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Aquaponics Update – March 1, 2010

March 1st, 2010 | 4 Comments

Can I just mention how addicting this hobby is? I’ve already started contemplating quitting my day job to start an aquaponics firm.

Sylvia Bernstein has started an online Ning community for Aquaponics, where I’ve met and seen pictures of lots of people’s systems, at many different scales, and lots of people who have done this for much longer than I. It’s been awesome reading up on their ideas and notes, and it’s certainly helped me a bunch. If you’re interested in building your own, I highly suggest joining the community.

Ok, on to my stuff. As you read previously, I created my mini system as a model for my big system. I’m just waiting for my aquarium silicone to ship, and then I can show all the pieces together. Last Saturday, I picked up my new 55 gallon fully stocked fish tank. It comes complete with a ninja clown loach (Hattori Hanzou, or Hanz for short), a Kissing Gourami (Mick Jagger), a Leopard ctenopoma/African leaf fish (Edgar), a panda corydora (Edison), an albino corydora (Tesla), a bronze corydora (Marconi), a spotted corydora (Einstein), a panda barb (Confucius), and four silver dollars (Loony, Toony, Quarter, and Half Dollar). I was going to put my black neon tetras and otocincluses in there, but then Edgar yawned, and I decided that was a bad idea (Could swallow a shooting marble WHOLE). Hanz was a ninja and managed to survive stuck in a rock for the entire drive here, even though I had never seen him until this morning (and frankly, thought him dead).

I’ve been letting the tank cycle and get back up to strength for a week, now. Today, I added some plants into the tank and some charcoal bags in the filter to help keep the water breathable while the bacteria culture builds back up. I’ve also moved over the log with its attached java moss. On a side note, my 20 gallon looks really sad without it. Also for the 55 gallon, I’ve added the water heater set on low, and removed some of the “frocks” (fake rocks) that came with the tank, mainly so the loach would stop hiding in them.

On my to-do list is to attach my new air pump that’s coming in the same shipment as the aquarium silicone.

My seedlings are doing fantastically. I germinated the tomato, pepper, and lettuce seedlings using the paper towel method, extracted their little roots from the paper towel, and scattered them in the clay pellets.

I’ve discovered that there is a local hydroponics shop, called Sea of Green, that is branching into aquaponics and has some good information to share in person as well as on their website. I picked up a 50 L bag of hydroton, a fountain pump, a mesh filtration bag to go around the fountain pump, and some net pots from them. They also have fittings that can be bought from them, and they’ve even hinted that they’d let me use their tools to drill my own holes for said fittings should I not use one of their expensive containers.

I’ll post more in a couple days when I get the silicone caulk.

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