Aquaponic Gardening

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I have recently developed a system using pvc, before I develop this idea I wanted to know if anyone has done this and if so how were the results? I'm looking to get into the aqua ponic but I need some advice before I jump off the cliff without a soft landing zone.. ANy thoughts or ideas I would greatly appreciate it thank you

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I am now trying to set up a PVC system as well a I want to be able to go vertical to maximize space. I have see some pictures but do not have more than that. I am still in the set up / testing stage.

Youtube aquaponic grow towers. I youtubed alot before I found this site. It helped.

 

Are you talking PVC pipes? If you use the same PVC that's used for garden irrigation, you'll be fine. If you scavenge, you have to be careful about how it was used prior. Chemicals can leach into materials and affect the health of the system.

Our greenhouse frame is made from 3/4" pvc & is covered with plastic. The two supporting poles are 6" PVC, and we'll be making them into grow towers so they'll both grow and support -- dual purpose.

Great idea Sheri with the dual purpose!

 

Most aquaponics systems have PVC pipes.  I'm not sure I understand quite how you are planning to use the PVC to make an aquaponics system.  Keep in mind that aquaponics is more than just a fish tank, plumbing and plants.  The filtration is the MOST important part of the system, if you simply pump fish tank water to PVC pipes of plants or PVC towers of plants without filtering the water first, you will have some issues.  An aquaponics system can get by for a time without plants or without fish but without filtration either of the other parts work very well.

Where is the ideal spot to put filteration, before the PVC run or after? My plan is to pump the water into an "A frame" run of PVC pipe, a total run of 8 x 20Ft, followed by 3 half barrels filled with gravel and plants. The PVC will have lettuce, a total of 176 heads. I was planning to place a filter running into the PVC and presume that the barrels leading back to the pond will also act as a filter.  Any thoughts?

Oh...I also planned to run some airstones in the pipes...probably after every 2 lenghts.

Yes the barrels will act as filtration but you will need to filter the water before you send it to the NFT pipes or you will have lots of problems.

Also, long runs of NFT can heat up or chill water quite a bit depending on the weather.

I was a little concerned about the heating as I live in the Tropics....this time of year is not too bad but as we hit June- August the heat really kicks in....suppose I have a few months to figure that out...LOL...the NFT system is really best suited as I am working will limited space.

Thank you that information is very helpful, do you use composting worms and micobes?If so how do you integrate these into an NFT system? what plants have the best results in the NFT system you developed?

Sheri Schmeckpeper said:

Are you talking PVC pipes? If you use the same PVC that's used for garden irrigation, you'll be fine. If you scavenge, you have to be careful about how it was used prior. Chemicals can leach into materials and affect the health of the system.

Our greenhouse frame is made from 3/4" pvc & is covered with plastic. The two supporting poles are 6" PVC, and we'll be making them into grow towers so they'll both grow and support -- dual purpose.

Nate, we just added worms recently, but we're not doing NFT. We use flood & drain media growbeds, but we also float plants on our tanks; not exactly a proper raft system, but things grow! In our rafts right now we have strawberries, tomato and some mint. Normally in the NFTs you can grow any leafy plants-lettuce, herbs, spinach, etc. Root crops grow strangely or not at all. I'm not sure about larger plants, like broccoli. I'm sure you can grow them, but it might not be practical given the space they use. Experienced NFTers need to check in on that. :)

Shane, I live in the desert where temps can get to 120 degrees, and we do OK. We just learn to work around the heat. We're in a dry climate so evaporation, as annoying as it is, also helps with the cooling. We take advantage of shade, location, etc. My own system is in a greenhouse with a water cooler. Since you're probably in a more humid environment you need to work it a little differently than we do, but it sounds like you're doing good things!

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