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Discussion in 'Gardening' started by talon, Jan 5, 2011.


    talon Well-Known Member


    Anyone else have any experience with it? I just helped a buddy set up a greenhouse with an almost identical setup to the one in the videos. We used three 330 gallon tanks instead of the totes though, and tilapia instead of goldfish.

    We plan on trying some marijuana grows using the system.

    marvinkeys Member

    i had a small set up that i just finished. one 10gal fish tank with 4 goldfish and string beans, poppies, and cucumbers up top in the grow bed. The system worked pretty well, i had an ebb and flow (flood and drain) system set up with a pump in the tank. teh fish were all healthy and the vegetables all came out delicious. Ive heard that small systems are hard to maintain and it gets much easier when you are at the range you are at (330gal). There's a guy on youtube that has been documenting his marijuana aquaponics system and it looks like a success, his plants are stretching but that's just because he starts the seedlings too far from the lights. aquaponics and marijuana is possible, im just not sure how to get the PK levels to feed the plants like normal growers do without killing the fish.

    Here is his latest video...


    Good luck! let us know what happens
    las fingerez

    las fingerez Well-Known Member

    hey bro hope ur good? i've not had any experience with any type of aquaponics but thinking of setting up something similar to marvin just for fun like :)

    how do u feel about this becoming the home for aquaponics as after a search i cant find any threads that are purely for it :)

    got some good info if u dont mind me posting?

    talon Well-Known Member

    Man, go for it. I'll be documenting some of the vegetable grows in here too. I'd love some additional pics/videos/research.

    I'm also planning a mini-grow for my outdoor plot this year. Solar powered DWC with goldfish and an automatic battery powered fish feeder. The plant will probably bite the dust, but it's going to be an autoflower so I'm not too concerned. I'm more interested in whether the process will work. If I get it into the ground in mid-March and the set-up is successful, I'll definitely be setting up a few Indica/Sativa strains in a similar outdoor DWC aquaponics box.
    las fingerez

    las fingerez Well-Known Member

    ok bro i'll jump on it :) cant wait for ur grow 2 get started bro will be really interesting to watch. i was gonna run a very small system inside in a redundant fish tank i have. i've got a bigger tank now (600L) so i can jump start my nitrogen cycle in the tank i set up :)

    talon Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm wondering if there's fish food that would increase the nitrogen. Gonna do some research today.

    marvinkeys Member

    There isn't really going to be any food that increases the nitrite levels in the system.

    Regular fish food that is not eaten by your fish turns into ammonia in the system, the same as what your fish excrete. The bacteria turn that into nitrate, then more bacteria turn nitrates into nitrites and your plants consume/filter the nitrites.

    Most systems have trouble keeping the nitrite at a healthy level for the fish, there is more danger of dead fish than dead plants.
    talon likes this.
    las fingerez

    las fingerez Well-Known Member

    greetings one and all here is some info i found out about aquaponics :)

    Backyard Aquaponics Mag

    Aquaponics can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it, the simple system pictured above has a large fish tank in the left of the picture, and a growbed filled with gravel raised above the level of the fish tank in the centre of the picture.

    Water is pumped up from the fish tank into the gravel filled growbed. The water trickles down through the gravel, past the roots of the plants before draining back into the fish tank. The plants extract the water and nutrients they need to grow, cleaning the water for the fish.

    There are bacteria that live on the surface of the gravel. This bacteria converts ammonia wastes from the fish into nitrates that can be used by the plants. This ammonia waste being converted into nitrates is often termed “the nitrogen cycle”.

    Fish produce ammonia waste...

    Natures got it all sorted! Enter Nitrosomonas sp. This good littlebacterium eats ammonia and converts it to nitrite.

    Now, nitrite is much less poisonous to the fish than ammonia, but it’s by no means a good thing. It stops the fish from taking up oxygen. Natures got it under control again, with Nitrobacter sp. This goodbacterium eats nitrite and converts it to nitrate.

    Luckily nitrate happens to be the favourite food of plants. Also the fish will tolerate a much higher level of nitrate than they will ammonia or nitrite. What you’ve just read is pretty much the nitrogen cycle. When an aquaponics system has sufficient numbers of these bacteria to completely process the ammonia and nitrites it is said to have “cycled”.

    Your goal should be to establish the nitrogen cycle quickly and with minimal stress on any aquatic life you may already have.

    Without their respective “foods” these bacteria will not exist in useful numbers. This is why you will see an ammonia “spike” when setting up a new tank. The bacteria will increase their numbers (reproduce) in response to an increasing ammonia load, so it makes sense that we would see a “spike” before they respond. Shortly after you have ammonia the bacteria will start reproducing and working away for you.

    The same goes for Nitrobacter sp., they’ll only want to start reproducing and working once Nitrosomonas sp. is comfortable and producing lots of nitrite. Now for a few facts on them: They must colonize a surface (gravel, sand, synthetic biomedia, etc.) for
    optimum growth. They need oxygen in the water to live and work. Nitrifying bacteria have long reproduction times. Under optimal conditions, Nitrosomonas sp. may double every 7 hours and Nitrobacter sp. every 13 hours. More realistically, they will double every 15 - 20 hours. To put that into perspective. In the time that it takes a single Nitrosomonas sp. cell to double in population, a single E. coli bacterium would have produced a population exceeding 35 trillion cells. As a general rule a brand new system will require about 4 weeks to cycle at around 20°C. It will take longer in colder water. Nitrifying bacteria cannot survivein dry conditions or at sustained temperatures higher than 49° C . There are several species of Nitrosomonas sp. and Nitrobacter sp. bacteria and many strains among those species. Most of this information can be applied to species of Nitrosomonas sp. and
    Nitrobacter sp. in general, however, each strain may have specific tolerances to environmental factors and nutrient preferences not shared by other very closely related strains. Temperature and pH seem to be common.

