Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


San Diego Aquapons

A place for San Diegans to talk and meet.

Location: San Diego
Members: 19
Latest Activity: Aug 27, 2018

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Cycling at Startup, Nitrites

Started by David. Last reply by David Mar 5, 2015. 2 Replies

So I set up my system last December 2014 and I was "cycling" initially just by circulating water for a couple of weeks. I added some lettuce, basil, brussel sprouts and onions in the growbeds with a…Continue

Tags: startup, cycle, Nitrite

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Comment by Emily DeJoode on March 4, 2015 at 10:38pm

FYI: Aqualibrium system (
I got one via a friend who supported their Kickstarter. I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

Its pretty, and it does work/function.

However, it is obviously designed by people who didn't try making their own standard and ugly AP system. There are many little tweaks anyone who built their own system would make.

The LED lights are nice. The pump is ok. There's no timer included though. It uses a siphon, and you can't really mod it to fully drain. I've had it running for about a month now.

I've done some mods to mine, and plan to do more. Right now I just have it running on a Fertilizer Tea-Bag and sprouting things for me. I plan to try out some guppies in it. Too small for goldfish, imo.

Comment by Emily DeJoode on January 21, 2015 at 1:36am

I had someone "help" me water my outdoor 55g drum system - using the hose - without telling me, and I didn't find out till after half my fish had died. So I lost that running system.

I have an IBC + a few 55g ready for another outdoor system.

However - I'm testing out a 5g bucket, lid netpot, drz, air-lift pump, fish, indoor system now. I'm hoping to have something that my mom can use in Minnesota, on a small scale, in her apartment, without having to spend much.

Right now I have the total cost around 80'ish. I've had this going for only a month so far (w/tomato), going to test it for another couple weeks (its doing spectacularly) and then start 3 up simultaneously: fish, compost/worm tea and plain-water with probably some mint or something similar.

I've been pondering doing a tomato-only farm setup, in the backyard, and either sell at farmers market or to local restaurants/markets. Not going to rush it, have a regular job also!

Comment by David on January 18, 2015 at 9:22pm

Hmmm, not much activity in this group. Is everyone still APing? I just picked up some channel cats from Alpine Fishery - about 20 blues and 10 albinos. My new system isn't done cycling so I am holding the fish in a 20+ gal cooler and keeping an eye on the ammonia.

I have 175 gal in an IBC with 5 GBs. Currently I have ammonia at 4 - 5; Nitrites at 5 and nitrates at 20. pH was 7.5 but climbed to 8 recently. I'm still hoping it will go down as cycling progresses. No fish in the tank but I stopped adding ammonia hoping it will come down and I can introduce the catfish.

Already transplanted some leafy greens and sowed some spinach seeds. I am having a problem with patience...

Comment by Jacalope on February 26, 2014 at 2:53pm

Hi All,

I'm here in SE San Diego near Paradise Hills-Spring Valley area.  Just started AP last July '13...... Learning, learning, always learning sometimes the hard way but at least I know how not to do things!!!  I have 1 IBC and 6 GBs + my little tilapia friends.  I rigged up a little "control unit" (if you're interested you can see it here). 

Comment by Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. on July 4, 2013 at 3:31pm

I decided to clean up the aquaponics today. So after an hour or and 14 pounds of cutting and weighing and bagging, it looks like it has not been touched. And I learned the dang birds have been eating my fruit!

Comment by Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. on July 1, 2013 at 9:43pm

Greetings All. I live in Phoenix Az, but I am also a part time San Diegan flying low down I 8 or I 10 to I 15 into town about once a month. (Did my masters in marine biology with a focus on tilapia aquaculture at SDSU). Looking forward to learning more about aquaponics in SD.

Comment by Gerald Bush on April 27, 2013 at 8:54am

My name is Gerald Bush. I am a part time San Diegan but my Aqua setup is in Corona just up the 15. We have converted our track house into an urban farm with front and backyard gardens, greenhouse and tilapia.

I am interested in joining your group and sharing my experiences and learning from others. if you will have me.

Comment by Brad Moreau on April 13, 2013 at 9:45pm


I'm Brad out of  Oceanside, Ca. starting up my system, going to be using  two ibc 275 FT w/ a 300 gal sump, four raft beds - 4' x 8'  eight 1/2 barrels w/ gravel, flood & drain  ten vertical towers. FT's one trout, one catfish. trout tank will have 2" rigid foam insulation board on sides & top. cooled by 316 stainless  1/2" soft tubing 100' long ran through a small refridgerator. ( thats my plan anyway) still workin the bugs out .this is my first try @ aquaponics, so its a learning experence 4 me, any feed back would help !!! my ft's are cycling for the first time, so I have a couple weeks or more to finish build. will post pic latter when more is done

Comment by Emily DeJoode on February 22, 2013 at 9:39pm

Used food-grade is always good, I've only bought used, and I've yet to see anyone advise getting new.  New food-grade would be as good, but new non-food would be bad.  You can always use a longer process for cleaning/airing/testing the used ones.

For Glenn, have you run any systems with other fish?  I've run with big pond/comet goldfish so far, which are low-care.  My only real issue had been tank cooling, due to its small size (55g) and location (I did have a heater though, for the same reason as you).

I've been thinking about sinking the tank into the ground, or having a sub-tank underground and cycling water to level out temps.  Tank temp is really my main planning hurdle right now.  The rest I know how to handle.

Comment by Jason Finn on February 22, 2013 at 4:31pm

That's awesome to hear this group is fairly active. I have a question for the two of you (Glenn and Emily). You guys said SD drums and totes is a good place. I visited there to check out the totes and bought some barrels and was happy to see his stuff and talk to him about it. Did you guys buy the used food grade totes or did you buy new (he said he just got them)?

I was considering going new because its guaranteed to be uncontaminated but if you guys had no problems with used then I will reconsider. the price is like double if I go new and I was thinking of getting 10 totes total so its like a grand $$$ difference (literally!). Plus he said he doesn't make as much profit on the new ones and I'd like to help a brother out

And Glenn, I may be interested it checking out your system some time but it would have to be in the future (couple months maybe) because I am not quite ready to perfect my design yet (installing cisterns now, building greenhouse after, then building aquaponics in the greenhouse).


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