Aquaponic Gardening

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Comment by AlbertF on October 4, 2010 at 3:21pm
i have used drainage pipe but some people suggest that unlike PVC, which is water potable, that drainage pipes arent tested for food safety since theyre for drainage and may leach out something. ive also used tall plastic foldgers coffee cans (with holes drilled into it), small desk trash bins (with slits cut in), and in one case, a plastic drink dispenser (the kind youd use for sun tea) with slits cut into it.
in the cases of the coffee cans, buckets, or drink dispenser, i drilled thru the bottom hole and used a bulkhead to secure it, so it doesnt 'float' up.

that black mesh tube looks good, where can i find that and what was it used for (originally)?
Comment by TCLynx on October 4, 2010 at 3:10pm
Ah, in the one gravel bed there are some pieces of the filter material that is used in the tower just shading some open water over the inlet (I am also using some of the filter material as tank covers for my sump tank and the front porch tank.)

Around my stand pipes I've tried a few different things. Some of it is a plastic mesh tube to hold the gravel back. The 3" size is sturdy enough but kinda small for most people to put their hands down. I've found the 4" size isn't quite so sturdy though. I've also used just the perforated drainage pipe with extra perforations cut in it and that works too but I have not yet found the perfect gravel guard for the stand pipes.
Comment by AlbertF on October 4, 2010 at 3:06pm
in your gravel tanks there is some kind of black hard mesh that you use as a media filter for your siphon/stand pipe. is that plastic?
you can see one at 5:14. thanks!
Comment by TCLynx on October 4, 2010 at 3:00pm
What media filter are you speaking of Albert? The gravel beds are full of 1/2" brown river rock mixed with shells (I don't really recommend the shells the way I did them though but it is working.)
The towers are Nate's Zipgrow towers that have a plastic filter material in them that holds the plants secure, provides solids and bio-filtration surface area and works a bit like a trickle tower for aeration as well.
Comment by AlbertF on October 4, 2010 at 12:53am
whats the media filter made out of?
Comment by dano on September 30, 2010 at 9:46pm
Wow! I have so much respect for you on you're system, just amazing. I have to rely on my own ingenuity here as I need to remain indoors in Colorado. I'm trying to get off the grid with my system this winter so no Florida trip for me this year,[I'm building a $40k solar system for $7500] but next year I'd like to stop and say hi. Wonderful work on your part!!
Comment by TCLynx on September 28, 2010 at 6:28am
Well as you can see, some of the beds are not growing food but actually a living privacy screen of bamboo and we also have lots of bananas in that use up lots of nutrients but only occasionally produce fruit. This has kept production down on the veggie side to a reasonable amount. What we don't eat or share with neighbors/friends goes to the ducks/chickens and BSF/worm bins. Like with Okra, it often doesn't get picked in time and the hard pods make nice slow release food for the BSF bins. Truth is, in summer here it is hard to get an overabundance of anything but yardlong beans, okra, basil and sweet potatoes so not hard to keep up with the produce in summer. Come the cool season there can be lots of lettuce and other greens but luckily any extra is greatly enjoyed by our chickens/ducks.
Comment by Gus Cabrera on September 27, 2010 at 10:01pm
That is absolutely phenomenal. What do you do with all the produce? Just curious.
Comment by TCLynx on September 27, 2010 at 6:47pm
I can easily show off the gravity modified indexing valves. At this moment I might be the only one with them though the manufacturer has the springs to make more of the 1" and 1 1/4" variety. We still need to do more testing on the 1 1/2" size to get the right spring length before I would recommend selling them.

The wicking mats. Darn, where the heck did I order that. Ah, search for Capillary Matting and it should give a better result I think. Here is a link to where I probably ordered mine. I only got a small chunk of it to try out last year and never got around to playing with it till now.
gardeners supply
Comment by Sahib Punjabi on September 27, 2010 at 6:33pm
Really enjoyed the tour of your AQ garden. Thank you for sharing.

I have to check out the "Gravity Flow" index valve and those wickering mats are neat (where are they available?)

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