Aquaponic Gardening

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Any body attempt to grow in winter using hoop covers in zone 5 ,if so changes required

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I'm in 6B, what changes are required?

P.S. outside , under eaves , S side ,bottom and sides 1"rock wool insulation ,adjustable water depth ,hoop cover could be twins against covered porch .

Robert ,That was a question .There is a lot of info on this forum ,getting specific answers is hard at least for me! Been flying by the seat of my pants ,I am doing things a little different ,in that my pond is a closed loop ,My aquaponics is also a closed loop .I discharge my pond SC filter into two separate 150 gal RM watering troughs ,one small pump fed to two wicking tables ,adjustable reservoir depth 1" up (1" free flow grid on bottom)adj. height outlet (3/4" pvc) I'm growing in containers (of varying depth ) plant specific containers have numerous holes in bottom , screened w/ 1/8" screen , soil , compose ,puralite mix .One is 12' Long 30" wide other  8'x30" size and depth also vary , plant specific .attempting to control moisture and air to different plants needs. Both were constant flow aerated during summer months ,mainly to maintain mosquito control ,(no seals around containers ,good even flow stopped the little buggers!) The other trough feed Gravel , bell siphon grow bed and the third Wicking table 5'x4' set up same as first ,second is same but different from other two. Fish water is regenerated every wk to ten days in summer and make up water added to pond .Old water from troughs goes  to in ground tomatoes and peppers ,to make room for recharge . For lack of input , I am in the process of building hoop style closures for each ,except for GRAVE GB which will be as , is less water  till spring ,Removing pumping and aeration and manually water if and when needed.

That is the problem doing things different ,But I started late and would not take a chance killing all my fish ,If cycling did not work or contamination from soil or anything else was wrong ! I learned a lot .grew some good crops ,herbs, beans ,squash, peppers, tomatoes ,cabbage (lettuce bolted started too late ) Chard ,marigolds . Started fall and winter stuff .now to cover and see what works and what doe not . Should work out ,we will see . This last killer frost got my big tomato plant s only half covered ,should have enough to ripen till xmas . I hope all this made sense ,as you can see this is all the same but different too! Carl

Sorry, I mis read your post.  I thought it to be a warning, but could not figure out about what.  I'm still experimenting with my wicking bed.  its not in my greenhouse, and in fact to give it water, I pull off 5 gallons from my aquaponics system and carry it around the house.  I put pvc hoops, LDSPrepper on youtube has a really nice instructional vid on hoop building out of 1/2" pvc--but I put a centerline down mine.  Then covered with 6 mil plastic.  I ran out of greenhouse film, so this is your basic home depot variety which hopefully will last the winter.  My greens seem to be doing great thus far and the onions and leeks are still doing well.  I'm planning on overwintering the onions and leeks in hopes of getting some decent size by summer.

I wrapped my hydro system in the same plastic and heat the feed solution to 60 degrees.  So far everything seems happy even though dealing with 29 degree temps. 

I had a major catastrophy in my aquaponics system last night/yesterday afternoon...  Something separated one of my main 2" returns and I dumped over 1000 liters of water.  I thought I was going to be ok, but in the end, my tank heater fried.  so now i'm entirely reliant upon heat from the greenhouse to warm my tanks.  In the end I lost two gold fish, and a couple hand fulls of minnows, so I consider myself really lucky.  So the experimental lab is giving me quite the work out.



Robert J said:

Sorry, I mis read your post.  I thought it to be a warning, but could not figure out about what.  I'm still experimenting with my wicking bed.  its not in my greenhouse, and in fact to give it water, I pull off 5 gallons from my aquaponics system and carry it around the house.  I put pvc hoops, LDSPrepper on youtube has a really nice instructional vid on hoop building out of 1/2" pvc--but I put a centerline down mine.  Then covered with 6 mil plastic.  I ran out of greenhouse film, so this is your basic home depot variety which hopefully will last the winter.  My greens seem to be doing great thus far and the onions and leeks are still doing well.  I'm planning on overwintering the onions and leeks in hopes of getting some decent size by summer.

