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Aquaponics  RSS feed

 
Posts: 77
Location: mid Ohio, 40.318626 -83.766931
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I'm looking to build an aquaponic system later this year using several IBC totes for fish and then some grow beds fed from the fish tanks.

the system hopefully will be in a temperature and light controlled environment with the intent to be operational thru out the year.

the question i have is, How big a system do you need to support 2 adults with veg

regards Phil
 
master pollinator
Posts: 2168
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Hi Phil.

There are a few aquaponics threads that you could peruse that will have answers to your questions.

The big issue, though, is that if you are producing enough fish to eat as a staple for two adults, the amount of fertilizer you generate will probably far outweigh the amount you need to grow the veg you two would need.

Realistically, you are starting with fingerlings, in all likelihood, right? You won't need more than one IBC tote for them at that stage. I would base your fish space based not on stocking rates, but on the amount of space an individual juvenile to adult needs.

To answer your questions, I have a few of my own that should help you arrive at a more complete large picture.

How many species of fish/organism will you/can you fit in the space? For me, I would be looking to construct as complete an ecosystem analogue as possible, making sure that there are oxygen-creating aquatic plants that also provide food and shelter to smaller fish; a species such as the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, something small and fairly hardy that would convert small particulates into food, and become food for a larger species of fish; an edible catfish species, dwelling in the bottom of the tank and eating whatever falls to them; probably algae-eating fish or snails that could likewise serve as a food source; and a barrel sedimentation tank holding a species of bivalve suitable for my needs, for water filtration and another protein source.

All this would provide natural, sustainable, short-term backups for any equipment involved for oxygenation, cleaning, and filtration, such that the negative effects of a power outage would be minimised. I would definitely have a raised reservoir as a "water battery" of sorts, such that if the power went out, there would be a reserve of water pouring gently into the tank, adding oxygen for that little bit longer until you can get the power up again. But the potential for equipment failure wouldn't keep me from adding oxygen to the system mechanically anyways, as along with food, oxygen will be the limiting factor to the system.

What form do you see your aquaponics taking? Are you going to be growing greens on floating rafts in the IBC totes where your fish live? Are you cycling dirty fish water out of your tanks and into a flood-and-drain bucket system, or one of those constant flow systems, whereby plants are grown in some neutral growing medium in a connected pipe system, gravity fed on racks or something? Are you looking at simply watering planted beds with fish water? Or some combination of the above?

And what other farm/food systems are going to be interacting with your aquaponic set up? Some who keep aquaponic setups, even passive pond setups, grow things like duckweed or other edible plants for ducks or chickens to eat, and there are types of algae that can be harvested and dried, to be either added as an amendment to the soil or added to animal feed.

The point is, more detail is better. Also, the more you think about how the waste products of your aquaponic adventures can be used as feedstock for other systems, the more useful the whole idea becomes.

But let us know what happens, and good luck.

-CK
 
Phil Grady
Posts: 77
Location: mid Ohio, 40.318626 -83.766931
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Chris, the main purpose of the system is to provide fresh vegetables through out the winter months and a good suply of fish thru out the year. we have more than enough land to produce vegetables the rest of the year.

I was thinking of using 2 IBC totes  for the fish + 1 other as a balast tank. 1 tank for Talapia  and the other for trout.

for grow beds i was going to use 1/2 55 gallon plastic drums, as i can get these free, but i would also like a constant flow area as this can utilize wall area rather than floor space.

the building will be heated during the winter months using a RMH and lighting will be supplemented using LED's powered by either a solar or wind generator and battery backup.

so, the questions then are

with 2 275 gallon totes how many fish can i keep without over stocking

using 1/2 55 gallon drums how many grow beds should this system be able to support without adding extra nutrients.

i would like 2 grow beds to be for root vegetables and 2 for leaf greens, will i have enough capacity to add a constant flow system also.

Thanks in advance

Phil
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
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I'm planning a similar size system to what you describe.

From what I've read I figure two IBC tanks can support 50-75 plate size talapia.  This of course assumes you have enough grow bed to filter the water.

Are you planning to buy all your fish food or grow your own?  From what I've read, if you buy the food it's cheaper to just buy the talapia fillets, than the food to grow them out.  But that analysis probably doesn't count the cost of the vegetables.
Still a simpler, and cheaper, solution might be to go with hydroponics. Especially if you only want to grow veggies during the winter.  They make some really nice hydroponics solutions from seaweed, etc.
 
pollinator
Posts: 181
Location: Australia, Canberra
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Phil

With a 1000L IBC as fish tank, 4 grow beds cut from IBCs and a half IBC sump tank feeds us very well but I don't rely on it solely. I also have soil gardens, trees, perennials etc.

Here is my system.

I am using only one pump from sump to fish tank. The rest is all on gravity.

I have 30 trout in the FT and 10 silver perch in the sump. Silver perch only eats during spring summer and keeps the system running while I am waiting for the trout shipment.
 
Phil Grady
Posts: 77
Location: mid Ohio, 40.318626 -83.766931
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Gurkan. Thank you for sharing.

your system is very close to what i'd like to build, except for using cut 55 gallon drums as the grow beds.

i'll also be building my system within an insulated room, so that it can be used thru out the year.
 
Posts: 1
Location: US
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In simple terms we can say that aquaponics is the combination of hydroponic and aquaculture and it is the best way of growth for plants and fish together in one integrated system And in this system fish waste use as a natural food for plants and plants play the role of natural filter for the fish.
Aquaponics may be large and small in size according need, Small can be used for indoor and large one for the backyard and garden. If you are searching for how to aquaponic then contact us.
 
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