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mrPickles

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About mrPickles

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  • Biography
    Experienced traditional farmer looking to transition to aquaponics.
  • Interests
    Farming/gardening. Currently a large garden, orchard, ducks and geese. Photography. Permaculture.

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  • Location
    Lafayette, Colorado

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  1. Thanks @phri hadn't thought about that. I've made a few changes to the design including splitting the pond in two and putting a radial flow filter in between the two. I might look into some round tanks but the in ground raceway type pond is going to be a lot less expensive and look better since my wife is concerned w/ aesthetics. Would a 20'x4' pond still have the same issues do you think? I could break it up into thirds.
  2. Thanks for the advice. I have the spring and summer to get started. We're waiting on a grant for the hoop house that won't come through til October at least. Was debating if I should get the climate battery and pond dug beforehand but starting early w/ a small setup is probably a good idea. I have a tendency to jump right in sometimes :) That's how we ended up with 11 geese and 10 ducks! I was also reading that bigger setups can be a little more forgiving. I do worry a bit about starting them outside due to raccoons and the neighborhood cats. If I'm starting that small I might try to rig something up indoors or maybe in our duck coop. Duck coop would be ideal for protection but doesn't get a ton of sun.
  3. So I've been farming for years and I'm finally getting a hoop house. I'd like to transition it to a continuous flow aquaponic setup as well. We'll likely be building an 18'x72' gothic hoop house, air insulated 6mil poly, and solid dual layer poly end walls. I plan on installing a climate battery and potentially a rocket mass heater to hopefully gain a couple zones (I'm zone 5b just outside Lafayette, CO and we get lots of sunshine) and extend my season. The greenhouse runs E-W with the pond on the north side and grow bed(s) on the south side and a small sitting area in the Southwest corner. I'm a total newbie to aquaponics but I've been doing a fair amount of reading and this seems like it would work but let me know if I'm off my rocker :dontknow: Here's my initial thoughts on a layout: Pond: ~4ft wide, 2.5-3ft deep and 55-60ft long pond so somewhere between 4100-5400 gallons. Add small trickling waterfall either with return water from the beds or a small additional solar powered pump. Planning on putting reflective backed insulation on the north wall to hopefully redirect extra sun and heat into the water during winter and shade it during the mid-late afternoon of summer. Use an airlift pump to pump water up to the beds. My wife and son won't eat the fish so I'm planning on raising koi. Beautiful, tolerate of temps and could hopefully potentially resell them. Beds: Flow through two gravel beds that filter before flowing into the raft beds. What is the preferred method to flow from one bed to the next? Especially to get the cleanest water possible for the raft. I was just thinking of a perforated pipe in the middle of the bed, plumbed to the next bed. Should i not perforate and let it siphon the cleanest water from the top and they'll each level out? I have a laser level to ensure everything would be at the proper level across the whole setup. I have lots of leftover lumber from other projects so I was planning building wooden beds 4' wide 8-12" deep and lining them with a duraskrim liner. So each bed I add that is the length of the pond would add an extra 1000-1500 gallons to the system depending on how much is gravel vs raft. I might start with one bed and add the other after the fact once I'm up and running unless there is a reason not to. What would be a good stocking rate for something like this? Especially since koi are so expensive I'd rather buy them as peanuts or 3-4" so that I'm not spending a fortune. I've seen some horror stories of pump failure and fish die-out so I'm planning some alarms and failsafes there but I was also hoping that a pond this big would allow me some time before any issues like that. Am I crazy or is this doable?
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