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  • Small Aquaponics idea

    Don't know if anyone's tried this before (wouldn't be surprised if anyone has) but what about using the overhead filters you get in the all in one aquariums. Could sit on top of your normal aquarium. Instead of having the normal filter media, each section would have a different plant. The powerhead would suck up the water which would then flow through each section where it's released back into the aquarium at the other end. Maybe work better connected to UGF? Not sure what plants to use or what kind of soil/gravel is needed but I don't really now much about aquaponics. But I wouldnt mind getting my hands on one of those filters and giving it a try. Any one else got any input on the idea? Or any info and pics if it's already been done.
    Stuck in Adelaide where L's are hard to come by

  • #2
    Well that sounds resourceful kfenk!
    Spathiphyllums would do it....Madonna Lillies.
    Use one of the small foliage varieties because they multiply rapidly....Petite or similar.
    In habitat,they grow on the edge of creeks where nutrient rich water moves thru their roots.

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    • #3
      Would herbs or cherry tom's work? Or too wet. Hubby would love this idea as he had set up hydroponic plants before.
      12 tanks of various sizes, trying to cut back. MTS Anonymous Member - down to 7 now

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      • #4
        In theory this should work, however the issue you're going to have is the depth of media for your plants. Tomatoes should be planted where they have at least 20cms of substrate. Some herbs will be okay, and only for short term so if you're growing the likes of parsley, chives etc then you will need to pick when young and they won't be able to properly establish themselves.

        The key is depth of the substrate for large plants, they need to be able to secure themselves and thats what the roots do, stabilise the growing point.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          In terms of media depth and wetness, you would just need to rig up some kind of system. You want the plants above the filter, and either just the bottom of the container of the plant in the filter, or some system so the water wicks up into the substrate.
          In terms of soil/gravel (in hydroponic terms you would be calling this your growing media or substrate), you want something inert for the sake of your fish I imagine. If you use a potting soil you are going to have whatever is in it leeching back into the water, so you would have to use soil that is prepared such that you would be happy it being in your tank. IMO if you want herbs and such, use a mixture with lots of perlite. That would overcome the fact that the plants are going to be in somewhat wetter substrate than they probably want. The perlite will wick up the moisture, but hold less water than vermiculite or soil, thus wont get over-saturated.

          Edit:
          I'd have to disagree that substrate depth is an issue. I have seen hydroponic tomato plants over 6ft tall that are grown in containers less than 10cm deep. If they are in a highly concentrated nutrient they dont need much of a root system to get food. You just need to have a system for holding the plant up, because it has no root system to hold itself up. Obviously if you are just growing in tank water, that will be far from a concentrated nutrient, so you will probably want them to be able to grow more roots if possible.
          Last edited by nero; 18-04-11, 08:31 AM.

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          • #6
            But, the trays that I believe he is talking about are maybe 5cms tops, that won't support tomatos at all, no way in hell! Perlite and vermiculite are perfectly okay, however I'd just purchase the standard mix from one of the online aquaponic shops.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Well actually I wasn't talking about herbs or anything like that. Just normal plants that can handle that much moisture for me. I suppose something that could grow in soil for the first 1-2 sections then normal aquarium gravel for the rest, just to stop too much soil getting into the tank. Let's just say there's 4-5 sections where the last 3 are gravel and the first 1 or 2 have soil, what would be the best plant for this idea? Remember the sections aren't all that big so wouldn't want plants that grow too big. I'm sort of really aiming for the whole plant filtration rather than growing specific plants. Oh and it's inside against a side wall so only light would come from the window. And would the plants in the tray effect plants growing in the tank such as anubias nutrients wise?
              Stuck in Adelaide where L's are hard to come by

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              • #8
                Those reasons are why I said Spaths mate.The filter medium can be coarse gravel...no mess.Spaths will grow in less light than most plants.I ran a propagation nursery for 20 years.

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                • #9
                  Sorry ;-) I just naturally assume plants you can eat when it comes to Aquaponics. You may also want to look at some species of carnivorous plants as well, sarracenia's and nepenthes should do really well in that environment.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Hmmmm so a couple carnivores for first plants then Spaths for the rest? I think I'm gonna have to give this a try. Getting excited now
                    I just wrote aquaponics coz that's the only thing I could think of to describe it. What would b the correct term?
                    Stuck in Adelaide where L's are hard to come by

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                    • #11
                      it would be aquaponics I suppose. The general idea is its hydroponic if you are growing the plants with a nutrient solution, and aquaponics if the nutrient solution is replaced with water from a fish tank/pond etc. It isn't technically "something-ponic" unless you are growing in an inert substrate (i.e, without SOIL), but it is probably the best way to describe it still.

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                      • #12
                        Excellent idea kfenk! the only other thing I'd wonder about is how much light they're getting - assuming the tank's inside?
                        "Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place" - Jackie French
                        Gardening is just racism for plants - Amber, The Old Guys

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                        • #13
                          Yeah Aquaponics is the correct term. Its defining the closed cycle without a focus on dump. Or in other words the trade off principle between the two stand alone systems , ie fish, and hydroponics, both feed off each other rather than a flush of the system mentality.

                          Although aquaponics works on a ratio base. The same volume in both grow bed to water volume/load is the general baseline.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DiscusEden View Post
                            Excellent idea kfenk! the only other thing I'd wonder about is how much light they're getting - assuming the tank's inside?
                            Already wrote that they are inside and asked what plants go best with little light. So far it's Spaths FTW

                            Oh and thanks everyone, was hoping I hadn't botched the thread name lol
                            Stuck in Adelaide where L's are hard to come by

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                            • #15
                              Spaths will be happy in water providing it is moving,to bring oxygen to the roots.Since the trays are shallow,you could buy one or two Spaths in 15cm pots,or smaller pots that can sit in the tray.The roots will very soon come out looking for food.
                              Or you can slip them out of their pots,cut off the bottom section of roots with a sharp knife,rinse the remaining soil from the plants and use gravel to hold them in place.
                              The next possibility in this amount of light would be cuttings from Philodendrons,which will root quickly.
                              Last recommended plant is the Dracaena called Lucky Bamboo [sanderiana?].
                              Worth mentioning is that they are not poisonous.

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