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Home Aquaponics / New Small Scale Trial System
« Last post by GristoKid on April 26, 2018, 09:14:59 09:14 »
Hi all

Being new to all this and having a few garden tidy up and fence fixing jobs to complete before I can build a greenhouse and setup a system, I as resigned to missing all but the last knockings of the summer growing season. Still it will be a nice job building in the summer and give me a chance to tweak flows and iron out any issues ready for an early start next year.

In the meantime I am in the process of setting up a small trial.
Have a 'raised patio fish habitat' which consists of an ornamental timber built fish 'tank' on the patio 650lts+. Its about four years old and the four goldfish are growing nicely in crystal clear water. Plenty of plants (and snails) the eco system seems quite settled with the current filtering and UV used to keep water quality and plants growing well each summer. Its insulated but has no heater.

I have made a small grow bed from a rectangular plastic planter, had to search around to get 300mm deep but its just about deep enough. Flood and drain system installed using a 'T' shape siphon which seems to work ok. The new pump is a bit beefy but I will reduce the flow with a valve. May set up a second bed in due course with a standard bell siphon to compare the fill/empty times and reliability. There is no sump so the fish will have to live with a rising and falling water level but I estimate that its 700mm deep and will fall by less that 100mm even with two beds in operation so cant see it affecting them.
Clay balls have been washed and soaking for a week ready to fill the bed and a few small herb plants are sitting in their pots ready to be washed of soil and planted in the bed.

Plan to plant up and the weekend and see how it all goes.
What I learn on the trial will go forward to the main system in the summer.

Tested last night and the GB takes about 8mins to fill and 6mins to empty without clay balls in the bed so it will be quicker when they are in as there will be less water. I may slow the fill rate a little more as it seems pretty fast to me.
What does anyone think?

Any advice to a newbie very welcome.
Will post pictures if anyone is interested.

Introduce Yourself / Introducing Myself
« Last post by on March 20, 2018, 04:49:51 16:49 »
 Hi I'm Anthony or Ant, nothing to do with Dec, Oh and I don't drink,,,,much.  I live in Mansfield Nottinghamshire, not Mansfield U.S.A.  I'm an ex-squady, medically discharged in 1984. 
Any way that  is enough to be getting on with.
Introduce Yourself / Re: Newbie Post
« Last post by GristoKid on February 12, 2018, 01:26:10 13:26 »
Thanks for the info Craig. 6lb is a good size, hopefully the reason the others didn't make this size was because you ate them.
Do you monitor the water temperature? Interested to hear what the peak was in the summer, also is your tank shaded or insulated and what volume is it?
I want to put the tank in the greenhouse because of space and the stability it will offer to air temperatures in there during winter but appreciate that this may not be the best idea unless it is predominantly sub surface which may be more trouble than its worth. I've had a wooden constructed goldfish 'tank' freestanding on the patio for 3yeras, its insulated with circa 650lts and in winter it mostly ices over during colder periods but for the fountain area where moving water prevents freezing. In the summer the fish have never gasped for air at the surface so it must not be too warm as this releases dissolved oxygen and the fish suffer to breath. I plan to use water this to feed a small test growbed this year whilst I build the main system (the wife WILL be pleased).
Anyway all good food for thought which after all is my reason for being here.

Pest Control / Re: White fly epidemic
« Last post by Craig on February 10, 2018, 09:22:14 21:22 »
Hi Steve, sorry to hear about your bug problem. I had an infestation last year and in the end I was taking the infested braches off of the plants and carefully removing it from the green house. I know this is not a great solution. The other thing I did was to find as many lady birds as I could. I hope you find a solution.
Fish Problems / Re: Perch - the ideal fish if I could find any !?
« Last post by Craig on February 10, 2018, 09:08:39 21:08 »
Hi Dorian, I agree with Steve, trout are a good fish for our climate as long as the fish tanks are out side of the green house. They do put on good size relatively quickly and they are great to eat. As long as the water is turning over adequately and they have plenty of oxygen you will not go far wrong. Good luck and keep us posted.
Introduce Yourself / Re: Newbie Post
« Last post by Craig on February 10, 2018, 03:08:01 15:08 »
Hi Paulgrist, welcome to the site, I have kept trout for the last three years in my system, my fish tanks are out side of the green house and I have never had any issues with tempeture. The two biggest trout I have managed to grow were in the system for two years, one was 6lb 2oz and the other 5lb 12oz. I am afraid none of the other fish have been around long enough to beat these weights. Trout are a super fish to try, they are easy to find and grow relitivly quickly. hat ever you decide all the best and please keepus updated with your system.
Home Aquaponics / Re: experimenting with pots
« Last post by Craig on February 10, 2018, 02:48:19 14:48 »
Hi Guys, sorry for the late reply. I ran the system last year and I am over the moon with how easy it was to stay on top of and how well the plants did.
The system consisted of two eight foot x two foot wooden ply board troughs with liners and a simple syphon at the end that controlled the water level to about five inches. (It took fifteen minutes for the water to get to a level to engage the syphon and five minutes to empty).
I had an array of plants in this system, the first trough had all the herbs, lettuce, strawberries, and chillies. The second trough I had tomatoes, cauliflower, Cucumbers, chillies, cabbage, an avocado plant that I rescued from the compost heap two years ago and two grape vines that got off to a slow start but came on towards the end of the season, not convinced they are going to be great but I will give it a couple more seasons.
The advantages I found were easy to monitor the system and I could make slight alterations easily, the plants were easily moved about, i could control the depth of water the plants sat in by highering or lowering the pots, there were no slugs or woodlice, it was very easy to clean the hydroton and pots and the mint was able to grow and not spread and take over the whole bed.
The disadvantages were that algae grew in the troughs and, and I cannot think of anything else, this is something that I will definitely try again this year. I will try and get some pictures together for this year. 
Pest Control / White fly epidemic
« Last post by Scanderson on February 10, 2018, 07:47:33 07:47 »
Has anybody been able to find a suitable fish safe method of controlling white fly in an Aquaponics greenhouse. Some of my beds are crawling with small(2mm) white bugs among the clay balls over the winter. I am sure as soon as it starts greening up they will be on the leaves etc so Best time now to treat I think.  I have thought about isolating each bed in turn water wise then treating with normal bug killer so flushed water is delayed going to the sump. I have ideal opportunity at the moment waiting for weather to warm before repopulating with fresh fingerlings. I look forward to any help offered?
Fish Problems / Re: Perch - the ideal fish if I could find any !?
« Last post by Scanderson on February 05, 2018, 05:26:53 17:26 »
Trout are fine in the UK. We did look at Perch and found a coarse fish supplier for them. However, went with trout and great. They put weight on very quickly far more so than Carp which we also have. Various places to get trout as well, we get ours from a fishery in Derbyshire, Lead Mill Trout Farm, (Approx 50p / 100gm fish) collected. They deliver but costs more.
Home Aquaponics / Why wont my LECA absorb water?
« Last post by OllieTheOrange on January 28, 2018, 06:49:40 18:49 »
I have had 50lt of clay balls soaking for about a month now, if not longer. But they're still all flouting on the surface of the water. I thought they took about 4 weeks to soak up water fully.
Have I got this wrong? Or an answer to why theyre not soaking up the water?
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