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Thread: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

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    Default Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    I wanted to share with others who may be interested in aquaponics our first small home set-up that my husband designed. We just turned it on yesterday. There are a few small bugs to work out but it works like a charm. Of course we haven't added any plants yet but I hope if there is anyone else out there doing this they jump in and offer any information and experiences they have found worthy to share. If you have ever had a successful fish aquarium you can do this.

    The tank we are using now is 55 gallons but ideally we want to get a 75 gallon for the breeding colony of tilapia which we hope will consist of one male and five females. This was not expensive to set-up. We got the tank and the growing medium off Craig's List. We even got a 15' intex swimming pool for free for our grow-out container for next summer. I am going to post some pictures now to show the design and then come back as I have time to provide a detailed explanation of how it works. I will also come back from time to time to show how things are progressing. The beauty of this is that it can be run off of solar panels with a 12 volt bilge pump (in case of power outage or being off grid), it is completely organic, and you only have to replace the water that evaporates. No weeds or stooping over anymore, and best of all, fresh produce all winter long.









    Last edited by spiritwind; 4th October 2013 at 00:14. Reason: uploaded pictures incorrectly

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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    Here are some more pictures. There are a lot of videos on aquaponics on the internet but not that many books really to choose from.



    The black pipe fits over the white pvc fitting and creates a siphon as it fills.


    The next two pictures show the grow bed filling up (doesn't have the grow medium in it yet).




    The water has not begun to flow back into the aquarium yet. It goes down about one third of the way and the whole process takes about 45 minutes. We may have to speed it up. Alot will depend on your fish to plants ratio.


    Once the water in the grow bed reaches the bottom of that white cap it triggers the siphoning action and the water begins to flow back into the fish tank. So, you dn't even need a timer.


    You can see the water has begun to flow back into the tank in this picture.
    Last edited by spiritwind; 4th October 2013 at 00:37.

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    Palestinian Territory Avalon Member thunder24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    i can not see any pics?!
    OBADIAH 1:21
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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    Hmmm, they are showing up on my end. If I am not doing something correctly (being my first thread and all) I could use a bit of help.

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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    Quote Posted by spiritwind (here)
    Hmmm, they are showing up on my end. If I am not doing something correctly (being my first thread and all) I could use a bit of help.
    You are trying to show us images that are on your email website, which only someone logged in as yourself on that email website can see (that means only you can see them.)

    You will have to download the images to your own computer (if you don't already have them there), then upload them to an image hosting website, then post IMG links here to those uploaded images. Here is a list of such websites: Top 15 Most Popular Image Hosting Websites | October 2013.
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    Palestinian Territory Avalon Member thunder24's Avatar
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    Post Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    kewl!!!!!!!!!!



    so the T5 will run off of solar panel also?

    Quote Posted by spiritwind (here)








    ost update:

    yes they can ? http://www.12vlamp.com/t5_fluorescen...t_12v_24v.html
    Last edited by thunder24; 4th October 2013 at 00:33.
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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote Posted by spiritwind (here)
    Hmmm, they are showing up on my end. If I am not doing something correctly (being my first thread and all) I could use a bit of help.
    You are trying to show us images that are on your email website, which only someone logged in as yourself on that email website can see (that means only you can see them.)

    You will have to download the images to your own computer (if you don't already have them there), then upload them to an image hosting website, then post IMG links here to those uploaded images. Here is a list of such websites: Top 15 Most Popular Image Hosting Websites | October 2013.
    Thank you very much Paul. I had to shrink all the pictures earlier so they woudn't be so humongous. Now for the plants. I'm just going to start with some lettuce. We did have to put in some support under the grow bed because of the weight of the water as it wanted to bow in. The T5 HO fluorescent lights are low energy and yes, you're right, you can operate them off the right solar system.

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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    Very nice setup! I really like its compact dimensions and the quality of your craftsmanship.
    Other versions (Backyard Liberty, for example) tend to be larger and less elegant.
    There's so much creativity directed toward aquaponic systems right now - it's great to see.

