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Old 04-30-2012, 07:14 AM
captaingreg captaingreg is offline
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i doubt Im gonna have to heat the water that is why the tanks are buried my climate is sub tropical zone 8.5 and if i see this winter it needs it i have a small pot belly stove to heat the greenhouse and was going to coil some copper around the chimney to run water through if needed.thefish food problem is an issue but fortunatly catfish are very unpicky as for the tomatoes I have seen many many systems with tomatoes growing just fine but I guess we wil se cause I have several planted. this whole thing is just basicly one big experiment in a giant glass beaker for all of us to see
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:18 AM
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It is a great experiment, and you've shown a lot of skill and initiative in making it a reality.

I think you'll find that the artificially heated water will be required to keep the tilapia alive in the winter. Your woodstove approach sounds solid.

My experience was that tomatoes will not reach maturity with fish wastewater alone as a nutrient source. Maybe your experience will be different. But, I think the wastewater does not contain all the nutrients necessary to raise an adult plant and support fruiting.
Old 04-30-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by captaingreg View Post
make sure the 12v motor is brushless and made for continus use here is one a guy on another board is trying they have burned through alot of motors http://store.waterpumpsupply.com/mppufrse316s8.html
Do you have a link to the motor that you're using?

And you plan on running it continuously? Could a timer be used to run it on an hour and off an hour (whatever combination) to save energy requirements? Or, do the fish require that it run constantly?

I'm trying to figure out the best pump and motor and the requirements of running that motor. And then translate that to a solar system.

As for feed I'd guess that you've read about duckweed for tilipia? It can be grown in a swimming pool. I'm not sure if catfish would enjoy it, or not.

Very interesting stuff here!

Edit per axlerod: My plans are to get the fry and start them in the winter in aquariums to get a healthy early start and then to clean and freeze them when cold weather arrives to avoid the larger energy requirements. I'm not sure if catfish and tilipia can be grown together. If not, I'd have one large tank for each and after cleaning the tilipia and the tank I'd move half the catfish over and try to grow them through the winter.
Old 04-30-2012, 12:05 PM
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Do you have a link to the motor that you're using?

And you plan on running it continuously? Could a timer be used to run it on an hour and off an hour (whatever combination) to save energy requirements? Or, do the fish require that it run constantly?

I'm trying to figure out the best pump and motor and the requirements of running that motor. And then translate that to a solar system.

As for feed I'd guess that you've read about duckweed for tilipia? It can be grown in a swimming pool. I'm not sure if catfish would enjoy it, or not.

Very interesting stuff here!

Edit per axlerod: My plans are to get the fry and start them in the winter in aquariums to get a healthy early start and then to clean and freeze them when cold weather arrives to avoid the larger energy requirements. I'm not sure if catfish and tilipia can be grown together. If not, I'd have one large tank for each and after cleaning the tilipia and the tank I'd move half the catfish over and try to grow them through the winter.
From what I have read, you need a pump that will circulate the entire tank each hour. So if you have it run 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off and you have a 100 gallon tank, you need a pump that pushes 200 gallons per hour (since it ones twice a hour 2x100=200) or a little over 3 gallons a minute (200 gallons divided by 60 200/60=3). If you run it continuously for a 100 gallon tank, you'll need a pump that pushes 100 gallons per hour (1x100=100) or a little under 2 gallons per minute (100/60=2). It just depends how big your tank is and how often/long per hour you'll be running it.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:44 PM
arleigh arleigh is offline
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I have been working on a similar project , money has been tight lately so it is suspended at the moment .
However a friend is successfully doing aqua ponics and has several aquariems with fries birthed by stock fish and raising them seperately from the adults untill maturity .
I was considdering dedicating a room in the house for this purpouse .
The friend is raising Talapia and so far it is looking very good . I have so much to learn about fish , the more I find out, the less I feel it is a walk in the park, so to speak.
Best of luck to you . nice pictures thanks
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:56 PM
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When I ran my aquaponics unit I had an automatic dump valve at the bottom of a commercial fish tank that would open for 30-60 seconds each hour. The tank had a sloped bottom so most of the fish manure would get purged each hour. The waste water that was dumped would be stored and then circulated into hydroponic trays. Later the water was dumped on pasture after most of the nitrogen was removed in the hydroponic trays.

