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Aquaponics setup for my home: Need some advice from someone who knows.

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posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 07:58 PM
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Move if in wrong forum, thanks.

Ok, so I'm setting up this years garden here at home and since my soil here at the house just isn't up to par and I was going to set up a raised garden anyway I think I'd like to setup a aquaponic system with a small fish pond. I'd like to hear from anyone who's done this already themselves and has some pointers for me so I don't waste time with known issues. The area is about a 10 x 20 ft. area. I am going to build raised boxes to get them out of my worthless soil. Is there anyone here that can help???




posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

Search YT: "Praxxus55712" and "MHPGardener"...both are experts.

I heard bad results from trout raising ponds...deseases.

You owe me 200 of your ATS points for this!



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 08:42 PM
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originally posted by: Granite
a reply to: mOjOm

Search YT: "Praxxus55712" and "MHPGardener"...both are experts.

I heard bad results from trout raising ponds...deseases.

You owe me 200 of your ATS points for this!


Thank you. I'll message them and see what they say.

I'd give you 2000 points or even 20000 if I knew how to transfer them. You figure that out and they're yours.



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: mOjOmI have raised beds, and also a 300 gallon Koi pond. The garden didnt really like the fish water all that much, so I dont do that anymore. I also have a 200 gallon poly tank I fill with city water and let the chlorine vent out. From there it goes into a 55 gallon barrel which I mix in liquid kelp and fish emulsion, and azomite. I balance the pH then areate the mixture. The plants love that. They also like lots of earth worm castings. I have several large raised beds, and they go year round. I am constantly harvesting organic produce


edit on 15-2-2016 by visitedbythem because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 09:37 PM
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a reply to: visitedbythem

Cool. You sound like just the source I need. Ok, so the fish thing didn't work too well huh?? So let's say I go the route you're doing using the city water and adding in what I need. What's the cost off all that extra stuff vs. trying the natural way???

What's your method for the raised beds???

What method do you use for watering?? Is it auto or manual with different rates???

You say you grow year around?? Where do you live and what's the climate like?? Does that require full cover for a greenhouse effect???

Lastly, I'm wanting to grow watermellon which spread out a lot but I have some ideas for that. Have you tried watermellon before??? Other than that we usually grow tomatoes, big and small and a variety of other veg. No flowers or anything like that. Just food.



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 10:30 PM
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originally posted by: mOjOm
a reply to: visitedbythem

Cool. You sound like just the source I need. Ok, so the fish thing didn't work too well huh?? So let's say I go the route you're doing using the city water and adding in what I need. What's the cost off all that extra stuff vs. trying the natural way???

What's your method for the raised beds???

What method do you use for watering?? Is it auto or manual with different rates???

You say you grow year around?? Where do you live and what's the climate like?? Does that require full cover for a greenhouse effect???

Lastly, I'm wanting to grow watermellon which spread out a lot but I have some ideas for that. Have you tried watermellon before??? Other than that we usually grow tomatoes, big and small and a variety of other veg. No flowers or anything like that. Just food.

I built my raised beds out of 2x 12s. I screwed them together with sheet rock screws, with galvinized plated for extra strength. I shopped around and had a few truck loads of top quality planter mix dumped on my driveway. You want a good fluffy soil to promote fast and extensive rooting.
Right now I am using Neptunes Harvest fertilizer (its not cheap), it is available on Amazon and Ebay. I have also used organic Blood meal and bone meal with good results. I do really like to use alot of kelp. Another thing I use alot of is Azomite rock dust. It is loaded with a multitude of minerals. I balance the pH of the fertiliser water with pH Up, from general hydroponics. I think I run it up to about 6.5-6.7 pH.
I do grow some smaller watermellons but I especially like to grow Ambrosia cantalopes. I train them up onto thick netting that keeps them off the ground. I also do that with Cucumbers. I let them hang down. I grow all kinds of Tomatoes as well. My favorite, if you can find them is "Mr Stripey"
Right now I have cauliflower, broccoli, kale, peas, brussel sprouts, bok choy, carrots, swiss chard, spinach, celery,collards and all kinds of herbs. I have probably 50 lbs of sunchokes in the garden ready for harvest. Potatos will go in in a month or so. Im in northern California so the winter isnt too cold, but I do have a permanant green house that is mainly a work station or for starting seeds in. Some of my gardens do convert to green houses if needed but I havnt done that for awhile.
I like to make a mild fertilixer water soultion so I can use it more often. It wont burn the plants, and I can even sprat the leaves with it. I use a small 1/3 horse submersible pump with a garden hose to pump the fert water to the plants manually. But sometimes I just get lazy and turn on a sprinkler



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 11:57 PM
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a reply to: visitedbythem

Cool man. I live in Central Cali. so it's close to the same climate. You're a bit cooler up there but at least we're close enough so that your advice for growing will be easy to adjust if needed.

Wow, I hope using all those different fertilizers and stuff is easier than it sounds. I'm still pretty new at all this. Wife and I have been growing every summer for the past few years. But the soil at our house sucks so we tried fixing it and it's better now but not good enough. The ph was fine but it has like zero minerals or anything else left. So we used fertilizer last year which helped some. Her tomatoes went crazy. We had some Mr. Stripey's in there too. We had massive bushes of sweet 100's!!! We would just pick a big bowl full every few days and eat them by the hand full like grapes. Soooo Good and sweet.

The trouble has been my watermelon. They're tricky but I think it's just the soil for the most part. I grew some a few years ago in my sisters front yard. Just stuck the seeds in the ground next to her slow leaking sprinkler next to some sun flowers. They went nuts. Had a whole patch of them growing the length of her drive way and almost into the street. Didn't fertilize them or anything.

