My Aquaponics setup

RogueAgent94

Member
My aquaponics set up consists of two grow beds and one fish tank. The basic idea of the project is the fish's waste becomes ammonia. Ammonia is changed into nitrite by nitrifying bacteria (I). Nitrite is then changed into nitrate by nitryfing bacteria (II). Nitrate can be used by plants as fertilizer. Small amounts of ammonia and nitrite can be used by some plants but nitrate is the main compound that is used by plants. Both types of nitrifying bacteria grows in the pea gravel in the grow beds.

The two grow beds are 8ft by 4ft (Length by width). They stand 38" off the floor on 8" cinder blocks. Each grow bed holds 1.5 tons of pea gravel that is used as a growing medium. Each grow bed has a hole drilled in the bottom of the grow bed and connected with PVC to the fish tank. A submersible pump fills the grow bed simultaneously from the fish tank. The grow beds begin to empty after 6.5 minutes of filling. Each grow bed has a bell siphon in it so when it is full the water automatically begins to empty back into the fish tank. The emptying process takes about 10 minutes. The submersible pump turns on once every half an hour for 15 minutes and then automatically shuts off.

There are two lights above each grow bed. Each light is a 400w high pressure sodium light. The grow beds are surrounded by sheets of metallic plastic to reflect the light emitted by the bulbs. The lights are run on an automatic timer for 15 hours a day.

The fish tank is 8ft long, 3ft tall, and 4 feet wide. It holds right around 1,000 gallons of water. It has a few Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) in it to use up excess ammonia and nitrite while the nitryfing bacteria is growing in the grow beds. At the moment the fish tank contains 195 White Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). I started out with 200 but lost 5 since I got them. Usually about 20% die off withing the first few weeks so my death percentage is low. The fish are fed a type of pellet food that is not extremely high in protein to match the Tilapia's natural lower protein diet. The pellets are ground up and placed in automatic feeders. The automatic feeders put 7g of food into the tank every 2 hours during the day. No food is put in during the night. The fish arrived at 1.0g each two weeks ago. Now they have weighted in at 3.6g each.So they have more than tripled in size. The fish were bought from a local Southern Indiana breeder. They were purchased at .5-1 inch each. They have now grown to 3-4 inches each. That's a fairly good growth rate for these fish. They will be fully grown at 6 months of age.



Closer look at the fish -
 

psalm18.2

Member
Interesting.
 

Akari_32

Member
That's a really neat process you have going on!
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Thanks! Most of the info is outdated so I'll have to get an updated video. the plants have grown a whole lot. I've eaten lots of Lettuce, Basil, and Coriander from the basement. Also I've been eating Zucchini, Cucumber, Yellow Squash, and Spinach from the largest grow beds. I have a bunch of pictures I can upload and post eventually.
 

Akari_32

Member
RogueAgent94 said:
Thanks! Most of the info is outdated so I'll have to get an updated video. the plants have grown a whole lot. I've eaten lots of Lettuce, Basil, and Coriander from the basement. Also I've been eating Zucchini, Cucumber, Yellow Squash, and Spinach from the largest grow beds. I have a bunch of pictures I can upload and post eventually.
Oh, that's so cool! We used to have a garden, and I'd dump fish water in it. We ate the veggies, the rabbits (before they died) loved leaves and whatever we fed them (we had a lot of tomatoes and peppers, and they aren't allowed to eat those), and the dogs would go over to the fence that we grew green beans on, and eat beans right off the vines XD Tore up whole plants sometimes doing that, little turds...

Can't wait to see those pics! =D
 

Walky

Member
Awesome! So this is in your basement in Indiana? You had a tough time with getting permission for the 70 and now you've got this going on, you must be quite the charmer lol. How long did it take to construct this? What's the electricity bill like? lol.
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Yes it is. Well because the Aquaponics is providing awesome tasting salads and other delicious veggies my grandmother doesn't mind. And it is out of the way where she can't see or hear it. She never goes down to the basement because she's a bit frail. I'm afraid she might get too tired to come back up the stairs, a worry she also shares, so I always go down with her. But yes, I am quite a charmer :;bb

Construction time took about... a week maybe. I built the tank and a grow bed in one day. Second grow bed I had to build a table for it so that took a day. Washing the gravel and carrying it down (3 tons!) took about 4 days. And of course I didn't work continually.

My electric bill hasn't gone up much at all actually. My aquaponics is very power efficient. Soon I'm going to put up some solar panels which will run the aquaponics, my fish tanks, and some other things. So that'll cut down the electric bill even more.