I wrapped my hydro system in the same plastic and heat the feed solution to 60 degrees.  So far everything seems happy even though dealing with 29 degree temps. 

I had a major catastrophy in my aquaponics system last night/yesterday afternoon...  Something separated one of my main 2" returns and I dumped over 1000 liters of water.  I thought I was going to be ok, but in the end, my tank heater fried.  so now i'm entirely reliant upon heat from the greenhouse to warm my tanks.  In the end I lost two gold fish, and a couple hand fulls of minnows, so I consider myself really lucky.  So the experimental lab is giving me quite the work out.

That's a Bummer, I don't have a green house, I just moved One tank and two  wicking Tables against  the south westerly rail of the southern facing porch just under the eve  1/2 in 1/2 out gets plenty of sun ,and is protected by the house ,may be able to use hoop frame to shade noon day sun ,with some shade cloth .can get very hot here noon to 4 , June  to Sept. Should allow more control with little effort .Right now ,attempting winter fixes , hoop frame should provide enough ,I could add a lean to narrow green house frame outside of that easily if needed and just add drop flaps on porch .I think , I may have to skirt the tables ,just have to wait and see .Will be draining 330 gal bio filter and S&C after water hits 45 degree mark and use souped up aeration and small circulation pumps thru winter in both ponds. Leaf screens really work well .Will pull UV lite this week till spring . Fish winter over here like that last five yrs . Let me know how you progress.   

Wow,,
I guess this thread is dead, here it is 9 November 2014, a year later..  I will try to revive it.

I wonder why You don't design Your wicking beds, so You can pass the water through them and not get contamination from the soil?  My wicking boxes have the water passage seperated from the soil by weed cloth.  I use a soil wick to wick water up into the soil.
This has been my first season and so far I have had good results, although, I have had most of the boxes too wet.  I am going to modify them to have a lower water film.  I took my design from non circulating boxes which depended upon the water level lasting 3 days to a week.  With a constant film of circulating water, I need only about 1 or 2" of depth.

Here is a picture of my wicking boxes.

I am in zone 5 (I think) And just set up 3 IBC wicking beds. I plan to cover them with plastic in the winter but not sure if that will sustain them in the winters like we've recently had. Any thoughts or alternative (simple) heating ideas?

Jeff,
I live in zone 8b so I keep the water circulating because of the filter needed for my Koi pond.
I fall planted broccoli and carrots that I harvested in February.  No heat other than what the sun provided.
Here is a picture of the revise system, taken about 2 weeks ago.

Hi Paul. Nice set up you have there. I'm in lower Michigan whatever zone that is. I got into aquaponics 2 years ago and never had the desire to dig in the ground but started watching (too many) YouTube videos and was trapped. I patterned my wicking beds after Rob Bob's design. I also have compost beds, a worm farm, 3'x16' raised bed, and am in the middle of a 7'x20' garden for perennial veggies. Not to mention my 8'x20' greenhouse where the aquaponics goes on, at least part of it. The rest is in my basement. I did at least opt to forgo a pond even though with my low backyard I get one after every big rain.

Hi Jeff,
I inherited the pond when we purchased the house.  I have been forced to greatly modify my aquaponic system because I fight algae.  Here in zone 8b we get very few freezing nights so algae will grow even during the winter months.
The floating wicking bags are an attempt to shade the pond as much as I can from the sunlight.  You can see one float with holes where I attempted to do floating growing directly in the pond, with a diaper to keep the fish at bay.  It didn't work because the roots just became coated with algae and the plants did very poorly.  So I switched to the grow bags, filled with a coir mix and a wick into the water.
I use a fake chamois as my wicking material.  I get it locally for $1 for a 2X2' sheet.

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