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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '16, 10:30 
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Hey all. I'm new here. I'm a tropical fish enthusiast and I love breeding fish. I breed all sorts of tropical fish and lots of aquatic plants, so hearing ab out aquaponics and how simple it could be really excited me!

I want to make a couple DIY systems. I wanted to get some information or tips on how to grow my plants. Currently I have some terrestrial plants in my backyard. I am growing green beans, tomatos, mint, basil, oregano, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers. I want to bring them inside for the winter and make an aquaponics system for them.

I bought about 5 5 gallon multi purpose buckets from the hardware store. I also have some floating baskets that you use to put water lilies in like in ponds?

My idea is to put the baskets in the buckets, fill the baskets with clay pebbles, and then fill the bucket with water and put an air stone/air pump in there. Would that work for aquaponics system? I don't have a clue about fertilizing these things, as the ferts I have are only good for aquatic plants.

I have a single T5HO grow light, I'm sure I will need some more light though yes?

I'm very new to this topic. I have seen other people use styrofoam and put the pots in that? I want to make a cheap system. Any other suggestions would be great!! Thanks much!!

I love the idea of using the 5 gallon bucket because they are cheap and are pretty big for holding water. You could put a large plant in there. Thanks


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '16, 20:42 
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Hi cooledwhip & welcome,

a few pictures might help (instructions here....viewtopic.php?f=4&t=21754)

maybe some idea of the buckets... you could set up something like a bato/dutch bucket (search for these on this forum). Basically simplest is the bucket filled with some form of media and just plant directly in it.
Water flows in from top and then out through some form of overflow and is returned to the fish tank or a collection tub/drum (the sump).

What sized fish tank and type/number of fish are you thinking of using ?

what are you going to use for light ?

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My idea is to put the baskets in the buckets, fill the baskets with clay pebbles, and then fill the bucket with water and put an air stone/air pump in there. Would that work for aquaponics system? I don't have a clue about fertilizing these things, as the ferts I have are only good for aquatic plants.

no this is not really the way to go about it. You can go hydroponics (not covered by this site), or else an aquaponics system is about using a system that cycles water from a fish tank through a combination of media beds / tubs/ buckets that provide filtration and bioconversion of fish waste & ammonia to nitrates and other plant nutrients. Then there is some minor supplementing.

try having a look at this thread which is new and going through a similar process... viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27678
there are many others around this forum with indoor systems as well.

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '16, 22:15 
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Ok thanks for the reply. I don't know if I can do a dutch system. I don't have tools to drill and stuff for the pvc. Well I do have a small drill and I can do it but I have nowhere to start and I don't want to start drilling in holes unless there is an idea of what I should do.

I have seen dutch bucket systems, however, would I be able to just leave the buckets alone, put the fish inside the buckets??

For fish, I really could keep whatever I like. I have lots of small tropical fish but I was thinking an oscar could be cool to keep. I have a 55 gallon tub I could house him in.

Otherwise, I have a couple hundred mix matched guppies/endlers/swordtails/mollies/platies, etc. Livebearers are good because they will reproduce on their own.


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '16, 03:27 
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What type of fertilizers should I buy if I were to go the hydroponics route?

I just can't have an entire system set up so I will just do invididual buckets.


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '16, 10:48 
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What type of fertilizers should I buy if I were to go the hydroponics route?
I just can't have an entire system set up so I will just do invididual buckets.

you need to google 'how to bucket hydroponics' - this is different to aquaponics or the types of systems discussed here.
fertilizer - hydroponics tends to use mineral fertilizers, again you need to look up one of the hydroponic pages.
the organic alternative to mineral fertilizers is to use organic liquid fertilizers.

The simplest system you can do is to fill a bucket with media (clay balls, inert rocks/gravel etc) as used in aquaponics and keep about 1/3 of water. You would then feed regularly with a liquid fertilizer.
These are basically a crude form of 'wicking bucket'. However as you have no overflow then you must be careful not to have too much water in the buckets. (between 1/4 to 1/2). Your system is not being flushed so it has some limitations, most systems (hydroponic or aquaponic or wicking beds) have some level of flushing or regular draining. You could get buckets in future that have a tap at the bottom.

you can also try googling 'wicking bucket'. But these use soil and media. The media only option above will work. You may just need to water regularly. Clay balls will work best as they tend to stay moist above the waterline.

