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The only way I'm going to be able stop reading about aquaponics is to do a setup myself. Gonna start small and work my way up. I am a musician and am on tour alot. It would be cool to make friends on this forum with gardeners across the United States in hopes of meeting them and seeing their systems in person. This seems like a really rad forum. yay.
I've built it! I used 1 IBC container. The top 1/3 of the IBC container was cut and flipped. I filled it with red lava rocks on the bottom half and Hydroton on the top half. After doing more research, I realized more grow bed volume was needed. I made a frame out of some thick cedar and posts and tossed in a pond liner. I used river pebbles on the top half to go the cheaper route. I have just about a 1 to 1 ratio going. The pump is a 550-GPH from Lowes. I have it on a cinder block in case something happens and it will not drain the whole tank. Is it bad that it is not on the bottom? I split the pvc from the pump and have a 3/4" pvc about 3 ft long with many holes drilled in the side to give the tank a current. I used Affnan's website to help with the bell siphon and it works great. Each bed drain has a homemade venturi similar to Affnan's. I may be able to avoid an air pump, but I have an Air Pump AIR-8000: For aquariums up to 170 gallons. I got 9 Koi from a friend in the neighborhood. There are 4 that are about 6 inches and the rest are about 4 inches. Is that enough fish? Also, is there a recommended food that would be more organic? The stuff from Lowes, Smart Pond Premium Fish Food, has some crazy ingredients. I need a duckweed tank I guess. I posted some pictures to my profile. This site has been a great resource. So, 3 questions... Is it bad that the pump is not on the bottom? Would 9 Koi enough for 625 Liters? Is there a good organic food to buy?