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  1. Hi, The is my first post as I have just found the forum. I am hoping someone will give me some design ideas to get my Aquaponics System started in the right direction. Here is what I have: I have a 20 x 40 Cement Pond (aka Swimming Pool). It has had goldfish for the past 20 years or so. I do not filter or circulate the water and the goldfish have grown and also have raised 100's of baby goldfish so I have many different sizes. I plan on using the water for several different plant systems. Will I need more than one pump? How large of pump? And also pumps to pump the water back to cement pond. I hope I have given enough information for someone to guide me in the right direction so as not to have to be changing systems setup. Have a great day, Vic
  2. A very good post of what is IAVS was submitted recently by Dr. McMurtry. I felt it deserved it's own thread. VKN - and anyone else who may benefit/care: I’m going to attempt to smooth your ruffled feathers. I DO want very much for you - and everyone else - to succeed ‘beyond your wildest dreams’ (exceed expectations). If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t still be typing, or otherwise infecting APN with my demonic ‘attitude’ - or ‘putting up with’ hostile lying trolls. I hesitate to craft the definitive ‘definition’ of iAVs at this time, but I’ll ‘give a shot’ at listing what I consider to be the basic requirements: Water: fresh (non-saline), clear (non-turbid), non-polluted (no biological pathogens or ‘chemicals’, metals or nucleotides). Basically, potable water. Rain water is strongly advised for the vast majority of applications/locations. Its also free. (collect and store securely in advance of need). Sand: well-draining, no clay/slit, and chemically inert (does not raise or lower pH of water that comes into contact with it). We’ve been all over this topic in detail repeatedly. “Sand†is a specific range of particle size, not a specific material/mineral composition. Quartz (SiO2) is recommended if/where at all possible, but some other inert minerals and glasses may work well also. Others certainly will not. Operating beyond the scope of our recommendations is at the sole responsibility/risk of the operator(s). Furrows: on the sand surface to distribute ‘water/waste’ evenly across surface and also to keep aerial plant material dry. Pristine sand furrows are stabilized by bacterial films, detritus and/or alga. Attempt to maintain as much ridge area (mound between furrows) as wide as possible. Furrows include both between all rows of plants and around the entire perimeter. Flood/Drain: Saturate filter substrate and then allow it to drain completely once every 2 hours (approx.) during daylight. Leave drained overnight. In the tropics, first ‘cycle’ can begin somewhat pre-dawn and the last start at dusk (finish draining just after total darkness). Since drainage also occurs during the pumping interval, presuming sufficient drainage, one can pump 1/4 up to even one-half of a FT volume per cycle without reducing the FT volume by more than 10 to 15% at any given time. ‘Tank’ (fish containment), Its capacity, proportions, shape (especially bottom slope) and the pump type/location need combine (‘work together’) to effectively allow solids to settle, and collect in a region/zone that the pump will readily extract/remove when it comes on. Try to schedule irrigation volumes sufficient to exchange (turnover) the FT at least twice each day. More might be ‘better’ - which can be accomplished several ways (not described here to avoid confusion) but not recommended to do so by shortening the on cycle interval significantly. Fish/Feed: Sufficient fish biomass and feed input consumed to satisfy fish and generate sufficient ‘waste’ to fertilize the number and species of plants being grown - not feed/stocked more than the filter/microbes can process continuously. This will vary by fish species, age (size), density, DO, pH, Temp, of water, and feed composition/conversion. Do not feed in the evening (allow for complete tank volume exchange between the last feeding of each day and dark). Sustainable fish load and feed rate also varies somewhat depending on type of plant species grown (e.g. leaf vs fruiting) and somewhat on the stage of development/maturity. Too many fish eating too much feed and respiring too much TAN for the size of the biofilter bed in current use is not advised. One could get away with this in the short-term but not over the medium- or long-term. pH; iAVs is dominantly (90-95%) Horticulture - by mass and economic value in most markets). Maximal fish production is NOT a goal nor advised. Vascular plants strongly ‘prefer’ (grow best) in range of pH 5.5 to 6.8 (extremes) and optimally 6.4 +/- 0.4 (variance range depends n specific species). Believe it or not. If one is satisfied with the results of one’s efforts, then that’s wonderful, really!. If one wants to improve one’s circumstance further, then consider accepting best-intentioned advise. Soil microbial ecology. Microbes evolved along with the plants they sustain/interact with, meaning they too benefit from pH in the ‘optimal’ range. In a ‘controlled environment e.g. greenhouse Pests and diseases: Take every prevention precaution possible (too many to describe here). A common vector is humans: limit and pre-sanitize all visitors and workers. Monitor for any/all developing problems continuously and have appropriate remedy available immediately. A gram of prevention yields many kilos of cure. Use integrated pest management strategies extensively (employ beneficial insects, bacteria, and plants). Use insecticidal soaps (Potassium salts of fatty acids) and plant-based extracts with care (minimize/eliminate contact with filter substrate) Maintain air temperatures and humidity levels appropriate to the plant species being grown. Shade, fogging, evaporative cooling can each be effective for cooling, either individually or in various combinations. Always provide ample ventilation and continuous air movement within a greenhouse. Above May Not be stated the best way possible: Its just what keystrokes I activated this morning. Any remaining gaps, errors or omissions are not intentional and regrettable.