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BaokyardAquaponios

EEEddddddiiitttiiiiooonnn 111.000
THE IBC OF
AQUAPONICS
2 www.backyardaquaponics.com
C0PRl0P12011BaokyardAquaponios
Edition One 2011
PublishedandListributedbyBaokyardAquaponios
P0Box33503uooesswesternAustralia6964
www.baokyardaquaponios.oomenquiriesbaokyardaquaponios.oom
1hisdooumentisfreeandnopartofthispublioationoanbereproduoedordistributedinoludingeleotronioormeohanioal,
through photooopying, reoording or otherwise for personal or oommeroial prott without direot permission from Baokyard
Aquaponios.1hispublioationoannotbeamended,re-interpreted,orrewrittenwithoutdireotpermissionfromBaokyard
Aquaponios.
Lditors:1oelMaloolm&layeAroaro
0raphioLesign:3arahupravan
Thanks & Acknowledgements
1hanksgoouttothemembersoftheBaokyardAquaponiosforum,whoseinventivemindshaveprovidedmostoftheoontent
forthismanual.withoutallthesememberswhoaresowillingtoshareandtaketimeouttooontributetotheforumandhelp
others,thiswouldnthavebeenpossible.
lfthismanualisofsomeusetoyoupleaseoomeandjointheforum.1oininandhelpoontributetohelpotherssetuptheirown
aquaponiossystems.
The IBC of Aquaponics
Click here to ensure you have the latest edition of the manual
wewillbeoonstantlymodifyingandupdatingthisdooumentsotomakeitsimpleforyoutoknowwhetheryouhavethemost
uptodateversionwewillupdateitinthefollowingway.lfyouhaveversion1.Xthenyouwillhaveallthelatestinformation,
ifforexampleyouhave1.0andyouseethatweareupto1.3,theohangeswillonlybeoosmetioohangesorperhapsvery
small ohanges. we will only ohange to 2.0 when there is a major update of oontent, then as very minor moditoations happen
wewillohangeitto2.1,2.2,eto.Butitsnotreallyworthupdatingfrom2.0upto2.2astheohangeswillonlybeslight.Best
towaittillversion3.0isreleasewithmajorohanges.lfyouwouldliketoknowwhenfurtherreleaseswillbeoomingoutthen
pleasesignuptoournewslettersandforum,wewillbeinformingpeopleviaournewslettersandtheforumasnewreleases
beoomeavailable.3ubsoribehere.
Updating and revisions
0
k,soyouvedownloaded,borrowed,beengivenor
stolenthiseleotroniomanualfromsomewhere.0nly
joking,itsfree.3opassiton,emailit,sendittoyour
friends,putitonyourthumbdriveandtakeithometoshow
others,dowhatyoulikewithit.1hisisafreedooument,and
yesyouoanprettymuohpassitontowhoeveryoulike.lfyou
areinvolvedwithaquaponiosatsomesortofaoommeroial
levelandyoudliketosharethisdooumentwithpeoplethen
pleaseoheokouroopyrightdetails,wearehappyforthistobe
distributedthroughforums,workshops,aspartsofinformation
paokageseto,justsolongasthedooumentisntohangedin
anyway,anditsredistributedinitsentiretygivingfulloredits
whereoreditsdue.
Now we have that stuff out of the way the trst thing you
reallyshoulddoisoheokthatitsthemostuptodateversion
available.well,youdonthaveto,butperhapsthisisjust
the trst edition (aotually it is), and perhaps there's a muoh
latereditionavailablewithtwioeasmuohinformation,new
pioturesandallthelatestbellsandwhistles.wewillbe
addingtothisdooumentandreleasingneweditionsasmore
andmorepeoplearebuildingnewsystemsinoorporating
lBCsintonewdesignsoftheiraquaponiosystems.oudont
wantjusthalftheinformationavailable,andseeingitsfree
anyway,youmayaswelljustCliokPere,itwilltakeyoutoour
online disoussion forum where you will tnd links to the latest
versionofthisdooument.
whileweareonthesubjeotofthedisoussionforum....1he
forumiswhereallofthepioturesandinformationwithinthis
dooumenthasoomefrom.welliteitheroomesfromusdireotly
hereatBaokyardAquaponios,oritoomesfromtheorazy,
inventive,informative,generousmembersoftheBAPforum.
lfyouveneverbeentotheBAPforumyouoanjustCliokPere,
oomeandhavealook,joinup,itsfreeandtherearelotsof
likemindedmemberswhooanhelpyouwithquestionsabout
aquaponiosandbuildingdifferentsystems.Bettertoaskand
learnfromsomeonewhohasalreadymadethemistakes
before,sothatyoudontmakethesameones,plusasyouread
throughthisdooumentlmsureyoulloometoappreoiatethe
wealthofinformationfromtheoombinedknowledgeoontained
bothinthisdooumentandalsowithintheforum.
lshouldprobablygiveyoualittlebitofinformationabout
someofthefeatureswithinthisdooument,itsnotjusta
straightpdf,itsaninteraotivepdf,thismeansthatthereare
afewaddedfeaturestomakethisdooumentbotheasierto
readandnavigatethrough,andalsotomakelinksoutsidethe
dooumentaloteasieraswell.
lntroduotion
3 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
4 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Powtouse&read
thisdooument
Atthebottomofeaohpageyouwillseethisioon,oliokingonthisioonwilltakeyoubaoktotheoontentspage
fromwhereeveryouarewithinthedooument.
lirstlytheresaninteraotivemenuontheoontentspagewhiohwilltakeyoudireotlytoapartioularsystem
later in the dooument, you may also tnd a few links within text like in the paragraphs above where we have
some links direotly to the forum where you will tnd the latest version of this dooument.
