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PostPosted: May 16th, '17, 08:14 
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Hey all, I'm new to aquaponics, and I've got lots of questions and big ideas. To start with, I'll explain what we've got so far. We have a large above ground pool, about 22' across, where I made the mistake of placing some catfish fingerlings that I found stranded in shallow water. We are out in the country on well water, so adding them to the pool that wasn't being used wasn't an issue. I've since discovered they are black bullheads, which is part of why it's so murky. I've also got minnows, and a few large goldfish. It's been over a year now, and they are going strong. I'm more interested in fish for the nutrients they put in the water and decoration than for food. Currently I'd guess we have 20-30 catfish, 7 good sized gold fish, and an untold fluxuating amount of minnows as the fry are catfish food. I'm starting to plant the pool with local aquatic plants. I'd like to add a Waterlilly or two, combined with a few small rafts of leafy greens, to keep algy blooms down, and provide places for fish to live.
Currently I have one small raft that isn't doing great, I learned that part of the issue is that the roots get choked with solids, so I'm going to try a fiber batting to keep the roots clean, which would also provide a media for healthy bacteria. I'm currently pump free, I'm hunting for a good pond pump I can make or buy cheap. The surface area is enough with these Oklahoma winds to oxygenate the water as shallow as it is right now. Once the water is deeper like it's supposed to be, I'll need a good circulation system. If I can make grow beds for plants that won't grow well on rafts it will filter the water, and then oxygenate it more when it's pumped back in.
What I'm looking for here is advice about what plants grow best in grow beds vrs rafts, if any one knows where to get edible aquatic plants like watercress, and how to make my own rafts and grow beds. I'd like to have the pool become a " garden/pond" with its own natural eco system, as many natural plants as I can reasonably grow, while grow beds filter out the junk and break it down. I'm not worried about big yields, just enough fresh fruits and veggies for 3-7 people, most of which aren't big on veggies. I'm the big health nut in the family, and my work has me away a lot. My husband has a bad back., so low maintenance that requires lots of bending, and the raised grow beds will be easier on him. No weeding!


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PostPosted: May 19th, '17, 14:04 
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Bump.


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PostPosted: May 19th, '17, 15:06 
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I'm curious how the bullheads are doing. Will they breed is a system like yours? The part I know the least about is plants. If you want to make it an aquaponic system and add grow beds they are normally raised well off the ground and weeding is not really an issue. There is tons of information available here on grow beds.

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My system. http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum ... 18&t=15688


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