AquaAurora

MTS Chronicle: Betta, Goldfish, & Tilapia Aquaponics Systems

9 posts in this topic

I have another thread here but the title is no longer applicable as its about goldfish, and I'm setting up for betta and tilapia aquaponic tanks. Don't worry I won't be house the species together.

If you're curious what MTS stands for its multi tank syndrome aka having a lot of tanks.. seeing as I am at 19 aquariums and possible getting another its safe to say I have mts... at this moment only 1 of the 19 is an aquaponic system but I'll soon have 2 75gs (for tilapia) and 4 betta tanks also set up for growing edible plants (total will be 7 of 20 tanks used for aquaponics).

I come into the hobby with an aquarium hobby background. I've kept fish and aquatic plants for several years. I've also do a lot of riparium work-its pretty much the same as aquaponics only different being I use non edible plants and roots are right in the tank (instead of separate grow bed). I had an NFT system setup for a while a few years back which successfully grew lettuce and I think cilantro. The pleco (south American catfish) I had int eh tank below grew too lager and his poop kept clogging the canister filter I used so I re-homed him and took the aquaponics down. in April 2016 I got back into aquaponics again as I got some fancy goldfish and wanted to extra help with water quality. I ended up with some monster lettuce and a decent sized cucumber before taking those plants out and doing peppers:jalapeno and Pasilla Bajo.

Next post will be quotes from old thread. All new posts/updates will be in this thread.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

lot has happened since I posted here.  Including a change in plants


grew some mounter lettuce and cucumber plant for a while
002_zpsv9vlmhf4.jpg
025_zpsfiy1siy4.jpg
024_zpsb8x5l3ok.jpg
028_zpsk3uwz0y4.jpg
027_zpsjykk2e4y.jpg
024_zpsq7vnd5zy.jpg
100_zpssxlwupsb.jpg


then took those out and am now growing spinach and peppers
009_zpsfeo48qjw.jpg
010_zpsuzit35xd.jpg
067_zpsvp2syvz2.jpg
066_zpsw2ls5lys.jpg
068_zpsrcqcacb4.jpg

fish have changed.  I lost the dark one to a river rock falling and crushing it.  Got 2 more goldies to keep my calico company, but lost the calico to dropsy (not fun) near the end of last year.  The 2 remaining fish are both healthy orandas that show no sign of the disease.
061_zps13zcvynm.jpg
The snail has moved to another tank but there are some well hidden nerite snails in the goldfish tank now.
Going to be planing some major aquaponic upgrades soon, but more on that alter.

Quote

Time for an update!

SO originally i was waiting on a storage container that would fit over the 75gs perfectly.  Even though I bought it through amazon prime it was not actually in stock and woudl take up to to months to ship.. on top of that it was a bit expensive.  So I canceled the order and my husband and I picked up some much cheaper clear storage bins at home depot-2 per a tank along with some 2" bulkheads to connect them and drain back into the tank.  I also got 4x 40 liter bags of Grow!t expanded clay media for the bins.  Now we're waiting on some metal shelving units to come in the mail because heaven forbid our local stores carry anything we actually want  "You want 60" long shelving unit? to bad! we only carry 48"!".. once everything is set up over the 75g my husband will 'pretty it up' for me with some wood paneling to hide the bins.
060_zpsedhylaru.jpg
061_zpsnt02tsjw.jpg

These plants won't be staying here but I am sprouting some seeds on the 75g by the window that I'll be moving soon.  I plant to take the riparium plants off my betta tanks/ponds and grow edibles instead.  Papillon will have cilantro, Ciel takes care of parsley, one of my newer betas in a 3.5g bubble bowl will have lemon mint, and I may be ;saving' a betta soon that's been sitting in a petstore for MONTHS, I dunno how he's not dead.  If he's still there once plants are grown enough I always have some cups with scallions/green onions that he'll help grow.  Green onions haven't sprouted yet as i sowed them just a few days ago.
067_zpsslthf47e.jpg
068_zps2gmaquiw.jpg
070_zpsbomfjun0.jpg
071_zpsp5hzbnxc.jpg