At the beginning of eaoh system you will tnd this ioon. Clioking on this ioon will take you direotly to the BAP
forum thread for that members system. lf you like a partioular system and want to read more about it, tnd
the latest information about whether the system has been modited or ohanged, then by olioking and visiting
theforumyouwilllearnalotmoreaboutthatpartioularsystem.
Cliokonthislinktoviewtheoutubevideoofthesystem.
1usttomakethingsevenmoreinterestingandusefulforpeople,wehaveseleotedover20ofthesystems
withinthismanualandweveoonstruoted3dimensional0oogle3ketohupmodelsofthesesystems.lfyoudont
knowwhat0oogle3ketohupis,itsafree3Lmodelingdesigntool,youoandownloadit.lnnotimeyouoanstart
oreating your own 3 dimensional aquaponio models to be sure they tt within the spaoe you have available. 3o
ifyouseethisioonanywhereinthedooument,oliokonthis,anditwilltakeyoutothe3ketohup3Lwarehouse
websitewhereyouoanviewthemodelinfurtherdetailanddownloadittoplayaroundwithitandmakeyour
ownohangessothatyouoanadaptsystemstosuityourownsituation.0noeyoureatthe3Lwarehouse
websiteyouoansoanthroughallofthe3Lmodelswehaveoreated.lfyouarehavinganyissueswithhowto
use0ooglesketohup,therearesomesimpleinformativetutorialsthatwillhaveyouoreatinglikeaproinno
time.3oifyouseethisioonwithinthedooument,whynotgiveitago.
wA1CP
thevideo
3tuisje
74
w
weexpeotthatthismanualwillspreadfairlywidely
amongpeoplewhomayormaynotknowabout
aquaponios.wehaveoreatedaGlossarytowardsthe
end of the manual, so if you read a word or tnd an aoronym
youareunsureof,youoanquioklyoliokatthebaseofthe
pagetoreturntotheindex,thenoliokonglossarywithinthe
index, look up the words detnition, then baok to the index and
baoktothesystemyouwerereading.
1heresalsotheissueofunitswithinthemanual.we
wonderedaboutwhetherweshoulduseimperialunitsor
bothimperialandmetriounitsofmeasureeverywherethat
lengthandvolumearementioned,butafteralittlethought
itwasdeoidedthatnowedgowithmetrio.1herestofyou
arejustgoingtohavetooatohupwiththoseofusinthe
worldthathavealreadyswitohedtotheonlylogioalsystem,
themetriosystem.0k,thatmaybeafairlyoontentious
statement.Althoughlwasbornandbroughtupwithmetrio
l still tnd myself using imperial measurements all the time,
itsaloteasiertosayandtothinkof2feetratherthan60
oentimetres.3tillthedeoisionwasmade,sotothoseofyou
stillusingimperialmeasurementsmyapologies,however
wehaveprovidedaoonversiontabletowardsthebaokofthe
manual.0noeagain,itsasimpleoaseofafewolioks,baok
totheindex,oheoktotheoonversiontable,baoktotheindex,
baoktothepageyouwerereading.
1headvertswithinthedooumentsareallforBaokyard
Aquaponiosproduotsandservioes,theyareallinteraotive
andwilllinkyoutoourwebsiteswhereyouoanpurohaseour
goodsandservioes,aswellaslearnmoreaboutaquaponios
ingeneral.esthatsright,interaotiveadvertslmafraid.
Buttakealittlelookattheinformationoontainedwithinthis
dooument,wehaveputanenormousamountoftime,effort
andmoneyintoproduoingthis100freeinformationpaokage
tohelppeoplegetintoaquaponiosasoheaplyaspossible.
lfwemanagetomakesomesalesofproduotsthroughlinks
withinthisdooumentthenitwillenoourageustoproduoe
moreofthesefreeinformationalproduots,awin-winsituation
foreveryone.
wehavealsostartedworkingonasimilardooument
tothisonewhiohisbasedonaquaponiosystemsbuilt
predominantlyfromplastiobarrels.0noeagainanother
reoyoledmaterialthatpeoplehavebeenusingtogreateffeot
inmakingaquaponiosystems.
wehopethatyouenjoyusingthismanual,wehopethatits
usefulandhelpspeoplebuildtheirownaquaponiosystemsor
atleastmotivatessomeonewithideasandpossibilities.Pey,
ifitstimulatedyourgreymatterinanywaythenatleastits
donesomegood.lfitenoouragesyoutousesomereoyoled
materials you oan tnd around your looal area to build an
aquaponio system and start growing your own fresh tsh and
vegetablesinyourownbaokyardthenitssuooeededbeyond
mywildestdreams.
