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 Post subject: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 08:54 
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Hey everybody! I just joined the site a few days ago and want to get some pictures up of my system because i'm new to aquaponics and will need all the advice I can get!

I've been wanting to build a system in my backyard for a while but my wife said that it had to look nice and blend in with the backyard so I built a 900 gallon above ground pond.
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I have built one small grow bed as a "tester" to get things started. I'm in the process of designing a larger bed.
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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 08:56 
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More pics of the grow bed. I've got a problem with my bell pepper plant wilting during the day and my golden cayenne pepper plant is turning brown on the tops of the leaves. Not sure what's going on with them.
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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 08:57 
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My basil is coming along nicely.
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I started with some goldfish and a couple of koi. Today I got some tilapia fingerlings from RS and they are loving it! Thanks RS!

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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 09:15 
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Hi fishtex, welcome to the forum. Very nice looking pond, generally we dont have gravel in the fishtank because waste from the fish can get caught in it and not get to the growbed where you want it to be. Also, if your growbed tub isnt UV resistant you need to cover it so no sunlight gets to it otherwise it will start to deteriorate quite rapidly and you will have to replace it. Good luck with your new addiction


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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 09:27 
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That 900 gallon tank looks real nice. It'll take quite a few grow beds of decent size to keep up. We generally go for a 1:1 ratio of fish tank/grow bed. Then stock the tank to the filtration of the grow beds.

Looks like you have a good eye for aesthetics so I'll be watching this thread to see what you come up with.

Welcome to the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 09:29 
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:think: I really don't need my wife to see this or do I :think:

Looks sweet!


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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 09:40 
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Wow! Already some things to take into account I hadn't considered before (and important at that)! I'm going to have plenty of work to do to make this right.

As far as the grow bed goes I'll most likely replace it with a larger one I will build from wood with a pond liner. But I am concerned about the rocks in the pond now. I hadn't taken into consideration the rocks trapping all the fish goodies before they can get to the grow bed. I'll have to think long and hard on this because we like the look of the rocks in the bottom better than the plain black liner.


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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 09:48 
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Welcome it sure does look good, remove half the rocks from the end where the pump is. This should help for start and see what difference it has made.. As far as the veggies how's your water testing. You may need to add a cap of seaweed extract to your grow bed to provide the extra nutiants that the fish do not.

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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 09:53 
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I hope you NEVER have to drain out all that water... but if you do, you could always paint rock shapes on the bottom of the tank on the liner. As long as it's fish safe paint, who is to know? Or get a few large scraps of liner of a different color and cut out shapes. Hold them down with a few of those fish hiding spots like a large holed brick or something aquarium safe.

There he goes, thinking sideways again.

But Julia is right though, the less stuff you have on the bottom, the easier it is for the poo to be removed.

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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 09:58 
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I only have basic water test strips now (ph, alkalinity, hardness, nitrates, nitrites). I know I need to get something to be able to test ammonia levels. Is there anything else that should be tested in the water?

As far as my test strips everything is testing out excellent. I've had the pond running for about 6 weeks so it's probably still pretty early for the plants, I just couldn't wait to get something in there!

I will definitely try removing the rocks in the area by the grow bed. Fortunately the fish hang out over there 75% of the time because they like to be around the water coming out of my drain pipe.


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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 11:59 
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Welcome fishtex.

I'm pretty certain that adding some shade over the peppers will cure the problems you're having with them. Unless I miss my guess they were transplants that you added not long ago so they haven't finished adjusting. Full sun with temps in the 90's, the root system isn't up for the task yet (even if the water temp is cooler).


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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '12, 23:02 
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Hea,

That's a very good looking fish tank.....

A small amount gravel in the tank is not going to hurt anything, unless you have a major build up of poo in it somewhere, and once the tilapia get a little bigger, they will move it around some and keep it from collecting very much poo, except in the corners

Keep an eye on the ammonia for the next cupple of weeks, and don't feed much till the bacteria catches up to the newly added fish......

then add some more grow bed area till you get up around the 1 to 1 ratio.....

I use maxicrop with iron. my local Ace hardware has started carrying it. and if yours don't have it you can request they start carrying it.... or order it from their web site.......

the fish like the grow bed return, because it is highest in oxygen where it is pouring back into the tank...

a air pump with some air stones would help..... or a small founton pump, spraying water up into the air and splashing on the surface would keep the oxygen levels up

once these tilapia get a little bigger, they may eat the plants or the plant roots, you have growing in the Fish tank. the alga i see growing will not last long ether, and you may want to rig up another small shallow tank with a flow through, to grow alga and duck weed to help feed the tilapia, like i have done on the outside system you saw.......


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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 7th, '12, 01:40 
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I picked up some liquid seaweed (couldn't find the Maxicrop but I found another brand that has the exact same ingredient - soluble potash, 0-0-1 ratio).

It doesn't give any measurements on the bottle. Should I add just a cap full to a growbed? What's the best way to introduce to the system, pour around the roots, put in fish tank, ??

The kind I bought does not have any iron in it. Should I also purchase an iron supplement or wait and see what happens with the liquid seaweed?

By the way, my new tilapia are going absolutely nuts over the algae in my pond. These little guys never stop eating!


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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 7th, '12, 03:43 
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Slow and steady is best!one cap full where your water comes into your grow bed. That way it will be distributed through the bed first. Check how the plants and fish react during the next couple of days before adding more. Your bed is not large by the looks and two caps max should help.

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 Post subject: Re: Fishtex's system
PostPosted: Jun 7th, '12, 04:09 
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ccBear---good advise....

some cleached (sp) Iron may be needed at some point......


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