(and correctable). Questions to ask yourself - OR better yet, to share your responses to here: Is your water ‘clean’ or is it contaminated? (e.g. nitrates, phosphates, pathogens, …) DO you have/use an inert, well-drained sand (sharp SiO2 preferred) DO you flood saturate and then leave drained on 2+/- cycle during the day? Are you maintaining ‘system’ (water) pH in the range preferred by plants for optimal growth? Above pH 7.0 is NOT recommended. Do you have a ‘balanced’ fish load and sustainable feed input rate? Are you growing nutrient demanding crops (solely lettuce is not advised)? If you answered Yes to ALL of the above questions, then congratulations … you’re amazing and quite unique. I say that in spite of the fact that I will always insist that AP is a disease. Some diseases are curable, others are not. You’re Welcome. ============ PS: Yes, I am fully aware that focusing on plant production (minimizing fish to plant ‘ratios’) is viewed as blasphemy by many, if not most, aqua-holics. This is not a concern I have. No one is attempting to prevent anyone from doing precisely whatever they feel like, be that rational or otherwise. Don’t freak out or invent fallacies. I am describing what iAVs was intended to do, aka how it ‘works best’ (to date). What anyone who is NOT literally doing/using iAVs “feels†about claims and goals thereof is irrelevant to me. Do it or don’t. Your choice. Your life. ....... BTW: Not seeing is not believing ... and vice-versa If you do undertake iAVs, then please accept our advice in the spirit intended. My/our intention is for you to realize the best outcome possible, with the greatest cost:benefit possible. There is and never has been anything (positive) ’in this’ for me. iAVs has always been exclusively about you (others). That is all. No fee, No exchange, No refund. No apology.
  3. So where I live the Alkalinity in the water is very high. For the longest time I was pouring tons of PH down into the water spending tons of money unnecessarily. I finally ponyed up some money for a Reverse Osmosis filter. The only real downside (and if this is a real concern is up for debate) is you suck all the minerals out of the water but since you are adding your own this is not a problem. I have totally taken care of the alkalinity problem and I no longer have to muck around too much with PH. Enjoy!
  4. From the album My backyard microfarm

    Notice the lines on the marker to denote 1 square foot growing area. The bed utilizes the square foot gardening method.
  5. I have recently started my back yard Aquaponics Garden. I am using my old 200 gallon Jacuzzi. I have been stocking it with Goldfish to start with. For the present time I am using Hydrotron balls for my grow medium. I am thinking about changing to small gravel when I add another 4x8 grow tray. The Hydrotron balls float and seem to get into every where that you don't want them to go. I have about 100 Goldfish in my tank for the present. Looking into getting some Tilapia soon. I have a TOTE Container that I will cut in half to use for the Tilapia fingerlings when I get them. I am currently growing Lettuce, cabbage, strawberries, Peppers, Tomatoes, bell peppers, brocolli, and various Herbs. I am preparing germinated seedlings of many of the above veggies. Outside my Hydroponics and Aquaponics garden, I am growing Oranges, White Zapote, Mango, Avocado, Pommagranite, Black Walnut trees, and three varieties of Bananas. I am having a challenge with my gold fish dying. they were dying at the rate of two to four per day until a week ago. I was feeding them twice a day. Now I cut it down to one time a day. I am still trying to figure out how to do a partial water change if and when necessary. I also been having difficulty getting my purchased Bell Auto Siphon cycling properly. The grow tray fills up and the bell does not drain. When my wife and I are not doing our gardening I am out towing vehicles, working my Online Marketing Business, and going to Church. Well, that's about all for now. I hope to become a good contributing member in the future after I get this whole Aquaponic thing figured out. Thanks, Joe
  6. I've seen a few videos that had a similar medium. Could some one fill me in on what they think they're using in this ? Thanks!
  7. Hey all, new to the forum and I'm way excited about the systems we are wrapping up before spring. Our outdoor system is doing great, it's still a little cold and I'm going to need to get some algae eaters in there to clean it up a little: The indoor system is just starting to really move though the nitrogen cycle. Indoor: ohh sorry images are so big Facebook Fanpage: http://goo.gl/5ayL0 youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/edpozek Take care.