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PaleoDan

2018 Pond/Aquaponics Setup

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Working on my new aquaponics pond now that spring has come! Really happy to be back playing again with my garden/pond. I caught all my fish (5 Koi and 17 Goldfish) and realized that I had more that I had expected. I knew I had the 5 Koi but was expecting only about 10 or so goldfish so I have a few extra if anyone is looking for some and live near 08620. Last year as you can see from the pictures, I had experimented with an aquaponics setup and was pretty happy with the results so this year, I am taking it larger. 

I installed a 390 gallon stock tank and buried it 18 inches with about another 6 inches above the ground. I started framing out the deck that will go around the two sides and back of the pond and I will use the field stones across the front. The black tub you see will be filled with the expanded clay balls (should be delivered today) and I think I will be growing either strawberries or herbs in that one. I will also use the 4 blue buckets again this year for tomatoes and the eggplants. The only thing that did not do that great was the hanging planted I made so while I still plan to use it, I think I need to review my build.

The old pond was so "lived in" by the time I added the aquaponics to it, the plants could never reach a balance and clean the water enough. With this new system, I am starting from a level playing field so hopefully, I will not have the algae issues.

 

Wish me luck! I will update with new pictures as I progress. I plan to run the system for about a month before I start introducing any new plants.

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This shall be interesting to see it all set up. For some reason I cant view the .mov :(

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Sorry about the movies - they were from Apple Live pictures. Here are a few pictures as it sits now. Was hoping to make more progress today but did not get a chance to work on it.54534453590__69A4DC80-D81F-4B6A-AA93-CE644EEB1274.thumb.JPG.72dbe9d91719352772c04dd0eff03917.JPG

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WOW I really like that set up. :thumbs: 

Strawberries would look so neat in there. 

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Thanks - I built out a strawberry "tower" last year that I will try to use in this setup. The box in the pictures with the clay pebbles is intended for herbs I think but I still have a few more weeks to figure it all out. The blue Lowe's buckets will get the tomatoes and eggplant (there are currently 4 buckets) and will overflow back into the pond through tubing once the back part of the decking is finished. The strawberry tower will just hang over the side of the pond and drip back into it. The only thing that will not be directly "fed" by the pond water and fish waste will be the lettuce which I will setup on floating rafts in an aquarium behind the black box.

Did a little more decking work today. I think with another 5 boards and some decent weather this week, I should be finished the build by this weekend!

Really hoping this all comes together as planned.

 

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Your system will work much better for both fish and plants if your water flows from the pond to (at minimum) a 40 gallon biofilter and then to the grow bed.  Most people have a settling tank or radial flow filter between the pond and the biofilter.  Your plants want nitrate as their nitrogen source, not the ammonia from the pond.  It is possible to filter with just grow beds, but you would need to fill all of those benches with beds.

You might like to look at this system.  The thread needs updating, but the rather primitive system grew lots of plants and very healthy fish.

 

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Thanks for the feedback. I took a look at the link and you have a very nice system. I will look into adding a filter in line with the grow-bed. Something I can easily drain/clean out from the bottom.

This is an ebb & flow system on a timer so I will need to allow for that.

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Look at the basic upflow biofilter here.   I used a 5 gallon bucket for a 50 gallon fish tank, following the rule of thumb that the biofilter should have 1/10 the volume of the pond. 

For your big pond you should get a 30 gallon or (better) a 55 gallon plastic drum for the container.  You can find these on Craigslist. You just have to scale everything up for the larger container.

You should consider using a bell siphon to fill and drain your grow beds and keep your pump going all the time.  You can find dozens of detailed instructions on how to make these on You Tube.

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Ok so I have been busy at work taking in your feedback and trying my best to adapt it to my setup. I built a filter and added it into my design and now have some "tweaking" to do on the Bell Siphon but am other wise pleased with the results. There are still a few more items I need to add (once my friends at Amazon ship everything but it is pretty close. Here's my current progress...

  • 14 Gallon Filter - Swirling at the bottom for the solids with filter media as it rises up from the bottom to the overflow into the grow bed
  • Increased to a 560 gph pump to handle the extra lift and flow requirements

Still to come...

  • Bottom drain in the filter to easily siphon off the solids
  • Enlarged Bell Siphon to handle the larger pump (back to Lowe's trip number 12)
  • Plumbing and divert-er for the dutch buckets across the back of the pond

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