Asalastreminderbeforedivingin,pleaseifthisisusefulto
you,goandjointheBaokyardAquaponiosforumandhelp
oontributeoraskquestions,itsthroughhavingawideand
diversemixofideasandoulturesthattheforumhasbeoome
aoommunityabletohelpthousandsofpeopleovertheyears.
5 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
6 www.backyardaquaponics.com
3teveisorazy
26
lishfodder
28
Aquamad
32
lan
36
Andywhite
44
1ristrin
46
Lungy
52
Arkantex
56
Bonsaibelly
57
Pillsy
62
lreoboy
66
0utbaokozzie1
68
3tuisje
74
Markoaso
76
Boris
78
3nakes
82
Chainsaw
60
Mattyry
86
Lordviykor
89
Lman
92
Blissy
94
0uidetoAquaponios
10
lntroduotiontolBCs
15
BuildinganlBC
19
whatisAquaponios
8
The IBC of Aquaponics
NitrogenCyole
178
Lsazsa
99
0onelishin
122
Ldroe
137
3iphonphobia
154
1et
171
0utbaokozzie2
104
lvansng
126
Ldwood
140
wal
158
Netab
174
Mantis
110
3kygazer
130
1heNative
142
Charlie
164
1oey
113
Alosthippy
132
3oottie&3helley
146
Bigdaddy
168
lurtherReading
187
1aymie&Axl
96
uaohy
116
3eemore
135
Curnow
150
lA&lorour
Referenoe
181
7 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
whatis
Aquaponios?
research has shown that an aquaponic system uses
about 1/10th of the water used to grow vegetables
in the ground.
A
quaponiosisessentiallythe
oombinationofAquaoulture
andPydroponios.Both
aquaoultureandhydroponioshave
somedownsides,hydroponios
requiresexpensivenutrientstofeed
theplants,andalsorequiresperiodio
tushing of the systems whioh oan lead
towastedisposalissues.
Re-oiroulatingaquaoultureneedsto
haveexoessnutrientsremovedfrom
thesystem,normallythismeansthat
aperoentageofthewaterisremoved,
generallyonadailybasis.1his
nutrientriohwaterthenneedstobe
disposedofandreplaoedwitholean
freshwater.
whilere-oiroulatingaquaoulture
andhydroponiosarebothvery
eftoient methods of produoing tsh
andvegetables,whenwelookat
oombiningthetwo,thesenegative
aspeotsareturnedintopositives.1he
positiveaspeotsofbothaquaoulture
andhydroponiosareretainedandthe
negativeaspeotsnolongerexist.
Aquaponiosoanbeassimpleoras
oomplexasyoudliketomakeit,
thesimplesystempioturedabove
is made from one lBC (lntermediate
Bulk Container). 1he top was out off
andturnedupsidedowntobeoomea
growbedfortheplants.
water is pumped up from the tsh tank
intothegrowbed.1hewatertriokles
downthroughthemedia,pastthe
rootsoftheplantsbeforedraining
baok into the tsh tank. 1he plants
extraotthewaterandnutrientsthey
needtogrow,oleaningthewaterfor
the tsh. 1here are baoteria that live
onthesurfaoeofthegrowbedmedia.
1hesebaoteriaoonvertammonia
wastes from the tsh into nitrates
thatoanbeusedbytheplants.11he
oonversionofammoniaintonitratesis
oftentermedthenitrogenoyole.1his
willbedealtwithinmoredetailinthe
nextohapter.
0rowbeds tlled with a media suoh
asgravelorexpandedolaypebbles
areaoommonmethodofgrowing
plantsinanaquaponiosystem,but
therearemanydifferentmethodsthat
oanbeused.lnfaotanymethodof
hydroponiogrowingoanbeadapted
toaquaponios.Plantsoanbegrown
in toating foam rafts that sit on the
watersurfaoe.
vegetablesoanalsobegrownusingNl1
(Nutrient lilm 1eohnique), or through
8 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
variousothermethodsusingarunto
wastestyleofgrowing.1hisisdone
by removing a peroentage of the tsh
watereaohdayandwateringvegetables
plantedindifferentmediasuohasooir
peat,vermioulite,perliteeto.
Many different speoies of tsh oan be
growninanaquaponiosystem,and
yourspeoiesseleotionwilldependona
numberoffaotorsinoludingyourlooal
governmentregulations.
uite high stooking densities of tsh
oanbegrowninanaquaponiosystem,
andbeoauseofthereoiroulating
natureofthesystemsverylittlewater
isused.Researohhasshownthatan
aquaponiosystemusesabout1/10th
ofthewaterusedtogrowvegetables
intheground.
Anaquaponiosystemoanbeinoredibly
produotive.lveproduoed50kgof
tsh, and hundreds of kilograms of
vegetableswithin6monthsinan
areaaboutthesizeofyouraverage
oarport,8mx4m.1hisisasystem
thatrequiresnobending,noweeding,
nofertilizers,andonlyusesaboutthe
samepowerittakestorunaooupleof
lightglobes.
