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 Post subject: Aquaponics tips list
PostPosted: Apr 28th, '17, 20:56 

Joined: Apr 28th, '17, 20:52
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Here's a list of tips and bits of info I've gathered. Can you criticize it and/or add to it? I'll edit the list as the debate progresses.

air lift pump to power the cycle (and oxygenate water) instead of water pump (more reliable & save energy)

solids lifting overflow to drain solids from fish tank into filter

swirl filter (comes after fish tank) to separate heavy waste

remove solids from water: sedimentation tanks, clarifiers, swirl filters, mechanical filters
* gravity for settable solids,
* straining and depth filtration for suspended solids,
* ozone or protein skimmers for dissolved particles

bell siphon in media beds to water plants cyclically (w/ moving cap to insure siphon does break)

expanded clay for media beds (pH neutral, high surface) (expensive) (heavier media might be needed for taller crops like corn)

raised beds for easier management of crops

fan for air circulation (CO2 around leaves is quickly consumed) (still moisture lowers plant health) for monitoring

should aeroponics be used for germinating?

≠ grow beds for ≠ functions
* DWC: water rafts for salads and micro-greens (+ germination?)
* media beds with bell siphon for fruiting crops (+ some bio-filtering)
* big plants: compost in fabric grow-bags inside media bed, 10cm in water & 20cm above
* aeroponics towers (or NFT) for vegetative crops, strawberries, rhubarb... (+ oxygenation)
* how to grow potatoes / carrots...?

added nutrients (generally lacking are: Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus)
* iron: chelated iron (about 1/month, or when iron deficient)
* seaweed extract (potassium and trace nutrients for fish)
* calcium hydroxide, calcium carbonate (+ buffers pH)
* potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium silicate (+ buffers pH)
* magnesium: epsom salt = magnesium sulfate
* phosphorus: rock phosphate (only fruiting systems: encourages fruiting & algae growth)

UV sterilizer (comes just before fish tank):
* pros: kills bacteria & algae (that can deplete oxygen & nutrients) & parasites
* cons: will deplete some micronutrients (boron, manganese & iron), very expensive (energy intensive & bulbs need yearly replacing)

water-filled black barrels to accumulate heat during the day and release during the night (passive temp management)

empty pipes running underground & up to a fan to use geothermal temperature (run fan on temp sensor)

fans between outside & inside greenhouse to make use of external temperature (run fan on temp sensor)

15cm for Edd&Flow is cheaper and as good if media remains moist

light above fish tank can attract insects to feed fish naturally

insulate any part containing water to avoid heat loss

when using gravity to transfer water (gravity fed system), increase pipe diameter (as there is very little pressure)

use ≠ systems in parallel for ≠ pH requirements (fish & plants), & ≠ greenhouses for ≠ temperatures

use cloth on cables+motors to automatically shade plants when sun is too bright (run motors on light sensor)

water parameters: ammonia ≤ 2.0 ppm; nitrite ≤ 2.0 ppm; nitrate 2 to 150 ppm

aeroponics requires fine filtration for misting (particles might clog misting nozzles) (or possibly use fogger instead)

some fish food can be part of the closed loop
* black soldier fly larvae can feed off ALL organic detritus and become fish food (and self harvest)
* duckweed (grows like crazy, contains good amount of protein)

pH decreases as temperature increases: both temp & pH must remain stable

insects predators include ladybugs, birds, frogs, and lizards: try and attract them

ventilation keeps moisture low thus preventing pest insects from damaging plants

rainwater has low water hardness (which is good: tank evaporation increases salinity)

replace 2-3% of water daily (water can be used to water trees for example) (to remove nitrate and fine solids)

Nitrosomona (ammonia→nitrite) conditions: 25-30°C, pH 7.8-8.0 (at least ≥ 6.5), O2 ≥ 2mg/l
Nitrobacter (nitrite→nitrate) conditions: 25-30°C, pH 7.3-7.5 (at least ≥ 7.0), O2 ≥ 4mg/l

≠ species of fish can be grown in aquaponics:
* tilapia
* salmon / trout
* crawfish
* shrimp
invertebrates (shrimp & crawfish) are very sensitive to copper (present in some fish medication)

≠ types of plants can be grown in aquaponics:
* vegetative (salads, microgreens, aromatic (basil, mint...))
* fruiting (tomatoes, strawberries, squash, melons, cucumbers, peppers...)
* tubers and the like (potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, oignons...)
* small fruit trees (figs, lemons, apples...)

materials to avoid: led, copper, aluminium, brass... (most metals)

materials that can be used: PVC, concrete (⚠ uncured will raise pH), pond liner, PP, HDPE, thermoplastics, stainless steel, fiberglass... (only food safe & fish safe)

greenhouses can be made of ≠ materials:
* glass (single or double glazed): good longevity, very clear (but might burn plants in full sun), fragile, expensive, thermal efficiency is poor for single glazed and good for double glazed.
* polycarbonate twinwall: okay longevity, slight diffusion of light, tough, middle-range price, excellent thermal efficiency, prone to scratching and moisture
* plastic film (single or double skinned): lasts only a few years, lots of light diffusion, rips but doesn't break, cheap, low thermal efficiency for single skinned, okay for double skinned.

greenhouse designs should allow direct sunlight from lower angles and shade from midday summer sun (depending on region)

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 Post subject: Re: Aquaponics tips list
PostPosted: Dec 7th, '17, 05:25 
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Only thing I can add is aquarium gravel is a cheap alternate to hydroton... in small systems at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Aquaponics tips list
PostPosted: Dec 7th, '17, 06:52 
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Location: Riverland Sth Australia
Good thread

No 1
Do less sooner , don't wait until the aphids are out of control , don't let our Ph crash to vey low levels once Ph goes past 6ph it travels down very fast , keep on top of nitrate levels , look look look , a slow drip can become big trouble by the morning.

No 2
Backup System when power fails

Insect Predators are our best friend

I have a stack of small logs (with loose bark) under one of my grow beds to provide safe habitat for lizards , spiders ect .

When building have a clear plan to follow , measure twice and cut once as the saying goes

Over engineer everything , avoid system collapsing when the ground gets too wet , greenhouse blowing away ect.

Fish or bird net stretched over greenhouse plastic and pinned down will stop storm damage in most cases

Select site to best use light / shade

My System

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