Aquaponic Gardening

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Comment by Jim Troyer on July 23, 2013 at 11:42am

Try those trees in wicking beds plumbed through your AP system.  They need root support in the wind.  I have also seen large trees suspended by a cable system...

contact Bob Campbell regarding air lift pumps, he has done research on them:

Comment by Duncan Cooley on July 23, 2013 at 12:57am

Thank you very much for the feed back and information

Doing it your way at the top also means saving on fittings and makes it very simple.

I had thought about the tower swinging problem and have found some guttering that the 4 inch, 5 inch tower pipe fits into very well. so I was going to cut out 2 semi circle holes at the bottom of the tower and use the guttering to transport the water back to the sump tank and seat the tower on the bottom of the guttering to help with the weight .

with regards to the water temperature would using 2 IBC tanks help control that as here in Jakarta, Indonesia it very rarely goes below 29 degrees and up to 35 degrees.

Do you have any thoughts on an air lift system of moving the water from sump to fish tank, how high can this type of water be moved up vertically.

I am also going to try growing Californian Papaya trees and the local Indonesian Papaya trees in a fill and drain up right barrel system. 

will let you know how I get on with all this .

Thanks again for you thoughts and advise greatly appreciated.



Comment by Jim Troyer on July 23, 2013 at 12:14am

Hi Duncan:

Towers work, there are some issues with them however.

  • Towers become root bound really easily.
  • The water gets too hot in some applications, common problem with any NFT system in sunlight.

Your design has merits. 

You will want to:

  • Control the bottom of the tower so they don't swing in the wind.
  • Suggest you hang the towers from a 1" or 1.5" PVC pipe as shown below with through holes in the tops of the towers, string the towers onto the water feed pipe.
  • Cut slots in the top of the watering tube with a skill saw to water the towers.
  • Putting the slots in the top of the tube keeps them from getting plugged so easily.
  • Make the end cap removable to remove unwanted solids from the water feed tube.

towers work well for small leafy plants like lettuces, strawberries are good too. Whereas most fruiting plants are too large to support the fruit with the stunted root ball.

Let us know how they work!

click for larger image

Comment by Duncan Cooley on July 22, 2013 at 11:05pm

Hi JD Sawyer, 

I am very new to aquaponics and would like to know, if you think my twist on a tower system would work or not.

How cost effective is a tower system compared to a raft system. I was reading a blog about raft systems and it said that they are the least cost effective way of using space.

Looking at your set up, I would think you are a commercial grower and as business is all about figures, I thought you would have a very good grasp on those.

I have enclosed a picture of what I think would work here in Indonesia, as some things are very hard to get hold of.

Your thoughts would be very appreciated,

best regards,


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