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 Post subject: New System Discussion
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '14, 06:38 
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Hey Everyone,

This will be a discussion about my backyard aquaponics system.

Lets gets started with what I am using.

Unfortunately my camera didn't have a memory stick in it at the beginning so i was only able to capture the complete set when i realized..

-160 Gallon IBC tote
-one inch gravel
-150 watt tank heater
-300 Gallon Water pump
-EcoAir2 airpump with airstone
-10 total red, white and blue tilapia

Attachment:
SetUp.jpg
SetUp.jpg [ 237.62 KiB | Viewed 3697 times ]


This is the IBC tank we used. We burried the fish tank under ground to save on height and insulation during the hot months.

Unfortunately the black cap was stuck on the gravel guard and i couldn't get a picture of the bell siphon.

A quick overview of the bell siphon:
-3/4in PVC for the stand pipe
-2 inch PVC for the actually pressure chamber
-4in PVC Gravel Guard.

We had that basic siphon going without the gravel but once we added the gravel the siphoning wouldn't break.
It was then when we added the tube that you see on side of some bell siphons to bring more air up to break the water flow.

Attachment:
greenhousefinished.jpg
greenhousefinished.jpg [ 183.38 KiB | Viewed 3697 times ]


Here is the greenhouse we build for it. Once the temperature started dropping we were having a problem with the water and plants keeping warm even with the tank heater.

The system has been on quite the roller coaster but now we have it at a steady 70 degrees as a low temperature and the ammonia and nitrite controlled at 0ppm.

I will attach a picture of the spreadsheet i have of the water tests.

Attachment:
12-2-2014.jpg
12-2-2014.jpg [ 187.28 KiB | Viewed 3697 times ]


Here is the growth so far in our system. The only plants that haven't started from seeds are on the right side.

What we planted:

Mint
Purple bell Peppers
Sweet Peppers
Serrano Peppers
Dill
Baby Tomato
Broccoli
Snow Peas
Basil
Simpson and Nevada Lettuce

Overall i am happy with our system. I wish I included a sump tank but i try to clean out left over food or poop with a net which seems to work.

My fish are definitely getting bigger (biggest probably 5 inchs long) but they are stressed from the water changes. I am hoping they settle down and become less skiddish.

I wish i could upload more pictures but i can just add them as i go. This is only the beginning.

Please post feedback and await for updated pictures

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PostPosted: Dec 4th, '14, 23:50 
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Here is our Water testing spreadsheet over the past month.


Attachments:
Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG [ 18.3 KiB | Viewed 3669 times ]

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '14, 04:43 
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Here is a little update on the system.

Attachment:
GOPR0137.JPG
GOPR0137.JPG [ 529.86 KiB | Viewed 3617 times ]


The lettuce is just taking off right now but i think the greenhouse is making it too hot for some of these winter plants (i.e broccoli and snow peas) becasue their growth has sort of stunted and leaves are turning yellow vs the outside soil garden where broccoli and snow peas are twice the size planted at the same time.

Attachment:
GOPR0141.JPG
GOPR0141.JPG [ 409.42 KiB | Viewed 3617 times ]


Here is a picture of the fish. They have become a lot less stressed with the warmer water and great water conditions.

So far so good.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '14, 05:24 
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Cool underwater picture.

Welcome :)

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '14, 05:26 
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Looks like everything is growing well!

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '14, 10:59 
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Looks good! Love the fish pic.
Slow growth on the brocs and peas might be because the system is new and the fishies are little. Looks like the nitrates are very low lately. As the fish grow and the system matures they might fare better?

Did you fishless cycle or have they been in there the whole time? They are interesting numbers for your levels, that's all.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '14, 14:09 
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katmac wrote:
Looks good! Love the fish pic.
Slow growth on the brocs and peas might be because the system is new and the fishies are little. Looks like the nitrates are very low lately. As the fish grow and the system matures they might fare better?

Did you fishless cycle or have they been in there the whole time? They are interesting numbers for your levels, that's all.


Yeah I noticed that the nitrate levels were low but I thought it didn't really matter from what I have read around.

As for the fish I added them at the beginning (knowing it takes a month for a new system to age) and transplanted a few pepper plants to see if they would stay alive. Then I just went ahead and sprinkled some seeds.

We are thinking about putting a few pirch or algae eaters in the tank to clean it and raise the number of fish since we are runnin it off a low number like you commented.

I appreciate all the comments and welcomes :wave1:

-Matt

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PostPosted: Dec 19th, '14, 01:49 
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Alrighty about a week later.

Here is a video link to my fish tank. We have added two plecos' (plecostomus) to our fish tank to clean up some algae, increase the stock number in the tank and give the tilapia somethin' to look at.

The Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0YIz4Q ... e=youtu.be


Its raining here in AZ right now but here are some greenhouse shots.

Attachment:
GOPR0151.JPG
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Attachment:
GOPR0152.JPG
GOPR0152.JPG [ 532.84 KiB | Viewed 3501 times ]


Everything have been growing great. No pests problems except for fungus gnats which i set out traps for.

Cucumber plants have been flowering left and right and the pepper plants are forming buds.

Sh*ts rockin and rollin in December :headbang:

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PostPosted: Dec 24th, '14, 05:27 
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Hi all,

Christmas eve eve update. Before the cold front comming in.

