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Aquaponics tanks, your thoughts

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by natshare, May 25, 2016.

  1. natshare

    natshare Monkey+

    Was perusing the Memorial Day sale ad for Tractor Supply Company (TSC), and noticed a couple of 100 gallon stock tanks on sale, so figured I'd post them here (in case anyone else is interested), and ask the opinion of those who have delved into this, for suitability in aquaponics.

    First, a Rubbermaid structural foam stock tank (lightweight plastic), for $59.99.
    Second, an oval galvanized stock tank, for $69.99.

    Now I realize that galvanized metal and fish/plants probably don't go well together. Which means it would almost certainly require a plastic lining to make it friendlier to both fish and plants. But the superior strength of the metal, plus the only slightly higher than the plastic tank price, has me thinking it might be a better choice.

    This would be for an inside aquaponics set-up, sort of a trial, to see how I like the methodology, and determine the feasibility indoors (my weather gets too hot in the summer, and too cold in the winter, to allow fish to survive with anything but a DEEP pond.....and being within the confines of the city limits, I'm limited on what I can get away with building). I would likely utilize this for a flood and drain set-up, with the growing area right over (perhaps even on top of) the tank, and grow lights utilized to ensure adequate "sunlight".

  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    those Rubbermaid polytanks are awesome strong. should be plenty for you purposes
    natshare likes this.
  3. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I had a 2'x2'x6' galvanized tank for the fish tank for a smaller setup we put in the garage one year. It worked just fine, no plastic needed. Had channel cats in it. Just don't set the beds on top of the tank, the sides aren't designed for that kind of weight exerting downward. We did, and you could see them bulging pretty hard.

    This was while we were putting it together... later added hydroton clay pellets and gravel to the trays for media based beds.
  4. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    Odd. I put my brother's zip code in for Georgia and they came up $69.99 and $99.99, respectively.

    Not sure exactly what "inside" means. Are we talking inside a green house? Inside, as in the garage? Or, inside, as in the living room? The reason I say this is, while I am just starting my adventure down the aquaponics road myself, it seems as though IBC totes can be had for pretty reasonable prices in some areas of the US. Maybe look at Craig's List for them? They seem to work well for fish tanks, grow beds, and sumps.

    The single best resource I have yet to find for aquaponics, is the following linked PDF - hands down:
    Small-scale aquaponic food production (It's too large to upload.) Definitely download it and have a read.
    natshare likes this.
  5. natshare

    natshare Monkey+

    Inside the house, for now. Previous owners converted the garage to a family room, which I'm currently using just for storage. The redeeming factor of this room, is that it has a 5' high by 6' wide window, in front of which I already have some plants starting to grow, in large pots. I was thinking of adding a hydroponics set up next, but since these are on sale this week, I figured I'd maybe delve into aquaponics at the same time. I could add some greens to my diet, along with some fresh fish.....and have the added benefit of giving my old house cat some extra entertainment! ;) (not to worry, I'm sure he'd be fascinated with the fish, but far too chicken to actually dip a paw into the tank. Spiders are more his speed! LOL)
    kellory, Ganado and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  6. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. Tackleberry

    Tackleberry Krieg Hündchen

    Before going through with this project, you should test out your fish housing area. See how much it will cost during the winter to keep your water at the correct temperature level. Will it cost too much? Will you be able to keep them alive during a SHTF situation?

    We made the mistake of buying a bunch of tilapia tank materials, in addition to a bunch of time prepping the IBC containers only to find out the cost benefits squash the prep benefits in our area. Learn from my mistake.
    Cruisin Sloth, Motomom34 and ghrit like this.
  8. natshare

    natshare Monkey+

    Ah....unfortunately, none. So far. I've just been out of town too often this year, with too much other stuff going on to bother trying. :(

    I did finally set up my automatic watering system, for the hot pepper plants I've got growing, inside, in pots. Once I was able to dial in the number of watering cycles (and how long to water each cycle), per day, it's been going great. Best part of it, whoever I've got watching the house while I'm out of town only has to worry about keeping the 5-gallon bucket full of water, and the watering system takes care of the 10 potted pepper plants for me. (y)

    (Can't get Amazon to link to this worth a damn....keep getting error message on the links! But if you go to Amazon, and search for "CONTINENTAL AWS-10 Automatic Watering System for containers", you should find it.)

    My next step will be to take my indoor growing area, and set it up so I can run at least 2, maybe 3 of these, at one time. That ought to allow some serious plant growing to occur, without worrying about the weather outside. Thinking once I'm good to go with that, I'll try my hand at some hydroponics, then see if I can't segue into aquaponics.

