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Help with designing a low maintenance, low energy tank.
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2012.03.08(Thu)22:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen a good many aquaponics setups. I've picked up an ebb+flow system to add a new aquaponic filter to my own tank.

Now, if you're going to use aquaponics for *display* tanks, you should be warned:

* Aquaponics is to grow edible fish and plants. If you use display fish, you'll most likely end up with a very dark tank, since the plants are above it.
* An aquaponic filter can be very effective, but you still need to cycle it. The plants still need nitrifying bacteria (or other organisms) to process ammonia for the plants. From what little I know, house plants are different than aquatic plants in this regard.
* If you're new to aquaponics, you need to make sure you carefully watch your filter (the plants) to make sure they're effectively drawing out the ammonia for your bioload. Aquapoincs appear to be a very effective filter, but won't negate the need for water changes, nor will it magically allow you to overstock your tank.
* Aquaponics tends to leave a dirtier tank if you're trying to grow lots of vegetables. My local aquaponics shop has a display tank that has pretty crystal clear water and a nice set-up, but it's also not growing many plants, nor is it stocked heavily.

So, I encourage you to try your setup! But please don't assume aquapoincs will be a silver-bullet that removes maintainence. It just moves maintenance to focusing on plants.

As an aside: Why not an ebb + flow system? Pumps are pretty dirty cheap. I just spec'd out an entire hydroponic ebb + flow system and all the parts to build it add up to ~ $50.
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