Just completing Aquaponics System

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Seacowboys, Feb 26, 2013.


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  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    My small pond is host to Black Crappie, Bronze-nosed Brim, Catfish, Hybrid Brim, Bullhead Minnows, and about a dozen Koi. They are fed by a buglight, a worm bed, and pellet food. There are several aeration stones in the pond because lots of O2 is needed with a fish density that high.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2015
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  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    The growing beds are situated inside my green-house. Only one is planted at the moment. It has cabbages, lettuces, peppers, sweet basil, and parsley.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2015
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    About how wide (average), how long, and how deep? Also, aproximate total number of fish? Thanks
     
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Looks great btw. How many square foot of growing beds and how deep?
     
  5. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I am just putting the gravel into the last growing bed and taking a break; five gallon buckets of gravel have stretched my arms and shortened my spine. I now can scratch my knees while standing upright.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2015
  6. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    The system is regulated by a drain stem and bell-siphon. this allows the fill pump to continually circulate the enriched water to the plants then automatically drain and draw air to the roots. Note the tube attached to the bell siphon; the end of the tube is just above the slots cut into the bottom of the bell. This breaks the siphon once the water level falls below the end of the tube.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2015
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  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    very cool. I hope it works as you expect.:cool:
     
  8. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    the question is, are you dragging your knuckles on the ground yet? Looks great. I know we're all anxious to hear how your garden grows
     
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    The growing beds are 12' x 2' x 10" deep and the small one on the end is 2' x 4' x 10". I stocked 25 Bronze-nose, 25 hybrid, 25 Black crappie, 25 channel catfish, and 350 bullhead minnows. The dozen or so Koi don't seem to mind.
     
  10. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey++

    Neat concept although I've never quite understood how it works. I guess the fish waste provides the nutrients for the plants. After the water is circulated through the plant beds it's returned to the fish pond?

    Wife says it's impractical to do in Arizona due to excessive evaporation. I would suppose you'd have some water loss that would have to be replaced anyway.
     
  11. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    there are some really neat systems that minimize evaporation and work very well in an arid environment. 350 gallon Totes can be used, the top cut off and inverted over the base to be used as the growing bed. fish in the bottom, a 12 volt pump, drains right back into the fish.
     
  12. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    How often do you have to check the pH
     
  13. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    The system we are building at work will utilize a 5000 gallon fish tank and considerably larger growing beds but will essentially operate the same principals. It is our intent to supplement the grocery larder of our employees, a real value cost of living off-set rather than fiat paper.
     
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  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    How much yield/per/time do you expect to harvest from this? What is sustainable?
     
  15. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Believe it or not, that would be taxable income to the employee if it were not a "gift" of insignificant value between friends
     
  16. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I expect to harvest my cabbages in about a month and should be enough to can all the kraut I want to put up. The jalapenos and bell peppers will continue to produce most of the summer, as will the parsley and basil. Lettuce grows quickly too. The cucumbers and squash should produce at least six crops per year, and tomatoes should produce year round. Once something reaches mty canning plans, then I'll rotate to something else. I have a half acre in peas, beans, okra, beets, carrots, so all my eggs are not in this one basket. We were still producing peas in December. We also have peaches, pears, apples, blueberries, kumquats, lemons, satsuma oranges, plums, cherries, muscadine grapes, and figs. We have five fertile rabbit does that are Flemish Giant-New Zealand cross and they produce some really meaty bunnies.
     
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  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I look forward to your results. keep us apprised? I understand it flushes, buy why, and how much and how often (interval) I don't know.
     
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Not only replaced, but the evap will concentrate any mineral content in the water. A feed and bleed routine will need to be implemented to control the minerals to an acceptable (i.e., harmless) level. The idea is exactly the same as you have to do with swamp coolers in your climate, overflow some of the basin to extend the life of the media and keep the crust to a minimum.

    You can get an idea of the amount of minerals in the water at any given point in the cycle by weighing an MT (CLEAN) container, putting a measured amount of water in it, and heating it to dryness. (Do NOT let it boil, 'cause it'll spatter.) Cool it and weigh again. Simple math will get you the total dissolved and molecular solids in your sample. A real chemist would convert that to some standard measurement, but we don't care, just looking for a way to track the concentration cycle and guess at how much the system will tolerate. There's no substitute for experimenting.
     
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  19. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    What Is Aquaponics?

    Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. In aquaponics, you grow fish and plants together in one integrated, soilless system. The fish waste provides a food source for the plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. Aquaponics produces safe, fresh, organic fish and vegetables. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, premium quality crops can be grown on a year-round basis, anywhere in the world. Aquaponics can be used to sustainably raise fresh fish and vegetables for a family, to feed a village or to generate a profit in a commercial farming venture.
     
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  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    interesting stuff
     
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