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My plan has changed a few times, but this is my current plan for building my backyard aquaponics system.  My drawing is pretty crude and not to scale, I know, but it's the best software I have available to make the drawing.  The grow beds will be two 100 gallon Rubbermaid stock tanks and the fish tank is a 30 inch tall x 4 feet wide 200 gallon HDPE fish tank. I've searched for a 200 gallon HDPE stock tank, but can't find one in between a 169 gallon Behlen and a 300 gallon Rubbermaid. Living in Florida I kind of like the extra height in the fish tank to help protect the fish from hot afternoon sun, but I'll definitely provide shade also. 

Some will suggest using a sump to completely drain the grow beds, but due to the extra foot print a sump would require I'm sticking to a gravity drain design.  I didn't draw the stand pipe in the grow bed correctly. I've not really determined how that will work best at this point. I'm open to suggestions.

Some will also suggest burying the fish tank deeper in the ground, but since this is an urban subdivision and I have neighbors on both sides I don't want to go any deeper than 10 inches below ground level.

The grow bed will be setting on concrete blocks. The blocks are 7 1/2 inches tall, so three of them will raise the bottom of the grow bed up to 22 1/2 inches.

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Comment by B. Pearcy on March 24, 2011 at 4:12pm


Thanks for the drawings. It definitely helps me envision he plumbing better.


Chi Ma,

I'll try the Sketchup program. Thanks.

Comment by Chi Ma on March 24, 2011 at 12:30pm
In the future if you need a sketch program use this:Google Sketchup
Comment by TCLynx on March 24, 2011 at 11:36am

here is an even simpler option

Comment by TCLynx on March 24, 2011 at 11:33am

Here is a suggestion.  I drew it up. 

You don't necessarily have to perch the grow bed up so high as that will make it more precarious and harder to reach the plants (at least to me, I'm short.)

The low water level in the grow bed will be dictated by how high the water has to come back up in the drain line to get back into the fish tank (or by the water level in the fish tank if you were to have the drain line enter the fish tank below the water level but then you loose out on having water splash back into the fish tank.)


I marked the water levels, the high water level in the grow bed is based on the stand pipe height.  The low water level by the drain going to the fish tank (you do not have to have the bottom of the grow bed above the lip of the fish tank.  You only need the low water level in the grow bed to be at the water level in the fish tank or where you bring the plumbing up to get back into the fish tank.)  so if the plumbing were to go over the top rim of the fish tank, there would simply be more water staying in the grow bed, that is fine.  You can still have the plumbing go down to the ground and back up to avoid trip hazards if you wish.



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