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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '15, 06:30 
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I have raised tilapia and had grow beds on a small scale for a yr now and am ready to move on to something bigger. I know the basics my question is how to I filter out all the extra fish poo? I have been running a pump from fish tank to grow bed, but if Im going to have a large grow bed I sure don't want to dismantle it to clean it like I have been having to do with this one! I know there is a way. Thanks guys!! :think:


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '15, 09:51 
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How often have you been cleaning your pump?

I pull mine up, get all the gunk/leaves off it, drop it back in. Takes all of five minutes. I do it once every two months or so.

But if you really want to avoid it, you can raise up your fish tank, and gravity feed direct to the grow beds, then have a pump in a lower sump to pump back to your fish tank.

If you really want to filter, look up Radial flow filter, and put it after the fish tank.

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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '15, 04:03 
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+1 Have to agree with Colum. Look into CHIFT PIST systems. Much less maintenance when built right. Also look into red worms (vermaponics).

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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '15, 04:49 
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Colum Black-Byron wrote:
But if you really want to avoid it, you can raise up your fish tank, and gravity feed direct to the grow beds, then have a pump in a lower sump to pump back to your fish tank.


My setup is along these lines.

You'll still need to clean the pump occasionally and do some maintenance but a lot depends on how much you're feeding and how many fish you have. If you stock lightly you won't get as much buildup and may not need to clean the grow beds for years (red wrigglers help with this). The pump in the sump tank will probably just need to have growth knocked off - get a good quality pump that can handle solids and that is easy on electricity (they cost more but pay for themselves in a year or two - Laguna is a good brand but there are others - we have a thread if you look around). I usually just give mine a sweep with a broom (saved especially for use in the system) or use a fish net to remove the larger bits of algae that are clinging to the pump. There will be other minor things to do but they are very little maintenance.

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PostPosted: Feb 6th, '15, 07:46 
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Are you trying to expand your FT? GB? or Both? If you increase the GB area then you'll need that extra poo. If you're trying to add a raft or just expand the FT then yeah a filter will be needed like said.


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PostPosted: Feb 13th, '15, 20:45 
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:wave1: Thanks for all the replies guys. I guess I didn't make myself clear, sorry. what I meant was cleaning out the grow bed. Now don't laugh. I have to clean my pump like every other day along with my hoses. And yes I know the plants like the poo, however my grow bed is small in proportion to my quantity of fish and therefore "fills up" if you will and dumps dirty water back into tank. I have tried a couple time to make a swirl filter but have failed so far. I will be able to have a much bigger grow area in new system -setting up a greenhouse. just have to figure out the blue prints if you will. :D


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PostPosted: Feb 14th, '15, 03:35 
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I would defiantly look into a RFF. They work pretty well. How big is your FT and GB? post some pics!


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PostPosted: Feb 19th, '15, 04:22 
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I could really use some help on how to set up a system in a 8 x 16 ft greenhouse with what I have. I have 2 ibc totes, some 55 gal barrels, and access to pallets. my husband is a disabled vet so we cant do a lot of heavy building, but I am determined to do this. currently I have aprox 200 tilapia in a 135 gal fish tank in the house and a 3 x 3 ft grow bed with an additional filter. it gets too cold to winter them outside here. if any of you could get me started with a plan maybe? an idea of what im doing lol it would be great. thank you


