Aquaponic Gardening

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My name is Allen Bridge and I live in Red Deer, AB. I would like to connect with others in Alberta. I am thinking of starting a small indoor garden to experiment before spring. Any suggestions or help would be welcomed.

Cheers 

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Hi Allen, while not in AB but next door in BC, I have a small indoors (winter) and outdoors (summer) system. I would encourage anyone to try an AP setup. We have been eating fresh greens for over 3 years and that in itself has paid for the initial start up and operating costs. It takes a while to get everything balanced, but if you are patient and follow the excellent guidelines posted on this site. I don't think you should experience any major problems.

Ian;

I appreciate the reply. Are you running a fish tank setup?

Yes, I have a fish tank although not of the glass kind. I use a 90 gal. Tuff Stuff stock tank. I will be getting a 1000gal unit this spring to put in the inground green house that is currently in the drawing stage. My system is a modified CHOP, with 2- 45gal biofilter/growbeds, and 1- 3'*4' raft. Total 24sq.ft.

Hi Allen - Just read your blog from last March.  Have you got an indoor system up and running yet?  I live in Wainwright and we just set one up about 6 weeks ago.  We have about a 50 gallon fish tank sitting on the floor.  On a table above it we have 10 tubs that we bought at WalMart for 6 bucks each.  Bought some PVC pipe and fitting and drilled holes in each end of the tubs.  Attached the PVC pipe and fittings and joined them all together.  Now the water flows into one tub and through all the connecting tubs and then drains back into the fish tank.  We have 5 rafts with greens in the right now.  The garden is just starting to took root now.  Lots of roots in the water and they seem to be growing well.  

I set up a 20 gallon tank with a single tub above with clay pellets. My current problem is getting the bell siphon right and flowing properly. Would love to share pics and get some pointers.



Deb Truman said:

Hi Allen - Just read your blog from last March.  Have you got an indoor system up and running yet?  I live in Wainwright and we just set one up about 6 weeks ago.  We have about a 50 gallon fish tank sitting on the floor.  On a table above it we have 10 tubs that we bought at WalMart for 6 bucks each.  Bought some PVC pipe and fitting and drilled holes in each end of the tubs.  Attached the PVC pipe and fittings and joined them all together.  Now the water flows into one tub and through all the connecting tubs and then drains back into the fish tank.  We have 5 rafts with greens in the right now.  The garden is just starting to took root now.  Lots of roots in the water and they seem to be growing well.  

We use a small pump to pump the water from out of the fish tank on the floor up to the tubs on the table.  It pumps through about a 1/2" but that was filling up our tubs to fast, so we installed a valve that we can turn on - off to regulate the flow.  We have the water throttled back to about 1/2 and that works perfect.  

I have a small pump from the fish tank to the grow bed and my fill flow is about every 15 min from flow to drain. My problem is it sometimes doesn't drain properly so I need to fix the bell siphon. From what you have indicated your not using a bell siphon, correct?

Correct - I do not use a bell and siphon.  What I did was put in a stand-up drain pipe that is about 6" tall.  When the water in the tub get over the 6" it flows out of the stand-up pipe. and back into the fish tank.  My water levels remain constant at just under the 6" mark.  Actually it's a bit more water than 6" but all the tubs have the same amount of water in them.  It constantly circulates, constant flow in and constant flow out.   

Allen, what are the dimensions of your bell syphon, pump size, and estimated flow rate. It's really hard to figure out what might be wrong without more info.

Allen Bridge said:

I have a small pump from the fish tank to the grow bed and my fill flow is about every 15 min from flow to drain. My problem is it sometimes doesn't drain properly so I need to fix the bell siphon. From what you have indicated your not using a bell siphon, correct?

Deb;

We so connect sometime as I am in Red Deer. I have set up a similar system to yous and so far all is weel.

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