Aquaponic Setup

Aquaponic Setup

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Cycle System
Plant System
Complete by: 31/03/2017 Budget: $2,500 Cost Tally: $786 Status: Active

It's now December first and it has been 14 days since the system has been cycling without fish.

Overall the system is performing adequately but not exceptionally... By that I mean the plants are growing (slowly) and haven't died (yay!).

I will record a new video when it stops raining to show the updates to the grow bed.

From the first video, I have since added Sugar Beets, Carrots, Snow Peas, Tomatoes and Chilli.

 

A lot more after the jump... There are pictures too!

New Plants

If you remember from my video, I stated that I had planted some seeds directly into the grow medium to see how they went.

Not good is the short answer. The long answer is that I believe I planted them too far down and couldn't raise up properly.

However 2 Sugar Beets and 1 Snow Pea did sprout from it, tho rather stunted as compared to my others that I raised in a seedling tray (see video).

The plants aren't growing as fast as I would like them to but I have broken that down to not having any fish to supply a constant stream of nutrients.

I did the barrage of tests yesterday to find out how my system is fairing and thus far its doing well except for the pH level.

The pH read around 8.3 which is staggeringly high! I have read on several forums that high pH isn't uncommon and after a week or so, the fish should help level it out.

So fingers crossed on that one as we plan to put in around 15 Jade Perch as a test run this weekend.

 

New Design

On another note, I have been looking at a new design for the Grow Bed... Having a 500L tank, we need at least 500L of grow beds to match.

Here some numbers I'm going to throw at you so that you understand where I am coming from.

Since we have 200L of Growth already, we need another 300L to make the 500L 1:1 ratio.

Which means another 200L Tub and either a 100L Tub or another 200L Tub... Bringing us to either the exact 500L required, or 600L (both nominal setups).

200L Tub @ $129

250L Grow Medium @ $150 - The 200L Tubs warp, needing an extra 30L of Expanded Clay.

Connectors @ $30

Stand for Tub @ $50

Reinforcement for Stand @ $35

TOTAL: $395

EEK! That is just for 200L!! So double that to make the 600L which is $790.

Unacceptable...

So what I have designed is a 600L Wooden Grow Bed w/ Stand that should only come to around ~$250 (Some Assembly Required).

At some point I will need to get all the materials for that and what it together! Fun fun! (No Really!)

Here is a couple pics of my design;

joomplu:26 joomplu:27

The dimensions for this beast is 2m x 0.75m x 0.40m (Internal). This gives us a perfect 600L capacity.

The frame is of course slightly larger than that so it should do the job rather well. The overall standing height is 0.85m (Designed for easy access).

The green part is made of Plywood and will have pond liner in it. There will be a video of the construction.

 

Support Documents

Last piece for this update is that I required some documents to help me keep track of the health of the system.

So I devised up some Excel documents that I can print and reprint to help me do this.

Here are some images of what these documents looks like;

joomplu:24 joomplu:25

The first image is of the 8 Week Observation period required to maintain a health system after introducing fingerlings (fish).

There are 3 pages, numbered Day 1 through to Day 60. Yes more days then required, but mistakes could be made!

After the first 8 weeks, you can then drop back to weekly testing.

This is where the second document comes into play and has been created with a years worth in mind.

I have already printed out both these booklets and put them aside.

 

Notes

Last note of interest, I will provide all this information freely as this is my goal for the site. You need only ask in the forums.

I will post up the schematics of the design once I have built it... To ensure that it is a viable design to make any amendments that are required.

That being said, I will offer the Grow Bed in kit form at a cost to those who would prefer that (Assembly Required!).

The reason for that is, I have priced the "standard" solutions from established AP suppliers... And their Grow Bed options start from $350 (Without stand), to $750 (With stand).

My design comes at a much more reasonable price, though you will need to piece it together if you choose that path.

Hey, can't take all the fun out of AP :)

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