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Aquarium Aquaponics

Discussion in 'Lounge Area' started by RSA NUUB, May 31, 2017.

  1. RSA NUUB

    RSA NUUB New Member

    Joined:
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    Country:
    South Africa
    State:
    Rustenburg
    City:
    Rustenburg
    Hi everyone

    I've been lurking around for a while but this is my first post.

    All the systems on here are awesome but they are all to large for what I'm looking at. And though some are good looking like Mel's it's not nice enough to put in my living room.

    After months of looking I've found roughly what I want. It's called the grove.
    Here's the link
    https://grovegrown.com/

    I would like to commission something similar at a local aquarium manufacturer.

    So after the long story here is the issue.
    I want to keep ornamental fish. I don't see many people doing this. Is it just coz they don't grow big enough to eet? How will this affect stocking density or can I just keep to the 2kg/100l wet media rule?
    Here is the big one. Will the water ever be clear? My ibc system has a tea colour and from what I read that's standard.
    If I were to have that in my 'aquarium ' let's just say it will have to find a new home or I will have to.

    Thanks for the great forum and in advance for the advice.

    RSANuub
    [​IMG]

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  2. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    Country:
    Australia
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    Canberra
    Aw, I feel flattered! :D Thank you!

    Ornamental fish will work just fine so long as you pick the right ones. If they're happy with a fairly high-protein diet and will eat (and excrete) enough to produce sufficient nutrients for your plants, that'll work - so, a lot of species that go in 'community tanks' would work well even though they're small, tetras and so on, because you can keep them in a fairly dense population. Bettas and other aggressive fish that need to be kept alone aren't so good, because one or two fish won't give your plants enough nutrients. Heck, guppies would work, and a lot of people use goldfish. Another thing to consider would be the fishes' pH requirements; something that won't be healthy at around neutral pH isn't a good idea unless you're willing to deliver most of your plants' micronutrients through foliar sprays.

    As for the water being clear, well, mine is! If your water isn't clear, generally there's something in your media or something you're adding to the water that's colouring it.
     
  3. RSA NUUB

    RSA NUUB New Member

    Joined:
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    Country:
    South Africa
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    Rustenburg
    City:
    Rustenburg
    Thanks Mel

    I looked at a few pages of tetra. Looks like the way to go.

    I also sampled some of my current system's water and the return from the grow bed is almost entirely clear. It's probably just the black tote making me think the water is colored.

    I looked at a tank calculator web page for an aquarium. I'll never reach critical mass if I keep to their stocking rates. 2kg of tropical fish is a lot and will definitely make a nice display.
    But I'll start slow

    On to some design ideas.
    I thought of having a false bottom in my thank made of perspex or something. With slits that will let the solids through to a SLO. And just use lava rock as my substrate. Get a pleco and some snails to deal with any remaining waste and algae.
    As per my amazing drawing below.
    Btw your finger is in the way when drawing on a screen.

    Regards
    Rsanuub.[​IMG]

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  4. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    With the water colour, it could also be that it is very very lightly coloured, and you only really see it when looking through a significant depth; in a tank it will be much less obvious.

    For your stocking rates, yup, start slow; I don't think you'll need the same mass of fish you would in a large system using big fish. Remember that tank stocking calculators assume you'll be doing regular water changes to remove nitrates, which you won't be doing in aquaponics outside of an emergency!

    You might be able to modify a standard undergravel filter? Be wary of snails, they have a tendency to breed and get into pumps etc. You will still need to clean your tank occasionally to keep it up to living room standards of attractiveness, so don't get a pleco if that's all you want it for... also, I strongly suggest you look up just how big plecos get, because unless you're planning to build a really huge indoor system, it's gonna get too big for your tank sooner than you expect!
     
  5. RSA NUUB

    RSA NUUB New Member

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    Country:
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    Rustenburg
    Thanks Mel.

    I'll have a look at the under gravel filter.
    My current plan is a 300l aquarium with about 200l of wet gravel in the two beds. Looks like the snails won't work, thanks for the heads up. Should be big enough for:
    6 neon tetra
    2 ram cichilla
    5 zebra loach
    8 Congo tetra
    5 rummy nose tetra
    I still think a small variety of pleco x1
    Eventually

    I'll update this thread as soon as I have more details on sizes, material and any other questions.

    Regards
    RSANuub

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  6. RSA NUUB

    RSA NUUB New Member

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    Ok so after seeing a picture of an actual aquarium running Aquaponics i downsized for a proof of concept. Thanks Rob.
    I found a cheap starter aquarium (20l)
    R300 call it $30 aus $
    Direct conversions never give a true reflection of cost but there you go. About 23l of petrol will cost the same.
    It came with an air pump and undergravel filter. No water pump. But i had a spare. Its to big but works for now.

    Took the black lid flipped it and drilled holes for drainage. Probably would not have worked for the larger tanks anyway.

    I have about 2l of gravel in the tank floor,2l in the grow bed and another 2l of lava rock in the tank for surface area. Using the same 2kg/100l wet gravel rule that puts me at 60g of fish.
    So i bought 10 guppy feeder fish.
    Roughly 2cm long. Assuming 1g/cm im at 20g now and if they all reach maturity 6cm so 60g.

    I used 2l of my other systems water and got 2l with the fish so 20% of my water was cycled.

    I popped some cuttings in from the garden. And sowed some seeds. Lettuce and such.

    I also bought some aquarium plants.
    My local pet shop just labeled them plants.
    I think all except one are Amazon swords. Don't know the last one.

    Had it running for 5 days now and i have sprouts!

    Total cost R600 i think.
    But no grow light yet. Just morning sun.

    Now to monitor water clarity along with all the usual variables.

    Would love any input.

    Cheers
    RSAnuub
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  7. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    That looks like an excellent start! (y) You might want to put more gravel in your little growbed though, enough so that the top layer stays dry - if it's wet on top, then you'll get algae growing on the stones and clogging things up.
     
  8. RSA NUUB

    RSA NUUB New Member

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    Thanks. I love how fast it started up.
    Im still figuring out my water flow so the gravel won't wet all the way to the top, But adding gravel will sort out that and add more gravel area. Simple and effective. Thanks Mel

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  9. baseman1703

    baseman1703 New Member

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    Looking great. Don't see why you couldn't experiment with a small flood and drain. Might be a little hard to get right but would be perfect


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  10. RSA NUUB

    RSA NUUB New Member

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    Thanks Man.
    There was a thread i read a year or so ago. Either here or on BYAP form. Sorry i cant find it now.
    Point is they had 2 identical ibc systems one on flood and drain and one constant flood. After 2 years of testing the constant flood had more growth on average. The constant fish tank level is also a big advantage.
    One thing though is i think i might have to little flow at the moment due to trying to balance grow bed water level. Will sort that with a few more drain holes and some more flow.

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