9 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Running of the system
1hereareafewoommonmethodsofrunningamediabed
aquaponio system. ou oan tood and drain it by using a
timeronthepumptoswitohthepumpoffandon,anda
standpipe in the grow bed. ou oan tood and drain it using
anautosiphonwithinthegrowbedandrunningyourpump
oontinuously.ouoanalsorunthesystemwithaoontinuously
tooded grow bed using a standpipe in the bed.
wehavebeenrunningsometrialsofthesethreedifferent
methodshereatBaokyardAquaponiosandyouoanfollow
theresultsonourforumifyoudliketooomparethedifferent
systems.Click here to visit forum
Atthetimeofwritingthisourtrialshavebeenrunningfor
over6monthsandinrealitytheresbeenlittledifferenoe
attheendofthedaybetweenthethreedifferentsystems.
1hereweresomedifferenoesintheearlyperiodbutafter6
monthstherereallyisverylittledifferenoebetweenthem.1his
beingtheoaselwouldreoommendrunningyourlBCsystem
oontinuously tooded as we have set up our lBC system in this
manual.
1herearepossiblyafewotheradvantagestorunningyour
system as a oonstantly tooded system depending on your
systemdesign.lnaCPll1Pl31styleofsystemyoursumptank
doesn't need to be as big as it has to be if you are tooding
and draining. when you tood and drain by either timed
pumpingoyolesorusingautosiphons,youmusthaveenough
sumpvolumetoholdlargeamountsofwater.1herewillbe
times when the growbeds are tooded and then times when
theyhavealldrainedintothesumptankallatonoe.
when designing and building a tood and drain CPll1 Pl31
system,thegeneralruleofthumbisthatyoursumpshouldbe
aboutthesamevolumeasyourgrowbeds.lfyouarerunning
a CPll1 Pl31 system oonstantly tooded your sump tank oan be
muoh smaller, beoause there won't be suoh large tuotuations
ofwatervolumes.
Startling a system
lfyouask10peoplehowtostartanaquaponiosystemyoull
getabout9orperhaps10differentanswers,witheaoh
personinsistingthattheirmethodisbest.1heideaisthat
youneedtogetasystemoyoledwhiohmeansestablishing
your benetoial baoteria populations within the system so that
theyoantheyoanoonverttheammoniawastesintonitrates
sotheplantsoanusethem.Anyway,thereareanumberof
differentwaysyouoangetyoursystemstarted.ltsalways
goodifyouoanseedyoursystemfromanexistingsystemor
from someone who has an aquarium or pond. Aquarium tlters
will be tlled with the benetoial baoteria you want growing in
your aquaponios system, so will pond tlters or even just the
pondoraquariumwater.3oifyouoanoolleotsomeofthis,it
will help your system to establish even quioker. lf you oan't tnd
any,ordontknowanyoneyouoansouroesomebaoteriafrom,
dontworry,theywillestablishthemselvesnaturally,itwilljust
takealittlelonger.
oumaywanttogetyourselfatestkitsothatyouoanfollow
the oyoling of your system, espeoially when using tshless
methodsrequiringadditionofdifferentsouroesofammonia.A
testkitwhiohtestspP,ammonia,nitriteandnitrateisbest.
0uideto
aquaponi os
Peeponics.
Yes,tsastscunds,scmepecplegetthersystemstarted
andcycledbyaddngurnetcthesystem.Urneccntans
ureaandureabreaksdcwntcammcna,cnceycuhave
ammcna ths can be a useful scurce cf fccd fcr benecal
bacterapcpulatcns.ltsagccddeatcageycururne
fcrafewdaystcaweeknancpenwellventlatedarea
befcreaddngttcthesystem,butncttctallynecessary,
ycucan|ustaddstraghtfrcmthescurcefycuwsh.lfycu
aretaknganytypecfmedcatcntsnctreccmmended
thatycutrythsmethcd.
Urea Fertilizers
Ancthermethcdtcaddanammcnascurcetchelp
establsh the benecal bactera s tc use Urea fertlzer,
generallyavalablefrcmagrculturalsupplers,hardware
stcresandnurseres.1hssafarlystraghtfcrward
methcdcfcyclngasystem,hcweverycumustbecareful
cfycurdcsng,regularwatertestngsreccmmended.
Ammonia
Hcusehcldammcnacanbescurcedfrcmmanydfferent
places.Aswthurea,caresrequredtcensureycudcnt
cverdcsethesystem.Alscwhenscurcngycurammcna
makesurethatycucnlyusefccdgradeammcna,there
areplentycfcleanngandndustralammcnascurces
buttheycftenhaveperfumesandctheraddtves.
7KHGHDGSUDZQRUVK
Yepamethcdcfcyclngpractcedafarbtwthnscme
aquarumcrclescvertheyears.8yplacngscmercttng
sh cr crustacean n the system ycu are nducng a scurce
cfammcnafcrthebacteratcfeedcn.
Fish feed
Ycu can start cyclng a system by ntrcducng the sh
feed ycu wll be usng tc feed the sh ntc the system, as
the feed starts tc break dcwn cn the bcttcm cf the sh
tankandnthegrcwbedstwllreleaseammcnafcrthe
bacteratcfeedcn.
