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 Post subject: Newbie thoughts
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 11:38 
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I have been reading about Aquaponics and would be very interested in setting up a small system, however I have searched for equipment it always seems to be very far away or out of state. I live in suburban Sydney, we have a fair sized backyard. I have a few questions and if people would like to help me grow my knowledge base, I would be most grateful. These are just general questions I have thought of.

1.) How many fish could you have in 1000L tank?
2.) What type of fish would suit a beginner?
3.) What size grow bed would be recommended for 1000L tank?
4.) Can ex-aquarium gravel be used in the grow beds.?
5.) What is the best grow medium to use?
6.) Can you breed your own fish in a system this size or smaller?
7.) Would yabbies be better for a beginner or fish (I have 4 goldfish and 5 danios)..?

If anyone knows good places to purchase tanks or growbeds (or stuff that could be used as) in the Sydney area please let me know. Thank you for any advice, I would be willing to set up an AP system just as soon as I save enough money :? and of course learn enough to be confident.

Cheers
Looee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 12:01 
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Quote:
1.) How many fish could you have in 1000L tank?

Will Depend on type of fish how big they grow and how much grow bed space your are intending to put in.
As a beginner starting out with a 1000L tank just start with a few goldies until the water is cycled (do a search on nitrogen cycle) As for a maximum that will depend on grow bed space. Somewhere between 20 - 50 Silver perch would be a good aim I think. Start with 20 after your system has been cycled and add more as your experience grows.

Quote:
2.) What type of fish would suit a beginner?

Silver Perch are a popular choice. You can get them from many places including. http://www.aquablueseafoods.com.au

Quote:
3.) What size grow bed would be recommended for 1000L tank?

Once again depends on fish load (size and number of fish)
For 20 silver perch 1-2 growbeds (eg bath tub size) should be ok

Quote:
4.) Can ex-aquarium gravel be used in the grow beds.?

Yes, but you are aiming for gravel at least 10mm, so it depends a bit. Size of gravel will affect how quickly the water flows through it (drain rate). Also we prefer to have gravel with lots of surface area (not smooth). This creates lots of surface area for the desired (good) bacteria to grow on.

Quote:
5.) What is the best grow medium to use?

Not sure there is a BEST. there are a few threads around on this do a search. basically MOST gravel around 10mm should be suitable. Some are rougher than ohers ont the hands etc. Some use expanded clay (hydroton) because it is very light, so easy to manage, but it is very expensive ~$30 per 50L bag. compared to river gravel about $40-50/tonne delivered.

Quote:
6.) Can you breed your own fish in a system this size or smaller?

This will totally depend on type of fish selected.

As for grow beds, look out for bath tubs. www.graysonline.com.au often has bathroom sales where you can pickup tubs for less than $15. If you don't want bath tubs let me know.

Hope that is a start. Get busy reading the forum. Buy Joels book if you can afford to. Great info.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie thoughts
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 12:10 
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Since I am in the same boat as you except for a fair amount of aquaculture experience. I will give my opinion from a USA perspective.
Meaning I am not familiar with Aussie fish species.

question 1-You can hold alot of fish in a 1000 liter tank. It really depends on how much you want spend to keep the fish alive. If you aerate with pure oxygen and have a great filter system you could maintain over a 100 kg of fish. I would not recommend this since you are starting out.

question 2-Just stick with the goldfish and danios you have to start with. If your not interested in food fish than they will work fine. For food fish in the US I would recommend channel catfish or tilapia. Both are hardy and fast growing. I am not sure of your available species.

question 3-I really don't know but have read in this forum of a 2 to 1 growbed to fish tank volume.

question 4-I really don't know this either but think it would be great to start a system with recycled aquarium gravel.

question 5-a very uneducated observation- unless you are rich, it seems the most readily available and inexpensive media would be best.

question 6-yes to some species, no to others. Tilapia will breed unsolicited. Goldfish should with a little persuasion (temp and photoperiod manipulation). It really depends on species. Oh yea, I gambusia would as well.

question 7-I have never seen a real yabbie-but I still say just start with the fish you have.

No help on equipment, unless appearance matters-use your imagination.
Don't wait to get confident just jump in. I have grown millions of fish and still am learning. I learn something everyday on this forum.