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Well I do have a small drill and I can do it but I have nowhere to start and I don't want to start drilling in holes unless there is an idea of what I should do.

all you need is something like this to go with your drill (step drill bit)... it will cut any diameter you need.
http://www.lowes.com/pd/IRWIN-UNIBIT-Un ... et/1209035

try getting some $1 buckets or planters and trialling with them (square is better than round) .

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I have seen dutch bucket systems, however, would I be able to just leave the buckets alone, put the fish inside the buckets??

no it wont work because you have no filtration, circulation or air. It is fundamentally cruel to the fish.

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For fish, I really could keep whatever I like. I have lots of small tropical fish but I was thinking an oscar could be cool to keep. I have a 55 gallon tub I could house him in.

you could make a simple aquaponics setup. But you will need to drill holes and add some pipes.

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '16, 13:26 
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Welcome to the forum! :wave: Let's start with a confidence check- instead of "idk if I can" try "I've not done it yet but, with research and practice I can figure it out" :smile:

You could use a "no holes overflow" I know it's been discussed here and also on monsterfishkeepers forum. I use them, the only tool you need is something to cut pvc pipe, I use pvc cutters but a simple saw blade works. A measuring tape is helpful too. Each overflow only costs a few dollars worth of pvc to make. I don't even glue anything. If your fish tank is high enough, You could overflow from fish tank to bucket to bucket etc... And then pump back to fish tank. I'll try to post a pic tomorrow


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PostPosted: Aug 30th, '16, 08:20 
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Here's what I use on one of my aquariums. I hope it helps


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File comment: No holes overflow
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PostPosted: Aug 30th, '16, 09:08 
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cooledwhip wrote:
Hey all. I'm new here. I'm a tropical fish enthusiast and I love breeding fish. I breed all sorts of tropical fish and lots of aquatic plants, so hearing ab out aquaponics and how simple it could be really excited me!

I want to make a couple DIY systems. I wanted to get some information or tips on how to grow my plants. Currently I have some terrestrial plants in my backyard. I am growing green beans, tomatos, mint, basil, oregano, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers. I want to bring them inside for the winter and make an aquaponics system for them.

I bought about 5 5 gallon multi purpose buckets from the hardware store. I also have some floating baskets that you use to put water lilies in like in ponds?

My idea is to put the baskets in the buckets, fill the baskets with clay pebbles, and then fill the bucket with water and put an air stone/air pump in there. Would that work for aquaponics system? I don't have a clue about fertilizing these things, as the ferts I have are only good for aquatic plants.

I have a single T5HO grow light, I'm sure I will need some more light though yes?

I'm very new to this topic. I have seen other people use styrofoam and put the pots in that? I want to make a cheap system. Any other suggestions would be great!! Thanks much!!

I love the idea of using the 5 gallon bucket because they are cheap and are pretty big for holding water. You could put a large plant in there. Thanks


Here are some that I make from 5 gal and 25 gal re-cycled containers

5 gal bucket, 1.5 gal reservoir, grows 5 plants per bucket.

25 gal tub, 7.0 gal reservoir,8 vertical sidewall planting holes, grow another 2 or more plants in the top.

http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/gall ... -planters/


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PostPosted: Sep 4th, '16, 03:22 
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Ok I think I will go through the aquaponics system method. I created some blueprints using a dutch bucket system.5 buckets, all have grommets on the bottom side of the 5 gallon buckets that all empty into a long horizontal tube that empties into a 35 gallon tub with fish in it. (filtered with an aquarium filter). I then use a powerhead/pump to pump the water up into a single long tube that runs across all of the tops of the buckets that spray the water onto the top. I don't know too much about the output, if I should use a spray or a ball valve or something to control the flow. I don't want it too powerful or too weak.

Also, would I be able to keep these in the basement? I'm scared if mice will eat the vegetables and stuff. We have mice downstairs.


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