)HHGHUVKDQGRUQJHUOLQJ
Pcssblythesmplestmethcdcfstartngasystemand
themethcdwereccmmendsclcngasycufcllcwafew
smplegcldenrules.Ycursystemcanbecycledbyaddng
feeder sh, usually cheap brcnze ccmets cr gcldsh tc
start the system befcre addng ycur nal sh speces. Ycu
can alsc stcck the system wth ngerlng cf whatever
type cf sh ycu plan cn grcwng n the system and ths
sthewaywestartcursystemsandthemethcdwe
reccmmendpecplestartthers.
8ut feedng the sh must be kept tc a strct mnmum fcr
the rst 2 mcnths. Nc mcre than cne tablespccn cf feed,
perday,per500Lcfmeda.lfycugetanalgalblccm,stcp
feedng untl the algae clears. After 2 mcnths ycu can
startncreasngfeedlevelsslcwlybecauseycurbactera
wculdhavebeenestablshed.Ycucaneaslymcntcrths
wthabascfreshwatermastertestkt.
Methods of Cycling
10 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Locating your system
1hereareafewthingsyoumaywanttokeepinmindwhenit
oomestolooatingyoursystem.lorsomethismaynotbean
issue,youmightonlyhaveoneplaoeitoango.But,ifyouhave
some ohoioes as to looation, one of the trst things to oonsider
issunlight.ouneedatleast4-6hoursofgoodsunlightaday
for your plants to grow well, however, your tsh do not need
sunlight,andinfaotyourebetteroffnothavinganysunon
your tsh tank at all if possible. 3un on your tsh tank leads to
algae growing. lf you oan't help but have your tsh tank in the
direot sun, you might like to think about having some toating
plants on the surfaoe of your tsh tank. lloating plants in your
tsh tank offer shelter and hiding plaoes for your tsh and tsh
arefarhappierwhentheyfeelproteoted.
1hewaterssurfaoeoanbeafoodproduotionareaaswellas
agoodplaoetogrowinvasiveplantslikemintandwateroress
whioh will take over your media tlled growbeds if you plant
theminthere.
Growing Media
1herearemanydifferenttypesofgrowingmediayouoanuse
inyouraquaponiosystem,thoughthereareaooupleofthings
towatohoutfor.lirstlytherestherookorpartiolesize,we
prefertouseamediathatisbetween8mmand16mm,there
aresomedisadvantagesifyougoveryfaroutofthisrange.lf
themediaisalotsmallerthentheresnotamuohairspaoe
betweenthemediawhenitsinyourbed.lfthemediaisalot
larger,yoursurfaoeareaismarkedlyreduoed,plusplanting
beoomesalotharder.ourohoioesaretogoforahydroponio
expandedolayoralternativelyyouoanusealooalorushed
rookmedia.ouwanttobealittleoarefulwiththerookyou
ohooseassomeoanhavehighlevelsoflimestoneandother
highpPmineralswithinthemwhiohoanleadtonutrientlook
out.
3omepeoplehavefoundthattheirlooalorushedrookorgravel
mediaoanhaveahighphlevel.PighpPoanbeabitofa
probleminanaquaponiosystemsoifyouareunsure,aquiok
waytooheokanyrookyouarethinkingofusingistodothe
vinegartest.0etahandfulofthemediayouwanttouse,drop
itintoajugofnormalhouseholdvinegar,iftherooksappear
tobevisiblybubbling,releasingbubblesfromtherook,then
ohanoesareithasahighpPandbestifyouoanlookatan
alternative.
Rookmediaorgravelisalsoveryheavysoyouneedtoplanto
haveenoughsupportforitwhenbuildingyourgrowbedsand
theirstandsandsupports.1headvantagesofrookmediais
thatitsreadilyavailableandusuallyveryoheap.
Lxpandedolayisextremelylight,pPneutral,oomesinhandy
bags,itseasytoplantin,easytooleanandsterile.Powever
itsdownside,usuallyveryexpensive.ouwillneedtoweigh
uptheprosandoonsyourself,ifyouwantquiokandmoneyis
Access to power. Ycuwllneedtcpumpwaterand
pcssblyhaveanarpumpaswell,theseneedpcwertc
runscycuneedtcbeabletcrunycurpcwerleadtca
pcwerpcnt.
$FFHVVIRUSODQWLQJKDUYHVWLQJDQGPDLQWHQDQFHlve
seenmanysystemsthatpecplehavesetupwhere
theresbeenlttletcncallcwancefcraccesstcthe
whclesystem.Keepnmndthatalthcughycumaythnk
ycucangettcmcstcft,cnceycurgrcwbedsarefull
cfplants,gettngtcthatbackccrnercfthegrcwbed
mghtnctbeaseasyastwaswheneverythngwas
newandempty.Alscplantshangcutcvertheedgecf
thegrcwbeds,wencrmallyallcwatleast70cmbetween
grcwbeds.Lventhssntencughscmetmeswhenplants
are grcwng really well. Access tc the sh tank s alsc
mpcrtant.lveseenmanysystembultfrcml8Cswhere
there s cnly a very small access pcnt ntc the sh tank,
nct really bg encugh fcr a sh net tc catch ycur sh.
Seasonal differences. lfycuarebuldngycursystemn
summer,theresagccdchancethesunwllactuallytrack
adfferentccursentheskyccmewntertme.what
mayhavebeengccdsunshnedurngthesummercculd
perhapsbencsunlghtatalldurngwnter,andvceversa.
