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HOME SWEET HOME => Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects => Topic started by: Ludi on August 07, 2011 09:18:39 AM



Title: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on August 07, 2011 09:18:39 AM
Here's the 300 gallon aquaponics system I'm setting up for Bluegill and Channel Catfish.  Two 150 gallon tanks and sump.  Growbeds will be at the back (not built yet):



More about aquaponics:

http://www.aquaponics.net.au/aqua1/
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/
http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/index.php
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV9CCxdkOng


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: MissingWillow on August 07, 2011 01:37:16 PM
Very interesting.  What will the grow beds be made out of and what will you do with the fish?  We get ours from a traveling fishwagon.


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on August 08, 2011 10:24:23 AM
The growbeds will be made from 55 gallon plastic barrels cut in half.  We plan to eat the fish.   :)


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on August 17, 2011 08:24:21 AM
Been working on the system a bit. 

Here's the growbed support I built:



Scrubbing out the growbeds:



Future new sump tank because the present one isn't deep enough:



Setup.  There will be more growbeds along the side:



Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on August 29, 2011 08:55:48 AM
Incremental progress.

New sump tank and floating island grow beds:



Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on September 13, 2011 10:19:04 AM
Floating islands growing basil, chard and lettuce:



Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on September 17, 2011 01:41:58 PM
Got a couple more tanks and moved things around a bit.



Why is there always a giant rock right where I want my sump tank to be?



Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: mlheran on September 25, 2011 04:03:15 PM
Very cool! Thanks for sharing your progress, keep up the great work!


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on September 27, 2011 11:22:01 AM
Thanks! 

Here's the present layout:



We had our first aquaponic salad last night!



Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: tomico on February 28, 2012 07:55:29 PM
My friend and I have just become enthralled with the idea of aquaponics. I'm obsessed with figuring out the varieties of vegetables that are best for the pH ranges and the varieties of fish that would work in our zone 6 climate. I think we may be using ebb and flow with Hydroton grow medium.

How is the floating system work for you? Are you going to experiment with more varieties of vegetables and or fruit? Have you been using any varieties of vegetables that normally grow in ponds rivers or lakes such as lotus, duck potato, or water cress? Are you using a single type of fish or are you using a variety?

There are a variety of options and varieties within each option. It will take me some time to plan out my system but the possibilities are exciting.

Tomico


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on March 21, 2012 03:28:26 PM
Fish!





Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on March 21, 2012 03:32:00 PM
How is the floating system work for you? Are you going to experiment with more varieties of vegetables and or fruit? Have you been using any varieties of vegetables that normally grow in ponds rivers or lakes such as lotus, duck potato, or water cress? Are you using a single type of fish or are you using a variety?

So far watercress is doing the best, though chard did well in the flood and drain bed.  The lettuce pooped out quickly because of not enough nutrients (no fish at that time).  Now that I have fish I'll probably try more veg in the floating islands, and I have Tiger Nuts and Pickerel Rush growing in the half barrels.  I have Hybrid Bluegill and Channel Catfish fingerlings now (got them today!)  :)



Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on September 01, 2012 03:18:13 PM
I think I might have forgotten to post an update after the catastrophic failure of the system because of not having a large enough pump.  Got a new pump, and new fish (Bluegills only).

(Almost) everything is doing well.  Even some terrestrial plants doing ok, these Chard and Cucumbers in the flood and drain bed:



Miniature Egyptian Lotus is growing well but not blooming:



I thought the American Lotus was dead but it grew back and is trying to compete with Duck Potato.  Also in this tank are native Narrow-leaf Cattails:



The half-barrel beds overflowing with Duck Potato, Taro, Lizard's Tail, Pickerel Rush, Louisiana Iris, Bamboo, Tiger Nuts.  I'm going to replace these barrels because they have a tendency to leak and drain the system, so I've been keeping their taps turned off.  Because I turned off the flow of water, my Watercress died.  Oh well, can't win them all!



Fish house in August:





Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: tomico on March 21, 2013 01:08:22 PM
   I'm fascinated by aquaponics. I was unaware that Texas had a zone 6 area. My area in south western PA is also a a zone six area though it is best to find things that grow in both zone 5 and 6 just in case.
   My friend who introduced me to this system has been frustrated by all the information for a warmer area and little concerns for the cooler climate  we must consider. Have you had more luck? There seems to be some interesting things going on in Chicago.
   Have you experimented with companion planting? I have been researching the reasoning behind many of the companions and enemies and was curious if it would be best to just keep the enemies at the end of the system or if leaving those completely out would be best. Mostly I was interested in the plants that exude allelopathic  chemicals.
    Have you had any success with legumes? I have read that they don't do very well in aquaponics.
    Sorry if I seem to wonder in thought. I just am curious as to how others have succeed of have had challenges.

Tomico


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on April 01, 2013 07:26:56 AM
Sadly this big project was a complete failure for me.  I kept killing my fish.  :(  I think I do not have enough grow bed space, and since I don't want to spend more money on it, I'm giving up.  :(  This is hard to admit.  But this is not the project for me.   :'(  I'm slowly taking the system apart and will sell the parts on Craigslist.  I think for the right kind of person, with attention to detail, this could be a good project.


The water project I should have done in the first place is a small garden pond, which I have since done and am quite happy with.  I've moved a lot of my water plants into it.  Frogs are already having tadpoles in there.


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: tomico on May 02, 2013 04:01:50 PM
That's too bad. I picked up Aquaponic Gardening by Sylvia Bernstein. She said that you need to start with a 250 gallon system for stability and that weekly checks of the pH are needed once it has been stabilized. Dead fish can change the the pH drastically and quickly. I'm sorry you had such a tough time. I hope the pond works out better.

Tomico


Title: Re: Aquaponics
Post by: Ludi on May 08, 2013 06:40:46 AM
Thanks, the pond is doing great.  :)