Onto the 40g breeder.  The jalapeno plant is going gang busters and has 16 or more peppers growing on it!!  The largest is shown in front of my hand-its about 3/4ths the length of an average store bought jalapeno so almost ready to harvest!  Also the pasilla bajo pepper finally started making peppers (I thought the jalapeno  was hogging all the nutrients).  Its just a small one.  I did a 98% water change this past Monday.. my back is still killing me from it-but I took out the sand and put Very Berry back in the tank.  With the dark substrate gone i can see the yellow of Ginger and Tangerine's bellies more clearly.  They don't want to hold still for in focus shots though >.<.  And finally last photos is the 26g tuffstuff bin I bought at tractor supply co to use as a grow bed when I redo the 40g tank.. right now it smells really bad so soaking it in a water+baking soda mixture to hopefully get rid of the 022_zpscf3eufu0.jpg
023_zpsutnlv6l7.jpg
024_zpsfoqkcgns.jpg
025_zps2stvy7hj.jpg
040_zps3klispvr.jpg
038_zpszgcq0miz.jpg

 

Ok all caught up now!


Onto a bit of babbling. I had thought about/planed twice to setup a greenhouse for aquaponics buuut the backyard isn't really conducive as there are a lot of trees so the only area that gets a lot of sun is a really bad spot for a structure (pretty much run into ti right off the patio),. So I'm keeping mine indoors, plus side: year round growing, I dot' have to freeze going out to the green house in winter to feed/do maintenance.. downside: more $ for lights, sticking to smaller tanks/grow beds.

Right now I have a t5 over the 40g breeder with the peppers-it has 2 54watt ho bulbs-one is 6500k the other 3500k. Once I harvest peppers I'll be doing a bit of 'musical chairs'. That light will go to one of my 2 75g tanks I'll be setting up for aquaponics, the other tank will also have a t5-same stats. I'll be putting a finnex LED on the 40g long (shorter light for shorter tank). I also have a spare LED and some clfs I'll use where I think they're needed as plants grow.

The 2 75gs are in a spare bedroom, 1 against a window, the other on the wall next to it. They have wood stands my husband built, sunsun canister filters (with uv light, 500+gph), and heaters which i need to add a faux wall to 1 tank to protect fro the tilapia once they start growing. The canister will have intake in the tank and output into a grow bed above the tank, 2" pvc/bulkhead will connect 2 tubs together and there will be a simply drain bulkhead/pvc to let water back into the tank at the other end. Plant to grow tomato in one tank's grow bed (probably by window), with cucumbers and peppers over the other 75g.
Once peppers are harvested the goldfish will be going into 1 75g for a while as I need to drain and gut the 40g breeder. Right now it has an in tank sump-faux wall that's much larger than I'll need when I switch to the tuffstuff bin (currently takes up 3' the length of the tank and 5" on one side). Also the original tank silicone has me worried as I've seen air bubbles form ans some edges peels way so my husband and I will be scraping and re-sealing the whole tank. I'll make a small corner sump with heater, pump, and some foam/bio media. Plumbing for the pump will have output in the 26g tuffstuff bin and again I'll have a bulkhead/pvc drain back into the tank. The grow bed my husband is helping figure out best (most stable) platform to setup above the tank. We may scavenge some parts from the shelving ordered to make a rack for the tub. I don't trust putting the bins right on top of the tank-1 too hard to get into the tank to feed/do maintenance, also the tanks are built to hand the water pressure pushing outward.. not have an extra 20-40+ lbs on top of them. The 40g will grow some various lettuce, maybe spinach or other leafy greens but mostly lettuce, and the goldfish will go back in once its all set up to be my 'farmers', as well as the large msytery snail.

Ok so I mentioned I'll have some betta aquponics going. I want to state now that I will NOT be using those rip off junky pre-made setups for betta qauponcis as they're 1 over priced, 2 95% of the time way too small a tank, 3 majority of reviews for their product complain of [censor]y pump that craps out or is way too loud.. It may to look as 'fancy' but I can setup for some bettaponics for much cheaper and will post more on that later. Side note: if you want to keep/are keeping a betta please please please get an adjustable aquarium heater. They are tropical fish that need warm water.. pre-set and [betta heaters' have a nasty habit of frying and cooking fish. I mostly use Hydro Theo adjustable heaters as they're small, reliable, and cheap.
 

