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-   -   Aeroponics & Filtration - Need some ideas... (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=84687)

erthlng 03-22-2009 09:42 PM

Aeroponics & Filtration - Need some ideas...
 
Greetngs all,

So I've just about got everything together to do a small aeroponic planter that uses a 2.5 gallon nano tank as the supply of water and nutrients. The idea is to use the aeroponic system as a natural plant filtration system for the nano tanks' waste/nutrients and at the same time, grow some veggies.

In an aeroponic planter a fine mist of nutrients and water is exposed to the the roots of plants. Because the roots are suspended in air, the growth of the plants can be significantly more rapid than you would get with soil.

The system I'm building will be similar to this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brvJ2...e=channel_page
With a few modification to accomodate the pumping of water from the nano tank and then setting up a simple gravity feed to get the water back to the tank after it has run through the planter.

The 2.5 nano would be occupied by snails, rcs and maybe a bit of moss. Their tank water with their waste would feed the plants in the aeroponic system. The plants would filter the nutrients out of the water and return "filtered" water to the tank.

I know I've seen at least 1 person on this board propose something similar with aquaponics, but I can't seem to find the thread.

A few questions...
1. Has anyone here tried this? Either aquaponics or aeroponics with an aquarium as the nutrient source?
2. Any suggestions for what kinds of critters to use in the nano? I thought inverts would be better than fish, so that I could get a higher density in such a small tank.
3. Any suggestions, insights you can share would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
Phil

Sixwing 03-24-2009 06:17 PM

I will be very very interested to see how you do this. =D Afraid I have nothing of use to say, but will be watching!

Wasserpest 03-24-2009 11:00 PM

Were you perhaps thinking of this one?

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...k-warning.html

johnnymax 05-29-2009 08:50 PM

I am going to set up an aquaponics system. I have an aquarium set up with about 50 fish I caught in a minnow trap. It is a mix of sun perch, blue gills & Crappie. I need to get a grow bed set up. I am wanting to grow spinich, lettice and purple carrots.

Here is a forum that specializes in it. I think it is in Australia.
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/

johnnymax 05-31-2009 05:45 PM

Aquaponics Requires high levels of Nitrates to grow the plants.
Why do nitrates hurt the planted aquariums then?

Aquaponics utalizes the same process we do to cycle an aquarium, but they never have to remove water (once the bacteria is established).
The fish and decaying food causes amonia to build up. Then, bacteria convert the amonia to nitrite and different bactera convert the nitrite to nitrate. This we all know. But, the plants in the aquaponics grow bed use up the nitrates and it makes them grow like crazy. Is there a difference between aquatic plants and regular plants?
I am setting up my little aquaponics tank experiment. I may post a few pictures if it does not look too lame. LOL

I wonder if I could set up a twisted bamboo garden in an aquaponic gravel bed to take the nitrates out automatically. I think that would be much closer to a totally balanced ecosystem...

I have bee studying up on aquaponics and it is amazing how it is the exact same science we use for balancing our planted aquariums. They test water all the time and fight ph and stuff like we do! They do some things diffrently, but they work too.

Hoppy 05-31-2009 06:43 PM

Nitrates not only don't hurt a planted tank, we have to add nitrates or the plants die, assuming we have more than very low light. These planted filters are good for fish only tanks, but, in my opinion do not benefit a planted tank. Of course, if they look good, or grow good strawberries, etc. they are worthwhile, and you just add enough nitrates to the aquarium to feed both sets of plants.

johnnymax 06-01-2009 12:49 AM

Well, I set it up and the grow bed floods every hour, then drains. I have 5 tomatoe plants in it. I definitly have enough nitrates in the water. I have quite a few perch in there. I added some christmas moss to the fish tank to see how it does. It is in a window and gets the morning sun. I read someplace that nitrates were bad, but I think you are right, it was in a fish only tank.

hamstermann 09-14-2009 01:27 PM

So how's it going now that it's 3 months later? I'm thinking of setting something like this up for my wife. Maybe it'll finally get her as involved in the planted tank hobby as I am.

erthlng 05-25-2010 06:26 AM

Aquaponics project Update
 
So I ended up using what is know as Bubble-ponics for my aquaponics project.

