Monday, September 30, 2013

IBC Tote!

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on where someone was offering to sell an aquaponics-ready IBC tote.  I had to drive down to Alexandria, VA, but it was worth it.  I was able to get this awesome 330 gallon tote, already cut in half, including plumbing and a pallet, for only $180.  I'm going to set it up at my parent's house in Wilmington, DE in the Spring.  It's pretty much ready to be set up, and just needs a pump.  This will be my biggest aquaponic system to date, and I'm excited to see how it turns out.  I have a few months to plan the system, but I'm thinking about building more grow beds to link into the large fish reservoir that we'll have.  I might even set up some strawberry towers.  Super exciting!

This is what it looks like now.

This is what it will look like in a few months, hopefully.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brief Video Update

We have green life!  The system is cycled and growing small plants.  Zeus, our tilapia, is doing fine.  We're probably going to eat him soon, and put in some ornamental fish.  I'd like to have a bit more plant growth before making the switch.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finally an Update!

It’s been quite a while since my last update, and I’ve had a lot of developments, so here we go!

The AquaFarm from Back to the Roots had been making a decent amount of noise as the air pump rattles against the plastic container.  I tried to adjust the foam insulation pad, but it was difficult to keep the thing quiet.  I was away from my apartment during my trip to Burning Man, so I moved the betta into a different tank and had a friend take care of him for me.  The wheatgrass grew well, but the basil and other herb didn’t grow very well.  Right now the system is empty, and I’m planning on starting it up again in the next few weeks.

The 105 gallon system at my friend’s apartment is still slowly moving forward.  My friend is taking a trip to Nepal, so his room got a new owner.  My buddy Saqib is going to look after the aquaponics system from now on, and I’m glad that he’s excited about it.  The seed plugs (coco coir, I think) started developing a white mold, so I broke off the plugs and planted the seedlings directly into my grow media.  I also installed a drain plug into my bell siphon to keep rocks from messing up the drainage cycle.  Pogo had bought 6 full grown tilapia for the fish tank before I left for Burning Man, but only one is still living.  I would have preferred to start with fingerlings, but one large tilapia will do fine for now.  His name is Hercules.  I think Saqib and I are on the same page, and want to eat Hercules and fill the tank with smaller, decorative fish.  I also want to cover the sides of the system’s frame with cloth to keep sunlight out of the filter and fish tank.  Some algae grew inside the filter, that I need to clean out, so hopefully the lack of sunlight will fix that in the future.  The pH seems to be slowly, but consistently dropping, so I’ve had to add pH up a few times.  I’m not sure what’s causing the pH drop, yet.  We’re working out the little kinks in the system, so I’m excited to see how it works out.  I’ll update when we have some new developments!