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PostPosted: Feb 20th, '19, 20:57 
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Hi everybody

I'm new to this forum and aquaponics. I've bought an hydroponic IKEA Växer system 2 years ago and been modding it slightly since then.

As I'm not so keen on the growing media and fertilizer provided , I thought about modding it into a aquaponic system. My existing system can be seen in the picture. Basically there are 3 levels with each containing 5 liter of water and 15 plants.

Image

My general idea was to attach a fish tank on top (or on the table next to it) and pump water onto the top level. The overflow water would flow one level down and so on. At the bottom it would be suck back to the fishtank.

As I life in a smaller apartment the fishtank would be limited to around 60-120l. Is this enough to support the growth of those 3 levels? Am I missing a key step in the aquaponic system?

If feasible - what book would recommend me to start?

Thank you very much and looking forward to update you! :D


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PostPosted: Feb 20th, '19, 21:49 
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Hi everyone

I'm growing salad in my apartment for two years now, but I'm not happy with the reliance on fertilizer. So I had the idea of attaching a fish tank to the system.

My hydroponic system is composed of three 5l beds containing each 15 plants. I thought of adding a fishtank on top and let the water trough those 3 layers, before pumping it back again.

How big would the tank need to be? I would have space for a 60-120l one.

Thanks for your advices!

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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '19, 06:48 
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Hi dupl3x3. Welcome to the BYAP Forum. I've merged the two topics you originally created so everyone can just respond here.

Can the beds be raised enough to install a fish tank at the bottom? This would be the simplest way and would only require one tank and pump - ie you would pump from the fish tank to the beds and let gravity return it to the tank. You would need to leave enough space in the tank in case the pump failed or the power went out other use the returning water could overflow the tank.

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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '19, 07:21 
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Yeah, using two pumps is difficult when one pumps more than the other you end up with problems.

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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '19, 17:40 
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arbe wrote:
Hi dupl3x3. Welcome to the BYAP Forum. I've merged the two topics you originally created so everyone can just respond here.

Can the beds be raised enough to install a fish tank at the bottom? This would be the simplest way and would only require one tank and pump - ie you would pump from the fish tank to the beds and let gravity return it to the tank. You would need to leave enough space in the tank in case the pump failed or the power went out other use the returning water could overflow the tank.


Hi arbe

Sorry, I thought my post violated the advertisment rules and therefore didn't get posted. So I changed it and ended up with the second post. Thanks for your work.

I gave it a thought this morning. Yes it would be possible to build a frame underneath it. I saw most people doing it this way (for obvious reasons), but the decorative aspect of the fishes would diminish quite a bit.

Image

The other way I see is to build a frame and put a water reservoir underneath it. I would still need two pumps, but the fish could be on display on the nearby table. Maybe that copes with the problem earthbound mentioned.

Image

PS: I just saw that I did the connections wrong. The water would be taken from "overflow" water.


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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '19, 18:45 
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dupl3x3 wrote:
arbe wrote:
Hi dupl3x3. Welcome to the BYAP Forum. I've merged the two topics you originally created so everyone can just respond here.

Can the beds be raised enough to install a fish tank at the bottom? This would be the simplest way and would only require one tank and pump - ie you would pump from the fish tank to the beds and let gravity return it to the tank. You would need to leave enough space in the tank in case the pump failed or the power went out other use the returning water could overflow the tank.


Hi arbe

Sorry, I thought my post violated the advertisment rules and therefore didn't get posted. So I changed it and ended up with the second post. Thanks for your work.

I gave it a thought this morning. Yes it would be possible to build a frame underneath it. I saw most people doing it this way (for obvious reasons), but the decorative aspect of the fishes would diminish quite a bit.

Image

The other way I see is to build a frame and put a water reservoir underneath it. I would still need two pumps, but the fish could be on display on the nearby table. Maybe that copes with the problem earthbound mentioned.

Image

PS: I just saw that I did the connections wrong. The water would be taken from "overflow" water.
if you could find a way to capture the overflow then a top tank with a pump from the bottom could work. You could add a sump-type tank at the bottom and then basically have a CHOP (constant height one pump) setup


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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '19, 20:02 
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I think to support that many plants from a 120 litre aquarium would require a pretty high stocking density. You would like it to be decorative but if you have gravel in the tank it will give you problems, and the solid waste will need regular siphoning off. How wide is the plumbing on the hydroponics component? Thin tubes can be blocked by solids if you introduce them. If you remove them you will likely have deficiency problems unless you mineralize them and re-introduce the "liquor".

Its not as easy as just plumbing a fish-tank to an already existing hydroponics system, there will be complications, and it won't work as well as the original nutrient solution.

If you could get a bigger fish-tank, say 200 litres, with quite a few goldfish, it might work. But 120 looks on the small side to me.


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PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '19, 03:50 
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danny wrote:
I think to support that many plants from a 120 litre aquarium would require a pretty high stocking density.

[...]

If you could get a bigger fish-tank, say 200 litres, with quite a few goldfish, it might work. But 120 looks on the small side to me.


At the moment all levels function separately as I had problems with white flies cross-contamination. As an aquaponic system would change quite a bit I would drill new holes and plumber everything new anyway.

I had a discussion with my girlfriend and she actually prefers the fish to be on the bottom. That would make the design much easier.

My main concern is still the size of the fishtank. After some browsing I find this project, which uses a 100l (25 gallon) aquarium. I'm only planting small greens - the first level in the picture shows the mature plants. As I have no intention to eat the fish this would be the max. level of fishtank I would fell okay to put in the kitchen.

If you think the fish will not support the growing process, I will postpone the project into a near future :D


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