Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Well, here I am trying to get something put together that will work for me ... again. I have MS so my health comes and goes. Aquaponics seems to be the way for me to garden as it doesn't include lots of ground level bending. (I have a neighbor who can help me with the heavier stuff)  I am going to be using kiddie pools and such until I can get some money saved up for a 'real system'. I have a pool that is 8 feet across and about 15 inches deep that has served for the gold fish pond for two summers now. Amazing how well it works if you can get past the graphics that is all cartoonish. I am wondering if I can put a raft in it to get started? It's heavily planted with blue and yellow flag, bullrush, and a second rush I haven't identified yet. There is one water lilly but I still think I can put a small raft in before I get something more complex put together. Any ideas if I can get this started from here or do I need to get a flood and drain system started before I try.

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I do like that hot tub idea. But gravel is not the only medium you can use. In my kiddie pool grow bed, I'm using pine bark for the first time. So far so good, and it might not cause as much damage to the kiddie pool as the sheer weight of the lava rock I usually use caused the last time I attempted anything with kiddie pools.

S.P.R.F., I really like the idea of the hot tub recycling... but I am on a quarter acre corner and don't have the room for those. It sounds like you are really getting the most for the dollar... I am going to be combing Craigslist for green houses now. LOL

Debra, you're using pine bark in an AP system?

Margaret, we built our Greenhouse with PVC pipe and greenhouse plastic. It's 14 x 14, and cost about $200. If you can find an old gazebo frame, you could cover it with plastic for a good price.

Sheri, yes I am.

Sheri, think that is great idea. I am still trying to make myself spend time on Craigslist to see what I can find. 

I started pool #2 today. Cleared the patch of dirt I was putting it on, made it level-ish... kinda, wrestled the plastic from the box and got it all laid out, and filled it. It turns out that pool #1 was a six foot across pool and a couple of inches shallower, the eight foot pool looks massive compared to it. 

Now I wait.

Craigslist = an opportunity to be creative. :)

Debra, have you been monitoring your PH & other levels? I've heard people discourage use of biological media because it does break down and can impact the balance of the system, so I'd love to "follow" you to see how it works for you in the long run. :)

Sheri, I thought the same, and read the same. I did my homework enough on the medium to want to give it a go. (on this site, somewhere). i figured at worst the ph would be forced down some, but the sad fact is that with our really hard water, a little ph dip couldn't hurt. Its been nearly a month now since I did my little "fish rescue", and ph hasn't been affected at all, which surprised me. So far, so good.

Biggest problem I ran into when I tested using some wood chips as media, was that they stayed quite wet up to the top even with the flood being several inches below that and they did break down causing the water to be totally dark like thick coffee.  Could NOT see the fish at all in that little system.  Also couldn't really test the water because of the color of it made it pretty much impossible to read the tests but other than that, it seemed to work and didn't kill the three tilapia living in it directly.  The fact that I couldn't see the fish meant that when one was holding eggs, she started battering the other two fish and I lost them to Fish domestic violence.

Tilapia make humans appear humane.  :)

TCLynx said:

The fact that I couldn't see the fish meant that when one was holding eggs, she started battering the other two fish and I lost them to Fish domestic violence.

Lol. Sorry for the fish loss. I have a k.i.s.s. System. Continuous flow, goldfish & koi. I have noticed that there is a dye in the pine bark that does turn the water brown, but it cleared up due to water changes.( or floods that overfilled the ponds). I was thinking I should have bought the red pine bark stuff instead, just make the whole thing far more entertaining, but i will keep a closer watch on the dye effect now.


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