AQUAPONICS - growing vegetables from fish excreatments

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mespe
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AQUAPONICS - growing vegetables from fish excreatments

Now this is probably the best way to prepare. The link below shows my aquaponics system from start to current day. Like gardening, forget doing this and expect to eat much from it the first year, unless luck is on your side,,,

Basically, you feed fish, they shit, bacteria in the grow beds convert the droppings into plant food, water is recyled to the fish tank.  you grow food and fish, and if done inside a greenhouse can be done year-round.

http://diyaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1017

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:06
Swift Boat Vet
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pictures worth a thousand words

Hey Mespe,

I'm sure you have some great information to share, but we aren't authorized to view from that source !  Can you possibly post an alternate link ?  Thanks

tmosley
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I LOVE aquaponics.  It is

I LOVE aquaponics.  It is high on my priority list should I ever lose my job.  I love these types of projects, where you can spend as much or as little money as you want by being a little creative.

I can't imagine you could grow a lot of fish in a 50 gallon tank.  I was planning on getting a large water cistern for mine, or building one.

Serendipity
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You don't need/want a cistern size fish tank

50 gallons will support about a dozen koi or gold fish of 3-5 " each which will support about 50-100 sq. feet of grow beds. The grow beds need a certain concentration of ammonia that the fish put out from their gills and waste to "cycle" and attract bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrite and other bacteria to then convert nitrite to the nitrate the plants need to grow. Don't introduce the fish until you see the test kit show a drop in ammonia and nitrite and a rise in nitrate, unless you want the heart break of taking dead fish out of the fish tank. You can plant the veggies on day one, but it takes 2-3 weeks to cycle before adding fish.

mespe
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diyaquaponics link

Swift Boat Vet wrote:

Hey Mespe,

I'm sure you have some great information to share, but we aren't authorized to view from that source !  Can you possibly post an alternate link ?  Thanks

If you go to diyaquaponics.com you should be able to see my posts maybe I just can't link to them. I can check to see if there are permissions that I need to set, or maybe it's members only. I don't know.

Here are some pictures:

Here are the Grow Beds (GB) the pebbles filter the water from the fish tank. It flows to a small pool below the GBs, and get's pumped up into the fish tank (see vertical pipe 1/4 of the way from the right of the FT) I drilled a hole in the FT on the left side (not visible) the water flows through the lettuce trough (behind the FT) around the right side, converted from a 3.5 in pipe to 1 1/2 inch PVC. I sequence between Right and left GBs, The pipe between the GBs is an auto siphon, when the water reaches a certain level, it start to over flow. Soon the autosiphon kicks in, and a 2 litre soda bottle fills up with water, pulling a mason string, tied to a valve. One 2 l bottle closes the valve, the other opens it. I have detailed instructions and pictures at diyaquaponics. you can see the white screen I put on top of the tank. Occasionally I hear it rattle from a fish hitting it.

Here's a bean from the first plant that sprouted. I should be working for the US government, as this bean cost me about $10 to grow!

Currently 17 BG and 5 Largemouth Bass.  I've only lost one fish (BG), and I think it was from old age, as the thing was huge. I drilled a small hole in the elbow pictured. I also increased the size of pipe after the elbow. Theory is, the water flow down the bigger pipe will suck air into the hole, increasing my DO (Dissolved Oxygen)

mespe
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why wait for a lost job?

tmosley wrote:

I LOVE aquaponics.  It is high on my priority list should I ever lose my job.  I love these types of projects, where you can spend as much or as little money as you want by being a little creative.

I can't imagine you could grow a lot of fish in a 50 gallon tank.  I was planning on getting a large water cistern for mine, or building one.

That's what I'm getting at. There is ALOT to learn about aquaponics. You can't expect to build a big system and have it work for you. This is a prototype. I have a 27 round x 4 deep  swimming pool that I brought back from North Carolina when my father-in-law moved in with us (legally blind) Plans are to build a nice size green house, using that big pool, and have about 1,000 BG's.  Now that's going to require a lot of working on the aquaponics system - honey,,, i.e. gone fishin'

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I hope this isn't a stupid

I hope this isn't a stupid question but can you farm raise the fish?  I mean can you continuously reproduce them and eat them so that you can have a high protein source instead of just veggies alone?

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Daedalus Mugged
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It might not be neccessary...

In my view, growing fish and plants together makes a lot of sense.  However, it might not be necessary or optimal to so directly link the vegetable and fish systems.  They both have very different needs. 

Rather than integrating them tightly, it might be better to separate them, have a more traditional biofilter for the fish side, compost the solid excrement stream, and use something like duckweed to help clean up the water to recycle to the fish.  Then you can compost the solid waste and duckweed, and provide a pretty steady stream of rich compost to high density raised vegetable beds.   Balancing the needs of the plants and fish is hard.  It may be better, and is probably easier, to optimize both halves separately. 