 

Edited by AquaAurora (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More recently photos of the peppers on the goldfish tank:
003_zpsmkfvdk3u.jpg
004_zpseiajxquf.jpg

I got most of the stink out of the tuffstuff with a baking soda soak.  Now just waiting to harvest peppers before moving fish and redoing the setup with the bin.

Got 2 sets of shelves ordered to put the aquaponics grow beds on over the 75gs.. whoooole lot of problems (missing most of the parts when arrived UGH) also mangled metal some of which couldn't be hammed back into place... fun times =,=  anyways photo below of 1 of the shelves set up.  Going to use 3 tubs instead of 2 over the 75gs so have to buy some more 2" pvc to connect them.  Also still need to hang the lights.
002_zpshuc8lfrj.jpg

not too thrilling to look at up beginnings of bettaponics..

New boy i just rescued yesterday.. he's been at my local store for over 2 moths.  In rough shape now but hoping he'll bounce back.  He's in a 2.5g vase from Michel's arts and craft store, has a 50 watt aqueon heater and an air pump run sponge filter.  Silk plants and some driftwood for hiding/exploring (if you get fake plants for a betta make sure they're silk, plastic rips the fins).  Have 3 small shower caddies on the top of the tank with clay media and scallions + 1 unknown onion.. It just randomly sprouted in a plant that has chives (this is not a chive).  Light from a south facing window.  Made a light shield for the betta with some old fabric scrap, glue and cardboard.  Need to re-roller pin roll it to make a tighter curve.
007_zps8wvlnpal.jpg
009_zpsyeua9bud.jpg
059_zpsnhebluwr.jpg
060_zpsmymjlplu.jpg

011_zpshl4yfiy3.jpg

Next is Cacao, 3.5g ~ bubble bowl also from same store, has a constant on style betta heater but I plug it into a temp controller so I don't end up with boiled fish, also air pump driven sponge filter.  Has driftwood and live aquatic plant-salvinia minima easy to grow floating plant.  1 large shower caddie with clay media, starting to get lemon mint sprouts.  Light is a 13 watt 6500k cfl in lamp mounted to the wall.
063_zpspk50n4mu.jpg
061_zpsi9kzeseq.jpg

My husband's giant betta Pailion in a ~6g plastic planter pot from Lowes (was less than $10), Homasy 80 GPH (300L/H) Submersible Water Pump from amazon + scavenged tubing from another pump, light is a 13 watt 6500k cfl in clamp on work lamp.  Has live house plant marble pothos-great plant for aquapincs once it gets going it grows like a beast!  This one started out as just 4 leaves on a tiny vine.  Also salvinia minima again.  2 large shower candies with cilantro seedlings.. they didn't get a lot of light at first so may need to re-sow the clay media (i just toss seeds right ontop).
076_zpsjeb49uel.jpg
081_zps6p3mmvmr.jpg

Ciel's set up-same as Papilion's but different plants-has some fake silk plants + salvinia minima , pothos njoy, and a dwarf peace lily.  2 large shower caddies have parsely.
077_zpspzywzz1o.jpg
079_zpsq0pndgyu.jpg

 

Edited by AquaAurora (see edit history)
bigdaddy likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi AquaAura,

Interesting thread,

My work has has 2 significant fish ponds lining each side of a grand entrance to reception. In those fish ponds we have a large number of goldies and  water lilies. I love water lilies and often think it would be nice to do something like that at home. But I can't ATM, don't have enough room.

A few years ago I asked the question about growing non fruiting plants and most people on the forums said they prefered to grow things you could eat, so this thread is of interest to me. One concern I would have is if you were to grow any plant that would produce toxic chemicals into the water of an RAS and the effect that would have on your fish. That is the only concern I can see. Anyway, I like this thread and your story so far. I look forward to following it.

