Me vs Aquaponics

So since have this shiny new catagory, i figured id share something im attempting with the class...

This is or will be ( or has been depending on when you read this) me sharing my adventure into the world of Aquaponics...

For those who don't know what Aquaponics is, a quick read here will give you the basic idea

Essentially, it is a hybrid between Fish farming ( edible or decorative ) and growing plants Hydroponically...

The advantages of Aquaponics over normal hydroponics, are that you can not only grow plants but also either an edible fish crop, or as in my case just keep decorative fish, and even better, there is no real need fertilize the water as the fish are handling that for you as well... And most aquaponics systems are also widely regarded as more efficient then normal hydroponics in both space and energy consumption, due to the ability to essentially grow Two separate "crops" in the same physical space...

As an example, i was speaking to a gentleman from Australia last week, who in the last 5 years, has averaged 250kgs of assorted fresh vegetables and around 50kg of edible fish crops every year... in a space the size of an average carport and at the cost running a few pond pumps and feeding the fish...

As with anything done DIY you can make it as ugly or as pretty as you like... and as large or small as your heart desires... time for some pictures i think...

For myself personally, im aiming for something big enough to give me a decent output of seasonal veges and a constant supply of fresh herbs, (No, not that kind of herb... but you could if you wanted too...) while keeping it a reasonably temporary set-up in order to keep my landlord happy....

Unfortunately ill be limited to a decorative fish stock, due to local laws, as the only eating fish i could legally keep require vast amounts of almost ice cold water flow, and more space than is practical in an suburban environment... but im not going to let it stop me, just means ill have a goldfish pond instead lol.

At this point i have a 2nd and bathtub heading my way to use as a pond, and the basics of a Flood Tray to place my Growbeds in... And possibly and old pool pump buried in the shed somewhere i can possibly use aswell, though i may decide to go with something different, not too sure yet...

Feedback, suggestions and questions are all welcome... maybe i inspire you to give it go yourself?

Or you can just call me Dunce and leave me too it lol

Either way ill update as things progress, or decisions are made.... but for now i need a drink....

EDIT: 15 nov 2016 progress report...

Bathtub arrived, makes me happy... more info at post #62


How does the upside down shelf system drain from one tray to another??

Edit: wait does it have a T splitter (whatever they are called) that pumps to the top two trays at the same time??

Good luck with it, it's a fun hobby.

I've had a system running for about 7 years now.

Mine has a 2000 litre pond & 2 large grow beds. I also have a fitting on the pump connected to a garden hose, so I can water plants that are not in the system with the nutrient rich water- handy between seasons when you don't have much growing so the water quality doesn't go bad.

Which part of the world are you in?

If your climate allows, I've found basil to be a great year round herb. The 2 I have growing now are about 4 years old & flower almost constantly, which is great for keeping bees happy.

im not sure with that particular one....

nevermind... found the site with the instructions for that one

Sweet that hose setup sounds great for growing root vegetables that are prone to rot or slow/small growth in a aquaponics system..

Im down in little old New Zealand...

Thats not a bad idea with the hose, not ideal with only a bathtub for a pond.... but when i actually get around to buying a house i plan on doing it bigger and better =)

Out of curiosity, are you using edible fish as well? or just decorative?

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I hadn't heard of it to be honest... but it looks quite interesting...

Would be a hell of a balancing act trying to keep the water quality up....

@Dr-Shade , How's the water quality in your neighborhood (i mean pH and salt, not microbes)?

If anyone needs a guide, I have a pdf of around 100 pages that I saved from an ex client who delved into the business. I'm not supposed to share it, so if you want it just PM me. It's mostly from the book "Complete Aquaponics Guide" by Green Acre Aquaponics, but there's also some powerpoint slides in there if I remember correctly.

I also have a bunch of other aquaponics related pdfs but I think those are google-able.

Commenting so I can keep an eye on this thread, I've always been interested in this. Don't have the room for it right now but maybe one day. :D

Other herb recommendations: rosemary, thyme, and sage. I am keeping all three indoors right now and they seem pretty dang hardy.

This is awesome, I've always wanted to do some aquaponics, currently in a rented apartment though with no space outside so not hugely practical, definitely in the future if I can ever afford my own home I'll try it out. I'm very interested to watch your progress and learn from your work in anticipation for getting my own set up.

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As you know @Dr-Shade I have this

Edit:Also bought this last year around the Christ mass time because it was less than $50 was the cheapest aquarium I could find which is sad but all the ones on craiglist were to far away from me to be worth the cost of driving to get it..

and forgot I bought this..

also have some hose/tubing..
And yeah that pump is weak I know I bought it on a, damn I need to sleep delirious whim for about half the price of it now..

Now just get a few litter boxes for $3 a piece and make some bell siphons..Was thinking of make a three tier system(if the pump height allows it) where one bed drains into another..Might just make it and set it outside when it is not fall/winter around here..

Oh and there is a 80-100 gallon aquarium in the house my mom will be renting and then buying..I will put it to use at some point..Then move onto IBC tote scale system..I am just afraid to make a system to large, because that supposedly creates a new set of problems..

I think I might use the Murry Hallam's style system for the tote scale system..

Oh god the RGB is slowly spreading everywhere

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Yeah I just bought it because it was cheap and might work for my needs.."Might..??"

That should work out alright... At least your small scale plan with the litter boxes lol

Actually, a small scale one like that you Could Throw A Small (150w Ish) aquarium in, then set it up in one of these,
Which you could no doubt pick up cheaper than that over there...

Then you could keep it operating year round...

I had Barramundi in it initially when it was set up in an old IBC, but I had to heat it over winter, so switched to silver perch, which are happy in warm or cold water.

Decorative fish will be fine though. Are you allowed to grow Koura/freshwater crayfish? They could be a cool alternative..

I've grown basil using something similar to the Kratky method- basically just used a chunk of packing foam from a TV with a few holes in it for the plants roots to be fed through. It floats around on top of the water. Great for keeping pests away. I have to have a cage over the pond now for council regulations, so can't do it any more.

Spring onions grow great too, if you can get some from the supermarket with the roots still attached, just cut them an inch or 2 above the root, plant them & they grow back. You can then just trim & use as needed.

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Naw I would not buy that..
I have 6 or 8 cattle panels lying around..I could make a green house with..My mom was wanting me to make them into a chicken coop..But that was before she got the option to be a truck driver..
I could do something like this..

But I would only make it 8' long because I do not have that much angle iron laying around 36'..I would use the angle iron as a base instead of wood..But I do have enough scrap pipes from an old collapsed portable garage to add extra supports on the inside where this guys is using wood..I could really stress test my cheap flux core welder that cost me $

On a funny note..I was able to buy angle iron of amazon cheaper than in store and that includes shipping..

Yea, I could do Koura, but the main issue with them is that they're extremely territorial... So It would have to wait until I buy land, and can upsize considerably... That and local law means I would have to find them in the wild and catch them lol

I had heard that spring onions take off like weeds in aquaponics systems, I'm quite keen to give cucumber a go as well as they can be difficult in a convention garden due to their love of moisture lol

That is curious... How did you find the quality though?

I have a feeling the hardest thing i'm going face as far as the construction of this project, is figuring a way plumb an old pool pump into what is essentially an irrigation system...

Quality is the same as my hardware store that is 20+ miles away.Which is good because I bought so much it came from three suppliers.

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