Beginners aquaponic set-up tutorial made from an IBC

Mark

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Here's an excellent tutorial on how to set up a basic aquaponic system from a standard IBC.

It covers, cutting the frame and tank to size, installing the plumbing, and filling the bed with the required medium for growing plants etc.

 

Gaillygirl

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Thats quiet interesting, but I don't think I'm ready for fish on that scale. Have enough trouble with the current goldfish.
 

Mark

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I must admit to finding it interesting also but it's not for me personally... I have good success with standard raised vegetable beds and chook manure or quail or horse etc so as much as I like reading and videos about aquaponics I wouldn't do it.
 

OskarDoLittle

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My neighbour has spent a bomb on a very elaborate aquaponic setup which is integrated into a steel pergola structure - all very complex. I think these things require a lot of expertise to get right - esp at the scale she's going with - and there's not a lot of that around yet. They don't seem to have allowed for enough fish in the system to provide adequate nutrient to the plants, so they will have to top up with hydroponic nutrients all the time...but I'm not sure how they expect the fish to cope with that...unless they are keeping the 2 systems separate - which seems to defeat the purpose. I suspect it will eventuate into a very expensive experiment, and ultimately, they'll replace the system with soil and ornamentals!
If I can, I'll post some pics to give an idea of the scale they've gone to. I do love the fact that the system looks amazing, and just goes to show, it doesn't have to look like a commercial setup, it can be quite architectural.
 

OskarDoLittle

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image.jpg
This is quite clearly not for the beginner! (Nor the faint hearted)
Up top is a gantry walkway with clay beads in a trough each side - they haven't planted these out yet. Fish tank is a large circular concrete (lined with tiles!) "pond" in the left corner (not visible) - water drains in 2 directions in channels perpendicular to each other - you can see one in the foreground under the steel canopy. This is collected in an underground pit with sump pump...Water is then pumped to a filter hidden behind the solid black metal plate up top...and recycled back to the plants. Or at least I believe that's what's meant to happen. It's very impressive...but maybe not everyone's :tea: tea!
 
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OskarDoLittle

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Nope, no fish for me either...I can even kill a Thai Fighting fish, and apparently they can even survive in dirt puddles :(
 

Mark

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That sure is an elaborate aquaponics setup! :shock:

They don't seem to have allowed for enough fish in the system to provide adequate nutrient to the plants, so they will have to top up with hydroponic nutrients all the time...but I'm not sure how they expect the fish to cope with that...unless they are keeping the 2 systems separate - which seems to defeat the purpose.
You hit the nail on the head there ;)
 

stevo

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geees that's fancy!! Blows away my dodgy pine sleeper ponds :eek:

yeah I think it could be a very expensive operation, and I we'll expect a couple of failures, but I guess if they are keen they'll keep at it and learn, improve over time. Who knows, they could end up being experts! :cheers:
 

OskarDoLittle

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So I thought I'd update on the neighbour's aquaponics...they've fINALLY planted up the beads. I can see mostly strawberries - will likely be the worlds most expensively grown berries!
It's been 3 months since if first posted about it and they started the build a month before Christmas last year! Seems they had monumental difficulties getting all the troughs watertight - initially all the welds leaked...not good if you're sitting underneath the gantry and get aquaponic solution all over you!
They're lovely people so I'm crossing my fingers it all works out for them...if possible I'll take some pics of the more technical part of the setup, and find out who finally managed to get it up and running for them. I know they tried a number of suppliers who just couldn't get it working properly. I think good advice would be to start small, get a good understanding of how aquaponics works and then slowly build up your system. Even the "experts" had a hard time with the size (and I suspect the 2 storey nature) of this system.
 
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Mark

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