6XUURXQGLQJYHJHWDWLRQltsnctgreattchaveasystem
drectlyunderadecducusplantcfanytype,crany
plantwthheavyblcsscmdrcp.lvekncwncfplants
ccntamnatcnfrcmscmeshrubsandtreeswhchhas
caused sh deaths. 1hs can scmetmes be cne cf the
harder sh death causes tc pn pcnt as t may cnly take
a few leaves cr cwer cf a plant tc affect sh f the plant
happenstcbehghlytcxc.Fshdeathsfrcmthssnct
aregularprcblemwehearcf,butkeepngthetankand
grcwbeds clean can be dfcult wth large quanttes cf
leaves cr cwers drcppng frcm abcve.
Pets and Children. Ycumayhavecnecrycumay
havebcth;ycuneedtcbesurewhenplannngand
ccnstructngycursystem,thatycursystemschld
frendlyandpetfrendly.
Locating your system
11 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
notthemostlimitingfaotor,thenexpandedolayisthego,if
youaremoreoonoernedaboutoostandyourewillingtospend
alotmoretimeonoonstruotingstrongersupportsandmoving
andoleaningyourmedia,thengofortherook.
3ome people like to take the middle road, you oan tll the
bottom of your bed with gravel/rook then tll the top half with
expanded olay, this outs the oosts signitoantly, also outs
theweight,andmakessurethatyouhaveanioemediafor
plantingandharvestingin.
Plants
lnanyandalloftheabovemethodsofoyolingasystem
wereoommendthatpeopleplanttheirbedsasquioklyas
possiblewithplants.Personallylliketouseaoombinationof
seedlingsandseeds.ouoansprinkleseedsoverthetopof
yourgrowbedmediathenplantseedlingsthroughoutthebed.
Asyouarediggingintheseedlingstoplantthem,theassorted
seedswillgetburiedinthemediaandbeforelongtheywill
germinate and tll your growbed.
whenplantingseedlingswestronglyreoommendwashingthe
soilorpottingmixofftherootsoftheseedlingbeforeplanting.
lknowsomepeopledontdothis,butitsaddingunneoessary
oontaminantstoyoursystemintheformoforganiomatter,
sandandslowreleasefertilizers.ouoanverysimplygeta
buoketandputaooupleofinohesofwaterinthebottomofit,
youmayalsoliketoaddsomeseaweedextraottothisorworm
juioe,thesewillaidthenewseedlingsinestablishingwell.
Nowsimplyremovetheseedlingfromthepunnet,swishitin
thewaterandthesoilshouldeasilywashofftheroots.ou
donthavetobetoooarefultogetitalloff,justthemajorityof
thesoil.
whenplantinginyourgrowbeds,planteverythingvery
densely,youoanplantthingsalotolosertogetherthan
youwouldinthesoilbeoausetheseplantswithhaveas
muohwaterastheyoanwant.1ryandmakeuseofareas
whereplantgrowthoanexpandandextend,ifyoursystem
islooatednearashedorwallorfenoe,ereotsomethingfor
theplantstogrowup,andplantolimberslikebeanspeas,
tomatoes,ououmbersetosothattheyoangrowupthings.
0therplantsyoumaywanttoletramble,youoanplanta
pumpkininoneoornerofyourgrowbed,thenletitspillover
thesideandrambleoverthings.vaoantunproduotiveland
with poor or no soil is tne beoause the pumpkin plant gets
allofitsnutrientandwaterfromthesystem,yetoolleots
sunshinefromwhereeveritslongtendrilsgrow.
What plants can I grow in my system?
lknowpeoplewhohavegrownjustabouteverything,from
treesthroughtopotatoes.ouoanprettymuohgrowanything,
thoughafewthingstokeepinmindwhendeoidingwhat
youwillplant.lirstly,youwanttogrowthingsthatyouwill
eat,theresnotmuohsenseingrowinglotsofoabbagesif
youdontreallylikethemoreatthem.oualsowanttobe
surethatyoualwayshavethingsgrowinginyoursystem.3ay
perhapsyouonlyhaveasimplesystemmadefromtheone
lBClikeoursamplesysteminthismanual,onegrowbedabove
the lBC tsh tank. ou never want to pull out all of the plants
atonoe,otherwisethereisnothinglefttoextraotthenutrients
fromthesystem.ltsalwaysbestifyouoanhaveabroad
mixinthesystematanyonetime,matureplants,halfgrown
plantsandseedlingsallatonoe,thatwayyouareabletooyole
throughplants,removingthematureonesandplantingnew
onestoreplaoethem,whileleavingmanyplantsinthereusing
upthenutrient.
Fish Stocking
Lverysystemisdifferentandpeoplesenvironmental
oonditionsoanvaryquitealot,butthereshastobesome
guidelinesastowhatwillworkwellforthemajorityofpeople.
we reoommend stooking around 20-25 tsh for every 500L
ofgrowbedmediainyoursystem,thisisassumingyouhave
growbedsthatarearound25-30omdeep.ultimatelythe
amount of tsh you oan safely keep in your system depends on
many faotors, feed rates, water tows, oxygen levels, number of
plants, pumping rates, tsh speoies and water temperature, to
nameafewofthemajorfaotors.
