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Fish tank aquaponics

#1 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:07 PM

Project: Fish tank aquaponics.

Decided to tranform my 4ft goldfish tank to grow vegetables, powered by nutrients provided by the goldfishes. There are currently only 5 small goldfishes and some cories. I reckon the goldfishes will grow bigger and provide more waste in the future, so not adding anymore livestocks.
Current setup has already been running for few years, so it is actually a simple modification, using the backup overhead filter and pump to transport aquarium water to the plants.

Some consideration includes:
Lighting
Growth bed
Pump and pipings
Height of plants
Nutrient to plants
Additional waste coming into fish tank.

Lighting:
I tied my 4 tubes T5 lights to the top of the aquarium stand, to provide growing light to the plants.
A timer will switch on the lights daily at 1pm, and switch them off at 8pm. I think I will start with 2 tubes first, and monitor the results.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0004_zps3o90ah8b.jpg

Growth bed:
I will be using a stackable overhead filter as the growth bed.
Went over to my trusty aquarium supplier, Yishun618 That Aquarium shop, and got my supplies. As a member, I get some discounts.
Here's what I got.
A stackable OHF base ($20)
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0007_zpsxbbicjuq.jpg
3 Stacks OHF tray ($4 each)
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0008_zpsgm2fdtnw.jpg
My existing net pots. Each tray can fit 8 net pots, so I can grow 24 pots of vegetables at any one time.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0014_zpsdknyyron.jpg

Pump and pipings:
I will be using my existing eheim 101 pump which can deliver 600 litre of water per hour.
Bought a Y tube ($2.5), and 6 rainbars ($3.5 each) and 6 connectors ($0.5 each).
The Y tube and 2 sets of rainbars will provide water to 2 rows of net pots.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0009_zpsurozwyqw.jpg
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0010_zpsi6f1nnrh.jpg
I assembled the rainbars, and using some existing rubber tubes I have to connect the Y joints and rainbar, and to my existing L bar that connects to my eheim pump.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0013_zpsgfva633p.jpg
Next, I use my soldering iron to cut some curve on the tray, so that the rainbar can sit nicely. Using black tape to secure the rainbar in place.

Moment of truth: the pump is turned on. Everything works like it should. No leakage, which is an aquarist's nightmare. Noise level from dripping water from the rainbar is quite acceptable.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0016_zpsagkshx5w.jpg
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0015_zpslecyxuzv.jpg
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0020_zpsjsvfq5iz.jpg

Height of plants:
I will be growing short plants, as height between the light and growth bed is only 15cm tall.
Nai bai and weeks old spinach will be prime candidates.

Nutrients to plants:
Mostly nitrogenous waste from fishes. I will not be supplementing iron or potassium or phosphorus, because I am growing leafy vegetables and harvesting them in weeks. But if they fail the taste test, then I might add more fish safe fertiliser.

Additional waste coming into fish tank.
I will adding additional white wool to act as mechanical filter. Not too concern about biofilter for the fishes, as there is one existing 4ft established OHF filter in place.

Next update will be on sowing of seeds.

This post has been edited by sthh: 18 November 2015 - 05:11 PM

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#2 User is offline   lazearus 

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:13 PM

Gogogo. You can do it! You, LimSan, and Cybertron are doing interesting stuff with fish and hydroponics sia haha.
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#3 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:57 PM

Sowed some nai bai seeds on wet aquarium wool. Hopefully they are still viable and will sprout.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0022_zpsrkautjna.jpg
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#4 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:58 PM

View Postlazearus, on 18 November 2015 - 04:13 PM, said:

Gogogo. You can do it! You, LimSan, and Cybertron are doing interesting stuff with fish and hydroponics sia haha.


This setup is very small scale, and I am using mainly existing tank and equipment and space. Hopefully it will work.
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#5 User is offline   Robert1943 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 08:03 AM

View Poststhh, on 18 November 2015 - 04:58 PM, said:

This setup is very small scale, and I am using mainly existing tank and equipment and space. Hopefully it will work.



A very professional set up on a small scale keep us posted to your results.I have never seen a set up like this as it would appear to be a commercially made product.
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#6 User is offline   Dennis The Menace 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 08:52 AM

This is interesting, too little activity across the whole forum at the moment.

I'll be camped here.:)/>

Your tank looks pretty empty, that's a waste of precious real estate :D/>
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#7 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:21 AM

View PostRobert1943, on 19 November 2015 - 08:03 AM, said:

A very professional set up on a small scale keep us posted to your results.I have never seen a set up like this as it would appear to be a commercially made product.

Thanks Robert. I am using equipments that are readily found in Local Fish Shops. (LFS). Hopefully more fish keepers will be tempted to try this method, because this will be something that they are familiar with.

View PostDennis The Menace, on 19 November 2015 - 08:52 AM, said:

This is interesting, too little activity across the whole forum at the moment.

I'll be camped here.:)/>/>

Your tank looks pretty empty, that's a waste of precious real estate :D/>/>

Yeah, most forums are quite quiet nowadays. Only older folks still doing forums, the rest are busy with their social media and handphones, lol.
The fishes are all hiding behind the driftwoods when I was taking the photos. But you are right, it is still rather empty even if they all come out.
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#8 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:58 AM

Wow sthh, you've got a neat and nice setup. Waiting to see your fruit of labor...

