As for the fry getting sucked in to pumps... the solution for my system is that the pump will be located in a sump tank. It will pump water from the sump tank to the 330 gallon IBC fish tank which will then overflow to the 200 gallon (275 IBC with top cut off) fish tank, which will then overflow to the grow beds, which then overflow back to the sump tank.
Which is also good because if you have some sort of pump/through flow failure it shouldn't empty either of the tanks with fish in them. I've actually seen rather clever multi-bed filter designs which have drain structures that allow the pump to steadily empty the fish tank/pond whilst nothing flows back leading to a rather unfortunate failure issue.
I'd love to do an aquaponics unit some day. Looks like such an interesting system to balance.
It's basically the exact same thing I have now except mine is too small to swim or raise fish for food.
I've converted the pool my house came with to a wildlife pond so I guess you could say I have a "natural swimming pool". No food in it though. If I were gonna go that way (ie food from a big pond) I reckon a load of sectioned pipes in the bottom and crayfish would be the way in addition to anything piscine swimming over the top.
A drawback to a small house is I can't have aquariums like I used too but I do have a little ten gallon tank. I had some kind of tropical fish in for several years and it finally croaked so I went out and netted some baby bluegills from the outdoor pond. I put three in but they did not get along in such a small environment so I put the others back outside.
This one was the aggressor of the group but also the first to adapt to food other than fresh fishing worms so it is the one I kept. Very cool as an aquarium fish, not skittish at all. Goofy thing is almost curious, it will follow your finger as you move it around the tank and has learned when the lid opens its feeding time.
Actually I think it is a hybrid of some type but I just call all it a bluegill.
Post by prairiegardens on Jan 13, 2017 9:09:41 GMT -5
One of the stumbling blocks here has been what media to use, the clay pellets are very expensive even before shipping, Yesterday ran across an ad for glass beads used for sandblasting, do you think they could work? $6 instead of $60 for a bag is much more interesting and supposedly they are inert so wouldn't leach mineral or change the ph.but still could be cleaned if need? Opinions would be appreciated.
I'm not sure what you are referring too. Filter media perhaps? If so I don't now or would I use anything. The water is cleaned in the stream part by a mat of roots, mostly of wild mint and miniature cattails planted in loose round gravel collected from the river. Giving the plants something to support themselves on is all the gravel does. I do occasionally pull out big gobs of old roots and rinse the gravel a little but mostly it just takes care of itself. Only maintenance really is cleaning out leaves and other stuff that accumulates. I used to do that in the fall but now do it in spring as the frogs need something to snuggle down into for winter. The pump itself is just wrapped in a couple layers of that plastic sun screen to keep big stuff from getting in. I do clean that monthly or so. Most important rule I think regarding ponds or aquariums is don't over populate on fish.
If you are talking about something else, never mind.
Nothing ruins a neighborhood like paved roads and water lines.
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Jan 14, 2017 19:23:21 GMT -5
He might be referring to those clay spheres that are used to support hydroponic plants in netpots. You might also look into rockwool or i think the next best competing commercial prouct is called rapid rooter or something like that. Does anyone have regular fishtanks that they have converted the lid to hold netpots to grow simple veggies such as tomatoes?
Post by prairiegardens on Jan 15, 2017 1:44:01 GMT -5
What you use to give the plants support is what I was talking about. No access to river gravel here, and Ive been told emphatically that just any old gravel can change the ph of the water, so it has to be constantly adjusted, so most people seem to be using baked clay pellets. Those are too expensive. I could use sand but that also is of unknown origin and probably would be a beast to keep from clogging things up.
Gravel that people use for driveways or that comes from the creeks around here is limestone, it would be a poor choice for sure I think. The river has deposits of beautiful gravel in various grades, I guess the water movement somehow separates the sizes. Don't know what it is but definitely not limestone. I use it in my aquarium too. My pond is small enough I can hand pick what I use and can use it over and over for example if growing things in pots.
I'v seen mined river gravel in big bags at garden centers but it is usually for landscaping and I think too big for the purpose. What is the scale of your proposed operation? There's got to be something to use that you don't have to buy, I hate buying stuff and the people who sell stuff are usually full of hooey when they say you need it. If you only need a little how about breaking up old clay pots? Maybe even shredded up plastic might work, milk jugs and the like or a mix of the two. Plastic by itself probably wouldn't be heavy enough.
Nothing ruins a neighborhood like paved roads and water lines.
I've been told emphatically that just any old gravel can change the ph of the water, so it has to be constantly adjusted
It depends on the gravel. Simple to check: test the pH of a jar of water, then dump in some of whatever gravel you're thinking of using. Test the pH again in a while--a week, or a month, or whatever. Either it's changing or it's not.
I used to hang out on a forum dedicated to planted aquariums, and plenty of people there were using sand and gravel from all sorts of sources, including cheap(ish) bagged stuff from the hardware store.
You might also consider gravel that's sold for aquariums--it's usually pretty expensive, but it is meant to be inert, and sometimes you'll find a good deal on a color that was discontinued, or some bags that got torn open and mixed together, or something like that.
