Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I guess I should have introduced myself here rather than thru a message, my name is Scott and I live in Laveen.  I've have been raising parrots for 20+ years and my family has been raising Miniature horses 1999.  I am on this site because of the horses, my vet told me to add goldfish to the 150 gallon stock tanks to keep them clean and entice the horses to drink more water.  After doing some research and a link from my brother, I came to a crazy idea of turning the horses water into an aquaponics system.  The water will be cleaner and healthier for the horses and I am getting a second use from the tanks.  So here I am.

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It will take a couple months to acquire the bacteria necessary for clean water.  In the mean time you should probably let the horses use a different trough.  The problem will be placing the vegetation in a place the horses can't get to, or maybe growing something they will not eat would also work.   LOL what would that be?

Read up on 'cycling'

Welcome, Scott. What a great idea!

Bob hit on the key issue--keeping your plants away from the horses. But with a little creative ingenuity, it could be done! There's a person in Phoenix who uses a spa for a pond, and the plumbing runs underground to her planter beds. There's enough space between the two for a fence. This type of design might be a starting point, perhaps? Have you thought of a design yet?

As you do your research, feel free to ask questions!

Welcome!!  And that sounds very interesting!

Welcome Scott

  In case you're wondering; galvanized horse troughs are not ideal because they leach zinc, which is hard on the plants, however your well seasoned troughs maybe a different story.  My grow bed is 30 feet from the pond, so remote locations work. 

....anyway...Welcome to the group!     You will be have quite a bit of fun with your system especially with lots-o-space to play with!  good luck!


The horse property pasture is about 500' x 150' with a 10' breeze way down the center.  Each side is cross fenced into 5 separate pastures which gives us 10 pastures of about 70' x 100'.  Each pasture will have a 150 gallon tank for a total of 1500 gallons.  One end of the tank will be in the breeze way about 18" with the rest being in the pasture.  We are going to create a shade that will cover the breeze way and the shade will also extend out both sides into the pasture area to create more shade for the horses.  All of the plant beds, pvc, pumps, etc. will be along the both sides of the breeze way under the shade.  This will be a long process, but I think it will be fun, educational and healthier for the animals and us.

You may also wish to join the Laveen gardening group on Facebook. Here is the link:

Where should I buy a water test kit, I would like to see what condition the stock tank water is in, with fish and without.

I just get my test kits at petsmart. All you need is the little freshwater aquarium one.

Welcome to the group.

BTW I live near by and would love to see your place. Let me know.

Yes, get one of the API kits that test PH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. If you have time, go online & you can save about $10. If not, print the ad and go to Petsmart & ask for a price match. If they won't, try another Petsmart. It's all up to the manager.  :)

Not sure what we have that you would like to see, just a bunch of horses standing around trying to stay cool, but I don't mind showing people the horse life.  Might want to wait until monsson ends and it cools off a bit.

Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. said:

BTW I live near by and would love to see your place. Let me know.

I joined the group to do the exact same thing you're doing, Scott! I'd love to be efficient as possible by using an aquaponic system to provide my horse with clean, constantly moving water, while growing vegetables and herbs for myself and the horse. Could you give us an update on how it worked out for you? From what I know I think the main concern is keeping the water chemically balanced. Because the horse drinks the water.. wouldn't adding water to the tank that often be bad for the tank water? Is shade your only means of cooling the water? Any other major issues with using the aquaponics tank as a watering tank for the horse?


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