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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:59 pm 
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Location: San Diego, CA
Hey everyone...first time poster here from Southern California

I just bought an IBC 275 gallon tote and am building my first aquaponics system! I am gong with the traditional cut off top, flipped upside down and use the the top portion for a grow bed

I've been a long time reader and now am a new member and very excited to get started.

I've got most of it pinned down but had a few questions. It will be a constant flow system, because I want to keep my first one as simple and cheap as possible. So......

I found a fountain pump that claims to pump 1200 gph and has a lift of 14 feet. I am assuming this is way more than enough, so will have to turn the pressure down...am I correct to assume this pump is more than adequate for this set up?

If I can rig an air line into the pump, will that be adequate for oxygenating the water, or will I need something more?

I plan on using small river rock (marble size) for the grow bed...is that good enough?

Do I need to worry about creating a current flow in the water, or will the pump do that trick?

I'm cutting the metal frame and container today, and can't wait to get started!

If I have the down pipe from the grow bed into the fish tank above the water will that help to aerate, or for some reason is it better to have the downpipe submerged in the tank below (I have seen it both ways)?

Anything else that may halp would be very appreciated.

Thanks!!!
Jason


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Location: Fairport Harbor, Ohio
sounds like a pretty good plan..
not sure about the pump, you won't really "turn the presssure down", (this could damage the pump) but you could divert "extra" flow back into the tank with a venturi or just spraybar to add aeration
check the pump "curve" - this should be on the pump package.. the lift is the distance from the water surface up to where you want to pump..

i'd add an air pump anyways, they're pretty cheap and can get you through an emergency.

whatever you use for media, try to make sure it's ph neutral (you don't want limestone!) - the river rock sounds ok


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Welcome to the show....pull up an easy chair, relax and stay awhile. New voices are always a welcome addition to our family..! Whatever questions you have on you mind, this is the place to get the answers so pick a topic of your interest and start your own thread and Enjoy. Please go to your profile and put in your city and state & also, PLEASE DO NOT DOUBLE SPACE YOUR LINES.:mrgreen:

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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:04 pm 
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    Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:09 am
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    Location: Saint Cloud FL USA
    Hi Jason, welcome to the forum.... :D

    Yes, keep the grow bed drain 'above' the fish water...your correct, that will add some oxygen.
    Yes, your pump is 'more then enough'...Kieth mentioned a great idea, about splitting the flow....give the grow bed what it needs, send the extra back into the sump or fish tank. Spray bars are easy to make and add a fair amount of air... :)

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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:24 pm 
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    Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:42 pm
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    Location: Northeastern Ohio USA
    hi jason, welcome to the forum. sound's like you've been doing your homework.
    you have a pretty good plan, good luck with your set-up. best wishes Big Al


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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:13 pm 
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    Location: San Diego, CA
    Wow--thanks for all the responses! I'll give it a go this way - I like the idea of splitting the flow (could add some extra current to the tank as well), and thanks for letting me know about potential damage to the pump.

    One other question-I have heard that many of the Tilapia you can buy out there as fry or very small are actually sterile, and you can not make breeding pairs out of them...is this true? Anyone know of any good cheap sources for a bunch of these fish (either in SoCal, or that will ship here?)

    Thanks again everyone!

    Can't wait to get it going!

    Jason


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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:37 pm 
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    Hello and welcome :D

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    PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:58 pm 
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    Location: Deep South Texas
    Hey Jason, Welcome. You are starting out the same way I did...careful it is very addicting you will soon have you back yard full of grow beds and fish tanks. Forget about ever talking to your wife anymore. Of course there are times when that is a good thing...Any way welcome...you will soon be teaching us a few things I bet.

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    PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:12 pm 
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    Hi Jason,
    You wrote:
    "One other question-I have heard that many of the Tilapia you can buy out there as fry or very small are actually sterile, and you can not make breeding pairs out of them...is this true?"
    It does not appear anyone has responded to this question, so I will give it a go. We could probably make this an on-going blog topic, but I am not involved in management issues and am about as new to this blog as you.
    I have raised Tilapia successfully from breeders to fry in years past as an aquarium enthusiast. I have determined from extensive reading on the "internet"s that interbreeding different species of the Tilapia will indeed result in sterile offspring. The reason for these cross breeds offered for sale is that they have "hybrid vigor" and are therefore larger, process more plant nutrient materials and yield larger fish in the long run - but the hybrids are sterile! ... and probably a few more reasons for using them not mentioned yet.
    From what I have gathered, here and elsewhere: if you want breeding pairs you have to bite the bullet and pay for whatever pure breed pair or hybrid pair (from pure breed parents) that you feel you can afford. I am pretty sure you have figured this out on your own by now but I still think this site should spell it out somewhere.
    I think there are a so many particular questions to the Tilapia! There could be an entire blog site just for that genus and their biology. Just yesterday I was buying dog food at the feed store and almost bought the Cichlid book but there was nothing on Tilapia at all. This is a very specific topic and your question is more than excellent.
    Hope this is helpful to you and anybody else that comes along.
    Best, Scottco


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    PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:38 am 
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    just be careful where you buy from, you don't want the "supermales" that are hormone treated..

    and you don't want to buy a mixed breeding set (i saw somewhere a guy selling something like 3 or 4 females of one species and a mail of another for something crazy like 75 or 80 bucks)
    you can get a "pure" strain of mixed fry from quite a few online sources

    there are more knowledgable tilapia folks here, i'll let them chime in


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