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Thread: Aquaponics

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    DIYFK member usacomp2k3's Avatar


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    Aquaponics

    I know this isn't strictly fish keeping, but I just got my first aquaponics system set up. Using my old 20g glass aquarium for now to house the fish and pump. Have a 10g plastic tote on top with river pebbles as the substrate. Built a bell siphon which work fantastic.
    Right now I'm just growing some cheap collards that I found at Walmart. If this works then I'm going to upgrade to a real setup with slightly more permanent plumbing and such.
    For fish, I just got a dozen comet goldfish for now. Will probably go with tilapia next to round so they can be eaten and not just as waste factories.

    Has anyone done any aquaponics. I love to hear your stories.

  2. #2
    DIYFK member worthless's Avatar


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    I have yet to try but I plan on doing one on a large scale when I by a house
    My name's Adam and I'm a fishaholic

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    DIYFK member Ewb46's Avatar


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    There are a few guys locally doing this with leafy greens and clay medium using convicts.
    Bow Down to Washington

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    Head Moderator AussieDIYFK's Avatar


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    im just about to put a down payment on an outdoor hydro setup but can be converted to aquaponic
    very simple but keep in mind the level of nutrients will not be as much as hydro method there for less results in growth of herbs-vege's. still worth a shot and would be fun to do

  5. #5
    DIYFK member usacomp2k3's Avatar


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    Here's my setup:

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    DIYFK member TheRick's Avatar


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    My friend tried to get me into aquaponics but Wasn't really interested. He uses tilapias and grows lettuce

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    DIYFK member ggdh's Avatar


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    Nice thread! I hope that people will post more ideas. Here is my tiny system:

    The idea was to make it as leak-proof as possible and for a start i decided to put it inside the tank. As for now I have no plans putting there any vegetables, it is just a proof of concept and possibly an addition to my filtering system.

    Click here to enlarge

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    I got those bigger plants from ebay, about 10 days ago. 15cm roots after 10 days? It is a success in my dictionary Click here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member usacomp2k3's Avatar


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    I like that one. Thanks for sharing.

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    DIYFK member ggdh's Avatar


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    I am trying to find species of plants suitable for aquaponics that will hang from the pot and possibly touch water and will not rot away in no-time. Something dense and bushy.

    Any thoughts?

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    DIYFK member ggdh's Avatar


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    After 2 months (2nd pic just after planting for comparison):

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member fiesta90150's Avatar


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    can you put fish in that?

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    DIYFK member ggdh's Avatar


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    Erm... What? Where? Click here to enlarge You mean the tank?

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    DIYFK member fiesta90150's Avatar


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    yeah lol

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    DIYFK member ggdh's Avatar


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    Sure! I have a bunch of little fishes (guppies, mollies) and 2 10cm+ brittlenose plecos. Plants work great in nitrate breakdown department Click here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member donanton's Avatar


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    In aquaponics, you need a very overstocked tank making lots of waste. Preferably use a bio filter as big as the tank to maximize surface area. I had 5 3" goldfish in a 50 gallon tank and barely grew leafy greens.

    AussieDIYFK- theres plenty of nutrients if you properly overstock the tank. Plus you dont have salt buildup (from the hydroponic fertilizers) and you only need to add water as it evaporates, no water changes needed.

    I'm going to sink a stock tank into the ground and put my goldfish into it as a pond/aquaponic tank. Then grow greens to feed to the fish.

  16. #16
    DIYFK member the_yazata's Avatar


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    I was planning to set up an aquaponics system in the near future. No intention of eating the fish, being that I'm vegetarian. I was trying to figure out the problem of wet roots. I think what I'll end up with is a sump and an aquponics system on the same tank with two separate pumps. The aquaponic one on a timer so the roots don't stay wet. The sump on all the time so the tank has access to de-nitrifying bacteria all the time. Still working out the details and doing lots of research.

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    DIYFK member nstvartak's Avatar


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    I just set up an aquaponics system down in the basement. I used two rubber made containers, 1 18 and 1 10 container with a bell siphon. I'm using PlantIt clay pebbles, as my grow bed media and just trying to keep goldfish down below. Currently I'm having a real problem trying to keep my pH at a healthy level. The tap water comes in around 7.5, and 12 hours later its down down to 6. I've done several water changes, and that doesn't see to make a difference. Sadly I've had to bury 4 comets at sea so far. Luckily I have 1 remaining that is holding out. Any ideas as to what might be causing the huge change in pH?