A video I just took of one of my Tilapia. Enjoy -

 

maxima423

Member
I absolutely love this, the only thing that aint answered is, what the heck are you going to do with all those tilapia? they are they staying there forever? breeding them and reselling them?

also, in that new vid, is that the 70g?
 

Walky

Member
Wow that's pretty awesome that you have the knowledge and skill to put all of that together, without spending a whole lot. Impressive to say the least!
 

maxima423

Member
Walky said:
Wow that's pretty awesome that you have the knowledge and skill to put all of that together, without spending a whole lot. Impressive to say the least!
agreeed
 

Cichlidnut

Member
That looks great! Your tilapia are starting to look tasty. mmmm. do you feed them anything other than the pellets? I wish I had a big basement!
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
I just sold all the tilapia. My replacements have arrived today. 50 KoI and 20+ platies. Also I'll be receiving a 175 angelfish later in the month. I have videos to post but they are uploading lol.

Maxima, yes that is my 70g in the background of the video. I took out the fish to weight and measure them. I have to keep tabs on their weight and size so I can continue to up their dose of feeding. It's a rather complicated, mathematical process lol but it makes things easier for me in the long run. Since the lights downstairs give a reddish glow in videos I brought the fish up to my 70g to take a video under T5HO lights .

Cichlidnut, Yeah I fed them a lot of my homemade recipes as well. They also ate lettuce and zucchini. I had a yellow squash fall into the tank from a plant and they devoured that as well. My basement is as big as the entire house hahaha. So I have lots of space. I doubt I'll expand the Aquaponics anymore though.
Walky, start up took a good bit of money but after everything was built/bought it doesn't take much to maintain it. Filling the tanks almost doubled my water bill LOL.
 

maxima423

Member
who do you sell your fish too? and where are all those angels going to go!?!?!?! you should do a commentary of what you are doing in each vid lol, or maybe start a weekly vlog =]

so what's your overall plan with all those fish?
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
I was planning on growing them until they were 1.5lbs each but I got a good offer haha. The guy that I bought them from accidentally sold his males from his breeding group. So he was growing out a new breeding group when the cold weather hit. His new breeding group died off and he was, for a lack of better words, stuck in the mud. So he offered to buy my fish for twice of what I would get them for normally. He said my fish were the healthiest pre-adults he had seen in a while so he wanted to get mine lol.

I have two 1,000g tanks. So one has koI and platies in it and the other will have angels in it .

Hahahaha I don't think so! I might put little notes on the bottom of the vids but I won't talk lol. I much prefer listening to nice classical music haha.

Well...... good question lol. I don't exactly have one. The koI I got to keep the bioload up for the plants. The platies I got just for fun lol. And the angels I will get because..... well because I want to haha. It was either Red Devils, JDs, or Angels. Or 1,500 Cardinal tetras. You can imagine how the latter two would tempt me more than the first two. The Cardinals would have been to expensive so I went for the angels. I'll grow out the angels and sell them as they are growing. I'll keep whatever ones I really like and sell the large majority of them. I may sell a few KoI too. So yeah. I don't have any official plan. It's kinda just something else to do haha. I didn't like the Tilapia so well.
 

Cichlidnut

Member
I want an Aquaponics setup so bad!!!
 

psalm18.2

Member
Why don't you use fish that are edible? That way you have fresh veggies and dinner.
 

Cichlidnut

Member
He sold his Tilapia, got a good price on them.
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Here are the fish . I kinda screwed the video up at the end a bit haha.

 

Akari_32

Member
I see some Butterfly KoI in there! Those are the best ;D

Pond looks nice! Do we get a full shot of it? =3
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Soon lol, soon.
 

Akari_32

Member
Hurry! I'm dyiiiiiiiiing!!!!!!! *falls over*twitch*twitch*
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
It's uploading lol! I just took some more videos and attached them together so you can see both tanks. Although both look exactly the same hahaha.

I found another dead koi. Down to 50 now. I also added a bunch of platies that I got from Dlondon95. I put the smallest baby in my tank just for fun haha.
 

Akari_32

Member
RogueAgent94 said:
It's uploading lol! I just took some more videos and attached them together so you can see both tanks. Although both look exactly the same hahaha.

I found another dead koi. Down to 50 now. I also added a bunch of platies that I got from Dlondon95. I put the smallest baby in my tank just for fun haha.
No, its too late now. I'm dead. Although my ghost can't wait to them ;D

Those poor fish were so poorly packed, I wouldn't be surprised you're losing them so fast. I hope this is it though.

I've never had Platies. I used to not be interested in them, but they are slowly raising up the list of fish I want to have at some point lol
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Hahaha I hope I don't loose anymore either. Course if I do guess there is nothing I can do about it.

