Yep about a month ago I decided I wanted to give aquaponics a try. If I can do this large scale I think it will be cheaper for me over all since I will not have to buy nutrients. Ive learned my lessons though with going large scale right away. So I’m going to start small so I can learn slowly and hopefully with out wasting a lot of money.
My first system I used parts I pretty much had laying around the house. Only thing I purchased was a Roughneck Storage Box, 10 Gal for the grow bed. I have a few 10 gallon aquariums laying around and a few pumps so this won’t cost me much at all to start. I first made some stands that will one keep the aquarium off the ground and second support the growled over the aquarium. I think keeping the aquarium from direct contact from the ground may help will keeping the tank temperature stable.
When I first put it together I just put a pipe stand off in there with a small hole drilled in the bottom, then put the pump on a timer. Grow bed would fill to the top off the standoff then when pump goes off t would drain through the small hole. It worked but I really wanted to try a bell siphon as that is what Id be using in a larger system. So I grabbed the parts for it and put one to gather. It was pretty easy and got it working right away in the test runs but as soon as I added hydroton to the mix and took a bit to fine tune the flow rates to get the siphon to work properly. Actually used a clamp on the tube to adjust the flow, when I do the final version I will use a ball valve. The pump Im using is actually to much for this size system if you divide to do one this small Id recommend a smaller pump like EcoPlus Eco 66 or even smaller.
Started off with gold fish and out of the first batch of 10 only 2 have survived. But they seem to be pooping enough for the small grow bed. The one problem I do see is that because it is outside and is a glass tank, it gets plenty of sunlight and algae is growing. Thought the gold fish would eat eat but maybe I just don’t have enough. I have heard that tilapia will it it but they would out grow this tank fast.
Anyway I put in a couple plants almost 2 weeks ago and they are not dead yet so it seems to be working. Ill add a couple more fish this week and see how they do. Plans are in the works now for a bigger one, perhaps the second elevated bed I built will be converted.
Stay tuned 🙂