  18. #18
    DIYFK member donanton's Avatar


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    theyazata-
    I had a finely running system where the roots were always wet. To solve the rot problem I had aerators and the water always moving and splashing somewhere to keep enough O2 in the water.

    nstvartak-
    Are you using feeder comets? They are notoriously ill bred and cared for before you get them. I have 5 3"+ comets that i dont really take care of at all and theyre fine. Are you letting the tap water sit overnight before putting it in the tank? This will allow the chloring to off gas from the tap water.

  19. #19
    DIYFK member nstvartak's Avatar


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    donanton - No i am not. I'll try that tonight and see what happens to the ph before doing anything else.

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    DIYFK member donanton's Avatar


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    ok, id say check the ph before and after you put the water out just to check if the ph changes. once the tank's water of gasses it might change the ph. plus if you werent leaving the water out to off gas before putting it in the tank, maybe the dissolved chlirine was burning the fishes' gills, which can kill then.

  21. #21
    DIYFK member nstvartak's Avatar


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    Let the water sit over night and until I got back home from work. The pH may have droped .1 or .2, but not as drastic as what's in the aquaponics system, there I'm going from 7.5 to 6.0 or lower. I'm trying the test again now. I put a bubbler in the water as well as the piece of lava rock that was sitting in the tank. If that doesn't do it, guess I'll test again with the hydroton.

  22. #22
    DIYFK member mitchb's Avatar


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    What about adding a ph buffer, maybe oyster shells or something like that? When the ph drops the shells are eaten away. I like them in my tank as it is a good buffer that can be visually inspected to see if it needs replacing or not. Crushed coral also works.

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    DIYFK member nstvartak's Avatar


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    I just added some shells so we'll see what happens.

    Also I've noticed this buildup of something on my pebbles in the grow bed. It's almost like a salt build up, any ideas?Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

  24. #24
    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    what is happening is the plant's are pulling all the minerals out of the water which is causing the PH drop, what I suggest is adding some argonite gravel substrate to your tank to act as a buffer, and get an aging barrel that you can store water in and add your other stuff like potassium, and other minerals to your water, a head of time, put an air stone in it which should mix it up and help speed up mixing and off gassing, then use this water for your system, this should help stabilize your ph so it's not yo-yo on you, the more hardness you have in the water the more stable it will be, and as stated you will need to stock that tank more in order for you to really get any real benefit from the fish so they produce more nitrates to fertilize the plants.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

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    DIYFK member nstvartak's Avatar


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    Is there a site or reference places I can look at for these mineral additives? There's so much more to this than I thought, as you can see I went pretty basic on my build, I thought once getting things going the only input would have to be the fish food.

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    DIYFK member nstvartak's Avatar


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    Well after having a fee plants wilt away, I just added 20 feeder goldfish to the group of 4 i had left (I think 1 comet and 3 feeders). At this point I don't even really care if the plant produce food, I just want to get them growing and not die.

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    DIYFK member CichlidPadawan's Avatar


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    I would love to set up something like aquaponics or hydroponics. I'm not really sure the difference. With all the waste and nitrates my Africans produce I'm sure I could get something to grow.



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    DIYFK member cfosgate's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by CichlidPadawan Click here to enlarge
    I would love to set up something like aquaponics or hydroponics. I'm not really sure the difference. With all the waste and nitrates my Africans produce I'm sure I could get something to grow.
    As I understand it Aquaponics uses fish waste and Hydroponics uses fertilizers (no fish.)
    Using Tapatalk

  29. #29
    DIYFK member nstvartak's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by CichlidPadawan Click here to enlarge
    I would love to set up something like aquaponics or hydroponics. I'm not really sure the difference. With all the waste and nitrates my Africans produce I'm sure I could get something to grow.
    That's the eventual goal I have. Right now I'm just using rubbermaids and gold fish, eventually I'd like to upgrade to a display tank and a large grow bed.

  30. #30
    DIYFK member ggdh's Avatar


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    So I though it is time for an update of my plants after ca. half a year:

    CAM00338.jpg

    CAM00339.jpg

    I must trim plants every two weeks, otherwise the reach water and are nipped by fishes and rot. Second reason is that the basking spot lamp is frying them in no time.

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