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 Post subject: dumb newbie questions
PostPosted: Dec 5th, '15, 05:31 
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Hi all,
I think I spent some time here a while ago but life got in the way. I have been interested in aquaponics for some time now so there is some things i know but lots I don't. I have never run a system. I am now on a couple of acres in Medowie near Newcastle nsw.

Sooo, I bought a few ibcs and clad them in timber. I wanted to use them as feature planters near the entry. They need to be self contained so I can move them around with the forklift and I don't want a gaggle of plumbing pipes attached to them. They will have access to running water ( float valve possible to maintain water level) but not power. I was planning a wicking bed but then I got to thinking back to the aquaponics. Rather than filling the bottom with gravel, I have some hydroponics trays about the right size. I was thinking of supporting them off the bottom with blocks or similar and keeping the fish in the bottom half and the the plants above. I imagine cutting an access hole/holes in the side just above water level to access the fish.
I still love the wicking concept. I would rather not rely on a pump if possible. After a little experimentation I discovered that geotech fabric wicks quite nicely. If I was to cut some holes in the hydro tray, then lay the geo tech fabric over that and up the sides to the top, then pull chunks of fabric through the holes till they made contact with the water, do you think it would wick the nutrients up with the water? Please bear in mind that this is mainly about the plant, not trying to grow edible fish here, so minimum fish to do the job is all I'm after. If this won't work I might consider a solar pump if you think it would do the job, or both?
I apologise if this has all been covered a million times, feel free to point me in the direction of any threads that might help me avoid asking stupid questions.


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PostPosted: Dec 5th, '15, 16:40 
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Welcome to the forum Dan01 :wave:


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PostPosted: Dec 8th, '15, 09:28 
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not sure if I am reading it correct but taking your words literally - ie. plants wicking into a container of water with a couple of fish in it and not wanting any pump.

(a) only goldfish would survive in such a system, and you would need to provide at least some oxygen for them.
could do it via wind or solar to either run something or directly agitate - even if say 12 hours of day.

(b) The system would lack circulation so likely you will get an algal bloom at some point.
you will get solids build up as you are not filtering.
and you would need some surface area and oxygen for nitrification - usually done via pump and media bed.
you will get some benefit from media within the FT but not as much as a filtering system.

Maybe just go with the wicking bed. I doubt the small nutrients you gain would offset the negatives.
Based on your comment "Please bear in mind that this is mainly about the plant" then I personally would definitely go wicking bed and focus on manures etc which you can use more readily than if you have fish in your system.

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Darren ( dlf_perth )

May the fish sh*t and the plants grow.....


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