Aquaponic Gardening

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The idea is to post the overall description of your system: fishtank and GB size, pump timing and drain method, type of fish, how long it's been running, and the overall purpose you have in mind (and anything else interesting about it!). A couple of pictures would be nice.

 

I'll Start!

 

Houston Suburban Backyard setting.

In-ground "Ornamental" waterfall pond serves as both fish living quarters and the sump, averages 600 gallons. One (1200 gph) pump to lift and it's gravity the rest of the way, along a fence to my 300-Gallon Rubbermaid. Simple bottom drain so it's timed (15 off per hour) or continuous flow, depending on my mood and the fishes' and the water condition.

This has been putting water thru expanded shale for ~ a year and a half, has supported two dozen 1-2 pound Channel Catfish and two dozen Comet Goldfish aspiring to be Koi. 5 months ago I added 4 dozen cat fingerlings.

This has grown leaves and vines like crazy. Okra and Eggplant have fruited enough to harvest. Tomatoes, Chiles, Corn and Squashes grow and flower, but are under-performing in fruiting category; I suspect high pH from my concrete sump lining. If I fix the fruiting, I'll be hauling bushels to the Farmer's Market every week...

 

I had a die-off of the largest Comets, and the smallest Catfish, from last Thursday thru Sunday. The Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates did not spike nor did the pH drop, so I suspect I had some toad/tadpole toxins. Added an aeration pump and turned on continuous flow and the fish are breathing easier and have an appetite!

R.I.P. Rizzo, Orson and Braniff the goldfishes.

 

I plan to quadruple the filter/grow media, add sequencing, and drain them all thru a "hub" tank with a FLOUT.

 

 

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110 Gallon Tuff Tub

50 gallon 3x3x12" media bed

Hydroton as my growing media

250 GPH pump, always running with a bell siphon in my media bed

Fish: Have about 15 comets, 2 ryukin goldfish and 6 koi. All the fish are still at or less than 3"

 

I'd like to look into adding a 'salad raft' that would fill when the media bed drains. Mainly to grow lettuce herbs and some leafy greens in stages. I was considering a bunk feeder from Tractor Supply but I haven't gone to look at the dimensions.

 

The goal of my system is to become cucumber independent from the grocery stores as well as learning the ropes since this is my first system. I cycled the system for about 2 weeks before adding fish, and I've now had the fish in the system for about 3 weeks.

 

This really looks great!!

150 gallon Rubbermaid tank

2 x 40 Gallon tubs with hydroton media

in my garage by a window and under T5 lights

about 8 catfish and 4 hybrid blue gill

Flood and drain (15mins on, 45mins off).

Aerating fish tank constantly.

System is 3 months old now. The fish are doing great in 86 degree water. Plants could be doing better, but it's 100+ outside,and 110+ degrees under the lights during the day. Basil seems to be doing the best so far. Thai Oak leaf lettuce is doing ok. I tried direct seeding watercress, it sprouted, but then yellowed and dried up - probably because of the heat. Adding a little liquid seaweed with iron every week or two seems to be helping the plants. Nitrates are 160+ ppm. I should add growbeds or reduce some fish.

 

 

Wow, lettuce doing better than watercress, in the summer - wouldn't have thought.
With those nitrates corn would do well I think.
I'm also thinking, Adam and RW, just wait 'til you see what it does in 10 or 12 months from now!

Rick
I am very very surprised that you have lettuce of any kind with the heat the way it is!! They like the cooler weather, most likely why it is doing just ok. Your system looks great!! Still working on mine.
Rick: Thanks for starting this thread. I knew there had to be AP people in Houston. I'm up in Magnolia/Tomball and plan to have a test rig up this summer.
Adam: Nicely done wood dressing on those ugly tubs.
Adam: I looked at the bunk feeders at the tractor supply store a couple of days ago. I like the fact they come in 10' lengths and stand off the ground at a comfortable working height. Unfortunatley, they are made of the cheapest and thinnest plastic imaginable. They are totally unsuitbale for AP imo without shoring them up. My thought was to place 4x4s across the two horizontal bars supporting the ends of the frame. This should give enough support for gravel and water unless the aluminum tubing gave out under the weight. Check them out and see what you think. The price wasn't too bad at 149 I think for the 10' ones. They also come in 5'. Each 10' feeder gives approx 20sf of surface coverage and they sit about 10' deep.
Correction: the bunk feeders are approx 10" deep and not obviously 10' deep.

Hi Guys,

FT and GB are lumber lined with plastic sheeting

Fish tank: 7’x3’x32” with a 2’ water level = 314 gals.

Grow bed: 8’x4’x1’ with grow media and bell siphon

Sump: 2 55 gallon totes plumbed together

Pump:  ActiveAqua Pump 550 GPH

Grow Media: red lava rock

Constant flow  flood and drain CHIFT/PIST

Sun shade and cover for the fish tank (under construction)

 

In the process of gravel washing .  Have to wait till payday to buy more lava rock, so project is on hold.

I built my system last spring with the main purpose of testing the concept as cheaply as I could and just to see if I could actually get it to work. I spent about $200 total for my complete system.

Fishtank; 240 gallon (IBC tote with the top cut off)

Brow beds: 2 - 55 gallon plastic barrels cut in half with bell auto-siphons

Sump tank is a 55 gallon barrel about half way buried into the ground

Pump is a 1200 GPH pump that I already had. It's way too big, so I have to route most of the water back into the fish tank, but it adds great water flow and aeration for the fish.

The pump is constant flow with the grow beds flood and drain.

I have a few koi, a few comets and a few Bluegills that I caught at a local lake. I'm planning on going back to the lake to catch some more small bluegills this week.

I had about 20 bluegill most of last summer and I was amazed at the veggies I could grow even from seeds.

The heat last summer was a real problem and so I'm thinking about building a new system with a in-ground pond for the fish.

My system is a 300 gal tank in the ground with two 4X8 grow beds made out of wood and 6 mil pond liner. The media is pink granite and I use auto-siphons to drain. I use a 1000 gallon/min pump to service both beds and a 70 model air pump running 5 large stones which circle the inside of the tank. I used to have a 8" air disk in there but I changed it after I saw Rob Nash's setup.

I currently have 19 Tilapia in the system and I am going to add another 20 or so next month.

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