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Old 11-12-2009, 10:27 PM #1
Hephaestus
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aquaponics - for the fish folk

G'day all,

Wondering about aquaponics lately - lets just say another fish tank in the house won't look out of place (though I do think certain friends might look closer if I put goldfish in it (more into the SW & angels/discus)).

Thinking more the technical aspects of it, from those of us who do come from the fish hobby... I see numbers tossed around in these forums - that make absolutely no sense to me... 1200ppm of what?!?

In Aquaponics - what PPM of NO3/PO4 during each stage are we looking for? Do we really need to pay much attention to K - never really been an issue in my tanks (though I do have tons of K2SO4 from PMDD on planted tanks - so could dose as needed).

Then as a secondary question - switching foods on stages seems to make sense... I know my NLS pellets are low in PO4 - but wardley flakes are high (get an algae outbreak in one tank every time i use them); seem to recall there were some foods that were notorious for spiking PO4 levels - anyone remember which ones did what?
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:47 PM #2
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i dont know how well that fishtank water would work in flower, im fairly sure it would be too high in N(I dunno how the N is with angels and discus, I dont mind high N in my tank). I've thought about it for a while myself. im a fishgeek too, 135 reef and 72 FW. I put my FW tank water in the houseplants and they love it. I doubt weed would be any different in veg.

If you feed frozen for your S/W thaw them in RO water and dump that cup of thaw water on your plants? that would give them a boost i bet.

I guess im just rambling now...
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:11 PM #3
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Still working on this setup/scenario - guess we'll find out soon enough as seedlings are going to be going into the system soon

My general plan is a sumped DWC system; fish in the sump, using a TOM aqualifter to feed drip emitters in the netpots (going to use peat moss as grow medium - need to buffer my hardness/pH down - it worked well for my apistos).

I'm thinking of mostly NLS on the veg, then going mostly frozen & flakes for flower... I see some good results here and there on the aquaponic systems; we'll have to see how it goes...
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:58 PM #4
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my local hydro shop just got an aquaponics set up put in. They seem to think its going to be great, I'm wondering how it will go but it seems pretty sweet.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:16 PM #5
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Drip does not work in Aquaponics. It will clog.

I (used to) just feed same food all cycle and supplement earth juice bloom in flower.

If you want DWC you need to prefilter solids (sponge is fine to catch solids) then pump water to the grow. Nitrate PPM's can sit around 30-50 comfortably.

Continuous flow, or add bubblers to your buckets, both works fine. In experiments continuous flow is faster so DWC continuous flow - it's the go.

pH optimal at 6.2 (for plants).

Iron is often a problem. Chelated iron is the fix. Only if you need it.

Good luck. Any link to that system in the hydro store? Lot of ways for aquaponics to go wrong. They still grow food but become average over time, average sucks. Make a turbo, follow above advice and clean out buckets and medium between grows.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:35 AM #6
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Maybe drips not quite the right word... the aqualifter pump puts out 3.5gph - going to run that into a manifold - just clip the lines to the pots - and let'r rip...

Iron shouldn't be a problem for me (higher levels from the tap) - but do have a fair bit of CTEM if the need arrises...
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:15 AM #7
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I have heard about this from a family friend who took a trip to hawaii annd they were doing this wjith vegatables. What he said they had was kind of like an ebb n flo system to where every certain amount of time it would drain enough water from the fish tank to just fill up to the top of the spot they needed. Of course they had a huge fish tank and really didnt need to supplement as much nutrients out and in as say cannabis. Seems like a great idea. Good money saver if some one could perfect it. I guess they did large amounts of vegetables this way because its alot more exspensive to get nutrients sent down there. I dont know how much this helps if it helps any but this thread caught my eye and figuerd I would put in my 2 cents.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:56 AM #8
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I have in the past used drippers and had seen that with my formula Liquid Karma would almost always clog them up.

In stead of filtering (don't know what I might lose) I put my mix in a blender and mixed the shit out of it problem solved. I have also had success with those hand style blenders but felt the real deal type worked best.


Just thought I'd throw that in there.


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Old 12-16-2009, 09:18 PM #9
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Nice tip Mr Wags. The biofilm is the major contributor to clogging. Over time it builds up and the small diameter is asking for trouble. The flow Hephaestus has figured out should be fine.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:52 PM #10
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Figured I'd update Had to throw together a quicky aquaponics system; after one of the seedlings started showing some N deficiency...

Nothing fancy, using my catgrass 'popping' tray added 4 holes to the bottom - just to drain back to the tupperware; that's peat as a grow medium... mini Jebo HOB filter with foam from established filter... 3 smallish ameca splendens in the sump (you'd think in a big planted tank full of these buggers - the magic net scoop would catch more). Aqualifter on a timer (20 on 40 off) only using about 1/4 the flow - rest diverts back to the filter for now... Coralife 2x65 (4100k 55w bulbs).

48 hours after putting them in - wow... explosion of leaf growth... Using some KNO3 to keep NO3 levels up in the 20ppm range. Added some CTEM for good measure, pH is in the 6.6 range (peat is keeping it down - tap at the moment is in the 7.8 range)

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