While cruising this forum for an answer to an unrelated question, this subject caught my attention. I do grow some vegetables in an aquaponics setup. Originally,I built a gravel based flood and drain system using blue barrels cut in half as growbeds. After a little more than a year everything started going backwards due to sediments in the growbeds going anaerobic. Emptied the beds and cleaned them one at a time. Didn't take long to have my fill of that nasty activity. I found another style of growing aquaponically ....iAVs. Much less complicated. If anyone's interested, here is a good place to start iavs.info/what-iavs-is/ The site can be a little frustrating to navigate, but a lot of information.
Post by prairiegardens on Jun 16, 2017 4:55:53 GMT -5
Wow, read a couple of blogs and that was enough, lots of anger and arrogance there. Maybe just hit the wrong ones but...
I just listened to a talk by someone who used to be an avid aquaponics person until a combination of a power failure and an immovable stuck door left him with a whole lot of dead fish after 10 days. So now what he is doing he's calling peeponics as the system appears to depend on small urine inputs instead of the fish waste for feeding the plants. Other than that it seems to be pretty much the same, and if the power went out for 10 days he'd probably still lose all his plants because it's a flood and drain system on river gravel so it'd dry out pretty fast.
One thing, it bypasses the fish food question which can be problematic unless a person is into raising black soldier flies or some such, some people are apparently using edible lupin as a food source. Has anyone ever heard of using chicken eggs as fish food? It would also bypass the issue of killing and cleaning fish for people who aren't fond of eating fish. I've no issue with urine in the garden but somehow this seems a tad direct. He also said something about adding compost tea and a few other amendments, not exactly as simple as he first suggested. Of course he's selling information on how to set up and run it, I think I'll pass.
I used sand left over from a project. Constant flood, so I don't have to figure out bell siphons. Later I might switch to ebb and flow by putting the pump on a timer.
Guess I should have rinsed the sand. It made the water murky and foamy. The sand must be filtering it back out, it's getting better.
A clay pot of aquarium gravel minimizes sand erosion where the water enters the grow bed.
The water flows over the sand faster than through it. Seemed determined to carve itself a channel, so I formed it one around three sides to the stand pipe. Hopefully that will maximize the sand's filtration. More gravel in a bucket around the stand pipe lets any moving sand settle out rather than suck into the lower tank. The bottom of a jar is over the stand pipe to prevent clogging with leaves and such. It kept stopping the flow by trapping air. The water wouldn't displace it to reach the top of the stand pipe, so the level just rose instead. When I placed a jar of water over it, a siphon formed and sucked sand and gravel through. Now the jar has notches cut to let water flow under, and a small hole in the top to let air in and out.
I was having a problem with water flowing over one side. The ground isn't level, and how I cut the tote probably isn't either. I should have shortened the stand pipe, dropping the water level. Instead, I shimmed the grow bed up. (Uncle Red always said "Any tool can be the right tool.")
I don't want to disturb the bucket of gravel to remove the stand pipe and cut it off. I've already planted.
So far, a strawberry offshoot, some houseplant cuttings and various seeds, including corn, tomato, squash, turnip, beans, cucumber. Also a potato and a few onions and a flower bulb. Low expectations, but I want to know what plants will grow there, and whether direct sowing will work with the constant moisture.
Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. -Mark 4:27 niv
COPIED from oldmobie 's thread - Aug 17, 2017 19:05:40 GMT -5 aufin said:
You'll be fine. You're overthinking this simple easy system and making things way more complicated than needed. I'd show you my setup but don't know how to add photos......yet. I'm running one 4x8 ft bed, two 2x8 ft beds with 2 pumps and one timer. The main pump is on the timer, the cheesy little pump for circulation runs 24/7. I have approx. 300 gal of water with 25-30 tilapia. Everything's on autopilot. In the morning I walk around with my coffee, feed the fish, maybe pull a weed or two. The pump runs 10 minutes every 2 hours - 7,9,11,1,3,5,7. Nothing at night. In the evening, feed the fish and add water that was lost due to evaporation, transpiration.
Relax. Let your system settle down and cycle a few days before adding any fish. Yeah, yeah......I don't have much patience, either, but some things just can't be rushed.
Interesting stuff, pump runs for 10 minutes 7 times a day and not at night. So, if I was able to put together a system on wind for example and for example there were occasional periods of low or even no flow it might be OK. I do however think I need to move the whole volume of water at least twice a day. I looked up how much water is in a cubic foot and found it to be 7.48, that seems high but I guess it's right.
Based on that the design I have drawn out would be approximately 4000 gallons. To move 4000 gallons at least twice per day is 8000, / 24 = 333 / 60 and it comes to 5.5 GPM. WOW sweet, sweet, buying or building a wind powered pump that exceeds that by a comfortable margin is not out of the question and could be complimented by solar if necessary.
Next , I have approx. 300 gallons with 25-30 tilapia. So assuming bluegills are roughly equal to tilapia which I have no clue if that is so but I'll figure it that way anyway. The system I'm dreaming of would be 10x that size so I could have 250 bluegills. To error on the safe side I don't think I would want to go past 50, especially considering they easily reproduce on their own. I could even maybe have a few bass or catfish. Frogs move in on their own and craw fish are easy to find, I suspect they would take to the flowing marsh part. My food producing largely self sustaining swimming pool is taking shape, if nowhere else but in my imagination.