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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '21, 11:47 
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Hey everyone,

I am looking for feedback on my aquaponics build. I have started putting it together in the basement and want to get some feedback on what im doing wrong before I start drilling holes in material and that type of thing. here is some info

Medium: Clay Pebbles
Drain holes: approx 4.5" above bottom
Buckets sized: 4 gallons
Pump size: 1500 GPM
constant flow system (pump will run 24/7)
Fish type: Rainbow trout (25 3-4" fish)
Fish Food: Crickets/goldfish or guppies
Bucket feed: Gravity
Pump back to tank

I have 8 airstones and 2-500gph pumps to keep water in the 300g tank well oxygenated and moving fast (trouts like that) I raised the tank up to gravity feed all of the buckets which drain to 4" PVC which I will keep the water level at least 1.5" and drill 3" holes (red circle) for net pots to grow herbs and leafy greens. the water will drain to a 70g tote where the submersible pump will pump it back to the fish tank. I will thin socks rubber banded or zip tied to all of the bucket feeds to catch solids and the clay pebbles will be my anaerobic filter. I have attached some pictures to help.

sorry for the partial pictures, I can only upload 2MB at a time so had to crop them


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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '21, 11:51 
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I forgot to add that there are 20 buckets in this system.


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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '21, 01:17 
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Doesn't look bad. Are you having any issues? First time?

Lighting for the plants since your in a basement?

Trout like it cold. I would have started them in autumn. They also need great water quality so don't cycle with them. Do a fishless cycle.

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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '21, 03:53 
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Im in the building stage right now so I don't have fish yet, and yes this is my first venture into any hydroponics/aquaponics.

basement will stay in the 55-65 F range year round so the fish should stay fairly comfortable.

I'm not sure what you mean by a fish-less cycle? do you mean running the whole setup for the first time to cycle the water through the system? I do plan to do that, I am going to run the whole system for a week or so before putting the fish in so I can adjust PH and make sure there is plenty of airation.

I have 12 x 4' T8 LED grow lights coming that will be installed. the whole room will also be sectioned off with silver tarp and I have some reflective film wall covering for the sides that already have walls. I may at a later day frame out the rest of the room and add insulation to try and keep the plants warm, but will exclude the fish tank from the plant room to avoid over heating and algea growth in the buckets.


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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '21, 15:27 
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I wouldn't worry about PH until after you do a fishless cycle. Have the stuff on hand to raise it if needed. It may be a few months before you need it. If the PH is too high. Leave it alone as it will drop.... eventually....

https://www.buildyouraquarium.com/how-t ... ess-cycle/

I personally have never raised trout. They are not a hardy fish from my understanding and its too hot where I live for them. You look like you did your research though.

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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '21, 20:42 
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I don’t know much about raising trout, but would want to make sure you have a large enough tank for them. I’m guessing 25 trout will need a lot of water to ensure good water quality and normal behavior. To avoid deficiencies, I would also look into using a balanced fish food made for trout in addition to the other feeds you’ve mentioned. Sounds like a great project!


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PostPosted: Feb 20th, '21, 10:29 
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Thanks for the info, I looked into that fishless cycle and will def be doing that (just ordered the stuff and test kits)

the fish will only be 3" long when I get them, should be plenty of room. will thin them if the tank gets too crowded and make dinner or a fish emulsion for the outdoor plants. the natural diet is insects and other small fish so will probably feel them some feeder fish too but less frequently. I will be getting a bag of food for them and offer to them, but would like to see how things go in cricket land as I can basically breed them for free which gives me a free food source. being this is a basement system I already have additional expenses such as lighting, fans and possibly heating (for the plants) that I need to consider for this to be an economic friendly project. ideally we will have fresh grown produce for the same or less cost as going to the grocery store.


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PostPosted: Feb 20th, '21, 16:33 
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You shouldn't need heating for plants depending on what you grow. Leafy greens and herbs and green peppers and jalapeños do just fine at 50 degree. My system is on my porch as long as it doesn't freeze over the plants will keep growing.

You should use a fish feed. Trout are eating machine and grow quickly. If you try feeder goldies I think they will eat you out of house and home. A big bag of carnivore fish feed isn't that expensive. Plus side its a balanced diet with nutrients for the fish and plants.

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PostPosted: Feb 24th, '21, 05:25 
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+1 for fishless cycling - be sure the system is processing ammonia and nitrites before you add fish, and watch for the inevitable ammonia / nitrite spike after you add the fish.

+1 for commercial fish feed. I get mine through my local feed store. They can order what I need if they don't have it and there is no shipping cost if they bring it in on their regular truck. It's $30 - $50 per bag depending on the type. I grind the smaller high-protein pellets for feeding the fry but it sounds like you are starting with fingerlings that will eat pellets. You will need at least two different feeds for their growth cycle. I recommend Purina Aquamax, but it is harder to get here so I use Star Mills feed too.

I raised trout one winter season and they were doing well until they weren't. I strated with 1" fry and they grew to about 9". They seemed healthy and thriving, then they all died within a week or so. I believe a fungus or similar but I never was sure, maybe I introduced something toxic to the trout.

I do know I did not have enough salt in the system and that was likely a factor. I typically run about 1.5 ppt chloride salt, as most freshwater pathogens do not tolerate salt. But at that time I had lots of rainwater diluting my outdoor system. Almost all plants will tolerate 2ppt salt or less. And trout will handle much higher levels. Chloride salt will also protect the fish from nitrite poisoning if you have an unplanned nitrite spike.

One last comment - stay away from valves. Find a way to control your flows that do not include valves - the are expensive and very bad at controlling flow consistently. They also clog easily if set to a partial opening.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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