Yeah these platies are REALLY nice. He sent some great big ones.

Here ya go. It only shows one of the big tanks but the other one looks the same.

 

Akari_32

Member
That's awesome! I love the whole system you have going =D

Wholly dang, that's a lot of gravel!!! o_O

What happens when the koI get bigger? Will you rehome them, or make a bigger pond somewhere?
 

Dlondon95

Member
The plants look great!

I think when it's time to upgrade, you could just seal up the basement, let the sink on, and watch from the steps! Instant 20,000g+ tank.
 

Cichlidnut

Member
I wonder if I could do a small scale Aquaponics with a 100 gallon tank... hmm
 

Akari_32

Member
Dlondon95 said:
The plants look great!

I think when it's time to upgrade, you could just seal up the basement, let the sink on, and watch from the steps! Instant 20,000g+ tank.
Forget that! Seal up the 1st floor, too, and build stairs straight up to the 2nd and have acrylic floors ;D


Cichlidnut said:
I wonder if I could do a small scale Aquaponics with a 100 gallon tank... hmm
I don't see why not
 

Cichlidnut

Member
That would be one heck of a water bill.
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Thanks!

I'm not reading what you two said AkarI and Dillon! I don't need anymore ideas! My grandmother would murder me and dump me in the coal mine down the street.

Well the tank is a 1,000g Akari. They won't really need a larger tank unless I keep all of them. Even then I think I'll be fine. The tank was built specifically to suit the Koi's body type and movement. BUT, to answer your question, I intend to sell some of them. I'll keep my favorites lol.

Anyway, I found more dead fishes this morning. Three dead koi, one dead platy adult, one dead platy youngster, and one head.... the head was by far the most disturbing. It looks like a koI lol. I haven't got a clue why they are dying like this. All my params are good and they are being fed regularly.
 

Akari_32

Member
RogueAgent94 said:
Thanks!

I'm not reading what you two said AkarI and Dillon! I don't need anymore ideas! My grandmother would murder me and dump me in the coal mine down the street.

Well the tank is a 1,000g Akari. They won't really need a larger tank unless I keep all of them. Even then I think I'll be fine. The tank was built specifically to suit the Koi's body type and movement. BUT, to answer your question, I intend to sell some of them. I'll keep my favorites lol.

Anyway, I found more dead fishes this morning. Three dead koi, one dead platy adult, one dead platy youngster, and one head.... the head was by far the most disturbing. It looks like a koI lol. I haven't got a clue why they are dying like this. All my params are good and they are being fed regularly.
What, you don't like my enabling?

Have you talked to the seller of the Koi? Even if he can't do anything for, he can at least pack them better in the future for other buyers....
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Lol I love your enabling but my wallet hates it .

Not yet. I have to talk to him and another guy (posting about that in my 70g thread). I doubt it will do anything because he is obviously a mass seller.
 

Akari_32

Member
RogueAgent94 said:
Lol I love your enabling but my wallet hates it .

Not yet. I have to talk to him and another guy (posting about that in my 70g thread). I doubt it will do anything because he is obviously a mass seller.
Give him a bad review, if you can, too. How does he expect to keep customers, or get new ones, when packs the fish like ****, and they die off so quickly, even in the proper environments?
 
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RogueAgent94

Member
Lost another few fish. I think like three. The rest seem to be doing fine. Just picked 9 cucumbers from the grow beds. A few of them were massive. And I got a yellow squash. In addition to all that I need to trI'm my basil! It grows to dang fast.
 

Akari_32

Member
I miss homegrown veggies!!!

The basil we used to grow in our regular garden grew like weeds. We ended up giving my rabbits, literally, whole plants! We'd just rip them up buy the roots, shake the roots out, and put the whole plants in their cages lol We had some happy rabbits lol

Its seems you luck with fish is rubbing off on me! I changed over to sand today, and now everyone looks horrible Just did a water change, even though the lights have gone out. Thanks a lot! >=O
 

catsma_97504

Member
Not sure how I missed this thread!

Hope things settle down and you quit losing fish. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Best of luck!!
 

Cichlidnut

Member
Where did you get your KoI from? doesn't seem like a very good seller. I hope your done losing fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

RogueAgent94

Member
I got them from prettykoifish on Ebay. They are also on aquabid now.

One more koI dead today. I'm moving the platies out of the aquaponics into my 70g for now. I've lost too many fish in the 70g so it looks empty. I may just move a few platies but who knows.
 

Cichlidnut

Member
Do you have any idea why they are dying so much?
 

maxima423

Member
awwww, what fish did you lose in the 70g?
 
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