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Kihluna

New here, very interested but having a few problems figuring things out

9 posts in this topic

Hello all :)

Okay so getting right to it. I have a 110 gallon fishtank with a Cascade 1500 on it, just for fishkeeping. My oscar, severum and koi got too big for the 45 gallon in my house so we set the 110 up. We had found the 110 on the side of the road a few years back, so very cheap so far. My brother set up a hydroponic garden at his dads house and that got me thinking of things I had seen years ago about people using fish to help grow a garden. I would like to put that 110 to work for me :)

My issue is the tank is in the garage, and it is still cycling so I cannot move it or change the fish, but I do plan on getting more fish and selling them for profit. If I could figure out how to run a hose maybe under the garage door and along the fence maybe I could build a pvc type situation.

my problems:

*unsure how to get the water back into the tank

*worried about how to filter the water before it gets back to the fish. (without destroying the Cascade filter. Possibly just moving hoses around? not sure)

*wondering about chemcials, wont it harm my fish?

*want to know what kinds of plants I can grow with this system.

I have been watching videos and reading alot since I had the idea, I`m not a very scientific person and I`m not really big on all the pumps and chemicals. I would like to grow them as naturally as possible. My garden right now is fed almost exclusively with fish emulsion. I have issues with bugs and I do compost. I grow in recycled containers that I find here and there, totes, buckets, etc. My garden has to be semi mobile because we live in Florida and we are renters, so I can pull the plants inside for a hurricane, rare freeze or if we have to move.

I am a stay at home mom with 5 dogs, 4 fishtanks, 2 finches and 2 rats. I coupon and stockpile for my family as well. I am always looking for ways to become more self sufficient.

Also interested in the idea of growing some food ontop of the open fish tank if that is possible, I read that some people have grown lettuce floating on styrofoam that way? maybe use a small plastic tote floating to keep the fish from eating the roots? not sure.

any ideas, thoughts, feedback etc would help :)

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Hi Kihluna,

Okay so getting right to it. I have a 110 gallon fishtank with a Cascade 1500 on it, just for fishkeeping. My oscar, severum and koi got too big for the 45 gallon in my house so we set the 110 up. We had found the 110 on the side of the road a few years back, so very cheap so far. My brother set up a hydroponic garden at his dads house and that got me thinking of things I had seen years ago about people using fish to help grow a garden. I would like to put that 110 to work for me :smile:

Is your tank made of glass or acrylic? I ask because acrylic is much easier to retrofit than glass.

My issue is the tank is in the garage, and it is still cycling so I cannot move it or change the fish, but I do plan on getting more fish and selling them for profit. If I could figure out how to run a hose maybe under the garage door and along the fence maybe I could build a pvc type situation.

my problems:

*unsure how to get the water back into the tank

*worried about how to filter the water before it gets back to the fish. (without destroying the Cascade filter. Possibly just moving hoses around? not sure)

*wondering about chemcials, wont it harm my fish?

*want to know what kinds of plants I can grow with this system.

You can set things up so that you don't have to get the water back into the tank (from the growing system). You can use water from your fish tank to water wicking beds......or you can set up a stand-alone hydroponics system using water from your fish tank.

I'll have to google "Cascade 1500" - I'm assuming that's some sort of canister filter....right? Got any photos of the fish tank? That will help me to put it all into perspective.

I have been watching videos and reading alot since I had the idea, I`m not a very scientific person and I`m not really big on all the pumps and chemicals. I would like to grow them as naturally as possible. My garden right now is fed almost exclusively with fish emulsion. I have issues with bugs and I do compost. I grow in recycled containers that I find here and there, totes, buckets, etc. My garden has to be semi mobile because we live in Florida and we are renters, so I can pull the plants inside for a hurricane, rare freeze or if we have to move.

Nothing needs to change about any of that. As I've already said you can just use the water from your fish tanks on your existing gardens.

I am a stay at home mom with 5 dogs, 4 fishtanks, 2 finches and 2 rats. I coupon and stockpile for my family as well. I am always looking for ways to become more self sufficient.