View Postlazearus, on 18 November 2015 - 04:13 PM, said:

Gogogo. You can do it! You, LimSan, and Cybertron are doing interesting stuff with fish and hydroponics sia haha.

Yeah man, when would be your turn to mess with fishes & plant? :hysterical:/>

Btw, I'm trying out some new stuff too.. heheheee
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#9 User is offline   lazearus 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:08 AM

View PostLimSan, on 19 November 2015 - 10:58 AM, said:

Wow sthh, you've got a neat and nice setup. Waiting to see your fruit of labor...


Yeah man, when would be your turn to mess with fishes & plant? :hysterical:/>/>

Btw, I'm trying out some new stuff too.. heheheee



Wahaha fishes tend to die in my hands. Will just be sticking to plants for me.

What new stuff?! Will continue stalking your thread for updates hoho
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#10 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:21 AM

View Postlazearus, on 19 November 2015 - 11:08 AM, said:

Wahaha fishes tend to die in my hands. Will just be sticking to plants for me.

What new stuff?! Will continue stalking your thread for updates hoho


Hahaha... ok don't mess sthh thread here, will post some preview pics later :lol:/>
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#11 User is offline   Jesse 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:41 PM

Have you thought of using a pre filter? A lot of dirt/fish poop may trap at the plant roots. I was thinking like an external filter and then outflow into the overhead filter.
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#12 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:07 PM

View PostLimSan, on 19 November 2015 - 10:58 AM, said:

Wow sthh, you've got a neat and nice setup. Waiting to see your fruit of labor...


Yeah man, when would be your turn to mess with fishes & plant? :hysterical:/>/>

Btw, I'm trying out some new stuff too.. heheheee


Thanks, LimSan, waiting to see your new stuff too!

View PostJesse, on 19 November 2015 - 01:41 PM, said:

Have you thought of using a pre filter? A lot of dirt/fish poop may trap at the plant roots. I was thinking like an external filter and then outflow into the overhead filter.


Hey Jesse, yup, thought about the pre filter, but too much footprint. So I am just going to put a white wool at the return tray instead. Most of the dirt are sucked up by the more powerful pump to the mechanical filter anyway.
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#13 User is offline   adrianlau 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 05:37 PM

May I know are the net pots from LFS too?
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#14 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 06:11 PM

View Postadrianlau, on 19 November 2015 - 05:37 PM, said:

May I know are the net pots from LFS too?

Those net pots are from world farm.
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#15 User is offline   cylap888 

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 11:35 AM

You will grow lots of algae because of the clear over head filter tray. The roots will be covered with algae. You need to keep your roots in darkness.

Maybe you can try Algae Turf Scrubber instead.

Algae turf scrubber
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#16 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 11:45 AM

Problem, bioload is really low. Water parameters are very low in EC and in nitrate even after 1 week of no water change. Good for the fishes, not so good for the plants. Need to increase feeding to the fishes.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0031_zps81ef6jnf.jpg
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0032_zpsqhp2p2di.jpg

View Postcylap888, on 20 November 2015 - 11:35 AM, said:

You will grow lots of algae because of the clear over head filter tray. The roots will be covered with algae. You need to keep your roots in darkness.

Maybe you can try Algae Turf Scrubber instead.

Algae turf scrubber


Not too worried about algae. I intend to harvest within at most 6 weeks of growing.

This post has been edited by sthh: 20 November 2015 - 11:46 AM

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#17 User is offline   CyberTron 

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 03:55 PM

I think an indoor setup takes longer compared to an outdoor setup to reach a decent level of nitrate. In my case, I think it took around 3 weeks from scratch, but since yours is already an existing tanks, maybe u need more "dirty" fishes.
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#18 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 10:04 AM

Roots are developing on these 1.5 years old seeds. Time for a transplant.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0037_zps4bdcrhvu.jpg

View PostCyberTron, on 20 November 2015 - 03:55 PM, said:

I think an indoor setup takes longer compared to an outdoor setup to reach a decent level of nitrate. In my case, I think it took around 3 weeks from scratch, but since yours is already an existing tanks, maybe u need more "dirty" fishes.


Will encourage the goldfishes to poo more by feeding more.
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#19 User is offline   keff 

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 11:22 AM

View Poststhh, on 21 November 2015 - 10:04 AM, said:

Roots are developing on these 1.5 years old seeds. Time for a transplant.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0037_zps4bdcrhvu.jpg



Will encourage the goldfishes to poo more by feeding more.


Reminds me of the Ting Ting candy. The seller would break the candy in a tray into chunks. Looks a little like your white sponges.
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#20 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 01:15 PM

Of the 28 seeds I sowed, nearly all of them germinated. 24 are potted in clay balls in square net pots, which sits neatly on the OHF trays.
Now they are bathed in aquarium light and water. The 4 tubes of T5 lights will be switch on for 8 hours daily.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0056_zps9vksshgy.jpg
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr346/trelch/STHH0057_zps5hjeayub.jpg

This post has been edited by sthh: 23 November 2015 - 01:16 PM

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