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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '19, 14:13 
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Recently cycled and stocked with 30 feeder goldfish as a test. An opportunistic fungal infection claimed a few that were particularly stressed by the transfer (I get this issue all the time with feeders), but 25 still remain and are healthy. The system is currently home to a small zucchini plant and a small Japanese eggplant (not yet pictured, as I wasn't able to get another shot before it got dark). I think this bad boy is just about ready for some Mozambique tilapia fingerlings!

Features the system includes:

  • ~150 gal fish tank with two 2" SLOs to gravity feed water to the sump
  • ~100 gal sump tank that is buried 16" into the ground to provide additional thermal insulation during the warmest and coolest months of the year (I am in an inland southern California climate and temps can sometimes be a bit extreme)
  • 1000GPH submersible pump to circulate water throughout the system
  • 7 x 5' ZipGrow towers
  • 2' x 3' media bed outfitted with a bell siphon that has a drain cover installed on top to prevent media spillage into the guard and a permanently installed media guard (I used Rob Bob's design)
  • MicRO 75 RO filter with float valve for automatic water top offs
  • 800 watts of electric heating
  • Screen doors mounted to the lid to keep out critters (I am in the foothills so we have a lot of them!)

Features soon to be installed:

  • Four-outlet air pump with airstones - three of which will go in the fish tank and one of which will go in the sump tank. I am anticipating water temps over 90 degrees in August
  • Moving bed biofilter with relief line that drains back into the sump which will be run off of a second 1000GPH pump (the separate pump and moving bed filter will be my insurance if the main pump fails!)
  • A DIY solar water heater so that the electric heating may be relegated to a supplemental role

I will be posting updates! I am also using a game camera to record a time lapse video of the system over the course of the growing season. Stay tuned...

Image

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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '19, 18:25 
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Looking good. The foam filled C channels look a treat. Expensive??

Looking forward to updates.


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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '19, 20:31 
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Nice!


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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '19, 23:37 
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Nhibbo wrote:
Looking good. The foam filled C channels look a treat. Expensive??

Looking forward to updates.


Thanks! You mean the towers? They are ZipGrows, and they retail for $79.99 USD each, so yes, very expensive! I was lucky enough to get a couple donated to me by my work, but I would have otherwise DIYed a similar tower.

But I like them a lot, even though replanting is a bit on the labor-intensive side. The growing media inside has a very high specific surface area and doubles as a biological and mechanical filter.

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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '19, 07:05 
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Looks great
Fish tank lid has given me an idea
:D

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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '19, 07:57 
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Thanks for that info Musamaniac,

At $80 USD ea. I would find the outlay too much to make it worthwhile. Like you, I'm sure I could whip something similar up, but will have to look for a suitable substitute for the foam. I like the way they drain back into the tank. I am thinking about setting up a stand alone mini herb tower in a spare corner of my greenhouse and your zipgrow system would be ideal.


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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '19, 12:00 
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Hi Nhibbo, this video might be of help to you. He is using pond filter media.

The ZipGrow towers also have a felt wicking strip inside that runs vertically along the tower to distribute water. The insert folds in half and the wicking strip and plants are sandwiched in between the two halves.



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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '19, 12:40 
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Media bed is planted and stocked up with red wigglers (hence why there is coir in it)! Here we have:

- 'Emerald Delight' zucchini which was planted prior
- Ichiban-type Japanese eggplant
- 'Ace 55' canning tomato
- Assorted multicolored cherry tomatoes
- English marigold

Image

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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '19, 01:45 
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Here's an update! The tilapia are in and are doing great. They are extremely voracious eaters, and they seem to coexist just fine with the remaining goldfish that are in there. The goldfish are too fast and I haven't been able to transfer them all into the sump tank yet.

The orange Mozambiques have gorgeous coloration. One arrived dead in the bag, but other than that no deaths so far (the one in the pic is alive).

The growth on the plants thus far has been excellent too despite the pH still hanging in the mid 7s. I have been able to keep nitrates at 15-20 ppm and they are very grateful for that. I also planted some rosemary, oregano, and thyme in the bottom half of the tower I planted prior. Peppers go in next, then greens, then strawberries.

I moved my potted blue java / ice cream bananas and Italian large leaf basil next to the system so that I can water them with aquaponic water.ImageImageImageImage

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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