Aquaponics blog

Organic Green House

IBC Aquaponics Design

Following the previous article, we will continue with IBC Aquaponics for our Aquaponics system. The best IBC was transformed into a fish tank and the remaining two will form the growbeds and the sump. Let’s do the growbeds and the sump.
To start, let’s separate the base, the cage and the plastic tanks from the remaining two IBC’s. You will need a battery drill and T-30, T-35, T-40 driver security bits, to remove the machine screws holding the cage to the base. Depending on the IBC type, you can use an ordinary hex headed machine screws.

We can start to cut the cage and tanks to make the growbeds and sump. For better handling, lay the cage on its side to do the cuts. Because of its fast and clean cut, use thin abrasive cutting discs. If required, you should remove sharp edges with a sandpaper flap wheel or a flat file.
In this IBC aquaponics design, the two plastic tanks will be cut to form 3 grow beds and one sump. Divide the plastic tanks into three parts, each. The 375 mm (15’’) piece from the first tank will serve as a sump and the same cut piece from the second tank will serve as the rear grow bed.

Use the piece from the bottom of the tank, this way you will have the tap/the valve included in your sump. The upper part of the first IBC should form the second grow bed(the 350mm - 14" piece). Finally, the same cut piece from the second IBC tank will be used as a second front grow bed.
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Posted 270 weeks ago

Build a Fish Farm With The Right Aquaponics Fish

After we have build our system, we should choose certain fish species that are suitable for our aquaponics fish enviroment. For this aspect to be done properly, you should consider the following key factors:
- fingerling and fry available quantity;
- local climatic enviroment;
- local jurisdiction - some of the fishes can be forbidden to grow;
- fish for consuming or for selling;
- fish weight.

After you have made your choice, you should try eating a fish from every chosen species. It would be a shame to spend months of growing a certain type of fish that is simply not that good.
Check with your local Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry about the fish you are allowed to grow, or you can do a simple google search also.
Quantity is another important factor when we choose the proper aquaponics fish. Do you want to sell the fish or just to provide a fish dinner for your family a couple of times a week? Bigger farms will buy fish from fish hatcheries in larger quantities, from 100 to 200 fingerlings per sale, sometimes much higher.
Bear in mind that for consumption, a fish will lose around half of its weight in inedible bits (head, guts etc.) If your family is consisted of two adults and one children, you will normally consume in one meal two 500 grams fishes. So, in a year your family will eat around 200 half-a-kilo fishes, more or less, if consumed twice a week.
Consider calculating fish quantity in fish kilos/1000 water litres.
Fish weight will depend on the following factors:
- tank size;
- size of the fish;
- types of fish;
- system capability to dissolve oxigen levels;
- bio-filtration system capacity;
- system nitrate-removal ratio

Manage these aspects in a proper way and I will guarantee you will get an excess of 50kg of fish, every year, in a 1000 litres fish tank.
To summarize, choosing the best fish type for your system will maximize your time spent, so it is very important not to skip this crucial step in developing your future aquaponics systems. You can thank me later!
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Posted 273 weeks ago

Learn how to build a aquaponics fish tank

Let’s learn how to build an aquaponics fish tank using three IBC’s. Firstly you need to purchase or lease the IBC’s. After that you have to choose which one will make a good fish tank, while with the other two you can cut one into three growbeds and the other one will be used as a sump.
How to choose the proper IBC for a fish tank? Well, you have to look carefully at the pallet base, and choose the one with the best pallet base condition.. This is an important part in building a fish tank, because we need a firmly tank as sometimes, when we discard the IBC’s from a truck, some of them might suffer some fork lift damage. If an IBC has a damaged pallet case you can use that one for Grow Beds.
Also you need to look for rust in the galvanized coating on the metal. If you find rust in these places, you should use some cold galvanic pressure can paints (silver frost) for the cage, as they are easier to paint but also cleaner to use on steel. If you can’t find these pressure cans at your local store, try a spray gun, a compressor or just use a brush.
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Cut out on top the chosen IBC for a fish tank, to allow better fish access. Remove the side-to-side top bars from the IBC and pull out the plastic tank. If this doesn’t work lay the IBC on a side or even remove the base bars. If you still can’t remove the plastic tank, try levering the tank out with gentleness. Don’t forget to keep the bolts in a secure place for later.

Cut the top out from the plastic tank. Measure a 5"(120mm) line on the top of the IBC, from the edge to the center. You can use a jigsaw to remove the top from the plastic tank.Now you must look for any rust in the galvanizing coating. It is highly recommended to paint the metal to ensure it will not degrade in the future and also for aestethics, because, for instance, I like to have a neat backyard.
The plastic tank will need to be prepared for painting in order for your paint to stick. You can find some of the best primers in the auto-shops. You must choose a dark colour for top coat because dark colour keeps out the light better. When the system is up and running, green algae can develop on the inside surfaces of the aquaponics fish tank so therefore we must use light blocker colours. Although the green algae will develop for sure inside of the aquaponics fish tank, black paint will not block it entirely, but will reduce it very much.
Let the paint dry for a couple of hours or less. The final step in building the fish tank is to re-assemble the cage as well as the base and the tank.Don’t forget about the bolts you placed in a secure spot.
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Posted 274 weeks ago

aquaponics- all you need to know about it

First of all, Aquaponics is ,in substance, a combination of Aquaculture and Hydroponics. Aquaculture or Aquafarming involves the farming of aquatic organisms,for example fish,molluscs, crustaceans and water plants..


Hydroponics is a subdivision of hydroculture and symbolizes growing plants with the help of mineral nutrient solutions in water & it doesn’t need soil at all. Unfortunately both Hydroponics and Aquaculture are not self sustienable , for instance Aquaculture can amplify and transfer disease and parasites to wild fish populations also it can pollute water systems with excess nutrients (fish feed & wastes). But when these methods are combined all the negative aspects transform into positive ones, therefore this system is considered the perfect “fish and vegetable growing” mechanism. It’s all natural like it supposed to be .The fishes feed with plants and the vegetables feed with fish waste.

Why is Aquaponics better for you than the traditional ‘soil growing’ method?

Because is a system that does not require fertilizers and only uses very little energy, sometimes as little as it takes to run less than four light globes. Also it requires about 10% of the water used in the soil growing method

OK OK so how does it work?Take a look at the following pic where we can see a fully functional :


The system pictured is made of decent size fish tank , and a growbed filled with gravel placed above the level of the fish tank . Water is fired up from the fish tank into the gravel filled growbed. The water leakes down through the gravel, past the roots of the plants before draining back into the fish tank. The plants use the water and nutrients they need to grow, sanitizing the water for the fish.On the surface bacteria develops which transforms ammonia wastes from the fish into nitrates which plants needs.This process is known as “the nitrogen cycle” and it is a very importantpart. Every method used in hydroponic growing can be adapted to Aquaponics. Plants can be grown in floating foam rafts that sit on the water surface. Vegetables can also be grown with the help of Nutrient Film Technique , or through different other methods using a so-called “run to waste” method. This can be achieved by eliminating a certain ratio of the fish water each day and watering vegetables planted in different enviroments like coir peat, vermiculite, perlite etc. Numerous fish species can be grown in an Aquaponic system, but choosing the best fish species depends from various factors.A lot of fishes can be grown in an Aquaponic system and it can be extremely productive in a short period of time.But more about that in the next article.

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Posted 278 weeks ago
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