Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Bob Vento's Blog (24)

New DWC Raft System is in design progress ...

Ya'll,

It's been a while since I posted anything here, so it's about time ...

We have expanded our gardening area by adding a DWC Raft System. It is currently under construction and I have posted some pictures of our progress.…

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Added by Bob Vento on September 17, 2012 at 4:51am — No Comments

Here is a homemade BELL SIPHON that works well...

First of all check out this video....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDzcKgWLRf0

I have been using this design, flawlessly in my system since I built it. 

The following information may be helpful to the new Aquapon, who wants to be frugal yet have a system that is functional and thrives.…

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Added by Bob Vento on August 4, 2012 at 5:30am — 3 Comments

OMG ... What have I done ???

Folks,

We have taken such great care of our fish and plants so far however, I just realized today that to solve a snail and slug problem in our grow bed I used Corry's® Slug & Snail Pellets which I now realize is quite toxic and may kill my fish.

I thought it was an organic product and I should have read the label ! 

I have been using this product for years around the property to take care of slugs and snails without

so much as a second thought.…

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Added by Bob Vento on July 28, 2012 at 3:48pm — 4 Comments

Update from Marcia & Bob in Miami ...

Whew it's HOT here! After all it is Miami Florida.

The fish and plants are still growing like crazy! I have included a couple of pix in this posting for your review.

We are wondering when we might see our fish begin to breed. From what i have been reading and hearing from fellow aquapons, it should be starting any time now. We have been clued into what we should be looking for, by others in their behavior.

So far so good the water quality has remained stable and the…

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Added by Bob Vento on July 21, 2012 at 8:34am — No Comments

Getting into aquaponics was and is a learning experience...

As time goes on we have discovered which crops work for us and which ones to avoid in the future. For us it seems that our lava rock and stalite rock combo grow bed, in the future, will be primarily an herb garden.



I believe we will attempt a raft system for our next crops like lettuce, kale, spinach, etc.

Any newbie must approach aquaponics as a learning experience. It's hard work and above all ... a lot of fun.



I think…

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Added by Bob Vento on July 7, 2012 at 7:17am — No Comments

Update on our system and what's been happening ....

The fish are growing like crazy.

The smallest fingerlings are now the size of the biggest ones we brought home.

Ever since removing the filter from our pump the plants have exploded and are growing nicely. We did however abandon the carrots, lettuce and some others slow performers and replaced them with seasonal stuff that has taken off.

We bough an automatic feeder to use for when we are away and I have been experimenting with it for a couple of weeks and it dispenses…

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Added by Bob Vento on July 2, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Our System is now running on Solar power !!!! WOW

I completed the solar portion of my system today and as of this minute the system is under the suns power. I've included a link to all of the pictures from this project, so far and the solar pictures are at the end of the images.

Here is a list of items used;

1 - Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit                PAID $ 151.99  …

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Added by Bob Vento on June 16, 2012 at 1:32pm — 16 Comments

FISH in the tank!!!

As of last Saturday, June 2nd, we have 20 tilapia fingerlings of various sizes in our tank.



They range in size from 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" in length.

At first they were pretty stressed out and would not eat for a few days. However, Tuesday they decided I was not a threat to them and they came out to see me.

As I dropped pellets into the tank they attacked it ... as if they were hungry or something.   

They…

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Added by Bob Vento on June 8, 2012 at 10:35am — No Comments

Update on our aquaponic adventure...

The algae problem seems to be resolving itself thanks to TCLynx and others suggestion of wrapping the fish tank and blocking as much sunlight as possible. I noticed after a few days my water seems to be less green and more clean ... which is a great thing.

Still no fish in the cycling system but our chemistry has been improving. I am still doseing 2 oz. of ammonia a day and the ammonia and nitrite levels return to zero or near zero within 24…

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Added by Bob Vento on May 25, 2012 at 4:56pm — No Comments

It's been raining since Saturday SHEESH!

Can't seem to get anything accomplished this week due to all of the rain. Bought 10 bags of Stalite on Saturday and have not been able to rinse them and add them to my grow bed. Maybe later today, since they are forecasting for the rains to subside.

Anxious to get my plants going and finish cycling up my system.