Here are the snow peas and broccoli-

Attachment:
12-23-014Snowpea.jpg
12-23-014Snowpea.jpg [ 238.77 KiB | Viewed 3438 times ]


I am trying to direct the snow peas to the side of my GB and grow there instead of up.

Thinking about doing the same to the cucumbers-

Attachment:
12-23-2014Cucumber section.jpg
12-23-2014Cucumber section.jpg [ 242.58 KiB | Viewed 3438 times ]


They probably have a dozen flowers blooming on them along with some big leaves. Really has grown a lot the in the past week.

Along with the cherry tomotos ( to the right of cucumbers) and the sea of lettuce is really thick and green.

Basil is coming slowly.

Here are our transplant sweet pepper (left) and purple bell pepper (right) that were the first transplanted-

Attachment:
12-23-2014Peppers.jpg
12-23-2014Peppers.jpg [ 205.47 KiB | Viewed 3438 times ]


They have gone through a lot and finally are starting to show buds and the sweet pepper is blooming.

We did loose a bottom feeder yesterday. Not sure why. All our water levels are great. Might have gotten a little too cold at night.

Anyway there is my backyard aquaponics update.

-Matt

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PostPosted: Dec 24th, '14, 05:50 
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Looks good. You will need to hand pollinate the cucumber over winter to get any cukes. You can use a small paint brush or q-tip.

I'm not sure if the pepper will need hand pollinated as well.

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PostPosted: Jan 1st, '15, 04:51 
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Hey All,

Hope everyone is having good holidays.

Here is an aquaponics update before the new year.



We have been having freeze warnings here in Scottsdale and our greenhouse hasn't been keeping it warm at night.

we threw some tarps over it and have a camping heater to warm it up a bit. Been keeping it at a solid 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the fish tank is at a chilly 65 but luckily we haven't lost any fish but you can tell they are stressed.

My Water levels:

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 8.0


I am happy with the levels and so are my cucumbers:

Attachment:
cucumber-12-31.jpg
cucumber-12-31.jpg [ 164.05 KiB | Viewed 3389 times ]


I see them starting to grow on both plants. Maybe it was because i hand pollinated them like recommended above?

Anyway i'm excited.

The pepper plants are droopy from the cold i think. But hopefully they will make a comeback.

Attachment:
pepper-plants-12-31.jpg
pepper-plants-12-31.jpg [ 172.66 KiB | Viewed 3389 times ]


The lettuce and cherry tomatoes are growing really well too.

Attachment:
lettuce-12-31.jpg
lettuce-12-31.jpg [ 167.52 KiB | Viewed 3389 times ]


worried it might get too hot for broccoli and snow peas but it shouldn't stay this cold here too long.

We added a bucket of vinegar and are periodically adding baking soda to release Co2 in the air because i am worried the heater is taking all of the oxygen out of the air for the plants. Is this a recommended practice?

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

:wave1:

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PostPosted: Jan 1st, '15, 06:16 
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Here is a quick picture of our bundled up greenhouse

Attachment:
Greenhouse-12-31.jpg
Greenhouse-12-31.jpg [ 234.79 KiB | Viewed 3385 times ]


and our latest addition

Attachment:
LimeTree-12-31.jpg
LimeTree-12-31.jpg [ 146.36 KiB | Viewed 3385 times ]


a dwarf seedless lime tree. Maybe we will try to grow it in a aquaponic system?

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PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '15, 00:32 
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Update here!

We got Cucumbers!

Attachment:
IMAG4347.jpg
IMAG4347.jpg [ 186.04 KiB | Viewed 3209 times ]


Granted this was a few weeks ago but i figured i would still share it.

We took down the greenhouse in preparation for a new system!

Attachment:
IMAG4369.jpg
IMAG4369.jpg [ 303.22 KiB | Viewed 3209 times ]


The garden was outgrowing that small little greenhouse anyway.

check out how tall these cucumbers have gotten through winter!

Attachment:
IMAG4404.jpg
IMAG4404.jpg [ 233.05 KiB | Viewed 3209 times ]


Everything was doing great. Cherry tomatoes and peppers where blooming and all the broccoli was ready for the most part.

Of course we had to disturb that by uprooting everything and moving it haha

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PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '15, 00:45 
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And here it is!

New dutch bucket system addition to my GB

Attachment:
IMAG4436.jpg
IMAG4436.jpg [ 176.96 KiB | Viewed 3209 times ]


fish are in a 55 Gal drum with currently 35 Gal (130 Liters) of water.

Attachment:
IMAG4437.jpg
IMAG4437.jpg [ 113.31 KiB | Viewed 3209 times ]


been a pain to adjust all the ball valves to make sure both sumptanks and fishtanks have steady water levels.

dont need this thing overflowing at night or at work.

Here is a view of the other side where you see the very sad cucumbers.

Attachment:
IMAG4441.jpg
IMAG4441.jpg [ 195.03 KiB | Viewed 3209 times ]


We have started planing summer seeds which include:

-Melon
-Zuccini
-Red lettuce
-Arrugla
-Jalapenos
-Corn

Looking forward to see how these dutch buckets work!

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '15, 22:19 
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Any update on the Dutch buckets? I'm thinking of expanding growing capacity in a similar way.

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