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 Post subject: New comer needing help
PostPosted: Jul 15th, '17, 11:58 
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Hello all,

I am new to aquaponics, and of course new to the forum. There is so much information out there about aquaponics that I figured I need to get some central information. Anyways, my plan --> build a backyard system as big as I can to get the most from my space available. I am on a budget so it will be DIY. I already have the fish figured out (FREE) bluegill and/or bass and/or crayfish. Just looking for some start up starters. Hoping to get the system running and maybe harvest before the winter. Any input can be useful.


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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '17, 23:13 
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Collecting from the wild may or may not be allowed, check with the regs for your state. Along those same lines overwintering a system in some parts of the US if it's outside is almost impossible so your setup is going to depend a lot on where you're located.

If you're in a cold climate state, setting up the fish portion as a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) so that you only have to heat the fish portion is a good idea. Then during the warmer months you can connect up the plant beds. Using a greenhouse or indoor location for the RAS or a whole system is a good idea as well.

If your winters are warm enough that you don't have to heat much or at all then it's easier. Greenhouses are usually still a good idea but you may not need any shelter for the system.


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '17, 02:35 
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Thank you Scotty.

I am in Arizona. In winter lows can get to the low 20's and high of 60's. I am worried that growing in the winter will be a issue without a greenhouse.

I will definitely have to check about the wild fish thing. The crayfish shouldn't be an issue because they few crayfish as an invasive species in Az.

Thank you for your input


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '17, 06:59 
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Doesn't sound like freezing will be an issue for you if daytime highs in winter are getting up into the 60s. Bluegill should work pretty well :thumbright: . You probably don't need a full fledged greenhouse to keep things growing but it would help. Keeping the plants from freezing is the main thing but choosing plants that can take some cold is important as well.

Crayfish are usually cannibalistic so you probably won't harvest many but they're worth a try.

A simple system (or multiple systems) using IBC containers might be the easiest and potentially the cheapest way to setup (depending on local price and availability). The IBC of Aquaponics will give you the idea on how to set these up - http://ibcofaquaponics.com/. A larger tank might help with extra thermal mass (to even out the temperature swings).


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '17, 08:02 
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cool I will look into colder weather plants. I have been looking at the IBC systems. Seem to be the easiest and most basic.

So as I see it, 1 IBC container makes a tank and grow bed. Is that correct? If that is the case I might have room to do 3 or 4 in my yard. Would it be better to have 3 individual systems or 1 larger scale system?

Are sump pumps, and/or bio filters required for these smaller backyard systems?


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '17, 08:59 
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You could cut one into a tank and a grow bed or you could cut it into a pair of grow beds or just use it for a tank. With the last two options you'd need another IBC.

The number of systems is partly personal preference - more than one allows you to try different things and grow different types of fish. It also provides redundancy. The single large system is a bit more stable in temperature - this can be good or bad depending on your climate. If it were me I'd probably go with two systems but there is an added expense for pumps and piping. It's nice to have a sump because it gets the pump out of the fish tank but it's not a necessity as long as the beds can drain back into the tank. If you want the beds lower or want the pump out of the fish tank then you'll need a sump.

One disadvantage to having the pump in the fish tank is that it's possible to accidentally pump the fish tank dry if there's a leak elsewhere in the system - setting the pump off the bottom in a sump-less system helps prevent this.

Might want to look up CHIFT PIST for if you do a sump system. Constant Flood is another option that might help you keep any sump small. I'm sure someone else will have some ideas and suggestions. Probably will help to draw out a system plan or plans and get some advice that way as well. Got to get going for now :wave:

Cheers


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '17, 09:06 
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Thank you so much for your input Scotty.


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