Charter School Aquaponics Blueprint | Ask The Aquaponics God

Charter School Aquaponics Blueprint | Ask The Aquaponics God

In this video the Aquaponics God provides some advice to some up and coming aquaponic growers.

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Written by The School of Aquaponics

We are here to push the movement of aquaponics in a forward direction. Our primary focus is help you in your adventure with aquaponics by providing you with the highest level of information. Aquaponics is still in its infancy and we predict that it will be the go to method of farming by many families and urban farmers. Our job is to ensure that they are taught correctly.

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  1. Don't promote CHOP2 systems. It's a dodgy growing system, the fish waste/unfiltered water is constantly pumped from the sump to the fish tank again. It's horribly inefficient. Just do an overflow from the FT to the GB to the ST.

  2. Where are you performing solid filtration in this system? As the diagram design is laid out it looks like the solid are being pumped directly to the sump and then the grow beds.
    Also it seems pertinent to warn your viewers of the dangers of not adding siphon breaks, as this system diagram is laid out a single power outage would crash the system by emptying the fish tank into the sump via the siphon.

  3. Brooklyn Saint Mickell: How do I pick up your book? Please save me from being a biscuit headed grower.

    I’ve gone through 2/3rds of your videos in the past 3 days. I’m a huge fan; you saved me many nightmares by realizing the power of pressurized plumbing utilizing split flows and ball valves. Could have easily found myself in the gravity flow trap as a maintenance grower.

    I intend to make an aquaponics system at the earliest opportunity with a couple flood and drain beds, several dutch buckets, a couple vertical shallow water culture beds, and several vertical grow towers.

    Keep spreading the faith. Looking forward to hearing from you on how to obtain the literature.

  4. Hi Mickell! This is Anand Dev. I am student at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN), Hamar, Norway. I have send you a set of 10 questions (kind of survey) in your email ID ( I have also mentioned about your work into my thesis project. Please help me by answering my survey, I will be very grateful to you. Thank a lot….

  5. What is your opinion on grow lights?
    I want to start aquaponics, but I don't have much space. However; I do have an indoor room I can use for a very small set up. (just to get me started)
    Do you think I can use grow lights on a small scale project?

  6. To the Green Charter Students,

    First off, the grow beds must be higher than the fish tank and sump if you want to do the CHOP (constant height one pump) system. So you'll need to make a shelving system that puts them above the tank or at a higher point. Sump should always be lowest and if you want to prevent overflow, it should be as tall as the tank's top to take the same level of water if the pump stops and all water drains back into tank/sump. Make sure one grow bed is an ebb & flow and one is a trickle through or constant flow which will ensure you never have a drastic water level change based upon ebb & flow timing.

    Always have a small bypass from sump pump back into tank to ensure flow continues even if there is a clog in pipes going to grow beds or when you close valves in order to maintain grow beds. After sump, you might want to add a solids separator before the manifold to the beds and bypass. Since you are doing this as a school project, perhaps you could use different kinds in parallel to test out which one is most efficient. I believe TAG has videos on making multiple kinds of mechanical filters.

    From mechanical filters, a manifold should be added so that all growbeds and bypass are connected in a parallel fashion with each output having its own valve to isolate that part of the system. Maybe you should put the bypass before filtration system just in case there's a clog so that at least the tank keeps a flow going.

    Output of all growbeds can feed into the same input pipe into tank, but remember that pipe must have a diameter twice that of your larger pipe from any one growbed so it can handle the flow from multiple units or there will be a backup in pressure which isn't good for ebb&flow systems. I personally have a separate input and output for each growbed so I can easily take out any one unit without disturbing the rest of the system.

    All grown beds need some kind of aeration system. I put a sprinkler on the input end of every growbed and have the water spraying into a can to promote aeration, but you can also use an airstone or some other air mixing mechanism. I try using the least amount of electrical parts as possible for energy efficiency sake, but for some this might not be practical.

    Your biological filtration can be the beds themselves or it could start in your sump. If in your sump, you'll need to add an airstone in there to ensure you are promoting aerobic instead of anaerobic bacteria. That's another place which is good for experimentation. Finding the right kind of media to use to harbor the beneficial bacteria in the sump.

    You can also experiment with different types of grow beds… Trickle filtration, deep water, ebb&flow, wicking beds, NFT's, vertical towers, etc… Also different grow media including coir, lava rock, clay balls, styrofoam, crushed glass, etc… The combinations are immense! Have fun!


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