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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    "yes, you're right, you can operate them off the right solar system."

    Works for Planet Earth!

    Brian

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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    Very cool... I am glad to see this is starting to really become popular. I had several failures before I had success.

    I was injured and my friend that helped me maintain my setup was unavailable and when I was finally able to get back up I arrived to a disaster. So, I am starting from scratch using all of the same hardware of course (I haven't started yet, been putting it off actually). I just have to start the Tilapia hatchery and living system over again which I do not look forward to (If you Are using Fish to feed the Vegetation Use FISH YOU CAN EAT).

    The richness of the vegetation from the high nitrates from the recycled water is amazing. There is quite a balance to be struck and it is an art. But well worth the effort. You can feed your family with all of the veggies and protein that they need with some left over if you plan and calculate properly.

    It is something a lot of people in countries like Lebanon, Syria and especial Palestine are doing on their roof tops to provide food for their families. They have perfected this system using all kinds of southern engineering. If you do some searches the pictures are amazing.

    There are some other Threads talking about these systems. I may have posted info about mine on one of them.

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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    hi
    nice set up there
    i've used T5 florescent's before for veging plants,they were the best veg light i've used before using 400 watt metal halides
    when i was using the T5's i used bulbs called Interpet TriPlus 55watt(the blue ones),you can get them from any pet shop,the reason i advise you to upgrade to them when you can is because their used in fish tanks for growing coral and basically give out the best quality "blue" light for vegetative growth
    one other thing that will improve your growth would be to get some airflow in there,if you hav'nt decided this already...........
    you could put a couple of pc fans in there that would probably run off your solar set up,the more fresh air you can pass through their will give the lettuce more Co2 and better growth
    if you dont know already about fans you would install one intakin air at the bottom of the box and one at the top to extract the hot air but keep in mind to keep within your growing temps
    you may already have thought of this stuff but if you aint they will help,you want to be aiming to empty the air in your box every 3 mins technically speakin but any airflow will help a lot
    hope some of this helps
    best of luck with the grow
    peace K

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    Lightbulb Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    Last edited by GoodETxSG; 4th October 2013 at 13:04.

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    Default Re: Small Home Aquaponics Setup

    There is a bubble wand in the tank for aeration and Iím in agreement on getting a fan. We had already set up the tank and had it going for about 8 weeks with fish in it using a standard aquarium filter. We do have a water test kit and had no problems with the water or the fish (just gold fish to start) since we started. The thing I was most worried about was the fact that we have natural spring water here that is very hard and high PH. That can be very bad if the ammonia level raises too high.

    The other thing that has caused a bit of a wrinkle is the grow bed we purchased was from Lowes building supply ($14) and when he drilled the drain hole in the bottom it wasnít a very clean cut and so even after trying several different washers it still leaked slightly. So he had to drive all over town to find a thru hull fitting that would work and now heís having trouble because the black pvc pipe doesnít quite fit right over the siphoning valve. I figured we couldnít just get everything right the first time. But, he is a mission oriented kind of guy so I have no doubt he will get it figured out. Of course, he is lamenting about a bunch of his hand tools that got stolen the last time we lived in the city. Itís always frustrating when you donít have the right tool for the job.

    We do plan to purchase tilapia but since the initial expense of getting the right breeding colony can be a bit high we want to make sure we have all our ducks in a row first. I didnít know there were any other threads on aquaponics here at Avalon and I did look, so I would love if someone would point me in that direction. The other thing we are finding is our resistance to having a large number of fish in a tank which you need to have enough fish poop to grow your plants. Having had many aquariums over the years you always had to resist the temptation to overstock your tank so this is the exact opposite. And maybe Iím weird and very unscientific but I talk to the plants and I have been known to talk to fish before too. Things generally grow very well for me even when logically they shouldnít. That helps.

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