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Not a stupid question and yes you can

Sterling wrote:

I hope this isn't a stupid question but can you farm raise the fish?  I mean can you continuously reproduce them and eat them so that you can have a high protein source instead of just veggies alone?

Not a stupid question and yes you can. I first started learning about this about a year ago and am looking to start getting set up. There are many sites: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/

I currently have an indoor garden - using soil and High Pressure Sodium lamps. I would love to be able to have an Aquaponics setup inside, raise some fish and veggies. Also, the LED lighting technology has gotten really good and produces very little heat (which is an issue with HPS and MH lamps).

mespe
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fish needs

Daedalus Mugged wrote:

In my view, growing fish and plants together makes a lot of sense.  However, it might not be necessary or optimal to so directly link the vegetable and fish systems.  They both have very different needs. 

Rather than integrating them tightly, it might be better to separate them, have a more traditional biofilter for the fish side, compost the solid excrement stream, and use something like duckweed to help clean up the water to recycle to the fish.  Then you can compost the solid waste and duckweed, and provide a pretty steady stream of rich compost to high density raised vegetable beds.   Balancing the needs of the plants and fish is hard.  It may be better, and is probably easier, to optimize both halves separately. 

When I clean the solids, I open a valve and most of the solids flow into a bucket. I use this water for potted plants and in the garden. This provides fresh water to the fish on a regular basis. The blue barrel left of the GBs has water in it that has (hopefully) off-gassed the chlorine.

Rocks  have been the traditional filter of water for millions of years. Bacteria adheres to surface area of the rocks, the more surface area, the better the filter.  You are right fish have different needs from plants, otherwise, I couldn't grow both using the same medium (water)  as far as  pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates etc they can coexist without much problem.

My system is about 2 months old. I slowly add fish as time permits.

Sterling
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Thanks!

Thanks!

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mespe
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plant progress

will soon be eating beans,,,

It amazes me how fast my plants are growing. and the bees have taken a liking to the aquaponic water.

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I'm looking into a solar

I'm looking into a solar setup for running the AQP pumps, etc. Have a complete instruction set I got for $49 from Friendly Aquaponics, Inc. Very detailed. They have info for different size systems for more $$ but I believe the smaller systems are scalable, just have to make sure you get the right size pump. Any one here live in NC Fla?

the 22nd prime
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Vertical Hydroponics

In Eustis is a company that has vertical hydroponic solution that may be of interest to all.

http://livingtowers.com/

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check this out...

Talk about thinking outside the box!! love it!!

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/doomsday-preppers-6202/Overview#tab-Photos/6

donpaulo
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I think Talapia are probably

I think Talapia are probably a good idea for the fish stock. 

I also agree about running the separate systems and reverse engineering the by products.

You might seriously want to consider utilizing rainwater runoff as well. The suggestion of a cistern might work well as well as the duck weed to provide filtering. I know that Colorado just changed their runoff law.

A HPS lighting system just burns through energy so I can't understand why that would be part of any true natural system. Especially when the sun does such a good job of it for free. However given latitude and crop decisions I can see the merit in the HPS system.

I would also humbly suggest a crop rotation that optimizes the NPK blends. If it were for survival purposes I would incorporate chickens and insert into the rotation with legumes/pulses and your starch stock. In a pinch you could also upgrade to sheep and have them co-habitate the fallow zone.

Also an orchard is well worth starting. While I don't have very much land I put a lemon and lime tree in last year and have a set of avocado seeds sprouting as I type this.

The aquaponics would be an added benefit to the system

donpaulo
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the 22nd prime wrote: In

the 22nd prime wrote:

In Eustis is a company that has vertical hydroponic solution that may be of interest to all.

http://livingtowers.com/

The towers look great, I wonder how they are pumping the water up to the top. If its done via solar then it would be even sweeter.

Having had to clean out hydroponic systems in the past I am a bit skeptical when it comes to cleaning out a 2 meter tower. Not to mention harvesting something above your head.

but overall its a nice concept, more power to them for actually going out and doing it

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Large scale AP... Excellent build thread

Here's a large scale AP system with which I am intimately familiar...  wink

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5827&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=0

Skip to the middle of the thread to see how productive the system is.  Grows a lot of veges and fish. 

There is also detailed info in this thread about how to build a greenhouse on the cheap.

The only downside to this type of symbiotic growing system is if there is a major or extended power loss, the system will have to be altered significantly.  Been working on mods to go solar...  Also, have contingency plans in the event of an extended power loss (read: EMP or grid shut down).

Thread also has links for free plans for a smaller/starter system.  that is how I got hooked a couple years ago.

FBL

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My system

I started a small system and a half this year after shaking my fist at my yard with it's bamboo.  My apologies in advance for the big pictures, I'll try to reseize them...  It's "just" a 55 gal tank pumping "continuous flow" through a 3" PVC.

Here is the current look.

We also have two "towers" on the porch that we just add ~3-5g of fish water in per week:

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