Backyard Systems

Top 10 Aquaponics Mistakes

I have been writing about other people’s Aquaponics systems, but never my own. The primary reason is, I keep making mistakes, or is this called learning? So, I wanted to share what I have done wrong over the last year in my AP setup. Some of them will sound funny or “stoopid,” but I know someone will learn from them and not make the same mistakes. Top 10 Aquaponic Mistakes Failure to seal the grow bed. I sealed my fish tank plug with super strong, latex aquarium sealer, but I forgot to do the same for the grow bed!

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Home Systems

IBC Tote Bins

The restaurant and food industry have been using IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) tote bins for years to store perishable foods like olives and cheese. Made out of food-grade plastic, they are also excellent to re-use for a home, school or work-based Aquaponic system. Some restaurant wholesalers will sell their used ones for about $100 each. Two Pittsburghers, Bryan Bischoff and Michael Copeland, friends who met training for the “mudder” race, each have created Aquaponic systems using two IBC tote bins. The totes are 275 gallons in volume but are modified and cut at the top to allow for easy

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Home Systems

Crushed Black Granite Works as Grow Media

In a flood and drain style Aquaponic system where a grow bed is flooded and then drained to mimic the natural cycles in an estuary, the plants need to root in a sub-strate, also known as media. There are many choices for media including: pea gravel, washed river rock, expanded clay balls (commercially known as Hydroton) and expanded shale. In Western PA, crushed gravel and river rock are problematic because of the limestone content which can wreck your fish tank’s water chemistry by the chemicals that naturally leach from the rocks. The media needs to be pH-neutral Hydroton and

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