3oletssayperhapsthatyouarelookingatmakingavery
simplesystemliketheexamplesystemwehavebuiltinthis
manual,madefromtheonelBCoutintotwopieoestomake
the growbed and tsh tank. 1his growbed has 250L of media
in it, perfeot for around 10-12 tsh. 1his is allowing for them to
grow from tngerling up to a plate size of around 400-500g. lf
youdoublethegrowbedbyaddinganotheronethesame,then
you oan pretty muoh double the amount of tsh you have to 20-
25 tsh in the system.
wevefoundwithexperimentingthatyouoangrowalotof
plantswithonlyafairlylightlystookedsystem,andalightly
stookedsystemismoreresilientifthingshappentogowrong.
*HWWLQJP\VKKRPH
ou should speak to your tsh supplier trst, tsh transporting
oan often depend on the size of the tsh and the distanoe
youaretravellingwiththem,ortheamountoftimethey
willbespendingintransport.0ftensupplierswillbagsmall
tngerlings in olear plastio bags with oxygen added to the bag,
thisoanallowthemtobetransportedforlongperiodsoftime
withonlyaslightohanoeoflosses.3ometimesyoumaybe
required to take an esky or similar to the tsh supplier, this is
goodsolongasyoutakealongabatteryaeratorwithyouto
supplythemwithairforthetrip.
)HHGLQJWKHVK
wereoommendthatyouuseaqualityaquaoulturepelletto
feed your tsh, you oan supplement this with alternate feeds
like worms, maggots, blaok soldier ty larvae and plenty of
otherdifferenttypesofalternativefeed,howeveritsalways
goodtohavethebasisofapelletfeedthereasanessential
oomponent of the tsh diet. People often ask about keeping
asystemoompletelyolosedloop,produoingallthefeedyou
12 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
needwithinthesystemandfromsystemrubbishandsoraps.
1hisworkstoaminorextent,howeveryoumusthaveexternal
inputintothesystemifyouareremovingnutrientfromthe
systemintheformoffoodtoeat.
Backup
Pavingabaokupsystemisveryhandy,borderingonessential.
lfandwhenthepowergoesout,youwanttobesurethatyour
tsh are not going to die. A well stooked system tlled with tsh
willnotlastlongastheyoonsumetheavailabledissolved
oxygenwithinthewater,soyouneedawaytogetoxygeninto
thewaterthatdoesntrelyonmainspower.1hereareafew
waysyouoangoaboutthis,youoankeepbatteryoperated
aeratorsorageneratorhandyforwhenthepowergoesout
sothatyouoanimplementyouroontingenoyplanwhenthings
gowrong.But,generallyasMurphyslawwouldhaveit,ifthe
powerisgoingtogoout,itwillbewhenyouarenothome,so
youwillbeunabletoreaottothepowerfailure.
1hismeansyouwillneedtohaveyourbaokupsystemalready
thoughtoutbeforehand,anditwillneedtobeautomatio.
1hereareaooupleofsimplewaysyouoandothis.welike
touseAC/LCaerators,theseareairpumpswithinternal
reohargeablebatteriesinthem.Normallytheyrunwhile
pluggedintothepower,pumpingairthroughairlinesandair
stones in the tsh tank. when the power goes out they switoh
automatioallyovertotheirinternalbatteriesandoontinueto
pump air into the water keeping the tsh alive for the life of the
batterywithintheunit,oftenupto10hours.whenthepower
oomesbaokon,theinternalbatteryisreoharged.
Anothermethodusedbysomeistomaketheirownbaok
upusingeitherwaterpumpsorairpumps,usingbatteries,
somethinglikeaoarbattery,aninverter,atrioklebattery
ohargerandapowerfailswitoh.Lssentiallythisdoesthe
samethingastheAC/LCairpumpabove,butitslargerand
inanindividualoomponentsform.1histypeofsystemoanbe
ohoppedandohanged,youoanleaveouttheinverteranduse
12/24vLCoomponentsiftheyarereadilyavailable.1heres
alotmoreinformationaboutbaokupsystemsontheBaokyard
Aquaponiosforum.
Monitoring the system
ltsgoodifyouoankeepadailyoheokonyoursystemmost
ofthetime,averyquiokvisualoheokthatthewaterlevelin
the tsh tank looks right, the tsh are aoting as they normally
do,andtheplantslookhealthyandhappywillbeenough.
Asyoubeoomeusedtoyoursystem,youoantellquiteabit
from a quiok look at the system, tsh behaviour oan ohange
markedlywhenthereareissuesanditsworthdoingalittle
more researoh into unusual tsh behaviour to watoh out for. A
typioal example of this is when tsh are tashing". llashing is
when tsh rub their sides of their bodies on the base of your
tank,thisisgenerallybeoausetheyaretryingtodislodge
something,oftenitsoanbeaparasitioproblemandoneof
the most typioal oauses of tashing oan be loh, a quiok searoh
forlohontheBAPforumwillhelpyouwithfurtherinformation
onthis.
