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Selfish Basterd Aquaponics -SBAP


wolgie
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Ok let me start by explaining the name (which I purposely misspelled because of the filter). So my somewhat skeptical and usually mild-mannered wife got annnoyed with me the other day about my AP plans, and in a moment of anger called me a selfish ******* - and hence the name was born!!

So I am excited to say my AP room is close to completion. I built a small (much smaller than I had hoped) room in the garage. This room is serviced through the HVAC so it will be a constant climate year round and safe from the elements and critters. Here are some before and after (current) photos:

photoconst1.jpg

photoconst2.jpg

photooutside1.jpg

photoinside1.jpg

photoinside2.jpg

I guess I need a wide angle lens since the room is so small. It's 7.3 feet by 8.5 feet.

I still need to tape/bed and paint.

So you can see my 300 gallon IBC (which will be cut down to a capacity of 250 gallons). I have 4 double 4 foot T8 fluorescent shop lights with 6500k daylight bulbs. I also have a 55gal barrel for my swirl filter. Now, I need to build my grow beds and line them with pond liner and get a water and air pump. Then plumb everything.

Here is my plan for the system: Please give me any and all feedback on the design. Obviously space is a huge consideration right now. The grow beds will be stacked roughly 3'x7' and about 18" deep (15" of water).

sbapMedium.jpg

My main concern is to prevent flooding if the pump or power goes out.

Also, there will be an air pump, aerating the FT and both grow beds.

Thanks alot, I am very excited about the adventure, and hope to have water in the system by early March!!

This is also posted in Backyard AP forum

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Hello SBAP. You should change your user name to SBAP, love it. I'm still a newbie myself so my questions are more for my education than anything else.

I don't see a granular media biofilter anywhere in this system. Is this because your plant load is going to be enough to take up the ammonia/nitrite before it becomes a problem for your fish? I know you will get some nitrifying bacteria working in the water, but from what I've read giving them a large surface area with water flowing over them (like a grow bed) significantly assists the grow rate.

Also, what are you planning on growing? Are you limited to leafy greens in a raft system? Or can you grow fruit bearing plants? I'm guessing root plants would spoil in the water, but haven't tried or read about it specifically.

I really like the idea of using a raft grow bed as a sump. I think I may try that in one of my future systems.

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That's funny Dave! You know I was just asking myself that same question, I originally was going to cut it down for easier access for cleaning and harvesting, but, I know once I do, I will regret it or will need that couple of extra gallons or inches. So I think I will just cut the top out (close to the edges) and build a small step or two for the above reasons. Thanks for making me realize that. I think I have a more elegant solution for the mechanical filtration than that last sketch. This way there shouldn't be an emergency overflow problem, and far less plumbing and maintenance.

SBAP3.jpg

The 6 foot 6" PVC pipe will start with coarse gravel, then smaller gravel (in a mesh bag), then some filter pad material for the final stage. Each end will have a screw on cap (or something) so it can be removed and cleaned periodically.

What do yall think?

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Why not just make your first raft a media filled growbed? You can run it in constant flood without a problem if you are adding additional aeration to your system. The 6" media filled pipe might be difficult to clean. Also, the way it is shown now I would be concerned that you may get some anaerobic zones in that pipe.

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Hi Wolgie,

I think that at least one grow bed might be a bit more manageable first time out.

If you decide to make both tanks into media beds, you'll need a sump tank.....because your diagram suggests that you were going to use the second raft tank as a sump.

You could still use the second grow tank as a raft system......and, in addition to the swirl separator, the media bed would help to trap the suspended solids.

Gary

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Gary, that is also a good point. I actually was planning on growing lettuce and herbs in the bottom BG(due to the limited space). Aren't they better suited for raft anyway?

Plus that would save me on media cost? that hydroton is pricey!

How much far below the surface of the media should the water level be on the top (media) GB?

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Hi Wolgie,

I actually was planning on growing lettuce and herbs in the bottom BG(due to the limited space). Aren't they better suited for raft anyway?

They'll grow well in either system.

How much far below the surface of the media should the water level be on the top (media) GB?

40mm - 50mm below the media is a good place to start.

Gary

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Hi Wolgie,

It's heading in the right direction.

Take a look at my Queenslander design......here.

If you read my Microponics posts on The Queenslander, you'll get the whole story on how it works......and the benefits that it bestows.

Your general layout can be accommodated within the Queenslander concept.

Gary

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