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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '15, 13:04 
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Joined: Jun 11th, '14, 11:17
Posts: 7
Location: North Carolina - USA
Gender: Male
Are you human?: kinda
Location: North Carolina, USA
This is my first aquaponics system. I started with a used 29-gallon aquarium I located on craigslist for $20. It looked a little suspect, but six months later it hasn't leaked a drop--go figure. For the growbed, the most cost-effective option I found was 18" x 36" livestock feeding trough. I built the shelving with 2x4s and left a gap for the drain pipe.

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I used 1 1/4" PVC for the standpipe, mainly because the only bulkhead union I could find around here was 1 1/4". I dropped the drain through the center of the growbed as that's where I've seen it done most frequently. Not sure that was the best use of space. Next time around, I may push the drain to the side, were it isn't taking up prime growbed real estate right under the light.

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Here's the drain, dropping down from the growbed to the aquarium.

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The completed system looks like this. I went with four small goldfish in the fish tank and romaine lettuce in the growbed. I may have gone a little overboard with the manifold and irrigation lines. I was concerned about effecting enough circulation in the growbed to prevent low-oxygen zones, but I don't know if this much plumbing is necessary. Any advice out there?

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I went with a higher end T5 florescent fixture; this was the only thing I splurged on. I had to get a little creative to hang it, so I went scavenging and came up with a rebar tie and some conduit anchors. It worked just fine.

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A local-ish supplier (the same one who assured me that a constant flood system would never work and would rot roots) said that I had to use net cups or the plants wouldn't root. I was skeptical, so planted one seed in a starter plug & net pot and basically sprinkled all the rest of my romaine seeds around the growbed. The sprinkled seeds came up just fine:

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That said, I must concede that the biggest/prettiest plant was the one I planted in the net pot:

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I have a lot to learn, clearly, but this was a fun experience. I'm looking forward to improving this system and resuming the design of my off-grid outdoor system.

Cheers,
Varmint

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My aquarium system


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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '15, 07:53 
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Yes the manifold was a little overkill, and overtime it may plug up with solids and biofilm. There are members on here with large GBs with a single entry and drain, with no problems.

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