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New Build - Looking for tips

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Hi all,

I have extensive experience keeping fresh and saltwater fish, but this is going to be my first foray into aquaponics and I'd like to avoid as many mistakes up front as possible. I have a rough drawing of what I'm looking to build I made on Garage Greenhouse | Tinkercad that you can view to see details.

Numbers details below:

4x 330g tanks that will be stocked with trout, striped bass, and talapia (2x) (dark blue)
100g conical tank for filtering solids (dark brown 1)
160g cylindrical tank with 200 cuft (about 140g) of k1 media (dark brown 2)
100g sump tank (horizontal tank to be the lowest point in the system) (light blue)
3000gph external pond pump adjacent to sump tank
4 4'x8' media beds (dark green)
2 4'x8' DWC beds (light green)
4 IBC wicking bins (medium green?)
Lighting TBD - currently looking at 12x Covert x500s but the price tag is steep, I want something with a controller
Orange / Black shelving are for microgreens and utility storage

I'm planning to plumb everything together with flexible hose, ball valves at the inlets for media & DWC beds so I have granular control over flow given the height differential. Ball valves with unions on both sides anywhere I might need to detach a line for maintenance. The fish tanks and settler tank will be raised so I can run everything off one pump and for ease of maintenance.

This is going in an RV garage I otherwise have no use for. I'm planning to prime the inside of the garage with kilz and then paint with a couple layers of latex paint. Concrete walls and floors will be sealed. I'm planning to build 'freestanding' raised media beds with 4'x4' supports and anchor to the concrete / wood walls but with how I'm planning to build them and how much weight will be in them it's HIGHLY unlikely that anything could possibly tip over. Better safe than sorry. I'm going to put up twinwall polycarb between this garage and the opening to the left. 

Things I'm still worried about immediately:
1. Is there a cheaper option for lighting that's easy to control? DWC beds are mostly going to be for leafy greens but media beds and wicking bins will need brighter light for fruiting crops. 
2. Climate control - I live in northern Virginia. During the summer I expect it to stay a bit cooler in this garage as all the concrete portions seen above are 'below ground'. Do I need to worry about cooling? For heat I'm planning to put a ventless propane heater in that window to the right.
3. Ventilation - Do I need to vent in / out air of this space? If not for heating or cooling, why? And how much?

I used this for all my calculations on fish capacity, water requirements etc.: (summary table below)
image.png.c09fe5b3a088ebe82de1b29cd8d71236.pngca4027en.pdf (fao.org)

Any inputs are much appreciated!

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Cool project! How to you plan on regulating the temps for the fish? Trout and bass like colder temps. By the time you get the water warm enough for tilapia to thrive, it's likely too warm for the other two to thrive. I don't know what your budget is but you'd probably have to use something like a water to water heat exchanger.

Also, I'd monitor the temps in your garage pretty closely before setting anything up. We have an insulated detached garage and while it never freezes solid (Boulder, CO area) it never gets terribly hot in the summer either. Couple that with the fact that little to no direct sunlight will be hitting the water and you've got some pretty cold water year round. Takes a lot of BTUs to warm up a 330gallons of water. I'd probably just ditch the tilapia and stick w/ bass and trout. 

I think you're probably going to need more grow beds but I'll let the people with actual experience speak to that. I'm still in the planning stages of my build as well. Good luck!

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@mrpickles, just saw this response! I didn't think about the temperatures for tilapia and the impact on the other species. Thanks 🙂

I'll set it up and run it for a few weeks empty and then just stick with a single fish breed / species. Great idea. 

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