Aquaponic Gardening

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I've been chatting with Gene in the background about him starting a new system and thought it would be more beneficial if we bring the conversation to the group for more input. So all of you Michigan Aquapons that have been hibernating invite your friends and let's get this group going.

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Gene, what type of grow beds are you planning to use?

You're a good motivator Jeff, thanks for opening the door.  I'll post my floor plan as a new post for others to view.

Good to see this group, I am about to start a small aquaponics system in my home, one or two 4' by 4' gro beds, and stock tanks with Blue Gills.  I will be putting it together in March after I finish moving. I am in northern MI near Lake Huron. Most of the equipment minus the stock tanks and pvc are from a Hydoponics place in Omer, 'Watch It grow.com'. It will have about a 12 times a day flooding and draining. The tanks will have in-tank aeration also.  A small system, tired of $ 3.48/lb tomatoes. Using the expanded clay nuggets. I used them with excellent results on a Koi pond filter.

I am looking forward to reading about plans and going operations. I started with the Sanders/McMurtry  system of NC U after some raised ground pool systems of Koi.

Welcome to the group. You'll find all kinds of help in the forums and various groups. Keep us poste as your plans progress.

Thanks Jeff

I am looking forward to it. Its been too long since I got my fingers wet. A lot more products available now then even a few years ago. I am debating two small systems, using the 4' by4' grow beds, each with a stock tank. There are 3 hydroponic dealers within a 100 miles now. That's awesome to me from 'the old days'.

The only thing I've bought from a hydro store are the expanded clay mainly because of shipping weight. Most everything else (except plumbing) I get online. Hardware and plumbing come from the big box stores. I'm in the Detroit area so there's a lot to choose from locally.

Welcome Yaacov Levi, nice to see another Michigander getting their feet wet!  I'm definitely looking forward to organic produce; better taste, less expensive and the satisfaction of know where it comes from.  The other day I rehydrated some dehydrated tomatoes a friend gave me and put them in chili.  Amazing great taste and texture, looks like I'll be doing a lot more dehydrating veggies.  Also did some potatoes and fried them up with some eggs for breakfast, amazing they were like cooked, fried fresh potatoes!

I just re-read over your post and noticed your cycle times. The rule of thumb is to cycle your fish tank at least once an hour to keep the water clean and oxygenated. I don't know a thing about Blue Gill but I assume their water needs to be on the clean side.
 
Yaacov Levi said:

Good to see this group, I am about to start a small aquaponics system in my home, one or two 4' by 4' gro beds, and stock tanks with Blue Gills.  I will be putting it together in March after I finish moving. I am in northern MI near Lake Huron. Most of the equipment minus the stock tanks and pvc are from a Hydoponics place in Omer, 'Watch It grow.com'. It will have about a 12 times a day flooding and draining. The tanks will have in-tank aeration also.  A small system, tired of $ 3.48/lb tomatoes. Using the expanded clay nuggets. I used them with excellent results on a Koi pond filter.

I am looking forward to reading about plans and going operations. I started with the Sanders/McMurtry  system of NC U after some raised ground pool systems of Koi.

I am doing a lot of updating now but, the original testing systems on this were by McMurtry and Sanders at NC. You could still google their tests and results a couple of years ago I know. The grow tanks were well oxygenated between flooding cycles.

I expect I will have a number of adjustments and modifications on mine from their test systems. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

This is an older study but the science doesn't change much. They are doing a larger system but the info applies to all systems. I highly recommend you check this link out. Do you have the link to the McMurtry and Sanders info?

Attachments:

I found the McMurtry info several years ago for a friend so will search again today.

You are right, the science doesn't change, but the technology improves. 

Jim Rakocy is to me the Tesla of aquaponics.   One thing he emphasizes in working with Tilapia is that solids removal, whether a settling tank or filters is a must. That is something that anyone working with must have. Here in our part of Michigan we get power outages which to me eliminates them for my area. They don't last long, but even 48 hours could be major losses.  I think Bluegills or Yellow Perch are better for me here. Just for fun and pets I'd like Koi. But I am leaning towards Blue Gills, and even a breeding of one strain from Ohio. If, I can find them. I have more stock tanks then I will use unless I can get room enough for using 3-4 of them.

There is a Koi group online, one excellent part of it is some of the great filter systems that some have. The 'Bakki' system is about state of the art in a simple water moving system, using the expanded clay pellets. Well worth googling. The Japanese breeders have a LOT of money into their breeders and exhibition stock, and the Baaki is a low tech system they trust and use.

Here is one of many links to McMurtry-Sanders System at NC, and write ups to a number of others:

  1. www.aces.edu/dept/fisheries/education/documents/...
    resulted from the North Carolina research. Dr. Sanders explained that aqua-vegeculture ... A case study. The Growing ... North Carolina State University: McMurtry, ...

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