Added by Bob Vento on May 1, 2012 at 7:38am — No Comments

Patience is a virtue ... even in aquaponics

I am pleased to announce progress on our system. This week I managed to buy, rinse and re-rinse lava rock for  2/3rds of our grow bed and tomorrow will be buying 10 bags of Stalite for the top grow bed layer.



The water has been cycling for a week now and has cleared nicely and I think I may net some local canal fish on Sunday to put in the tank to see if they can survive before purchasing my mating tilapia.

I am still not clear on when ammonia should be added to my system?…

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Added by Bob Vento on April 27, 2012 at 9:01pm — No Comments

Things are moving fast now ...

Picked up our IBC tote yesterday and plan to do some modification today. Also picked up a grinder and extra cutting disks and a 45 watt solar panel kit (more on that later) from my local Harbor Freight store.



Once I cut the tote, clean it very well ... then it will be time to buy and install the pipe fittings, bell siphon etc. My pump has been ordered and should arrive this week. Next will be to get the grow media, rinse it completely and fill my system for the initial…

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Added by Bob Vento on March 24, 2012 at 6:00am — 11 Comments

Finally located a safe IBC Tote to use ...

We finally located a safe IBC Tote to use for our system. I was amazed to find out what kinds

of chemicals are in those things. Many are not suitable to use for a fish tank or aquaponic use, no

matter how hard you try and clean them out.

My guy called me yesterday and said he had picked up 26 totes. I asked him to pick the best one

for me and hold it because our plans are to pick one up on Friday.

Still need to buy a grinder and some cutting disks, since I don't…

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Added by Bob Vento on March 20, 2012 at 6:43am — 2 Comments

Got our water well drilled yesterday ...

We finally got our water well drilled yesterday. About 30 feet deep and the water came out surprisingly clear after all of the crap came out and with no smell.



The well guy put some in his mouth, swished it around, spit and said we had a great well. I did the same and tasted nothing in particular. I did not swallow the water just swished and spit like him.



We have to get the water tested ... we thought about using a pool place to test my sample but don't think that will…

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Added by Bob Vento on March 15, 2012 at 7:59am — 1 Comment

Was visiting family out of town ... but we're back now and ready to go.

We had some family business to attend to, but now we are back and ready to get our hands dirty ... or I guess wet. Time to buy all of the elements we will need for our aquaponic system. Should have our system up and running by April ... whoo hoo!

Do we sound excited? YEP we are and so anxious to get started on this adventure. Thanks again to all of you who have helped in the decision making process of what to use, buy and grow.

Regards

Added by Bob Vento on March 14, 2012 at 6:07am — No Comments

WOW we have learned so much since we joined this forum ...

Looks as if we will be right on schedule with our system launching in April. Working out the last few details, ordering the supplies needed and making the space for the system. Thanks for all of the initial support and information. We could not have done any of this without the wonderful people of this forum.

Thanks Again I am sure we will have plenty of questions as we come online with our project.

Added by Bob Vento on March 5, 2012 at 10:47am — No Comments

May have solved my whole Solar vs. AC issue ...

Fortunately I have access to engineers where I work and think, with their help, I may have solved the self sustaining solar issue. Still working out the details but one thing is for sure ... it won't be cheap.



However, I can see a benefit to having such a system not only for running my aquaponic system, but also for sustaining some comfort in the event of a power failure. I will keep everyone posted as I get closer to making my final decision about this solar…

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Added by Bob Vento on March 1, 2012 at 5:21am — 6 Comments

Where we are at the moment ...

Latest checklist of preparations;



- Creating an IBC System with a minimum of 1" pipe from the pump.

  (Unclear on using a submersible or stand alone pump application ... still to be determined)



- Using a 1 1/4" stand pipe in my GB bell siphon.

- Using the flood and drain method 24/7. (Is that too much?)

- Planning on using pea gravel for the grow bed due to…

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Added by Bob Vento on February 28, 2012 at 5:42am — No Comments

When one door closes another opens ...

I'm sure you have heard that phrase before. but in Aquaponics? Sure, why not and here is why.

The place where I was going to get my IBC tote called on Friday and told me the marking on the totes he picked up said bio-hazard. I'll pass on those for sure so now what?

Found a new source locally for totes for a better price too. So don't get discouraged just keep moving forward on you project.

Added by Bob Vento on February 26, 2012 at 5:40am — No Comments

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