Aquaponics - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-13-2016, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Aquaponics

So some of you may know me from before. I had gotten pretty bored with fish keeping over the years, and this fall decided to morph my hobby into something more useful. Enter aquaponics!

I ditched the stand for the 90 gallon and built my own, so that I could set up grow trays and lights over top. I used food grade plastic bus tubs (5") and lids. Black is the way to go to prevent algae growth. Each grow tray has its own plumbing of pvc tubing so if I'm working on one I can shut off the pump and the others keep on going. I had considered a tandem system but opted for individuals, again, for ease of maintenance and flexibility. I think if/when I redo them I will switch to a bell siphon and run the plumbing straight straight down through the table top into the tank.

Each grow tray is filled with expanded clay, which provides a ton of surface area. There is no actual filtration, other than the water running through the grow trays. Stock at the moment is 4 goldfish and a pleco. As the garden fills in I will be adding more goldfish. I have an automatic feeder set up which is fantastic - added one to the 125 as well.

For lights I have three 100 watt viparspectra LEDs hung from a pvc frame. The lights are full spectrum plus UV and IR. Kinda wish I went with lights with the veg/bloom modes. In front of the tank I have my germination station - heated mat, rockwool plugs and a 4ft t5 light.

First crop I did was bush beans, which are currently bearing fruit. LOTS of fruit. But TINY. The plants started flowering at about 12 inches tall which is too soon. Small plants, small flowers, small fruit. Next set I have going in I will be raising the light up much higher. If it happens again I am going to change the photoperiod, and if that doesn't work I'm just going to pinch off the flowers. First harvest will be this weekend. Then there may be a second harvest, after which I will be pulling them out and replanting. That's when I will be glad that the grow trays are all independent

Second crop is snow peas. I've already jacked up the light on them now that they are growing. Not sure if I will have to provide a trellis for them or if what I have up will be enough.

Third crop I want to be snap peas. I would like to have the 3 going, so that I can have 2 available at a time to me.





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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta

Last edited by jaysee; 12-13-2016 at 12:07 AM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 12-13-2016, 02:30 AM
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Wow that is some set up. When you go in you're in. How much did that cost?
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post #3 of 21 Old 12-13-2016, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Aquaponics

Hahaha thanks, yeah when I do something I DO it. It cost more than it needed to..... I bought a lot of unnecessary things setting it up. Biggest cost was the lights, at $100 each. The rest of it probably was another $250. So probably about $600 total. It's a long term investment.....

I think someone could set up a single tray setup for less than $150, including the light.


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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta

Last edited by jaysee; 12-13-2016 at 08:31 AM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 12-14-2016, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Oops lights are 300 watts each. Big difference....


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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #5 of 21 Old 12-14-2016, 02:06 AM
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haha, the last pic got me! I love the curtain surrounding the system!

540L/140G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 254L/67g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
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post #6 of 21 Old 12-14-2016, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Aquaponics

Yeah there's 900 watts there and the light is BRIGHT. I have special sunglasses for when I am inspecting the plants.

I initially ran a curtain wire across the ceiling but that didn't look nice. I just added a pvc "curtain rod" to the light framing. It's mostly zip ties holding everything together. And duck tape. I didn't want to make anything permanent in case I had to make adjustments.

Not many people left on here.

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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #7 of 21 Old 12-14-2016, 03:51 AM
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I assumed so, judging by your - limited - specs on the LED's i would imagine that they have a large PAR rating!
Yeah the forum has been pretty quiet, I guess its the holiday season for many?

540L/140G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 254L/67g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
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post #8 of 21 Old 12-14-2016, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Aquaponics

Par value of 300 directly under the lights, 165 at 1 foot radius and 100 at 2 feet, at 2 feet high. But there's overlap between them so the actual values for the setup at 1 foot radius are higher.


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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta

Last edited by jaysee; 12-14-2016 at 09:36 AM.
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-20-2016, 01:00 PM
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Very nice idea. Just wondering how big of a crop are you getting?

I like the idea of doing this but not sure what kinda return one would get. Or is it mainly for the fun or joy of doing it.


You can follow Old Fort Exotics on You Tube and on my Fish room thread.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5l...KdIa-pb3K2zb7A
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/d...h-room-517930/

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post #10 of 21 Old 12-20-2016, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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The bigger the plant the more yield you get. These guys bloomed at 16 inches tall which is not big enough to produce an appreciable yield. Next batch will have the buds snipped off to get the plants to grow bigger first. To answer your question those 4 plants produced enough for 2 people for dinner.

If I can get 6 plants close to normal size before blooming, I'll have enough to give away.

First snow peas are climbing so I'll report when they bloom.



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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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