Backyard Aquaponics

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Author:  Danno76 [ Aug 31st, '18, 05:19 ]
Post subject:  Newbie

Hi new to aquaponics and just setting up now
What I need to know is
1 water prep for fish ie ph levels and so on?
2 most cost effective media as I have 2 x 200lt grow trays ?
I'm using fresh rain water will this aid in a faster set up ?
3 what filters will i need to use ?

New to fish tanks so any guidance would be much appreciated

Author:  arbe [ Aug 31st, '18, 07:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Newbie

The best media (in my opinion) is clay balls (ie hydroton). If you don't want to pay for that then any ph neutral media such as gravel or blue metal etc can be used.

Not sure if fresh rain water will be any faster to cycle than tap water.

The grow beds/media are your filters.

The best prep you can do for your fish is to build the system and get it cycling with an amonia source and a water test kit. When you can get an amonia reading of 1 and then 24 hours later get a reading of 0 your system should be ready for fish as long as your nitrite is also 0.

Author:  Danno76 [ Aug 31st, '18, 07:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Newbie

Thanks very much for the response
What ph am I looking for ?
I'm using Silver perch
When you say blue metal are you talking about the small gravel that is used as a road base ?
Also you say the filter is the grow media so does this mean I only need to pump tank water through my grow trays to filter nothing else needed apart from a air pump

Author:  Danno76 [ Aug 31st, '18, 07:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Newbie

Also what is the best amoia source

Author:  Tonzz [ Aug 31st, '18, 09:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Newbie

its at top of forum heading, not being rude mate but read that and read again then use the search bar. We can give you answers but finding them yourself informs you of so much more...

Author:  Terra [ Aug 31st, '18, 10:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Newbie

Long term you would look at a Ph of 6.5 / 6.8 , this can be / is a interesting journey .

Your filter is your gravel grow beds providing you don't overload your system (VERY common trap for beginners) the system can go sideways in a hurry during the learning period.

So set it up so you pump up to growbeds and run back to your fish tank and stock to the generally accepted numbers of 20 Litres of "WET" media per fish , so for you system 12 to 15 silvers would do . If your looking to grow a lot of fish to eat there is a whole different approach needed .

If you only have tiny fingerlings obviously they wont drive your system until they grow enough to provide the nutrients required so you , either (1) get more and expand your system as they grow (2) get more and sell some off before trouble turns up (3) supplement with suitable inputs to keep you plants happy while your fish grow .

As you will find the answer to everything in aquaponics is it "DEPENDS"

As Arbe said the clay balls are good they are a reliable ph neutral media easy to plant into ect ect however if you live in a really windy area they might not work for you (plants get blown around)

I use scoria as its our best local option short of getting a full truck load of granite gravel delivered that would be $$$

Scoria is horrible to plant into but doesn't shift .

Traps to look out for
Power outages
Nitrite spikes
Pump failure
Water leaks
Neighbours complaining of noise
Creatures hammering your plants , Aphids / whitefly / slugs / snails / possums / rats / birds

Have fun just go slow take your time there are no shortcuts

Author:  Danno76 [ Aug 31st, '18, 10:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Newbie

Thanks for all the info everyone I'm thinking alot of this is going to be trial and error

Author:  dlf_perth [ Aug 31st, '18, 21:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Newbie

>> Not sure if fresh rain water will be any faster to cycle than tap water

no, but it will result in a system that is prone to be acidic (low pH).
Rain water has very little buffer - so you will need to look at some of the options (AgLime, KHCO3 etc) as the system matures.
Not a bad situation to be in.

In Australia so hydroton should be OK to source, else scoria / blue metal etc from a landscape supply.

Most of these are covered in various threads so enjoy your browsing and ask if you need a pointer.

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