Arizona Aquaponics

Helping each other to learn and grow big nutritious plants and fish to help feed the world.

Location: Phoenix
Members: 205
Latest Activity: Oct 31


Thank you all for joining my group, I hope to do a lot with all anyone interested. Please
tell me any event suggestions you would like us to do.

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Comment by Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. on October 31, 2015 at 12:02pm

Just some cool pics from AGS-166 aquaponics at Mesa Community College (Mesa Az).  P.S. We have been asked if we give tours? The answer is yes. Just inbox me.

First harvest ready (Oct 28th, 2015). Bibb lettuce from DWC.

Closeup of Bibb Buttercrunch Lettuce ready for harvest from DWC (Planted Sept 21st 2015).

DWC (40 ft2 growbed). (Day shot from Oct 29th 2015)

NFT finally kicking in (Oct 29, 2015)

Comment by Jim Fisk on October 16, 2015 at 10:30am

Jeff, yes. All the GH electric passes thru it. We have had such a small impact on our electric bill with the AP GH I have not ever kept track. Between 10 and 20$ at most. I got it off eBay years ago all set up with a 4 gang box. I think I paid @15.00.

Comment by Jeff S on October 16, 2015 at 9:48am

Jim, is that an electric meter in the left of your pic?

Comment by Jim Fisk on October 16, 2015 at 9:07am

Algae is a part of start up. Seems to happen to pretty near everyone. Sunlight is #1 culprit of course along with too many nutrients for the amount of plant growth. Having no patience I wanted the pea soup gone asap so I built a 30g (2500g system) Poly-Fil (Walmart 10.00) filter and ran the "bypass" water thru it before dropping back into the sump. It cleared up the water in 24hrs. Algae can be filtered out. Within 48 hrs our five 4' deep IBC FTs were all clear. I replaced the Poly after a week and it has been 3 yrs now with no cleaning of the filter since. I do keep a small airstone in the inlet pipe to avoid any anaerobic build-up. Here is an old pic of the filter from back then (2012). The Poly sits in a diaper pail the depth of the drum and cost another 8.00. The filter sits right over the buried IBC sump. Here's an old pic:

Comment by Robert Rowe on October 12, 2015 at 9:43am

@ Lisa Outland - I have solved my algae problems by simply taking direct sunlight away from my Fish Tanks. I have covers over my tanks about 6 ft from the ground and have shade screen around the perimeter which allows me to enter the enclosure for maintenance. I used to have problems with turbidity caused by algae. I also change out 300/1400 gallons water if my nitrite level gets in the  0.5-1.0 range (API). I can now see clearly to the bottom of my 24 " deep tanks.

Comment by Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. on October 12, 2015 at 3:07am

Greetings. It has been my experience that soon after you get your pH down under 7 and you get a critical mass of plants growing to compete for the nutrients (that mass is different for every system) the algae go away. 

Comment by Jeff S on October 11, 2015 at 8:13pm

Block all areas that are getting green from sunlight as much as possible.In your grow bed make sure the water level is below the surface of your media. The top media should never get wet. Place the inlet to your grow bed below the media surface to keep the water from splashing. Cover your fish yank with weed cloth, paint or some other sun blocking material. My Tilapia keep the fish tank algae free.

Comment by Scott Bloom on October 11, 2015 at 7:26pm

I have started 2 systems and both of them got so green that I could not see more than 2 inchs below the surface.  I am no expert at this but after letting it run for another month or so mine cleared right up.  I think the systems are out of balance in the beginning and as they the system comes into a good cycle and balance the algae goes away.

Comment by lisa outland on October 11, 2015 at 7:11pm

I am not computer literate, so if my question is in the wrong place, please help to go to the right place.  I am having an algae probable. Our system is only been running maybe a month. It is getting soupy where the water comes into the grow beds. We are using a Bell Syphon. Anyone else with this problem? What should we do? Thanks

Comment by James Wilson on October 1, 2015 at 7:00pm

Hi Larry. Doing a buried sump or tank and using the earth to regulate temps is not really viable for a ibc system. Any effect the earth has in changing the temp of your water is mitigated by the rest of the tank that is exposed above the frost line making it null. That's why ponds freeze over. You would need approx. 80 percent below frost line for it to have any effect. So the best thing you can do is heavy insulation like I suggested earlier for both summer and winter, Heat with small heaters for night and 100' plus of black irrigation line exposed to sun during day. For summer use mass aeration and make your water return like a rain shower. moving water and air cool, Think swamp cooler/mister. If that is still not enough cooling you have other options as well. Just like the heating irrigation coil, bury 100' of irrigation line 3 to 4 feet deep and run water through it, just like the heater but back to using earth to cool it. Being as 95% of the coil will be buried with no exposure to elements and below frost line it works well.

Jeff. we never stop water flow to sump tank only to grow beds at night. Several reasons. One, running the pumps at night actually reduces your DO(dissolved oxygen) in the tank/sump as no matter how hard one tried there is going to be some form of algae in there, At night algae uses mass amounts of oxygen for photosynthesis instead of sunlight. Two, it helps to control fluctuations in water temp. Constantly raising and lowering temps more than a few degrees daily is bad for your fish(diseases/stress) as well as can have adverse effects on colonization of beneficial bacteria. Three, A small solar panel can run your pumps all day but not at night unless you use battery backup.

Hope this helps. Any questions just hollar. James


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