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Suggestions for an aquaponic tank?

 
Seva Tokarev
Posts: 78
Location: Minnesota, zone 4, loamy sand
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I am planning to experiment with aquaponics once my greenhouse is finished and tested by the elements (that is, next spring.)
All my encounter with aquaponics so far was Silvia Bernstein's book and this forum.

I do not think I have seen a sizable tank design discussed anywhere yet. Let's brainstorm?

Since I don't know any better, I am considering a smaller (1000 gallons) metal frame above ground pool not unlike this or this; what are the other options?

Shape: I expect round to be more practical than rectangular or oblong.
In-ground vs above-ground: the former should be more mechanically sound, but I am not sure how the temperatures will distribute in the winter. Need to experiment.
Material: plastic lining; what else?
Frame: could build my own, wooden or metal, but that will take a lot of effort and resources; I would rather go with prefabricated.
 
Anthony Zheng Gao
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Hi Seva,

Thank You for asking. Like to share with You on How To Set Up Aquaponics System Indoors and Outdoors Youtube Video. Its a collection of tutorials from University of Wyoming and independent tank owners. Hope You find it helpful and all the best to You.

Check out video below > Youtube:


Licensed by: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Public Domain Dedication

For ideas on 1000 gallons round barrel aquaponics Check out google images >> 1000 gallons round barrel

If you prefabricate, one important thing to note is check if the material used are okay for gardening, different tank material can be used for different purposes. Do kindly check. There are industrial standards and codes I suppose for the materials. You can Consider IBC Tank.
Check out this article >> IBC Tank Container

You can also contact http://www.richsoil.com/paul-wheaton.jsp With Respect, Paul's blog is mentioned at bottom of this forum. He has a twitter and google plus profile which You can ask him as well. Or also contact forum staff > http://www.permies.com/t/49856/tnk/contact-contact-paul-contact-staff

Yours sincerely
Happy Gardening
From Anthony Zheng Gao
 
Mel Green
Posts: 26
Location: Australia
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Yay for aquaponics Seva

I personally would go a harder plastic container (such as the 1000l water troughs on the Youtube clip) or a professional, agricultural sized, water tank, cut in height to about 3ft high. It's surprising how many of these you can pick up cheap or free from farms or local rural outlets. We have never had much problem sourcing ours for free - people just want to get rid of them because they are so large.

We have tried all methods, and currently have two large setups. They are permanent structures, and if we were to get a leak and lose 3000l of water it would cause a lot of damage, so the harder the plastic the better (Ours are both your typical corrugated, above ground, metal water tanks, about 3 ft high, at the moment).

My suggestion would be to start off smaller first. One smaller tank filtered through your established grow beds using a gravity fed system. Once you master one smaller tank, you can increase the number of tanks without drama. But there is a big learning curve.

Good luck, we love aquaponics!





 
Seva Tokarev
Posts: 78
Location: Minnesota, zone 4, loamy sand
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Hi Mel! Thanks for giving me that idea; I will research whether not needed professional water tanks are so plentiful in our parts as are in yours. I agree that it's better to start small, but I need to do proper planning while erecting the greenhouse; looks like I already limited myself by the dimensions of the door, though that still allows through a sizable inflexible object.

How small do you suggest to start with? What should be my constraints at this stage?
 
Seva Tokarev
Posts: 78
Location: Minnesota, zone 4, loamy sand
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Hi Anthony!

Anthony Zheng Gao wrote:You can Consider IBC Tank.


thanks for reminding me of those! Somewhere I read such a suggestion but forgot since.
Your suggested google search took me into all the wrong places though.
 
Anthony Zheng Gao
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Hi Seva, You are welcome. Happy to share with You about IBC Tank. Okay got it, Apologies Seva, I wanted to provide general ideas for 1000 gallon tanks. Here is the direct link is here for “1000 Gallons IBC Round Tank” search term. Check it Out here >> https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=1000+gallons+IBC+round+tank&biw=1422&bih=661&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjztPKk4LNAhWHOo8KHYfGDRIQ_AUIBigA&dpr=0.9

Hope it helps, there are some suppliers website in the search results. Do check out reviews on the products.

