My system is now 1 month old and I am enjoying both the fish and the plants, but I am already looking at expanding everything, but the issue is how to integrate everything into a typical backyard landscape where grow beds don't look like food grade containers. There are many ideas out there in the pond industry of how to incorporate ponds into landscape, but those solutions don't deal with the additional issues of ebb and flow grow beds. or all the additional plumbing required in Aquaponics.
I have built a simple system with a 50 gallon constant height fish tank, 2 half barrel grow beds, and a sump. My fish tank gravity feeds into my grow bed via bottom stand pipes and both my fish tank and sump are crystal clear. I have a single pump in my sump that flows into the fish tank with a Venturi effect inlet that provides constant bubbles to the bottom of the Fish tank. The grow beds oxygenate then water in the sump when the auto siphon kicks on as well as from the ebb and flow action over the grow media..
I believe that is is a very efficient system and it is scalable by adding grow beds, a larger pump, and more fish, but increasing the size of the sump starts to get complicated because the total capacity of the sump needs to support the total volume of water from all the grow beds in case they all empty at once. I have looked a sequencing valves and to utilize those you really need to have the pump flow thru the valve to the grow beds which means that a second pump is required to the fish tanks and then gravity flow of the dirty fish water to the sump and then potentially back to the fish tank.
I am looking for ideas here because I would like to replace much of my existing planting areas with cattle food liners (10' long x 28" wide) for flowers, and small shrubs this idea will force me to have large capacity sump buried in the lowest spot in my yard. I really don't want a 500 gallon sump.
Ideas? What have you done to integrate your system into your landscape?
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