Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Experimental Mini-System

I used this mini-system as a precursor so I would know what to expect when I got my 55 gallon tank in.

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Comment by Emma Lysyk on February 22, 2010 at 1:33am
Oh! Another important lesson learned is to make sure the shelves upon which my system is sitting must be able to take on some water. I almost ruined my desk with a leaky tube because I didn't realize the varnish wasn't waterproof.
Comment by Emma Lysyk on February 22, 2010 at 1:29am
I blogged about my initial mini-system here: http://www.em2astudios.com/2010/02/aquaponics-fish-and-gardening-en...

The most important things I learned were:
- To be careful of the materials I use. Since the fish are an essential piece of the system, care needs to be taken to utilize food-safe and aquarium-grade materials where you can.
Examples: Miracle Gro's Perlite contains chemicals that could have made my fish seriously ill had I made this a live system. The caulk I used had an anti-microbial agent mixed in that would have made my fish ill as well.
Solutions: Hydroton was substituted (was going to use aquarium gravel and river rocks, but the Hydroton was cheaper) and aquarium-safe clear 100% silicone caulk is my new caulk of choice.

- Tubing is measured in 3 measurements: The Inside Diameter (ID), the Outside Diameter (OD), and length. Make sure your connectors match both the Inside AND Outside measurements.

- If you do decide to go with gravel, make sure it is a hard rock that leaves no dust when disturbed. When shaken, marble will create dust, even after the water runs clear.

Last, but not least:
- Grow lights are expensive and unnecessary. A daylight spectrum (about 6500 degree K) fluorescent light bulb in a desk lamp is all you need, and costs significantly less!

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