Backyard Aquaponics

AP school project
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Author:  pamelarose [ Mar 1st, '09, 13:36 ]
Post subject:  AP school project

I haven't been on the forum for awhile. The last time was when I was wondering about how to add water when the schools on vacation and I don't have access. I did figure that out. A garbage pail full of water with a valve, a swamp cooler float and gravity gets the job done. Thanks to those who gave me ideas and I took it from there. That cost me just $32.
Mostly the project has been successful but it has had it's challenges as well. The plants that grew, lettuces, swisschard, parsley and beans, never did get to the beautiful green gorgeousness of the pics in the byap magazine. I think some condition is just not right. Nitrogen lacking? Temp? We are inside a green house, but on the North wall and the luvers I believe let a lot of cold air in, so the fish tank is usually only in the high 50's. We could heat it but it's an extra expense...would it up the green? The fish had grown quite nicely since August. December and January were pretty cold.

Pests are a problem. We went through aphids, ordered ladybugs and those cleaned up nicely. We are seeing larvae now. White flies were harder. suggestions?

Also vandels (kids of course) put soap in the tank and killed all the fish in mid January.....the plants ended up with tons of aphids, the green bean plants were beautiful but never put on fruit and were full of white flies. The tank had ran for a month after the incident without being drained (dead fish were taken out of course.) I'm wondering if the water created plant stress and so invited the bugs? I was out of town, so came into the situation after 10 days or so.
Two kids wanted to get it started again and came to class with 4 fish, without notice. so they drained the tank...bailed it actually, then refilled it--dechlored it and put in the fish. Now it's been 3 weeks, they are still living...the last test showed no ammonia, but no nitrites either. We have about 100 gals. of water and 4 fish. We'll be adding more. When I returned, I rinsed the plant bedding and wiped out the container. The two boys are currently growing their seedlings to put back into the plant bed. Patience and perseverance.
I'll keep you posted! I'm always open to info and recommendations.

Author:  thorn [ Mar 4th, '09, 05:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: AP school project

Fish metabolism and bacteria dramatically slows around 50 Fahrenheit so don't expect much produce during that time. With 4 Fish for 100 gal tank, you may not get level readings right away. Are they big river/lake fish or small tropical fish?

Author:  pamelarose [ Mar 4th, '09, 12:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: AP school project

koi and gold fish. We now have 9 fish. Next school year I would like them (the kids) to try growing trout!!

Author:  creative1 [ Mar 4th, '09, 18:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: AP school project

Yowsa trout...yeha now you're talking.

Bugger about the vandals,
though it is probably a good lesson for the kids to not muck up too much :roll:
+1 with the fish numbers and lack of growth.

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