My planted tank and aquaponics
This is quite an old post so I am not sure if anyone is still interested. I have set up a 50 gallon planted tank with an aquaponics system and have tomato plants growing and recently flowering indoors. I don't yet have any fruit on the plants but fingers are crossed.
My planted tank has in it barbs, gouramis, plecos and angel fish. I have not had to change any water since I set the tank up on October last year. Ph is a bit high at 7.8 but ammonia is right on the button.
The biggest issue I have had is lighting. Initially this was simply not bright enough and I have had to up the wattage and mix the temperatures to get to where I am now. The aquaponcs system is using two 60 watt 5,000K compact flourescents and two 40 watt 2,500 k compact flouros. The tank has two 40 watt compact flouros (5,000 k) and two 40 watt compact fluoros (2,500 K). The tank is growing some water plants OK, fermns are indicating that there is too little carbon dioxide by growing lots of roots out of the leaves but everything else is growing OK.
I am about to set up a 1.5 metre tank with a bigger grow bed to grow lettuces, rocket and basil, all of which apparently need less light than tomatoes. This tank will have vastly improved lighting and I will be using a CO2 system to force the CO2 into the water. The tank also have a proper substrate and be planted out more professionally. The existing tank is using only sand.
In the existing tank I use an Eheim Classic 600 filter to pump the water up to the grow bed which has a bell siphon and drains every four minutes or so. In the new tank i am planning to use a pump and a secondary bin to decant the water using a siphon system (wife insists that only the tank should be visible in the lounge so all the aquaponics will be behind a door in a spare room).