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PostPosted: Feb 19th, '15, 05:25 
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I think you should know right off that most of the heavy work with a system isn't really the initial building, it's the hauling of the rocks to fill the media beds. I'm going to suggest for reasons of your climate and the heavy lifting factors that you would be best off keeping media beds to a minimum and using mostly Deep Water Culture. This will add the expense of pond liner and extruded styrofoam for the DWC grow beds, air lines and pump, and net pots. It will likely reduce the number of plumbing fittings you need vs if you used the barrels. You'll have to drill holes for net pots of equivalent to hold the plants. The advantage is that the styrofoam floating on the water will help insulate it (although it will need to be replaced every few years - unlike rocks). The actual beds would be build from the Pallet wood but you might need some 2 x 4 material from the lumber yard. Many set these DWC beds up at ground level but they can be raised as well. DecalsbyJT's thread has some wicking bed builds from pallets that I think would work for this (http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12933&start=30). His wicking beds are too deep for this so only build them to be about 12 inches deep when full and line them with pond liner. Another version built with plywood is shown on the howling moose gardens thread and in Karens YouTube videos, look for building the trough videos here - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA26ECB8A63FE944F. Probably could do some fusion and get one of your own going. Provided you build them well, you can install H shaped supports or use concrete blocks if you want them off the ground (two posts and a horizontal between them). If you don't have much growing head height build them lower, you'll probably need to bury the sump and pipes enough for the beds to drain in this case. You'll probably be able to skip making a bottom if they are on the ground - I think the pallet wood would just rot. What I would do is put sand in the bottom and just level this, then place the pond liner inside the box on top of the sand. You may run into problems if you have a lot of digging critters around using this method. Termites are a problem for wood in some areas as well.

The movement of the water would be from the Fish Tank to the media beds then to the DWC and finally back to the Sump and then the cycle starts over when the water is pump back up to the fish tank. You might need an additional filter to remove solids before the media beds, some do, some don't - depends on fish loads and I'm not as up on how many fish it takes for good growth in a DWC system (I've seen it but don't remember where :dontknow: )

As far as layout, you'll need aisles wide enough to move around in but you also need to be able to reach across the grow beds - so figure what works for you (keep in mind it's not the same distance at waist height as at ground level). Since IBC's are close to 4 ft across and you have a good sized but relatively narrow greenhouse, I'd put them at the far end away from the door. Although you didn't say I'm guessing one of the IBC's is to be a fish tank and the other will become a sump and a grow bed since this is what most do. This means that on one side of the greenhouse you will have the IBC grow bed. If makes sense to have it over the sump if possible but you don't want to cover the sump to the point where you can't access the pump or clean it out. Also note that IBC's aren't quite square so it may matter to you, how they are turned against that wall. Turning the grow bed one way and the sump another might be useful. So at this stage you'll need to get a sheet of graph paper (or computer program if you prefer) and draw your greenhouse to scale. Assuming the door is at the middle of your greenhouse on one end, your path should probably be straight down the middle going from this door. This leaves roughly 3 ft to either side depending on what width aisle you need. Can you reach this far across? If not, use narrower grow beds and have other containers stick out from this toward the center aisle to create U shapes where you can step into the middle of the U. 5 gallon buckets from bakeries might be a cheap way to do this. If you want' to connect them to the AP system, you can make your own through the bucket fittings (bulkhead fittings) if you can't find them. I can explain this if you wind up needing it.

You'll need a GFCI electrical outlet to run any pumps or other equipment in the GH.

To give you layout ideas and see how others have done their IBC systems you should take a look through the IBC's of Aquaponics if you haven't already. It's a freebie and you'll see a link at the very top of the BYAP website on the right. Download the PDF version. It tells you one way to cut an IBC but look around because it's been done other ways too.

Ask away if you have questions, someone here knows the answer


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PostPosted: Feb 19th, '15, 06:07 
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There are lots of ways to do this - Here's a two tank (two system) method using media not DWC

Each system has an IBC for a fish tank and a 55 gallon barrel(or a half barrel) for a sump tank. The fish tank drains by a SLO to the grow beds, which then drain to the sump, and water is pumped from here back to the fish tank. You'd have two separate pumps for this system and you'd probably have to use Constant Flood because of the small sump size relative to the fish tank size.

I haven't looked at this one enough to say it's exactly right but it will give you the idea for where the sump would go and how the grow beds would be setup. Just so you know I think the barrel underneath is being used as the fish tank not a sump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JE_tSw5lAE

Here's another but I think he'll have problems reaching across the grow beds. Still it looks nice -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctWzKGPYCkM


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