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PostPosted: Jan 13th, '12, 02:17 
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Hi everyone, we are high school seniors from eastern Pennsylvania. for our environmental science class we have decided to take on the project of starting an aquaponics system at school. We have been researching for a while and are struggling to figure out where to start.

Here are our goals:
- Mainly to learn and demonstrate the principles of aquaponics to other students. We don't need a big system.
- Ornamental fish, relatively easy to take care of. Our tank is maybe 20- 30 gallons.
- Edible plants that would do well growing indoors, and that we could use to feed students in the dining hall

Here is what we have to work with:
- aforementioned 20 or 30 gallon tank
- 2.5 x 10 foot space along a hallway. The hallway is pretty long so we would be able to use the whole length, and the wall is mostly made of windows.
- A decent budget but not too extravagant

Can you give us any advice on which fish/plant species would work well for our needs? We are thinking of doing a chift-pist system with a table of a few beds, and our one tank of fish.

Thank you!


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PostPosted: Jan 13th, '12, 02:31 
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Welcome soleburyapes!

Forum members here like to mock up designs using Google Sketchup, which is easy and would be worthwhile educationally in itself. It really helps to communicate your ideas and try out different setups without actually moving anything physically.

Janet Hesselberth is also located in E PA, and last I heard she was consulting with a local school on an AP system. PM her (with the PM button) and you might get a lot of info that way really fast.

Edit: Janet is also involved in starting an ecovillage in West Grove if you know where that is. One of the other founders owns a company and their headquarters uses a lot of eco-friendly techniques:
http://www.threegrovesecovillage.org/
http://www.dansko.com/Our%20Story/Life% ... 20Wall/17/

I grew some tomatoes and pepper plants with two 20 gallon fish tanks, one containing a single goldfish and the other with gravel and a pump in it. See here: viewtopic.php?p=124677#p124677

Storage tubs are cheap and work OK as beds for small systems.

There is another school thread on here that is interesting that you may get ideas from:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=11089

HTH!

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PostPosted: Jan 13th, '12, 03:40 
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The simplest (while still very effective) setup I've done is to pump from the bottom of the fish tank continuously into the growbed, then add a standpipe that will keep the water level 1" below the surface of the gravel and gravity drain back to the fish tank. I have a 30 gal fish tank that uses this system and a system w/ 2 180 gal fish tanks that uses a similar system. No siphons, sumps or timers to complicate things.


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PostPosted: Jan 13th, '12, 04:11 
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Is the window going to be your only light source? The direction the window faces might determine what you can grow so that will be important. Simplest setup is probably Constant Flood (CF).


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