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 Post subject: Mini aquaponics setup
PostPosted: Sep 9th, '17, 00:22 
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After failing my first attempt with aquaponics, i have now decided i'm going to retry it smaller.

My idea is to use a rain pipe standing upright with holes in the sides, standing in an small aquarium. (5gal i think) and using a pump to constantly trickle water to te top of the pipe.

Would this work?

For the fish i was thinking guppies or something similar

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PostPosted: Sep 9th, '17, 09:28 
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probably but the main issues with small setups are:
drop in water level while pumping, risk of overflow when pump stops.
sufficient nutrients to grow plants

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PostPosted: Sep 9th, '17, 10:51 
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dlf_perth wrote:
probably but the main issues with small setups are: sufficient nutrients to grow plants
Yep!.. What he said.

Aquaponics on a mini scale does not work... No matter how many convincing ad's you see for mini aquaponic systems that can sit on your kitchen bench and supply you with "year round herbs" from a couple of guppies... They are aren't designed with aquaponics in mind, they are simply designed to separate uninformed consumers from their cash.

If you want success Thijmen, but don't have the room for a large system, then as I barest minimum I would suggest you need a system with around 70L of water, about 40-50L of gravel grow bed, and running half a dozen decent sized goldfish, such as the one pictured below made from a re-purposed olive drum. Shubunkins are an excellent option in small systems such as that.

They can be made to look fairly smart if you need to have it indoors due to the weather. If light is an issue, a 130w 6400K CFL light provides excellent growth. A system such as that, with a light over it, tucked away neatly in the corner of a lounge room could make a great feature and talking point.


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PostPosted: Sep 9th, '17, 15:13 
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that's too bad, when i eventually have my own garden i plan to build an outdoor system, maybe i should look into hydroponics for now, and supply nutrients using liquid fertilizer.

i was hoping to get fresh herbs growing as it's the only part of my kakariki's feed i can't easily get during winter.

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PostPosted: Oct 7th, '17, 09:50 
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I work with two ~10 gallon media bed systems that support 2-3 plants and several goldfish. They do fairly well indoors under a grow light and are small enough to fit on a desk as long as you have enough vertical clearance. They're stable if they're mature enough, but nutrient deficiencies are a common problem and it's easy to overfeed and cause ammonia spikes. I've had more success with leafy greens in these than herbs. Test the water and dose regularly.

If you're still new to aquaponics, I use the API test kit, the chemical parameters it tests for generally give you a good indication of the health of your system.

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PostPosted: Oct 7th, '17, 15:16 
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Not really going to get a lot out of a system that size. Lot of trouble for very little gain.

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PostPosted: Oct 11th, '17, 04:47 
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Well my aquarium just started leaking, so i might as well upgrade to 80x50x50 cm one. Should be enough for a simple setup. Though i'd go for a tropical aquarium, with cichlids if possible.

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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '17, 09:57 
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Hi Thijmen,

I have a relatively small system that I have in my court yard due to lack of space.
The FT holds roughly 270 litres and the Grow Bed holds approximately 100 litres of expanded clay.
I have 2 Kio @ 75mm in length and 4 Goldfish @ 500 mm.
My system was cycled about 5 weeks ago.
Here is a photo I took today!
Attachment:
A72DEA20-C43A-487C-9C97-38E85D9132CA.jpeg
A72DEA20-C43A-487C-9C97-38E85D9132CA.jpeg [ 162.69 KiB | Viewed 408 times ]

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PostPosted: Oct 14th, '17, 23:00 
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Seems to me that no matter the scale of am AP system, the same rules of filtration and biodigester still apply for successful operation. Also, seems logical that a small scale AP system based around a 25 (ish) gallon fish tank would tend to go sour guicker.
Whenever i see someone posting about a "small ststem" the main reason is not enough space available, and "space available" usually translates into an abbreviated system with no additional filtration and/or biodigester, which would pretty much guarantee failure rather quickly. If available space is a major issue, which means an abbreviated system, why not consider combining filtration, biodigester and growbeds into one space ....... the iAVs AP system. Look it up, see what it's all about, see if it fits what you want to do in your limited space. IAVs is scaleable, very easy to operate, and allows one to add root crops to the mix of vegetables should one so desire.

Take a look ..... http://iavs.info/what-iavs-is/


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PostPosted: Oct 17th, '17, 12:01 
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No necessarily Aufin, I've seen thousands of systems without specific biodigesters or additional filtration, just media beds and fish tanks and they are highly successful. Though yes, really small systems are more prone to failures from many reasons.

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PostPosted: Oct 17th, '17, 12:50 
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Mini aquaponics setups on aquariums are not that complicated.
You run them like an aquarium with the addition of plants to remove some of the nitrates etc.

You need an external canister filter some NFT tubes (these are the rectangular ones not the NOT NFT round ones) net pots and a decent led light array( if not growing next to a window).
You will also need a small sprayer filled with a very weak solution of fertilizer. :)


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