Brian C’s Aquaponic System

I toured an aquaponics system today that was pretty cool.  Here are the stats:

  • 300 gallon fish tank + 100 gallon sump tank + 55 gallon fry tank
  • 30 pounds of fish (mostly talipia)
  • preps tap water w/ vitamin C (ascorbic acid) (500mg per 50 gallons of tap water)
  • adds 1 tbs of chelated iron per month
  • has to add 15 gallons of water per day
  • uses Gyneral Dynamics ‘pH down’ product (phosphoric acid) to adjust pH level
  • maintains a pH of 6.8 to 7.0
  • home made growbeds are 10″ deep and filled with expanded shale
  • commercial growbeds are filled with hydroton
  • added red wiggler worms to grow beds
  • removes pump filter sponges

Brian C also had some very thoughtful comments about things he would do to make the system better:

  • use larger auto-siphon valves (the current 3/4″ valves don’t keep up with incoming water flow, so the siphon is never broken)
  • use deeper grow beds (12″)
  • pipe from fish tanks into grow beds so that nutrients don’t settle in sump (currently flows from fish tank to sump, then to grow beds)
  • better to use one pump instead of 3
  • add power backup system
  • build greenhouse around system
  • add multiple water entrances to growbed to prevent solids buildup

More notes:  

  • 1 lb of fish to 1 gal of water
  • 1 gal of water to 2 gal of growbed
  • uses 33% protein fish feed
  • ECOPLUS pumps are cheap, low power, and have replaceable parts
  • uses flow switch to prevent emptying of tank of problem exists
  • says timing of flood/drain cycle is not very important
  • successfully cloned a tomato plant by cutting of healthy branch without blooms and sticking it down in the gravel
  • built an egg tumbler out of a florescent light protector w/ bubbler 1/2 down tube
  • trained perch to eat feed by adding bloodworms


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