I had an automatic refiller valve on the fish tank that refilled the tank with untreated well water. (A toilet float valve from Lowe's costs $7 and works fine for this application.) The fresh water would be sprayed from an elevated pipe into the tank and the water would be oxygenated when it fell through the air. This system completely eliminated the need for a filtering system and an aeration pump; a big money and energy saver. It also greatly reduced the number of moving parts and increased the reliability of the system. The key was to have an unlimited source of clean well water and a place to put the discharge water.

I used the same schedule for growing tilapia that you described. I bred them in a 20 gallon aquarium and move the fingerlings to a grow out tank. Within 8 months they were ready to harvest.
Old 04-30-2012, 05:20 PM
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The waste water that was dumped would be stored and then circulated into hydroponic trays. Later the water was dumped on pasture after most of the nitrogen was removed in the hydroponic trays.

I had an automatic refiller valve on the fish tank that refilled the tank with untreated well water.


that could be why your tomatoes never matured,my understanding is in a closed system very few water changes of large caliber are needed or desireable...but again I am learning and it sounds like youve been thyere and done that do you have any pics of your system I always dig on seeing other systems I am planning on sticking with channelcats for now tilapia too darn expensive and numerous laws and permits involved royal PITA, catfish will be just fine
Old 04-30-2012, 06:31 PM
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There are a large number of nutrients and micro-nutrients necessary to grow tomatoes hydroponically. The same levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc., that make a tomato happy don't necessarily make a fish happy. That's my point. I found that nutrient levels high enough to grow tomatoes killed the fish, and that fish by themselves don't supply all the nutrients needed to grow tomatoes. I had some success with lettuce grown on fish wastewater, but lettuce is not a calorie-dense food.

Experiment with it and let us know what you find. Maybe you'll figure out something I missed. I hope so. Either way, you have a cool set-up and at a minimum you can grow fish and raise some low calorie veggies like lettuce. If you take the fish water and amp it up with extra nutrients you can grow tomatoes, but then you can't recirculate the growth solution to the fish tank. Or at least I couldn't.
Old 04-30-2012, 06:56 PM
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hey rem, the pumps are 2 harbor freight 620 gph and one back up and only one has the two year replacement plan purchased ....get it? 100$ total ....unbeatable, but then I have a harb freight close to return if nec. more of a pita to do it by mailI guess but thats what the third one is for plus i have some powerheads with oxygen blowers im going overkill then will back it off if able
I think i will do better doing it electric first then dialing in solar slowly I really want to not fail right off the bat
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:26 PM
captaingreg captaingreg is offline
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lright update finally, been real busy ....things are growing ph is still high hopfully it will drop soon getting some yellow leaves ....prob due to iron def. as a result of ph but getting some bell pepp flowers and as you see its definately growing

5 days ago

yesterday
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:56 AM
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Flat out awesome. Great work!!

Always remember... There is success in every failure when you successfully figure out what caused the failure.
Old 05-12-2012, 02:46 PM
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Great work so far! I have been looking into doing this also. Did you add Bacteria and red worms to your grow beds? I found a lot of good info here

http://theaquaponicsource.com/starti...ponics-system/

Keep the updates coming.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:58 PM
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I have added worms
Old 05-13-2012, 01:10 PM
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It will be interesting to see what the worms and bacteria do.
Old 05-23-2012, 05:35 PM
captaingreg captaingreg is offline
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allright quick update have about 150 fish now and things are really startin to grow better ph is getting better catfish died off bad not sure why



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Old 05-23-2012, 05:39 PM
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I am about to subscibe to it too.
Old 05-23-2012, 05:44 PM
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Where'd you buy those large water containers?
Old 05-23-2012, 09:25 PM
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Where'd you buy those large water containers?
craigslist special 2 for 50$
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:38 AM
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0k so time for update I've been busy.1.5 months into this thing and I must say it looks great tomatoes in pics are falling over and need to be supported still working on ideas for that they are over 4' tall when standind peppers and chives doing great not much luck with melons and cucs aphids are turning into a battle....happy growing....Cap


45 days ago for reference




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Old 06-20-2012, 10:30 AM
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Great work, looks like fun! Can't wait to get out of a yard Nazi controlled subdivision so I can try some of this.
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