Hope I helped a little.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 12:11 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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skygazer wrote:
Quote:
1.) How many fish could you have in 1000L tank?

Somewhere between 20 - 50 Silver perch would be a good aim I think. Start with 20 after your system has been cycled and add more as your experience grows.


20 is probably a safe number to start with.... as long as you have at least 500l of growbed capcity... and can quickly organise and incorporate up to an additional 500l of capcity

If you intend growing out to about plate size (500gm) then I wouldn't go much more than maybe another 20-30... unless/until you have sufficient growbed capacity and some experience....

skygazer wrote:
Quote:
6.) Can you breed your own fish in a system this size or smaller?

This will totally depend on type of fish selected.


Other than Koi and some other ornamentals, forget about breeding... especially Silver Perch and most other native fish.... just not practical unless you have all the right gear, techniques and knowledge

skygazer wrote:
Get busy reading the forum. Buy Joels book if you can afford to. Great info.


quite friendly :lol: agree.... read, read, read..... and get Joels book :D

Use your goldies and other fish to get started.

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 Post subject: Re: Newbie thoughts
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 12:19 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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jdphish wrote:
Since I am in the same boat as you except for a fair amount of aquaculture experience....

question 1-You can hold alot of fish in a 1000 liter tank. It really depends on how much you want spend to keep the fish alive. If you aerate with pure oxygen and have a great filter system you could maintain over a 100 kg of fish. I would not recommend this since you are starting out.


Sorry jdphish.... going to have to totally disagree with you on that one.... other than the fact that you recommend not starting out that way

Even in the best aquaculture systems with ALL the right gear..... it is almost impossible to stock at those levels for any substantial period of time... unless the fish are very small, your filters gi-normous and you have unrestricted water available, real-time monitoring systems and highly trained personell available 24/7.

For the backyard hobbyist ... JUST NOT PRACTICAL>>> DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!

Think about it guys.... put a 1kg fish in a 10ltr bucket..... how long do you reckon the overweight sardine can live in it's coffin??

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 Post subject: Re: Newbie thoughts
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 12:26 
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Rupert, you don't have to disagree with me. I agree with you. Its not practical or sustainable. But it is possible. I think you overlooked the pure oxygen part. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 12:30 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I noted it jd.... part of "all the right gear" etc etc....

Just didn't want a newbie thinking with a couple of months expeience under their belts that they could aim for those kind of figures :lol:

I like to encourage people to grow their fish and eat them.... seems to be a lot of fish killers around lately :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Newbie thoughts
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 12:46 
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We have a saying here in the US that "you are not a real fish hatchery manager until you kill a million fish."

I am a real fish hatchery manager.
:)

I will just be quiet and listen. Since we are in agreeance (is that a word?). Err to the safe side for sure. Good advice Rupert.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 17:51 
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Thank you everyone for giving me some good info, and alot to think about. I am going to set up a very very small trial, a patio pond with my goldies in and the recycled aquarium gravel in a plant box/pot. I dont know what to plant in there yet I am open to suggestions though.

Thanks again for your quick responses.. If Aquaponics is as good as it sound in practice, I think everyone should be doing it, get a government subsidy or something.

Cheers
Looee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 19:12 
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Silverbeet :)

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PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 22:17 
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Lettuces are good hydro/Aquaponic plants for cooler seasons and if the light level on the patio is not to bright.

As your nitrate levels get higher and the system matures you can grow just about anything that can be grown in the container you are using as a grow bed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 22:39 
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Agreeance is a word, my wife uses it all the time. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '08, 23:43 
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Swiss chard is a good nitrogen consuming plant and once you get used to it you can forget the lettuce.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '08, 00:29 
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I would think we shouldn't talk in number of fish, but weight of fish. After all, 100 fingerlings is a bit different than 100 1 kilo fish as far as their ability to generate poo. (poo appears to be the aquaponic term for excrement - both liquid and solid :roll: )

30 kilos per 1,000 liters seems to be a common number batted around.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '08, 10:18 
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Ive got a poo question, probably sounds silly to all you experienced Aquaponicists....:?

Are the solids supposed to go in the grow bed or should they be filtered out, would it be a problem if they did go through?


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