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Bosketti

Greetings from Washington

7 posts in this topic

My name is Scott and I've been home all week with a rotten cold. Not having much else to do other than watch tv, I've spent a fair amount of time on the computer. Last week I received a fear mongering piece of spam warning me about the end of the world and how will most certainly starve to death unless I send this nut money NOW! Obviously there was no way I was going to watch the video all the way through but when I tried to leave the page it gave me a text version of his spiel. Once I got through the fear mongering, I discovered something called aquaponics.

This is a new concept for me but a very intriguing one. I live on a small lot in the foothills of Mt. Baker. There isn't much room for a conventional garden but we have toyed with the idea of square foot gardening. I think the biggest thing stopping us is figuring out how to actually make it productive enough to b worth while. This looks like something that could produce a great yield with a relatively small GB. It also appears more efficient and sustainable.

The fish aspect of this is just icing on the cake. I've been running a 125 gallon aquarium for about 7 years. I assume a big learning curve but the experience with my fish should give me a head start there.

Anyway, that's a bit about me and how I landed here.

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Welcome! If you just want to get started and feel this out, you could add a salad bar in a deep water culture (DWC) setup to your existing aquarium (assuming that it's freshwater). Salad greens grow very easily in AP water, and the costs in setting this up would be minor. Just have your current filter flow into the grow tank, and then overflow back into the tank, and add an air stone to the grow tank.Or you can try for a more complex system, and there are tons of resources and helpfull folks on this site to help you along.

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Thank you both for the welcomes. Thanks also for the idea, Ed. I'm trying to think of how I would do the salad bar off my existing aquarium. I think my biggest challenge for doing it on the cheap will be lights as it will be too far from any windows for any natural light.

Research and brainstorming continues...

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If you go with lettuce, the light requirement is not too taxing. Some cool flourescents should do the trick, not cost too much, and electical usage is low. I have used T8 fixtures with success, but have recently added some T5's, which have a higher output. T5's are costlier (both in initial and ongoing costs), but difference between the two is not too much, and the T5's give you better lighting that will allow future expansions into some more demanding crops.

You could start with a 4' T5 fixture, with 4-8 bulbs - depending on your budget/desire for coverage - (a decent fixture will have multiple switches to operate a varying number of bulbs), and grow lettuce, basil and the like readily.

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Can you do onions and radishes in this kind of setup or does that require a dirt bed? I'd like to be able to be able to grow all my salad fixings out of this but I don't know if root type veggies work this way.

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Also, since the top of my aquarium is sitting at about 5', I wouldn't be putting the GB over the FT and it would have to go next to it. That being the case, Would I need a second pump and a sump to go from the GB to the FT? I'm still trying to sort through all the information here so I can't say I have a good design yet.

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