    Big dreams take time to turn into reality, sometimes! :LOL:
    Cruisin Sloth and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  9. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Culturally I think what many people miss is the idea of a change in lifestyle they are not willing to sacrifice.
    Growing any thing, takes love and patience and is a constant learning curve , not a casual hobby.
    If you are going to survive , you will have to change your life style drastically, particularly post SHTF.
    No running to the market when you want a treat or to the movies or the pub for that matter. if the garden is not cared for you don't have a life.
    Running electric pumps takes power. where are you getting it from ?
    After some melt down ,volcanic eruption, EMP, CME,martial law restrictions, the convenience of materials and services will be gone. You won't have any thy else to do but care for your garden and keep out parasites . It takes months to grow food "IF" every thing works out well , you can't bank on that. period .
    Growing fish is much the same thing , a great deal of diligence and love . The mortality rate with fish is already high ,so starting with thousands may only yield a few hundred, that's just life. do not count your fish till you have eaten them.
    I have been doing a form of aqua ponics a few years now , just growing gold fish for now Just learning . DSCN4226.JPG
    City water is float controlled in the laundry tray which has an aerator to percolate the chlorine out of the water, and oxygenate it before the 40 gallon fish tank in the ground below it, fed by a float valve as well.
    Water from the fish tank on a manual switch, is pumped using a 12 volt boat bilge pump to the garden trough. The House is wired for 6-12 volts DC I'm on battery / solar/ wind/
    What doesn't evaporate, drains back into the 40 gallon fish tank . The tool box has my chemical testing for both the garden and the fish.
    Filtering fr the fish is batting material I can get form the fabric store and wash it out every day and reuse it till the material is to far gone in about 3 months time and then simply cut another one.3"x5"
    That tray just this side of the 2 cement blocks, below the middle of the garden trough is growing duck weed very fast,and the fish love it. almost free food.
    The chickens love it too but I need to build a much larger tray to make enough to feed them all as well , they will gobble it up like candy. Just got a new inspiration .
    natshare, Cruisin Sloth and Ganado like this.
  10. natshare

    natshare Monkey+

    Actually, that's the beauty of that water pump, as it's run off of 4 AA batteries. I'm currently running a set of non-rechargeable Li-ion batteries, that have spent about 6 weeks, already, powering the pump, and are still going strong. But there's no reason on earth why I couldn't power it with rechargeable NiMH batteries, that are recharged by a solar cell I already own.

    In fact, the only downside to this pump that I've seen, so far, is that it won't put out much head pressure. Meaning, you're not going to pump very far up hill, especially if you're outputting on all 10 hose outlets. I will, therefore, redesign my current plant stand (taking away only two of the existing 13 spots, but adding one back (so really only going from 13 to 12), and use some lumber to build two platforms that are heavy duty enough to handle the weight of a 5-gallon bucket of water, plus the weight of the pump (negligible), so I can pump at two different levels. Just so long as I don't fall behind on refilling the 5-gallon buckets from 1-gallon jugs (re-purposed water or milk jugs), I'm having to lift less than 10 pounds of water, no more than 5 feet high (for the top bucket), about every other day. Growing indoors, in front of a 5' high x 6' wide window, I have plenty of sunlight for the plants, and experience less evaporation (and fewer pests) than I would outside......and I can grow year round (though winter months will produce crops slower, due to less daylight, I admit). Right now, to feed a total of 10 plants (mostly peppers, right now), I'm using maybe 1/2 gallon per day, of water.

    I do like your set-up, though, arleigh. You've thought through many of your problems, and come up with good, workable solutions. (y)
  11. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    My ultimate goal is an upper reservoir water is pumped to from a fish pond below via wind mill.
    We don't get a lot of wind but enough I think.
    In between, water is filtered through the garden and then drains to the fish pond below, being cleared of its nitrites and debris and aerated in the process.
    Part of the challenge here is, the lower pond must be covered as well as the green house, because the sun here is brutal and the wind will wash gallons of water a way by the minuet. though it's been really humid lately, there's no guarantee it will continue.
    Secondly one can't guarantee that the rain won't be contaminated , so a secondary reservoir and drainage needs to be established to catch rain water and filter it before introducing it to the system .
    I really with I had a well , but that takes $$$$$$.
    natshare likes this.
  1. Asia-Off-Grid
  2. Asia-Off-Grid
  3. Ganado
  4. Ganado
  5. Yard Dart
  6. Asia-Off-Grid
  7. Mindgrinder
  8. ditch witch
  9. ditch witch
  10. Seacowboys
  11. tacmotusn
  12. ditch witch
  13. surplus-addict
  14. hank2222
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