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Aquaponics

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by Snowypinesridge, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    That sounds like a great space for an AP system Demosthine. A popular beginner book can be seen here. I learned a lot from various forums, like BYC, but my favorite seemed to be backyardaquaponics.com. It's a pretty dense site, but there are folks from all over the world working things out and posting there.

    Determining flow rate is somewhat debatable. I like to turn over the volume water in my tank at least a couple times an hour, some people do less, some much more. A lot depends on other variables, like grow bed size, tank volume, stocking density, etc. Once your tank cycles you really don't ever need to change the water. You will have to add some water regularly due to loss from evaporation and transpiration. Learn about the nitrogen cycle, that is critical. Everything else flows from that. Also, remember that there should be no metal in the system and everything should be fish-safe. Good luck on your new endeavor!
     
  2. KBNAZ

    KBNAZ Out Of The Brooder

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    We just finished our first season of growing blue nile tilapia here in Tucson. We are members of the Tucson Aquaponics Project group now as well. We used a spa from craigslist and it worked great! So great in fact that we are now trying to overwinter 100+ baby tilapia in our laundry room. You can check out our system and our trials and errors on our blog: .http://www.ideascometrue.blogspot.com

    I am very interested in the solar heater idea.
     
  3. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    What a small world; I recognize you guys! We were all at Manzo on the same day buying our tilapia from Moses. You system looks fantastic! I'm also a bit envious of your indoor overwintering system. [​IMG] This first cold snap over the weekend had me very worried that I'd be processing all of my fish. Fortunately, I've been able to keep the water temp up above 62 and they're still feeding and doing well. Hopefully, this warming trend will afford me enough time to get the greenhouse completed. I have the solar heater built, but not yet set up to test how well it will work.

    Oh, BTW, [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  4. Snowypinesridge

    Snowypinesridge Out Of The Brooder

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    Demosthine,

    Your right there is a ton of information out there now. When I started there was very little information. A lot of what I did was by the seat of the pants and trying to use logic. Many of the systems that I saw had too much electrical input. I wanted to use logic...water flows pretty easily down hill for example.... The most important thing you can do is....Have faith in yourself. If you make a mistake...no problem...you now know what not to do. Also HAVE FUN!!! :)
     
  5. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I've sourced an 8-person spa (7'x7') that I will be picking up for free on Sunday. That'll be the start for the fish tank. From there, I have a basic idea of the layout, but I'll have to iron out the fine details, like using a sump tank at the bottom to maintain the water level in the spa. From the sounds of it, I can have it pump water from the sump in to the spa via the water jets. The "rising" water will flow out the drain tube at the water line into the grow beds and ultimately flow back in to the tank. The problem with this idea is getting the sump large enough to hold everything flooding the beds. I'll have to calculate that all out before long.
     
  6. KBNAZ

    KBNAZ Out Of The Brooder

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    Yup, that would have been my hubs in the picture, who you saw at Manzo. Small world! We have a bunch of glass for a green house too, but no time to build. I look forward to hearing about your solar heater.
     
  7. smilingcat

    smilingcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    wow!! I'm just blown away with all of you...

    Having a solar heated green house and year round growing was pretty advanced but you guys are taking it a step further. I think I want to combine some of the aquponics with deep organic growing method. Adding fresh water fish as a renewable and sustainable method really makes sense.

    chicken is good, egg is good. vegetables of all sorts are really good but being able to add fish would be a big plus. And from the sound of things, it doesn't add much more in operating cost once the system is setup. I like that. Have you any idea on the cost per pound of fish fillet? It seems like fairly low maintenance. And water usage? do have to think about that too.

    I wasn't too keen on raising meat rabbit. More critters to attract unwanted wildlife. Fish will be in a tank so less attractive to the wildlife.
     
  8. KBNAZ

    KBNAZ Out Of The Brooder

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    The only time our water bill has increased noticeably is when we turned on the hose to add water, forgot, and flooded the yard (really clears up the water though!). We now have a timer on the hose and can set it for 15 minutes to top off the pond. In the future we will add a float to keep it filled.

    I read somewhere that the fish can actually eat chicken manure as part of their diet... which would be double recycling, so I want to do more research on that. I guess some people have actually made it so the chickens can perch above the fish tank and their droppings can go right into the water. Seems like you would have to have them in a wire cage for that, which I am not willing to do.

    Price of raising the fish really depends on the quality of feed you buy and whether you feed supplemental foods like worms and duck weed. For us, it's worth it! They are sooo delicious and we were able to trade some of our filets this year with our neighbor who got an elk when he went hunting this month!

    It is relatively low maintenance as long as you let the system cycle and get a proper nitrogen balance, then keep the water flowing at all times for good oxygenation. We run a single waterfall pump from Harbor Freight for most of the year. We add a small aerator pump during the hottest months of the year.
     
  9. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is the Submersible Waterfall Pump the one you are referring to? I was looking at pumps the other night, but it has warnings against it. Page 4 says "Area of use" and then lists "1. This pump is designed for use as a Pump
    in an area not used for swimming. 2. This pump is not intended for use in areas containing fish or other pets." Just curious as to the reasoning and if you had any problems. Perhaps it gets clogged easily or there is an electrical leak that they don't want to fix. Or they just don't want the possible liability of something going wrong. The other reviews are just awesome, so it's really quite tempting, especially with a 20% coupon, of which I have about six sitting around the house at the moment.
     
  10. KBNAZ

    KBNAZ Out Of The Brooder

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    That's the one. We put it inside a filter we built, so that helped. It did die within the first year, but we got the warrantee and swaped it out. Still very worth it in my book, because the flow to our waterfall is great, and every other kind of pump we have tried in the past has only lasted about a year. The filter design is on our blog... We made it out of a large plastic pot.

    If you design your system with the fish first, then the grow beds, with the pump in the last grow bed in the series, you will have less chance of clogging because you will be pumping clean water. Since ours is in with the fish, we have to keep an eye on it and clean it.
     

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