There are lots of ways to enhance your self-sufficiency. It's all a question of how much effort you want to go to. What are your resources.....in terms of land, time, money, etc?

Also interested in the idea of growing some food ontop of the open fish tank if that is possible, I read that some people have grown lettuce floating on styrofoam that way? maybe use a small plastic tote floating to keep the fish from eating the roots? not sure.

You'll need lights to grow plants in, or over an inside, fish tank. If you're going to do that, I'd suggest that you erect a platform over your fish tank and support your growing system on that - rather than float anything in the tank.

Gary

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Hi Kihluna,

Is your tank made of glass or acrylic? I ask because acrylic is much easier to retrofit than glass.Gary

Its glass :( we found it on the side of the road and was surprised it held water.

Hi Kihluna,You can set things up so that you don't have to get the water back into the tank (from the growing system). You can use water from your fish tank to water wicking beds......or you can set up a stand-alone hydroponics system using water from your fish tank.Gary

I would refer to have it in one giant circle, or reusing. Im big on recycling, reusing, etc.

I'll have to google "Cascade 1500" - I'm assuming that's some sort of canister filter....right? Got any photos of the fish tank? That will help me to put it all into perspective.Gary

I will get pictures of it up in my next post, its too late to do anything tonight without alarming dogs.

Nothing needs to change about any of that. As I've already said you can just use the water from your fish tanks on your existing gardens.Gary

Well I already use the water from my 40 and 45 gallons to water the rest of the garden. I figured, new tank, new garden to go with it lol.

There are lots of ways to enhance your self-sufficiency. It's all a question of how much effort you want to go to. What are your resources.....in terms of land, time, money, etc?

We are renters, the landlord is out of state but his property manager allows us to do whatever we want as long as its not damaging the property. We are in a duplex the whole backyard had a 6foot chainlink around it that isnt split from the neighbors. We did erect a sectional fence with a tiny gate to keep the 5 dogs back on our side, which means we have very little grass now...another reason I grow in totes and buckets. Growing this way in florida has its own issues with watering, overheating etc. Plants that say "full sun" I have to keep in the shade bc the bucket gets too hot and cooks the plant. I have a 7 foot by 5 foot area I can play with inside the dog area, or the whole back area if I wanted to. Just a matter of finding a way to get the water to it from the fishtank.

I live in a poly relationship with the 2 men working while I stay home and mind the house and kid. I don`t work other than housework and the baby and the dogs,garden, shopping, food making, dr appts (my son is a dwarf so there are more than usual) and exercise, but who calls all that work right?

I`m looking to do this as cheaply as possible, finding out whats going to cost alot and getting a quote so I can take it all back and show the boys how much we are looking at.

You'll need lights to grow plants in, or over an inside, fish tank. If you're going to do that, I'd suggest that you erect a platform over your fish tank and support your growing system on that - rather than float anything in the tank.

Are the lights expensive? where would I go about finding out about all that?

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post-361-13795791082258_thumb.jpgForgive my crappy artistic skills. This is one way to work the plumbing. You can take a 55 gallon drum and put a siphon in it. Basically a 1.5 to 2" pvc pipe with elbows, making an upside down U. . The pipe is inserted in the fish tank and the 55 gallon drum. The water pressure will equalize once the air is purged, so that the drum and aquarium are at the same level. You can then cut a hole in the drum without worrying about tearing up the fish tank. Then water flows by gravity to the big rectangle representing your growing system. The water is then pumped back to the fish tank. I would also put a valve on the siphon, so if any problems came up, you could shut it off. You want to make sure your exit hole in the drum is high enough that if you spring a leak, there will still be water in your aquarium.

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110 gallons is a pretty good sized starter tank, most 'bucketponics' systems start with one 55 gal drum for a fish tank, and one or two cut down the middle to make grow beds.

