

Keeping your stocking density on the low side, should go a way's in not having to add additional swirl/net filters/clarifiers. 

How big will the media bed be?  75 tilapia seems like a lot.

Media bed: does the water flow thru continuously, or do you set up a flood and drain?


I plan on using a flood & drain on the 2 media beds that will drain into 2 dwc beds (all made out of IBC's) and thne into a sump.  My Fish tank with be a 275 gal IBC.  Based on what I am reading here, my stocking size of 75 fish should drop down to 40 fish to start and then, maybe some more based on the number of plants Im growing.  Start small and then increase...

I do plan to put lots of air into the water by way of a air pump. 

If you are going to cycle up with fish, I would say start with 1 fish per cubic foot (or 7.5 gallons) of media bed.  Then once you are up and running and the system cycled up you might add more fish.

If you cycle up fishless, you might get away with starting with more fish than 1 per cubic foot of media but I would be cautious about that since fishless cycled systems can still see spikes when adding fish and you should only stock as many fish as your filtration can support.  The benefit of fishless cycling here is that it lets you start out with a large amount of nitrates to get the plants going while you settle the fish in and keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrite numbers and work to find the balance.


Thanks TCLynx, you are da best!!!!!!    I will try the fishless cycling and then add fish in small numbers after everything settles down.  Your thoughts on ammonia as to brand, where to purchase or the use of human ammonia?

And by the way, if nobody has said this to you, then I want say a big THANK YOU for all of the work and time that You invest into this site and HELPING all of us new people.  I have read all of you comments on the other sites.  We, the whole community, are blessed to have your advice on subjects that are new to us.  I hope to see you in Denver (if not sooner) and I would like to buy you a drink!  Thanks, many times.


If the yuck factor is not an issue for you/family, the Hummonia is free, pee in a bottle for a few weeks and seal it up for a bit few weeks to kill off e. coli that exists on all of us.  One pee a day for a few weeks is probably enough to cycle up most small systems.

If you want to buy ammonia, well I got some at Ace Hardware once.

Otherwise, I sell Ammonium Chloride that can be used for cycling up and I believe Sylvia sells a cycling kit as well.

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