    The temperature for optimum growth of nitrifying bacteria is between 25° – 30° C
    (77° – 86° F).

    Nitrobacter sp. is less tolerant of low temperatures than Nitrosomonas sp. In cold water systems, care must
    be taken to monitor the
    accumulation of nitrites

    The optimum pH range for Nitrosomonas sp. is 7.8 - 8.0. The optimum pH range for Nitrobacter sp. is 7.3 - 7.5 At pH below 7.0, Nitrosomonas sp. growth will slow and increases in ammonia may become evident. Nitrosomonas sp. growth is inhibited at pH 6.5. All nitrification is inhibited if the pH drops to 6.0 or less. Now, while one point you’ve just read indicates that Nitrosomonas sp. won’t process ammonia at pH 6.0 or below, this was determined in a sterile lab culture. Similar research has shown that species of Nitrosomonas sp. in a natural environment such as soil will still process ammonia even at pH 4.0! This goes some way to explain why some of us have systems that are YEARS old with a pH of 6.0, no ammonia and happy fish. Once a system has a compliment of micro flora and fauna at work there seems to be an inherent synergy that allows wider environmental ranges to be accommodated.

    So, the fish give off ammonia which can be nasty at high levels, the bacteria converts the ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates, then the plants consume the nitrates from the water. The water is then returned to the fish tank cleaned of excess nutrients and freshly oxygenated.

    Dr. Nick Savidov is a Canadian researcher that has been researching inorganic hydroponics for 20 years. After hearing about aquaponics he decided to put it to the test against normal inorganic hydroponics. In the first 6 months of production the inorganic hydroponic growth was found to exceed aquaponic growth, this is because an aquaponic system takes time to mature and build up the complex ecosystem of bacteria and micro flora and fauna in the system. Further trials found that after 12 months the aquaponic system growth rates began
    to outstrip the growth of the inorganic hydroponics by almost double with many plant species. After 2 years the aquaponic system was found to have matured even more, and had reached it’s optimum production level, with some plant species outgrowing the inorganic plants, at over double the growth rate. Unsure as to why this was happening, and because he had been a skeptic of aquaponics with a firm grounding of 20 years in inorganic hydroponics, he decided to really put things to the test. He examined the aquaponic water for all of the macro and micro nutrients, and then reproduced an inorganic hydroponic solution that had the exact same levels of macro and micro nutrients as the aquaponics. Yet still aquaponic plant growth far exceeded inorganic hydroponic growth.

    Aquaponics can be scaled from a tiny desktop system in an aquarium to a medium sized backyard system, right up to large commercial systems that produce tons of fish and vegetables every month.

    this is where i learned about the nitrogen cycle for my fish tanks, i have 2x bio-filters and a uv light filter, it is 600L mind and both filters are for about 400L tanks

    heavy with info read. background info etc

    Las :leaf:
    ttystikk likes this.

    Blntsmk3 Member

    So we couldnt use bone meal for the PK for flowering? organic? Im not sure that would kill our fish.... Im going to do one with some red fin obliquiden cichlids as they are very resiliant

    marvinkeys Member

    ive been really curious about adding fertilizers to a system myself but havent been able to find much info, so.,......

    i put up a question on yahoo answers and here's the response i got
    i hope it helps
    ttystikk likes this.

    dank_frank Member

    Rock phosphate for your P. It's a weak nute (from a hydro perspective). But this is not hydro after all. Usually runs at 0-3-0 and is slow release and cheap for now. Won't hurt your fish. There are even phosphate supplements in liquid form that are safe for fish. Definitely not strong enough alone, but an integrated nutrient feeding regime should work.

    Just sprinkle the rock phosphate on top of your grow beds. Phosphates won't really hurt your fish, but high levels will cause algae bloom.

    Jimmyjonestoo Well-Known Member

    Im going to setup a small flood and drain table above my 20 gallon fish tank for lettuce and herbs. Plan on finishing the build tonight and will post picd.
    ttystikk likes this.

    Jimmyjonestoo Well-Known Member

    Heres what i ended up with. Sprinkled seeds for lettuce, basil and cilantro into a hydroton flood table. Under a 65 w cfl. A good size goldfish and a pleco with some plants in the tank.

    Attached Files:

    ttystikk likes this.

    Jimmyjonestoo Well-Known Member

    Got some lettuce sprouting 20150731_191315.jpg
    ttystikk likes this.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    I found the article about how a dyed in the wool inorganic hydroponics advocate and researcher built an aquaponics system that bested his inorganic system!

    I'm really interested in this, I just don't know how to proceed.

    Jimmyjonestoo Well-Known Member

    I just kinda jumped right in honestly. Learning a bit more each day as i go.
    ttystikk likes this.

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