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PostPosted: Feb 11th, '15, 14:05 
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Hey! How's it going everyone? I've recently been exposed to the craze of aquaponics and it's been love at first site.

I've done my research and have engineered what I hope to believe is my first system.
I wanted to start small so as not to sink a bunch of money into something I might not fully understand.

I know the basics of nitrifying bacteria and ammonia input into the system and have based my set up off of that. I recently built my first aquaponics set up using a 20 gal fish tank, styrofoam and hydroponic net cups. Essentially I have a 20 gal tank 3 feet wide 8 inches wide and 10 inches tall. I am currently cycling the tank and have my gravel, air pump, nitrifying bacteria, and raft system in place. Everything seems to be running smoothly but it's only day 5. Everytging I have read states that what I'm doing should work but I guess my main concern is running a system with no sump or separate grow bed. My sump, grow bed and tank are all in one... I'm hoping that I have the right idea and everything should work out for me. If you have any questions or input on my set up it would be greatly appreciated. Basically looking for some peace of mind that I'm on the right track.

<a href="http://s1382.photobucket.com/user/doughboy93090/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps21397f54.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah242/doughboy93090/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps21397f54.jpg" border="0" alt="Aquaponics photo image_zps21397f54.jpg"/></a>


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PostPosted: Feb 11th, '15, 20:12 
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Hi and welcome to the forum, first of all please post some photos of your setup.

I personally feel that you might not have enough media for bacterial growth, but it all come down to your stocking density.

Please read the IBCofAquaponics, it will be very informative. You are basically trying to balance your system by aiming for the same or slightly more ratio of GB to FT volume. The ratio will be 1-1.5 GB to 1FT.
http://ibcofaquaponics.com/

As long as you are correct ratio wise, you are usually OK. A lot of the systems used had no sump, just like mine. I had my setup going from FT>GB>FT.


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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '15, 13:14 
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Here I tried embedding the pictures it didn't work
http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah2 ... 397f54.jpg


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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '15, 13:34 
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@Doughboy93090- Yeah, i personally think you need more media for the nitrification process to break down the ammonia properly so that the system will run as per normal.

Unless with more effort on your part through constant water change or by a low stocking density of fish.

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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '15, 15:26 
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Is there a simple fix for that? I've already put a lot of money into this system(nothing compared to others) but I was hoping I was on the right track. My nitrates and nitrites are at 0 and my ammonias at .25ppm I have three, inch and a half goldfish in a 20 gallon with 12-16 lettuce plants on top and a 60 gallon air pump. I was hoping to add more fish once the system is cycled but I'm worried about the ammonia levels rising. So what you say makes since but not sure how to fix it besides engineering a whole new system :/


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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '15, 15:41 
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@Doughboy93090 - I think you can add a 20gallon plastic tank on the side filled with media, pump form FT to that and let it flow back into the FT, that is in the case you are going to stock densely. (giving you more planting space too)

If you are not going to, you can keep it as it is and monitor the ammonia/No2/No3/PH reading very closely, and correct accordingly.

To clarify, the pump that you currently have is a water pump and not an air-stone pump? You can take a look at Bob H's kitchen system, where his blue tote would be you new 20 gallon GB and his pipes would be your tray. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12306&hilit=kitchen

Take a look at Jay's too, would be informative to you. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24185&hilit=small+indoor

You can take a look at mine too, mine is linked at my signature. Although mine wont be as close as what you are aiming for.

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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '15, 16:01 
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Would it be ok to keep my raft system on top of the tank as well as the grow bed? After reading your first two posts over again we came to the same conclusion of the 20 gallon bed but the problem I'm seeing is im going to have to install another fluorescent light for the added plants. It's doable but going to cost more then I like. I was thinking about getting an under gravel filter for the ft and put a power head on it and attaching a hose leading to the 20 gal gravel bed then another hose leading back to the ft.. Or say f it and just run two pond pumps between the two somehow


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PostPosted: Feb 13th, '15, 12:04 
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@Doughboy93090 - As long as you have the extra filter to break down the ammonia you should be OK to keep your raft. You definitely don't need a under gravel filter, as long as you have a pump moving water/solids to your 20G filter/GB.

Currently you just need to add the 20G filter if you going to stock densely, and go from there. From there i think you have 2 options:-

1) You can opt to not plant in the 20G filter/GB for now and add more plants to the GB if your raft system cannot use up the NO3(Nitrates), and more lighting for the GB when budget allows.

2) Put the GB near a window and pipe accordingly.

Since you are running a glass FT, unless you going to cut the glass you are stuck with having the pump in your FT. The cheapest method now is to have your GB higher compared to your FT and let gravity do its thing. Your setup would be FT(with raft)>GB>FT(with raft)

So all you have to purchase for now would be an extra plastic tote and your media of choice to act as an filter/GB, and all the required plumbing fixtures.

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PostPosted: Feb 15th, '15, 10:34 
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Thanks curious, I really appreciate the advice. I was thinking of having the pump lead to the bottom of the tub and have my drain pipe towards the top of the tub so it would fill from the bottom and drain from the top since I can't really use a bell siphon with the system I'm making. Any concerns about doing it that way or should I i have it fill from the top and drain out the bottom?


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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '15, 14:37 
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@Doughboy93090 - Hi, i can't really say for i had not experimented with that setup. Read this link, might give you some idea. viewtopic.php?f=14&t=24166

If you like to know more about the other different types of draining system and compare before you make a decision you might like to read this link. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24121

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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '15, 07:45 
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Thanks curious. I think I'm going to go with the pump in the tank and flowing over the media with my drain pipe at the bottom of the grow bed. I Won't be able to do this for a while though so going to have to settle with adding more gravel and an undergravel filter for the time being. I went to add the undergravel filter today and noticed that my roots and net cups have white fluffy stuff waving in the water current all around them. The cups and sides of tank are also starting to become slimy. Is this my nitrifying bacteria taking hold on some service area or has anyone else experienced this before? A little concerned about it I hope it's nothing.


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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '15, 16:28 
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@Doughboy93090 - I am not too sure, but i am guessing that that is the bio-film building up. Pictures might help, hopefully others will chip in to identify it for you.

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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '15, 17:22 
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Hi,

You are good to go as long as you have a filter running 24x7. I had my first set up similar to yours. My plants grew really really well after 30 days nitrification but then fish started to nip the roots of plants so I shifted the plants to a growbed. :)


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PostPosted: Feb 18th, '15, 08:07 
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Thanks guys it's coming together slowly but surely


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