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Aquaponics

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  1. nfeuerhelm

    nfeuerhelm Member Member

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    I've set myself up a small aquaponics herb garden and I was curious if anyone on here knows of or is familiar with the idea of aquaponics? Also has anyone on here tried it before either?

    If anyone wants more information on the subject I should be able to give some advice. Its also a great biofilter and is quite interesting.
     
  2. LyndaB

    LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

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    Sounds interesting. Could you post some pics and explain further.
     
  3. riddik1

    riddik1 Member Member

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    im also interested in this. more info would be great!!!
     
  4. nfeuerhelm

    nfeuerhelm Member Member

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    Well aquaponics is a mixture of hydroponics and aquaculture. I'm sure most people know already but hydroponics is growing plants in a soilless media and providing them nutrients so that they can grow. Aquaculture is simple fish faming. They get combined through the nitrogen cycle. As far as nutrients go plants need to absorb 3 things from their roots: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. Plants will readily absorb nitrate as their source of nitrogen, which as we should know is the final product of the nitrogen cycle. The potassium and phosphorous are harder to get to plants and aren't as necessary as nitrogen, you can provide them through aquarium plant fertilizers.

    So the basic set up is that you need a growbed filled with some sort of media, i have used aquarium gravel, lava rock, and vermiculite, a fish tank, a supply and return system to move the water between the tank and growbed, and air pump with air-stones to make sure the water is aerated both for the plant's roots and the fish. Vermiculite is an expanded rock that actually holds a lot of moisture and kind feels like styrofoam. You can see it in the six little piles in the growbed picture. It also can have asbestos in it so if you buy it in the US it free of anything that could harm fish, in other countries you might want to use pearlite (the white styrofoam looking stuff in potting soil).

    The grow bed will act like a big bio-filter for you tank, and depending on your media choice and its grade, can also act like a mechanical filter but will be almost impossible to clean. My set up is meant to be completely indoors so I have HOCFLs to grow the plants with, a ten gallon grow bed above with tank for my plants, and a 29g tank for my fish. For your plants you need to keep your pH between 6.5 and 7.5, so you can have all sorts of different fish set ups. Also the way I set my tank up, my tank is essentially a sump.

    My final stocking list for my set up will be:
    9 x Neon Tetras
    6 x Cory Cats (don't know which variety ill get yet)
    7 x Black Skirt Tetras
    1 x Dwarf Gourami
    6-10 x another Tetra species, haven't determined yet

    I'm not sure at this point if having a fully stocked tank and a full grown plants will allow you to also maintain plants in your aquarium I can get updates on that as I finish stocking my tank and my plants grow more.

    Oh and the plants I'm using are basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, and parsely. Though you can use almost any plants that you can provide properly light and root space for.

    Let me know if I left any gaps in my info or you have any more questions. I'm thinking about starting up a blog for this so you people who want to keep checking it out can.
     

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  5. LyndaB

    LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

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    What a fascinating idea!

    Regarding a blog, I "think" you have to have 50 posts to have Mike create one for you, but I don't remember.
     
  6. Algae Eater

    Algae Eater Well Known Member Member

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    This is a really cool project. Congrats on your ingenuity! You might want to figure out a way to clean the grow bed, though, like take up the plants every so often and either stir it or replace part of it and mix it in with the old, because the media will become compacted after a long time, which will make root growth more difficult for the plants.
     
  7. nfeuerhelm

    nfeuerhelm Member Member

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    Yea I know, theres actually not that much small gravel in there. Its mostly course lava rock so theres a lot of space, its actually flowing like 50 gph. I'll stir it or re-constuct it if the flow drops too much or if it starts flooding, cuz thats a pretty good indicator of how compact everything is.

    LyndaB - yea I guess I have heard that before. I can always wait a while since I am keeping good records of everything in a journal. There would essentially be back posts.
     
  8. Algae Eater

    Algae Eater Well Known Member Member

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    It sounds like you have everything covered! Let us know how the herbs taste. :)
     
  9. nfeuerhelm

    nfeuerhelm Member Member

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    I will since they are technically completely organic. haha
     
  10. toflake

    toflake Initiate Member

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    I am new here and am trying to start a 55 gal aquapondic tank with native fish. I am looking for a grow bed. My husband thinks we could make one with holes out of plexa glass. Do you think this would work? We just started out our tank three days ago... would like to grow lettuce and tomato...
     
  11. Jaysee

    Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

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    Mmmmmmmm hydroponics....... :)
     
  12. nfeuerhelm

    nfeuerhelm Member Member

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    I personally just used a storage container, it was like a seven gallon under-bed storage box. Though if you wanted to make a box out of plexi, I would suggest you look at the tank construction posts in the diy forums.

    Good luck.
     
  13. toflake

    toflake Initiate Member

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    thanks
     
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