Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Browsing through the AZ AP posts, it appears to be customary to introduce oneself. I stumbled upon AP in a free E-book from Amazon. I'd like to start a system and right now am in the "research phase". I live halfway between Vail and Sonoita and hope to go off-grid soon. My main concern is the pumping requirements for an ebb and flow system. Right now I have enough solar capability to handle most of my household needs but adding a 24/7 water pump may be stretching it. I have a lot of reading to do.

Dave

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Welcome, I am a newbie also.  Started building my system the first of Aug., got it running in the middle of Aug. and finally have bacteria the end of Sept.  My only advice is to be patient, that bacteria does what it wants.  As for the power and pump, look into airlift pumps.  With the use of a one way valve and a hole dug next to your water tank you can lift enough water for an AP system and use very little electricity to do it.

Welcome Dave, I am happy you found us! I would recommend you not think about an ebb and flow system, I would recommend you research a small raft system that requires very little pumping. Dont have to mess with media, water is cheap!

I also prefer rafts but more Nitrification is provided by media beds so for a beginner I feel media beds are easier.  Ebb & Flow consumes the least amount of energy because the pump does not run 24/7 and is the simplest design because no bell siphon is required.

A lot depends on amount of space available for the aquaponic system.

BTW I used to live right next to Rita Ranch.  At that time 1977 there was no water or electricity.  It was an adventure for me when I was younger.  Now I can't live without the A/C 

David Schwinghamer said:

Welcome Dave, I am happy you found us! I would recommend you not think about an ebb and flow system, I would recommend you research a small raft system that requires very little pumping. Dont have to mess with media, water is cheap!

Please be aware that there is a difference between "ebb & flow"... and "flood & drain"...

Flood & drain fills the grow bed from the top... and is drained back to the sump/tank independantly...

Ebb & flow... fills the grow bed from the bottom.... and when the timer stops.... drains, drags all the solids back down through the pump... through the common pump/drain line...

Ebb & Flow is a hydroponic technique... and IMO.... has no place in aquaponics....

 

Pacifichydrostar One-Sixth HP Submerible Utility Pump 1350 GPH Max 23 FT Lift Max 1 In NPT Output

I use 2 of these, one for my tank and one running on sched for my media beds.

Pretty economical.

Available from Harbor Freight for approx $60,00/ea

@RupertofOZ - If the ebb & flo system is set up correctly it will provide adequate aeration to fish and media , and be less expensive to run.   For a small back yard system that can be the difference between an expensive hobby or a cost effective garden.

Why are you opposed to ebb & flo?

RupertofOZ said:

...

Ebb & flow... fills the grow bed from the bottom.... and when the timer stops.... drains, drags all the solids back down through the pump... through the common pump/drain line...

Ebb & Flow is a hydroponic technique... and IMO.... has no place in aquaponics....

Bob... if you mean a timed "flood & drain" system... then absolutely, it's the least expensive way to run a backyard aquaponics system...

The distinction I was making... and it's one that's often misunderstood.... is the difference between "ebb & flow"... a hydroponics technique.. that pumps (relatively) clean water..  upward into the grow bed media... then drains back down through the same line, back through the pump....

And "flood & drain"... which pumps "dirty" (aquaponics) water... and fills the grow bed media from the top.... where upon it is then drained back to the tank... "cleaned".... but via a seperate drain line... and not through the pump...

 

Dragging solids in, and back out a pump.. ala "ebb & flow".... back into the fish tank.... is just not an optimum strategy in aquaponics...

 

In hydroponics, with no fish.. it doesn't matter... and ultimately the spent water/nutrient gets dumped anyway...

 

Both "ebb & flow"... and "flood & drain"... are timer based "overflow standpipe" systems.... but "flood & drain" can also be a continuously pumped, and siphon drained system, whereas there's no such thing in an "ebb & flow" system...

Flood and Drain

Ebb and Flow - 

...this diagram is from the glossary and terms section...sometimes a picture helps...I'm with Rupert on this one...Not sure why someone would want to set up an AP system this way, but apparently some folks have begun to...

You have made a good point.  Thank you for clarifying your reasons.

RupertofOZ said:

Dragging solids in, and back out a pump.. ala "ebb & flow".... back into the fish tank.... is just not an optimum strategy in aquaponics...

welcome. i'd been lurking here about a year or so (don't remember exactly) but finally started going out to meet ups in the Phoenix Aquaponics community and then yesterday started setting up a couple tanks at home. We'll see how it goes :) There is a lot of reading, but I found going to meet ups the most useful, that and going to classes

I have drawn a system that would use the ebb & flow method and return clean water to the fish tank.  Water would be held in the settling/filter tank while the pump is on.  Then the clean water would return to the fish tank when the pump is off.

An overflow would allow excess water to flow back to the fish tank. 

interesting bob. A bit more complex than what I see a lot of people doing but not much. 

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