I put a 14 inch long bubbler in the bottom of a fully cycled 5 gallon tank that is stocked with RCS and Ramshorn snails.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rc3vJKJ-aeI/S_.../s800/Tank.jpg

I placed a sheet of clear plexiglass over the tank and drilled five 3" holes for the net pots containing the strawberry plants. I wanted lots of light to encourage algae growth for the snails to feed on. I also supplement their diet with additional food.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rc3vJKJ-aeI/S_...ant-detail.jpg

I wrapped polyester fiberfill around the root bundles and still kept some of the soil on the plants then placed the entire bundle into the net pots, keeping them about 1/4" to 1/2" above the waterline in the tank to allow air to still reach the root bundles.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_rc3vJKJ-aeI/S_...s800/Roots.jpg

As the bubbles rise up through the tank from the bubbler, they stir the tank contents and when they burst at the top, a nutrient enriched mist is formed and collects on the fiberfill in the net pots, feeding the roots of the plants. They get plenty of moisture and air from this process.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_rc3vJKJ-aeI/S_...RootsInPot.jpg

The image above is about 1 week of root growth and the roots have extended down through the air gap directly into the snail and RCS enriched water. The plants are flowering and I already have strawberries showing up.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_rc3vJKJ-aeI/S_...Strawberry.jpg

Here are some overall views the the entire setup.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_rc3vJKJ-aeI/S_...00/Overall.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rc3vJKJ-aeI/S_...ant-detail.jpg

I'm really impressed with the speed of growth. Depending on how this project progresses over the next month, I'm considering expanding this concept to the lid of my 125 gallon natural planted tank.

epond83 05-25-2010 07:17 PM

Pretty cool set up, the only issue i see is encouraging algae growth for the snails to feed on, the algae is using nutrients that the plants want.

erthlng 05-25-2010 09:21 PM

Originally I was playing around with the idea of the algae actually sustaining everything in the tank. Snails eat it and produce the waste that feeds the Strawberries, but it looks like they are going to eat it faster than the tank can replenish the supply. Plus I don't want to starve the RCS that share the tank with the snails.

HypnoticAquatic 05-26-2010 03:09 AM

the idea is good but i dont like how u have to constantly fix the water lvls. i personaly like doing a hydroponic system and have a small powerhead connected to its outtake and then divided into subdivisions depending on how many zones/plants u have running to the top so u can have much more free time than constantly adjusting water lvls. the only way this can be self sustaining is if it has decaying material to breakdown and replace the nutrients that the plants are using. you will have to add a source of nutrients as just adding water wont do it even with the snails. do more research on tilapia farms and it might give u better insight. if u were going to do this with fish you could prob just do 2 plants and it would be more self sustaining. good luck

erthlng 05-27-2010 03:52 AM

HypnoticAquatic,

It's not really a constant fix regarding the water levels. The tank is covered and evaporation is minimal. I add maybe a cup of water to the 5 gallon tank every week. As the 4 plants grow, I'm sure they will draw more water

There is a cycled gravel bed in the tank containing bacteria to break down the waste from the snails and the shrimp. The 14" bubbler runs down the center of the tank along the base that forms a bubble curtain driving water flow from the bottom to the top along the entire length of the tank.

Another plus working for me is that in addition to the rams horn snails there are these little burrowing cornucopia snails that I have in the gravel. When I feed the tank, they come to the surface and end up churning the gravel.

So there is a pretty good bio load of inverts in the tank producing waste. I think the biggest trick will be balancing that load with the available bacteria in the tank to produce an adequate amount of food for the plants.

So far the plants are growing very well with very rapid root growth extending into the tank from the net pots. We'll see how it progresses over the next few months.

epond83 05-27-2010 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erthlng (Post 1077043)
Another plus working for me is that in addition to the rams horn snails there are these little burrowing cornucopia snails that I have in the gravel. When I feed the tank, they come to the surface and end up churning the gravel.

I believe theses are Malaysian trumpet snails (MTS) and yes there are great at turning up the substrate

Quote:

Originally Posted by erthlng (Post 1077043)
So there is a pretty good bio load of inverts in the tank producing waste. I think the biggest trick will be balancing that load with the available bacteria in the tank to produce an adequate amount of food for the plants.

The bacteria will grow to what ever food source is avialable. As long as you slowly had more stuff to the tank the bacteria will easialy muliply and take on the extra bioload.


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