With a week hiatus it was time to dive back in and finish up the aquaponics system. When I last left off, the fill plumbing was complete, the grow beds were resting comfortably on their sturdy foundation and two of the beds were filled with their expanded shale from RASA Hydroponics.
The portion that was still desperately lacking was the drain plumbing back into the pond. Since I had three individual grow beds with their own bulkheads and drains I had a more complex system than standard. I really wanted to avoid having three separate 3/4″ lines going all the way back to the pond. I figured I would tie the three drains into one “master” 1 1/4″ line. Read more
Now that the foundation of the aquaponics build was taken care of, it was time to focus on the grow beds themselves. I found some good, used hydroponics reservoirs up in the East Bay to be used as my grow beds. They are made by Botanicare Hydroponics. I also did all of the fill-line plumbing and did a mock drain line just to test the cycling.
Another week passed and a bit more progress has been completed on the aquaponics system. I took a bit of a drive up to Hayward to pick up some hydroponic reservoirs. These things look like they will do very nicely for grow beds. Normally these things retail for upwards of $90 each and I scored some used ones for $40 a pop. Originally, I was going to go the way of buying an IBC and cutting it in half. You can see an example in the photo gallery below. I figured this was a lot less work and they were designed for hydro in the first place.
The only thing that had me a little wary was the sides bulging out from the weight of the rock. I built a 2×4 frame around the top lip with a stringer in between each bed. Hopefully this will keep anything from warping or distorting. Being that they are designed for water, and 40 gallons of water weighs 320lbs, I’m pretty confident…for now. Read more
I got a wild stroke of motivation today and decided to dive in head first building the foundation for my aquaponics system. With a little under $100 in materials and a couple hours of elbow grease I have a strong base built for my grow beds and sump tank. Check out the video and let me know what you think!