Thanks for the tips. Maybe when I get it built I'll post some pics so you can tell me what ya think and what I might want to change.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 12:44 AM
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I covered this a bit back in a post.


link

I have used and designed nearly all types of hydro setups. The name of the game is consistency.
Ph, ppm of nutrients, temp etc.

Introduction of organics into water creates all kinds of issues with molds, decomp raising acidity levels etc..

Another often overlooked problem is clogged drip ends. Nutes and salts/minerals will clog gravity fed systems over time, making irregular flow or nutrient delivery or dry roots.

A much better design is in that link, it is extremely efficient, runs for 1 min, twice a day via a cheap digital timer, on a 12v pump, drawing minimal amperage, and can run off of solar as well.

This system utilizes a tank that is oxygenated with a bubbler, keeping nute solution oxygenated and stable.
The pump operates on a pressure switch, so it will always hold 55psi of pressure in the line when powered on, it will deactivate at that set pressure.

Your output line is filtered with a 100 micron in line filter, so the tips don't clog. Distribution lines go to standard pressure drip ends. They open at a set pressure, so all tips drip the same flow rate of 1-3 gph.

Substrate can vary, but anti fungal properties are the best, such as spun volcanic rock, or rockwool.
The brand called Groden makes a 8" cube called Big Mama Grow Blocks. They are phenomenal in this setup.

Hydroponic nutrients are now chealated forms of the exact ammounts plants crave.
They are not only the edible form, they are "sterile" and wont react with water and rot.
They are also flushed easier in the final harvest week, as to not transfer chemicals and salts to the finished veggies, unlike soil and nutes.
I can give you some setup and nute tips if you like, let me know.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 01:16 AM
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here's what you're wondering....

it's too labor intensive and only a choice in a survival deally....raised beds with 4H barn manure....not the calves, too salty....the secret here is 12 dollar a gallon seaweed in a bottle....and worm dirt....the roots will actually come to the surface since worm dirt usually gets added later.....



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 02:10 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

Yeah, I'll take whatever advice you want to give. Keep in mind this will be my first time doing this so keep it basic. Really what I need is just the basics. Also if there is some standard ratio that is used to calculate the amount of water per area or something that would be helpful. Then I can always scale it up or down and make the adjustments myself. But I'll look at that link and see what it says.

There are various ways to do the setup. Like some use soil and some don't. Mine will be outside so soil isn't an issue as far as being a mess. I'll be using city water too so anything I need to do to treat the water and give it nutrient rich quality for the plants I'll need to know. Again I can always scale it up if there is some standard.

Basically just explain it to me like you would explain it to a complete idiot to be safe. Simple, cheap, but working. I'll fill in the details I need for the construction if needs be. I really need the concept of what's happening and why.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 04:31 AM
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a reply to: mOjOm

I bet using a small amount of top soil around the plants is a good idea. and using nocturnal species of fish, if the water does not get much light.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm
No problem. I can share some basics.

Water quality
-Plants roots need at least 50% air to water ratio, this is the number 1 mistake for growing in any substrate.
Soggy roots rot and create fungus and bad nute intake, so substrate needs to be aiy, light and non-organic.
-A Hannah brand or similar tds,ec,ph and temp monitoring device is mandatory for hydro.
-Tap water needs to be filtered via ro before mixing in your nutrients, it has upwards of 3-50O ppm of unwanted junk in it. Plants take only 800 -1100 ppm total, depending on plant, you dont want 500 of that to be junk.
-Your reservoir should be designed or filled to the depth that it is used up in 1 week. Beyond that, it starts getting unstable on the ph, and high on the ppm and salts from any evaporation reducing water to nutes ratios.
-water temps over 74 degrees grow fungus and algae in the tank, as well as light penetration, so outdoor barrels should be painted black then white for best results.
-ph is adjusted after nutrients are in the water, they will change water ph give them 20 min to stabalize, then use a couple drops of ph up or ph down until you get the targeted ph.
-Run a air pump and aquarium stone to keep the nutes mixed and oxygenated in the tank.
-TDS=total dissolved solids. This is expressed in parts per million (ppm). This is measuring the solids(fertilizers) in the water.
-pH-acidity level-around neutral, but dependant on species.
-google your plant and find ideal ppm and ph.
-I would check out that sytem in the link. It is my opinion one of the best setups ever. Runs even at the drippers and its easy to operate. You can run it outdoors or in, as well as any substrate, even your lawn, when set right.
-Throw tank in garage, basement, or somewhere cool, then run outdoors on a tiny 1/4 distribution tubing. Harbor Freight sells distribution tubing complete w drippers and stakes, then add pressure reg drippers for consistant flow.
-The pump in setup will do 1-100 plants or more. The "pump on"cycle is adjusted at the timer. If you run pump until soils moist, check your watch, then set timer to run time, avoiding over-watering. I think it was about 15 plants watered for 1 min in the morning, and again at 1 pm for 1 week, using 15 gallons, on the setup from link. Extremely efficient.

Check out Advanced Nutrients nutrient calculator. You can input your reservoir size and it will calculate the rest for you. They are rich on their estimates, so add 10% to your reservoir size on calc.


Added: The plants use just over half their normal ppm when small. If they like 1000ppm as adults, they will generally do good at 600 ppm before major growth, 300 at seedlings and 50-100 on clones, or tissue prop cloning.
edit on 2 by Mandroid7 because: added to



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

Hey, thanks for the info. I went to your link but all the pictures are missing. Is there a way to get those back???



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