Happy Aquaponics Gardening.
Cheers
Anthony Zheng Gao
 
Mel Green
Posts: 26
Location: Australia
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Hi Seva

Sounds good. If you can't fit your tanks inside your greenhouse it's o.k to have the tanks outside the greenhouse, and just cut a hole through the plastic wall for your piping. Fish are more adaptable than plants, and that might give you more room. If you use a cold water species like trout they will do fine in freezing water, just cover for snow.

I'd start with a 1000l tank, or even smaller. How big is your grow bed?

Our first aquaponic system was literally a tomato plant floating without soil, in a small 2ft terracotta garden pot filled with water, with a couple of goldfish in it That system taught us that piping leaks are more common than you think, our tanks spring a leak, usually from a burst pipe, a couple of times a year. You learn little tricks, like placing your pump on a couple of bricks, to ensure that even if the tank fully drains, there will always be a puddle of water at the bottom to keep your fish alive until you discover the leak, but better to discover a small puddle than a flooded greenhouse. As you increase the size of your tanks, you'll still make mistakes, only they get bigger How much room have you got?


 
Seva Tokarev
Posts: 78
Location: Minnesota, zone 4, loamy sand
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Mel Green wrote:
How big is your grow bed?
How much room have you got?


There are no grow beds yet, was considering a number of 26x20x8 inch trays (roughly 60 liters).
I have read that one should start with 1:1 ratio of bed to tank volume ratio and move towards 2:1.

"The room," quite a bit of it, is still being built; I am building a 700 square feet greenhouse.
At this point, I am just planning layout of the greenhouse, how can I arrange what.

Will try to use it without fish and see how it survives the winter.
Keeping fish outside is totally not an option, water will freeze solid and remain that way for several months.
Besides, I want the fish tank inside the greenhouse as thermal mass.

About trout I have heard that it's difficult to grow because it not only requires cold water (in the heat of the summer, too), but also running water, which is another level of complexity.
Definitely I am interested in trout, but not as the first thing I try to grow.
 
Mel Green
Posts: 26
Location: Australia
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Sounds like a great setup. A 700sq ft greenhouse will definitely have plenty of room If you place your grow beds high enough, you can fit the tanks directly underneath and double your usable space, that's 1400sq ft of food growing space. Impressive. Our grow beds sit on tables 3ft (1m) high, with the tanks underneath.

We use a flood and drain system - pump turns on every hour for 15 minutes, cycling water through the gravel grow beds. We have a little pump aerating between then. Try what you're comfortable with first, but don't be afraid of trout. The great thing about them is they grow to plate size in 6 months, so by the time the water heats up, they are ready to eat or freeze anyway The "running water" of the tank emptying and filling every hour seems to keep them very happy. I've never grown talapia, but the carp and perch in our area can take up to 2 years to reach a decent size, and by then your attached and don't want to eat them, ha.

Good luck!



 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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This thread has inspired me to learn and draw out a system on Sketchup! I am a ways into it now. I will post it up when I am done... if I can figure out how to post it.

The design will be...

1. Very Low energy
2. Have moving water/current in the fish tank.
3. Be designed with reliability in mind.
4. Be BOTH cheap and fast to make.
5. and have an integrated design to BOTH host multiple aquatic species for a more balanced ecosystem And hold several generations of fish at the same time for less work and even more sustainability. Not so good for a business but great for the back yard.

I have a little 6'x8' greenhouse with a system in it right now. It is my first one but I have had a little while to think some things out. Some things are proving hard to draw in Sketchup. lol

Marty
 
D. Klaer
Posts: 43
Location: Queensland Australia
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I am planning a system at the moment and went with 1000L ibc containers. They are so easy to work with and the price is right

Rob Bob (an Aussie guy near me location wise) has been a great source of info to me, mainly through his YouTube videos. Well worth checking out

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UChz2QEbZECEzUih1DiqZTNA
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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OK. I have now shared my drawing in the 3D warehouse for Sketchup. The heart of the system is a 15' above ground pool! lol

Anyways... here is the link to the thread I started for it.

http://www.permies.com/t/57190/aquaponics/Aquaponics-Greenhouse-Pool-core


Marty
 
Cl Robinson
Posts: 25
Location: SW Alabama zone 8a & 8b
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Yellow perch might be a good option for cold climate AP.   There is a company in Milwaukee called Growing Power that is using yellow perch in rather large commercial greenhouses.  You can find the videos on youtube, there are several.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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