Robert, in a media based system you don't separate the solids - there is no need. then the media becomes your bio-filter. If you have answers to people's questions in here please respond on the thread! It would be most appreciated, I"m sure.
I don't dump any water!!!!! Well unless it rains so much that the sump overflows. That is the beauty of Aquaponics, you don't have to do water changes because in a properly balanced system the plants take up the nitrates and therefore you don't have to do water changes unless something goes very wrong. I've currently got a 300 gallon fish tank system with 90 bluegill eating high protein feed and the nitrates are only 5 ppm.
Even in by big system where the nitrates are currently about 80 ppm, I'm not gonna change water and I probably wouldn't even worry about it till the nitrates were way way off the chart. When cool weather hits and the fish are not eating as much the nitrates will drop to nearly nothing when the cool weather crops start growing well for me.
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 get in there and start asking questions. Everyone is quite happy to help out new members – no question is too basic.
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 Home page. You might also find the “Aquaponic Gardening Rules of Thumb” guidelines helpful.
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Thanks again for joining us, and I look forward to getting to know you...I love your profile image, BTW.