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/10/2017 at 4:18 PM, bigdaddy said:

Hi AquaAura,

Interesting thread,

My work has has 2 significant fish ponds lining each side of a grand entrance to reception. In those fish ponds we have a large number of goldies and  water lilies. I love water lilies and often think it would be nice to do something like that at home. But I can't ATM, don't have enough room.

A few years ago I asked the question about growing non fruiting plants and most people on the forums said they prefered to grow things you could eat, so this thread is of interest to me. One concern I would have is if you were to grow any plant that would produce toxic chemicals into the water of an RAS and the effect that would have on your fish. That is the only concern I can see. Anyway, I like this thread and your story so far. I look forward to following it.

Cheers.

I've grown house plants that are poisonous when consumed on fish tanks (ripariums) without issue before such as pothos, dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) and arrowhead plants.  Had all these and more on a 55g tank for over 2 years.  Fish were never hurt by them.  I had otos (tiny delicate catfish) that loved to hang on the dumb cane roots and kept them very clean (wish they cleaned the other plant roots too).  Those otos are still alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/10/2017 at 4:18 PM, bigdaddy said:

Hi AquaAura,

Interesting thread,

My work has has 2 significant fish ponds lining each side of a grand entrance to reception. In those fish ponds we have a large number of goldies and  water lilies. I love water lilies and often think it would be nice to do something like that at home. But I can't ATM, don't have enough room.

A few years ago I asked the question about growing non fruiting plants and most people on the forums said they prefered to grow things you could eat, so this thread is of interest to me. One concern I would have is if you were to grow any plant that would produce toxic chemicals into the water of an RAS and the effect that would have on your fish. That is the only concern I can see. Anyway, I like this thread and your story so far. I look forward to following it.

Cheers.

Wanted to add: you can keep these house plants with goldfish (roots in tank) just make sure the goldfish have a good veggy based diet.  Give blanched veggies like lettuce/spinach, carrots, etc... or fish foods with a lot of veggies like soilent green repashy powder (make a gel with it).  I use this + add some other fish foods and fresh fruits and veggies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UUUUGH FML Planned out using storage totes over the 75g tanks and connected with pvc.. took too long to get it done and between getting the totes and actually putting them together forgot the key point of how much space would be added by the pvc connectors.. without the connectors I could push 3 totes together over th4 8" long tank.. with the connectors in i can only fit 2.. my lights and pluming plants hinged on them staying in a 48" length range.  I'm so frustrated I could scream!

For all the time and money wasted on this I'm just going to toss it and buy the [censor] 48" long storage bin that have a 1 month wait to get shipped =.=  And of course the pvc is all pvc glued together so there's not popping it apart and using the pieces on the new container that will fit.. grrrr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well didn't take a month thankfully.  Bins came in, will be drilling this weekend.
032_zpsxehew2eq.jpg

On the goldfish front the other fully grown jalepano were turned into a big chili base and portioned out then bagged and frozen for easy use later. Still have a ton of peppers on the plant but the rest aren't quite long enough to harvest yet.  We're looking into ways to dry them to preserve.. its too humid here to do the simple air dry and our oven gets too hot for oven drying, may try toaster oven.  Pasil Bajo pepper are growing fast and starting to pop out peppers all over too.
045_zpsvqbefaqz.jpg
048_zps66elvi2p.jpg

I also grabbed a white onion at the store that had a tough of green poking out (never see this) and stuffed it on the goldfish tank for the heck of it.  Worst case its a back up onion for when we forget to buy/run out.
049_zpsxhmnyj3p.jpg

In other news the newest betta (still need to name) is healing up nicely and put on some weight.  have the mystery onion, a piece of garlic and some green onion seeds going on his tank
028_zpsbkbayhih.jpg
029_zps5xgiqn6y.jpg
024_zpskbmzwnua.jpg
025_zpssqeo8hnw.jpg

The otehr tanks I reseeded to try to grow some more plants. using paper towel to keep seeds form falling too deep into the cracks.
031_zps5erhe4o8.jpg
033_zpsfxcrxpet.jpg
034_zpsdrjkemck.jpg
038_zpsdojrhl6b.jpg

And on a random final note: one of my few remaining house plants.. still tiny but eventually leaves should be the size of dinner plats!
036_zpspsxawhld.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now