Any recommendations for pumps that will lift 6 - 8 feet at very moderate flow rates (even 30 gal/hour would be fine)? I'm looking for something for a vertical setup. The little fountain pumps at Home…Continue
"Catherine, do beware the extensive lengths of NFT style growing methods can have very detrimental effects on temperature fluctuations in extreme climates. In hot summer desert situations long runs of NFT pipes Or tower sorts of things can…"
"I have just upgraded my bottle system to a vertical bottle system using two liter bottles. It is not fully loaded as I am still tweaking (as seen by the crazy plumbing job). I should have 60 plants or so in a 36 square foot space…"
"Well, you're ultimately limited by square area - not width. Almost every commercial grower uses more, narrower troughs.
Hey, 2" Dow blue board costs almost $50 a sheet here, what with shipping! $16 sounds great. It does need to be 2"…"
"Strapping wrapped horizontally around the trough will not keep the trough from bellying out in the middle. I have had good results from 2 approaches -
- nailing a length of 2 x 4 across the top of the trough, and
- putting stakes outside the trough…"
"Dustin, you might try regular spraying with Botanigard. It's expensive but safe to use right up to harvest, and controls a wide variety of pests. Many tomato wilts are carried by bugs, and the idea is to keep the bugs down, so stary spraying…"
"For a small, low-flow system you really don't need one. Remember that the bacteria and other organisms (Gammarus water fleas) do a lot of processing. Some material settles harmlessly to the bottom of the troughs, you clean it out every few…"
"Christian, what are your nutrient levels? Light? temperature? are your plants showing any signs of distress such as yellowing? If you pick one up, does it have lng healthy roots? Impossible to even guess what's going on without more information!"
"well, I like to maintain circulation 24/7. If you're getting aeration this way, as I am, you need it as much at night as by day, and it ensures that nutrients and O2 are always mixed. Turning pumps on and off can be hard on them, or they can…"
"Rick, a good flow rate is 2 -3 gallons per minute. Pump sizing is going to depend significantly on how far you have to lift the water. Many pumps will have more flow and less lift than you need. One piece of free advice - if you're…"
"I've had guppies in my raft system for years. Didn't set out to have them, they came in with some wild-caught fish. Never caused a problem, except that when I have to drain a trough I don't like to kill them, yet they're a pain…"
"I set up several years ago, used flat white latex house paint. On a later system I used beige, because I had some around and would have had to go by white. I believe the white reflects light up under the plants and for some that may be better. It…"
"I'm also on Kauai (HI, Giorgio!) -- I tried these on my black tilapia and they wouldn't eat them. I think Bob Horn tried them on his golds, same thing. I might be interested in trying rabbit food for iron - can anyone tell me how much is a…"
"True. I just don't think there's any margin for error with the virulent strains of E coli. Fortunately, it's easy to make aquaponics systems pretty much bulletproof on that. I love the fact that I never have to supplement anything…"
"there are a lot of good systems out there with plenty of bacteria and no gravel, just smooth surfaces. As soon as you get any plants in, their roots will provide lots of surface area, too. Roots that look all clean and sterile are nonetheless…"
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I'm a science teacher running an experimental/educational system at a small private high school in Hawaii. I've been doing it for 2 years, constantly improving. Currently System 1 has a 1000 gallon fish tank feeding 9 4 x 8 styrofoam floats and some taro in milk crates, System 2 a 100-gallon stock tank feeding 2 4 x 8 floats. Our fish are tilapia, black or red, kept much more for fertilizer than for eating. Numbers have varied a lot; in our big system we had a fish disease last year and went to very low nutrient levels, which prompted a complete re-start. Small system has been stable with as few as 15 fish (only one float planted) and as many as 30. We've had good results with lettuce, basil, tomatoes, Thai winged beans, onions and taro; so-so with eggplant and peppers.
Please tell us something else about yourself.
I'm an engineer by temperment, a builder and biologist by inclination, a manager by history. I moved to Hawaii for a more relaxed lifestyle - ended up working harder than ever, poor in money, but loving most of what I do. I teach biology, marine science, green technology, math, and coach robotics; ever chance I get I snorkel or dive.
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Thanks for joining the Aquaponic Gardening community! I hope you find it a fun place to explore aquaponics. There is a real blend of experienced and new aquapons in this community, so please don’t hesitate to join in. Always thrilled to have experienced growers join us – please post some photos of your system!
A great place to start is to read the How to Use This Site link on the upper right corner, “Start Here” section of the Main page.
Thanks again for joining us, and I look forward to getting to know you.