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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Philadelphia, PA

    New to Aquaponics, first design overview

    Hi all,
    I'm new here and to aquaponics (and to Philadelphia too in case anyone has local tips).

    I'm looking to start up a small, inexpensive ebb and flow system in my bedroom. As I am new, I thought I'd tell you all about my plans and see what you think. It's a little long, but I've seen longer posts on here. I appreciate your time and any info you can contribute.

    I have a south facing bay window that I plan to put the system in. I have a 29 gal aquarium that will house my fish. I'm planning on 3 fish, possibly bluegill. My friend is an avid angler in the region and offered to help me catch some wild ones. (I saw some tilapia online, but I only need 3 and most the minimum orders were for 10). I don't know about local fish shops. They seem aways from me in central philly, and the reviews on google aren't so good. I'm also open to other comparably priced fish breeds/sources.

    I plan to just set a growing bed on top of the tank to start. (Eventually I'd like to have a 3 tier shelf supporting two growbeds above the tank, but money is tight right now and I am tired of waiting.) I'm not sure about what to use for a growing bed, so I just thought I would buy a plastic tub from Target or something. My goal is a 12ish inch deep bin with total of 30 gal volume (I can then reuse it when I get the shelf, but I may go smaller for the first one depending on weight concerns). Other ideas are welcome here too.

    I'll fill the growbeds with hydroton (my first choice for the lower density to keep total weight down) or small gravel. I'm not sure where to get this either. I remember seeing a post in some forum about an economical hydroton supplier in Lancaster, but I haven't been able to retrace my steps since I started being more serious about building. I see 50L bags for $75 with shipping on the internet, but that is a little much for me (especially since I plan to have 100L of growbed to start).

    The last tricky bit I'm coming into is a pump. I've been looking for fountain pumps on amazon, but I find it hard to gauge the products. I realize that I should be looking for peak flow (I want about 100-200 gal/hr) and max pump height (I figured 6ish ft. is good to get me up the shelf later with decent flow rate). I found the Aqualine Power SP-1000 and Laguna - PT8105 online that seem to fit the bill, but haven't seen detailed reviews of any proper sized pumps. Anyone have a recommendation?

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Moderator davidstcldfl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Saint Cloud FL USA

    Re: New to Aquaponics, first design overview

    Hi blomadam , welcome to the forum....
    I'm origianally form the 'other side' of the 'keystone of taxes'....Go Steelers ! Go Pirates !
    But it snows too #*&^^)_ much and it gets too #@!"_()(6 cold for me !

    You might try going into some local hydroponics dealers....they 'might' give a better price on the hydroton.....when they find out how much you need ...and that your not growing 'cash' plants with your system...

    Yes, you got the right idea about the water pumps.....need to know the flow rate at differant heights.
    Try 'Aquatic Eco Systems' web site...they have performance curve charts for the pumps they sell.
    I bought some 'quiteone' pumps from them. They weren't too $, and they do pretty good with wattage. Haven't had them too long..can't say how long they will last..?

    Danner pumps have a longer warrranty.

    Good luck....lets see those pictures !
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - President Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Moderator JCO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Orange Park, Florida

    Re: New to Aquaponics, first design overview

    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.
    Irish eyes are always smiling but
    • "In the eyes of the world, you are only as good as your last success"
    so never forget

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Fairport Harbor, Ohio

    Re: New to Aquaponics, first design overview

    look for hydroponics stores in your area,, 50liters of hydroton can go from 30 to 40 a bag, i found a place near my office that sells for $20 a bag, they get you on shipping, but most places will let you pick it up so there is no shipping charge..
    good luck!
    (i lived out in reading pa for a while.. to close to a mushroom farm! at least one nice brewery in lancaster, and we used to see shows at a place.. the chameleon club i think?)

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