Farm Stories

Aquaponics Phase 2

aquaponics tank update 12-30 002

phase 2 of the aquaponics system is built and installed. it is the grow bed we will be using. it is 6 ‘ long 2.5 foot wide and 2 foot deep. it will be filled with ceramic balls 

 

aquaponics tank update 12-30 009

Mother Earth 714112 Hydroton Clay Pebbles, 10 L

These clay pebbles allow the plants to grow without clogging the fish tank filters. the water runs right through it and goes back into the tank through a series of pvc tubes that will be installed. that is the 2nd phase. 

We lined the grow bed and the fish tank with food grade plastic liners that are found online

https://www.americover.com/linecard_aquaponics.html

 

This company custom-made the liner for us to our specs. We are using the black liner to keep down the algae growth. The fish will still receive plenty of light from the green house windows. This room is very well-lit with natural sunlight.

Our Christmas present to ourselves was the material for the grow bed and the clay pebbles. That is one of the most expensive parts of this operation. cost about 400.00 in clay pebbles but they are reusable. cleanable and last for a long time. approximately 10 years or more before they need to be replaced. we also purchased a fish tank pump that can drive the water up to the grow beds, and funnel it back down into the fish tank below. as you can see the grow bed sits right on top of the tank at one end. that is there the water will come out of it and run back into the tank of fish below.

The plants and pebbles in the grow beds filter the fish waste and add air to it so very little is needed to add additional air to the tank. just a couple of small air stones will be sufficient for the size of the tank and the fish we intend to put in it. 

The other end of the tank is set up much the same way except the grow bed will run the other direction so we can still get in and maintain the tank, plants and pumps.

Once we have all the tubing in place we will put the air pump in. prime the water and start filling the tank. It won’t be filled all the way to capacity because the top 1 foot of the tank is the water that flows through the grow bed. If we filled the tank to the top then when the water flowed through the beds and back into the tank it would be too much and would flood the tank with water spilling all over the floor.

You have to leave room for the water that is siphoned out and runs through the grow beds. If ever it stops siphoning you don’t want more water in the tank then what came out of it. 

aquaponics tank update 12-30 004

NEXT UP we will fill it with water. gold-fish or other fish to get the water to produce the nitrates it needs and then we can add our fish we intend to grow for us to eat. tilapia and catfish are our plans for now. Both are warm water fish.

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