Aquaponic Gardening

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I am considering having my system indoors to avoid the cost of having a green house

and also having food year round.  Is there much odor with an AP system either from

the water or the fish. 

Thanks,

John

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The worst smell from my indoor AP is the basil! My wife says it smells like cat pee.

I am running nearly 300 gallons of water in my basement. I haven't had it do that "tropical fish store smell" thing yet. 

If you can smell a small system, something's not balanced.

The biggest issue I've seen with an indoor system is the cops parked out front for 6 months waiting for my lettuce to turn into something they can get a warrant on. I was tempted to plant some Okra, but thought better of it.

The lighting bills add up quickly. That's my biggest issue. At my current harvest rates, I'd be better off unplugging the lights and buying from the farmers market. But I am in this thing to learn more than to eat at the moment.

Hi John,

There is not much of an odor, as long as your system is properly setup and using the right system ratios, and maintaining the system.

So what constitutes a properly set up system?  My plan is to have a 100 Gallon Fish tank,

Not sure what fish yet, going through some sort of bio filter than to the grow beds and towers

with a siphoning system for drainage.  Hoping to complete it by month end.

Appreciate the feedback,

John

Use the filters that you would use for the fish tank without any carbon. 

I use aquariums, so I run plastic tote sumps so I can keep my fish tanks full, which looks nicer. All the water drains into the sumps, and you pump it up into the growbeds and tank. You can use whatever growbed 'system' you want. I like having a media based bed just for the extra bio-filter. You can put the charcoal into that media bed if you want clearer water, but over time, it will take on a tint and not be crystal clear anyhow.

John Wolff said:

So what constitutes a properly set up system?  My plan is to have a 100 Gallon Fish tank,

Not sure what fish yet, going through some sort of bio filter than to the grow beds and towers

with a siphoning system for drainage.  Hoping to complete it by month end.

Appreciate the feedback,

John

i've got over 1,000 gallons in my basement between an 8' dia pool, multiple glass tanks and a single tote system.. i haven't had any problems with smell..i like being able to smell the fresh spices in the winter

i've been using 48" t8 "shop lights" - regular 32 watt bulbs, 3 pairs on each ibc gb, grown lots leafy greens, beats, chives, spices, carrots etc..

Not in my system.  Just the cost of high out put indoor lights.  There is a person in Washington state who uses a double film hoop house and has great results.  Check out Don Stark

Lighting costs will add up so do your calculations carefully before you decided that doing it indoors will save you money over using a greenhouse.  Get some good advice on GOOD lighting to grow plants.  FYI a little compact florescent bulb in a clamp light 24 inches above a little bus tub grow bed really isn't likely to cut it.  It takes quite a lot more light to effectively simulate sunlight than most people seem to think when they first try to grow veggies indoors.

To TCLynx's point on lighting, I am running 55w & 65w (not equivalent, actual wattage) CFLs in addition to 4 foot tubes. These CFLs are big. Like, as big as my hands. And they are bright. And they don't work so well.

I have a 85 watt CFL that's designed to replace a yard light light bulb that I am trying to figure out how to fixture. 

The 4 foot tubes are enough to grow the plants, but right under the CFL 'boost' is where my lettuce starts getting that pretty red tinge to it that the variety is known for.


TCLynx said:

Lighting costs will add up so do your calculations carefully before you decided that doing it indoors will save you money over using a greenhouse.  Get some good advice on GOOD lighting to grow plants.  FYI a little compact florescent bulb in a clamp light 24 inches above a little bus tub grow bed really isn't likely to cut it.  It takes quite a lot more light to effectively simulate sunlight than most people seem to think when they first try to grow veggies indoors.

John-

  I have 2 small aquaponics systems in my dining room over winter.  I also have 2 cats that love to watch the fish through the aquarium glass in one of them.  I haven't noticed much of any smell or order in any way that would be much to complain about.  At least not more than any aquarium would give.

The costs for growing indoors using artificial lighting can be costly. I have 2-4' 4 bulb T5 lights, a 600W HPS, and another 2' T5, I am producing well, though the electrical costs of the lights, pumps and water heater comes out to about $60 month. Though there are not really any odor issues other than the natural smell of the plants. 

If you have an area in the house where you can get natural sunlight, it will help to save you money in the long run, and be more efficient/sustainable.

Hi John,

My system is indoors, and the only odor came from a poor choice in feeding my catfish, I used fish scraps, not thinking about some of it being sucked up into the grow beds. Otherwise, noise is minimal, and no odor.

My system is very simple, and construction cost was minimal.  Lighting is greatest expense in the setup.  Temperature is a factor, so keeping it in an area that has heat will help you.

If the room is well-lit naturally, that can only help your ability to grow.

The grow beds are sufficient bio-filter for my tank, and I use an inexpensive pond pump to move water to the beds, and gravity & creative plumbing for the return. My tank is a 100g and there is a 250w heater to regulate water temp.  I have 3 beds that total 80g volume.

What were you planning to grow?  That could factor in your choices when building your system.

We have an attached sunroom that is pretty much an additional room with open door most of the time. We have a 250 gal fish tank and 4 grow beds the water gravity flows from the FT to the grow beds then they drain with a bell syphen into 2 sump tanks that are then pumped back to the FT. We recently had an odor problem but I traced it to a root clogged area of a growbed. I cleaned that up and it went away. We have discovered that we must flush the lines that feed the grow beds at least monthly or the water gets a fowl odor and a dark sludge comes out. We are stocked with 35 small Tilapia & 6 good sized goldfish. Our water chemistry is maintaining at pH 6.8 ammonia .25 nitrites 0 nitrates 20-40
We contine to learn from our system and love what it is giving back to us

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