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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '19, 10:57 
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hey so I’ve finally pulled the trigger and built my first aquaponics system ! I have constructed a constant flood media bed system using expanded clay as media . I have a 160gal pump (I think will double check ) , an 8 bulb four foot t5 light fixture with the standard 6500k bulbs but I have ordered a set of the PowerVEG bulbs in their blue/UV power veg formula which I should get this coming week . I’ll double check the numbers on my tanks but it’s about a 2:1 for my fish tanks to grow bed volume . Currently have 3 dozens minnows in the tanks but have lost a few the first few days so far but I think they may be a bad batch have to do some water tests to be sure . Mostly I guess I would like some friendly criticism On my set up as I’m new to this and this is my first post on this forum . I have attached some pictures for review ! I have a side drain on my grow bed not sure if that’s kosher or not ? But I plan to switch to a stand pipe next week anyways as I think my water level is too high . Also I’ve started my lettuce in net pots , is it fine to leave them to grow out in the net pots ? You will only see three sprouting bc I originally started them before I got my light and most bolted so I wrote them off and replanted . Thanks in advance !


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '19, 08:30 
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Hiya Riddler and welcome to the forum.
I have no input on growing under lights as I've not done it however system design I can.
Your supply water being fed to the bottom of the grow bed (gb) is not recommended because later, when the system matures and you start seeing good growth, roots will grow down, get into the pipe and block it, if the clay balls havnt already.
Running constant flow you need to ensure your fish tanks (ft) can hold the entire volume and don't overflow. I can't see the drain for the gb but you say it's on the side, which is fine, just trickier to get a media guard to suit to keep the drain clear. How are you regulating the water level without a standpipe?
Leaving plants in net pots is fine but is there any need to use them in media in the first place?
I would also look at putting an overflow in as its indoors and floods indoors are generally frowned upon. :)
Ventilation and airflow seem to be the main issues, apart from lighting, for indoor set ups from what I've read here on the forum.
Hope this is of some help.

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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '19, 15:54 
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And to add a bit more friendly criticism :wink:

you would need air stones in the grow bed,being a constant flood system.
I don't like the outflow/drain,a blockage would be devastating!.
Your lights look good,but it will get hot & dry in there (even with the t5s).You'll need some way of extracting the heat in the on period and a breeze at the off period ( fan,so mold/bacterial problems don't kick off).In that grow tent,there is a extraction hole at the top,get an extractor fan put in to draw the heat out.
And that clear tube will build up with algae pronto.

If you're going to get a stand pipe,leave that top hole as a back up overflow in case the "faeces hits the fan".


Hope that helps

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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '19, 23:29 
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Hey guys thanks for the input ! My water level is regulated by the level of the side drain which can be viewed in the fourth picture, but I like I said I’m planning on switching to a stand pipe style drain . And for my water in flow I guess I’ll just switch to a straight down pipe essencitally removing the distribution square at the bottom.

I have a fan on top of the light that points up and blows the hot air out the vent hole at the top , should I have another fan blowing on the plants ?

I have an air stone in each fish tank hooked to a single air pump for a 100gal tank capacity would I need additional air stones in the media bed ?

And I guess I’ll have to switch from a clear tube to avoid that algae growth .

Thanks again !!


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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '19, 00:17 
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Riddler wrote:
I have a fan on top of the light that points up and blows the hot air out the vent hole at the top , should I have another fan blowing on the plants ?


On the lights off period when the temperature cools down you will need a breeze (air circulation) so mold doesn't kick off.

Riddler wrote:
I have an air stone in each fish tank hooked to a single air pump for a 100gal tank capacity would I need additional air stones in the media bed ?


If you keep the system as a constant flood,yes you will need an oxygen supply for the roots.If it was a flood and drain system,you wouldn't because the air would be drawn down during the draining.

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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '19, 06:26 
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7341 wrote:
If you keep the system as a constant flood,yes you will need an oxygen supply for the roots.If it was a flood and drain system,you wouldn't because the air would be drawn down during the draining.


As water is constantly being replaced requiring extra air is not in fact required. When you make the media guard only put holes or slits in the bottom half so the water is being drawn from the bottom of the gb.
Anytime the water is in contact with the air it will off gas. The only time I have seen air stones in gb's is when they are media free, ie dwc.

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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '19, 11:13 
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Thank you for the excellent info everyone ! Now my fan above the light does run 24/7 but i will get an additional fan to run for the off light period .

I’m gonna leave my aeration as it is for now and see how the first plants perform.

My PowerVEG lights broke on route to the store I ordered from so have to wait for new ones to show up .

I’ll post some progress pics when things progress a little bit and when I adjust my set up .

Thanks for following along and the tips !


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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '19, 11:21 
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Thank you for the excellent info everyone ! Now my fan above the light does run 24/7 but i will get an additional fan to run for the off light period .

I’m gonna leave my aeration as it is for now and see how the first plants perform.

My PowerVEG lights broke on route to the store I ordered from so have to wait for new ones to show up .

I’ll post some progress pics when things progress a little bit and when I adjust my set up .

Thanks for following along and the tips !


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PostPosted: Feb 13th, '19, 00:14 
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Hey so I got my PowerVEG lights in they seem pretty cool see how they work out ! Got another fan blowing on the plants and changed my drain to a stand pipe set up you can see in pics then filled with media so just the top of pipe is left exposed .

Now should the bottom of my net pots be touching the watwer level or be above it ?


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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '19, 03:59 
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Lights look good.
Don't have the fan blowing continuously or the plants will get wind burn & will get rid of good humidity.

The net pots are in the gravel aren't they?

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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '19, 07:24 
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Ok I will put the plant fan on a timer as well !

The net pots are in the gravel but I was wondering if they should stay in the dry zone or touch into the wet zone as well ?


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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '19, 07:28 
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This pic was from a couple days ago plants have almost doubled in size since then


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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '19, 21:19 
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If the plants have doubled in size,I would leave them alone,they're obviously doing good (leave the net pots).

At night when the temp drops have a continuous breeze,but in the day run it on a timer.
Remember,low temperature (lights off) & humidity = breeding ground for mould & naughty pathogens.

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PostPosted: Feb 24th, '19, 00:18 
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Hey so one of my lettuce plants is starting to really dry out and the leaves are getting brittle ? Any idea what would cause that ?


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PostPosted: Feb 24th, '19, 07:25 
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Growing well, I see an expansion coming on. :)
You do need a media guard around your stand pipe though before the plants get too big and start throwing roots down the pipes...

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