If im correct, there is a rough 2:1 ratio between your grow bed space and fish tank capacity- this is to assure enough surface are for the N cycle bacteria to adequately filter the ammonia and nitrates produced by fish.

SO 100 gallons of tank should allow for up to four 25 gal grow beds! If you cant manage that size garden (especially indoors) you could make a fairly serious biofilter, or understock the tank to keep things balanced.

after that it seems like you have to decide whether you are willing to clean the filter pads regularly, or think about a mechanical filter.

my inexperience and and appreciation for simplicity have lead me to lean towards a radial flow filter... its a low energy inline design, and seems sufficient for small to medium setups.

looking forward to seeing some pics of that tank, and to hear about your progress.

Edited by Sbee
spelling (see edit history)

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Sorry for the late response lol, had a rough past few days. So what Ravnis suggested would mean I`d forget about the filter already running the fishtank?

The drum would serve as the filter instead? Where would I aquire a drum like that anyway?

My thought was, the filter has an intake and outtake hose, so couldnt I split the outtake hose to run half into the tank and half to my grow beds? And then use the intake hose to pull the water from my grow beds into the filter and maybe add a few more things to help pull chemicals and nitrates out before the water is put back into my tank?

Maybe I could use one of those 4 grow beds Sbee mentioned could be an extra filtration system before the water makes it back into the fish filter?

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the basic idea behind the AP system is that the GB is the filter. however it is important to make sure the system is set up to deal with the total waste accumulated (solids/chemical). that is where the 2:1 ratio works as a general rule of thumb.

however, this all depends on how many fish you intend to keep. without a picture or a basic diagram it is hard for me to comment on the whole intake and outtake situation- but my thoughts are, if you are running the water draining from the grow bed through your canister filter (back to the tank) it would serve as a biofilter. the only possible problem with that set up is not having enough GB to deal with solids- which means you might consider understocking the tank until you have an idea of what you can accommodate.post-9652-13795791094207_thumb.jpgpost-9652-13795791094207_thumb.jpgI imagined something like this. very basic ebb and flow- plenty of surface area for bacteria, and with the right medium you will have a built in mechanical filtration. the drain from the GB could be plumbed through the canister filter, add a timer and wala.

The only thing here that i just noticed is the water level will obviously dip a bit when flooding. you might have to dial the pump/drain to not dry out the fish.

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the basic idea behind the AP system is that the GB is the filter. however it is important to make sure the system is set up to deal with the total waste accumulated (solids/chemical). that is where the 2:1 ratio works as a general rule of thumb.

however, this all depends on how many fish you intend to keep. without a picture or a basic diagram it is hard for me to comment on the whole intake and outtake situation- but my thoughts are, if you are running the water draining from the grow bed through your canister filter (back to the tank) it would serve as a biofilter. the only possible problem with that set up is not having enough GB to deal with solids- which means you might consider understocking the tank until you have an idea of what you can accommodate.[ATTACH=CONFIG]6691[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]6691[/ATTACH]I imagined something like this. very basic ebb and flow- plenty of surface area for bacteria, and with the right medium you will have a built in mechanical filtration. the drain from the GB could be plumbed through the canister filter, add a timer and wala.

The only thing here that i just noticed is the water level will obviously dip a bit when flooding. you might have to dial the pump/drain to not dry out the fish.

post-9617-13795791096381_thumb.jpg Okay I drew a layout of where the fishtank is and all that. I`m not understanding why i would need a seperate pump to get the water to move from the tank, not sure why but I was imagining a constant flowing setup instead of a flush and refill type thing.

Right now my tank only has 4 fish in it, theyre fairly big, but I was hoping to grow some more fish to sell so I could make some side cash in the future. I got the idea from this youtube video

its very basic but i was hoping to improve on it. Maybe its not ideal? I`m pretty much looking for how to start this without the use of an additional pump, even if it means doing it manually once in awhile. I was also thinking of the way a gravel filter works, if I adapted it to pump the water onto the plants then the plants gave the water back to me or something. Its all very raw in my head I apologize

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