3omepeopleliketotesttheirwaterregularly,thisisa
goodideahoweveryoumustbeoarefulnottooverreaotto
readings.Mostpeoplewhohavetroublewiththeirsystems
tendtobehavingtroublesbeoausetheyareoftenover
reaotingtotestresults.Lxtremeohangestoasystemoan
oause a lot of stress to the tsh. lor example, if you have a
lowpP,dontreaotquioklybyaddinglimeorotheralkaline
bufferingagents.lirstlybeforeadjustinganythingyou
mightwanttobesureofyourotherlevelsinthewater,high
ammonia levels are not as toxio to tsh when the pP is low and
thetemperatureislow.3oifyouraiseyourpPyoumaybe
putting your tsh at risk of toxio ammonia levels.
CLICK HERE TO SEE AMMONIA CHART
0vertimeanddealingwithmanybeginnersinaquaponios,
hereatBAPwehavefoundaminimalistapproaohworksbest
forthemajorityofpeopleinthemajorityofsituations.Next
Power supplies. Lnsurethatpcwersafetysaprcrty
atalltmes.Anypcndpumpycuareusngmusthavets
pcwersupplyprctectedbyanPCDfcrsafety.whenever
dppnghandsntcthewaterthatccntansthepump,
ycu shculd turn the pump cff at the pcwer supply rst.
Keepallleadswellprctectedandcutcfthewaycf
generalaccess.Keepanyelectrcaltemslkearpumps
cutcfranandawayfrcmwater,neverhaveanarpump
sttng abcve ycur sh tank where t may get knccked
ntcthewater.
Water risk. 8esuretchaveanycpenwaterprctectedn
scmewayscthatsmallchldrenandpetscannctgetntc
thewater.Cenerallyl8Csareeasytcprctectbecausethe
l8Ctankssquaresctcanbeassmpleasscmeheavy
mesh ccverng ycur sh tank.
Fill up water supply. ltsagreatdeatchaveatmercn
the tap where ycu ll ycur system, there have been many
stcrescnthefcrumcfpecpleputtngthehcsenthe
tankandturnngcnthetaptctcpupthesystem,then
fcrgettng abcut t. Often ths can lead tc sh deaths
becausecftheextremelylcwcxygenlevelsnthewater
frcmthetap,verylargeamcuntscfchlcrnatedtapwater
canalscleadtckllngcffthebacterapcpulatcnswhch
havebultupnycurgrcwbeds.1aptmersarecheapand
readlyavalableandtheycansavealctcfheartache.
.HHSWKLQJVVDIHlfycuhaveatestkt,keeptupcutcf
theway,thsalscgcesfcranyctherassccatedthngs
ncludng sh feed, keep t lccked up, vermn and chld
safe. Nct |ust because cf the safety cf the chldren, lve
heard cf scme pecple that have lcst ther sh thcugh
small chldren tppng all the sh feed ntc the system.
lusthelpngcfccurse,butfycudcntspcttstraght
awaytcanleadtctrcuble.
General safety around your aquaponic system
13 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
wewilldealwithsomeofthemostoommonproblemspeople
mayoomeaorossandhowwereoommendyoudealwiththese
problemsiftheyariseforyou.
Dealing with pests and diseases
1hereareafewdifferentmethodsofdealingwithany
pestsand/ordiseasesinyoursystem,ofooursemostof
theserequirenopetroohemioalbasedspraysastheseare
generally very toxio to tsh and also possibly the benetoial
baoteriawithinthesystem.Caterpillarsareeasilyoontrolled
byapplioationsofBaoillusthuringiensis,thisisanaturalsoil
bornebaoteriawhiohisavailablearoundtheworldundera
number of different brand names. 0ften organioally oertited
thesprayissafeforaquaponiosystems.lorsapsuoking
inseotsyouoanuseohilliandgarliosprays,theseareoften
availableoommeroiallynowadays,howevertheyshould
alwaysbeusedinmoderation,asexoessandoversprayis
nevergood.lormouldsandfungusonplantsyouoanuse
potassiumbioarbonatesprayedontotheeffeotedplants.
Potassiumbioarbonateisavailableunderanumberof
differentbrandnamesaroundtheworld.ltalsooanhelp
asystembyaddingpotassium,somethingoftenlaokingin
asystemandthebioarbonatehelpstokeepthepPup,as
mostofthetimepPgoesdowninmaturesystems.lfslugs
are a problem, a small sauoer tlled with beer will attraot
themandtheyeasilydrown,makingdisposalsimpleand
effeotive.Colouredstiokytrapsworkwellforthrips,aphids
and whiteties and are a good way to monitor visitors to your
aquaponiosystem.
Dealing with deficiencies
wehavefoundthatgenerallysupplementingforplant
detoienoies is not neoessary when using good quality
aquaoulturefeeds,oursystemshereatourdisplayoentre
rarelyreoeiveanysupplements,perhapsonoeortwioeayear
wemightdoseoursystemswithseaweedextraotifwesee
some detoienoies. Letoienoies oan be diftoult to diagnose,
thankfullythereareanumberofsitesonlinewhiohoan
help you diagnose partioular detoienoies with images. 0ne
of the simplest ways to deal with any detoienoies is by the
additionofseaweedextraot.3eaweedextraotisavailable
underanumberofdifferentbrandnamesaroundtheworld
andseaweedhasveryhighlevelsofalotofmioronutrients
andminerals.3omeotherthingsyoumaywanttoaddif
the relevant detoienoies are showing in your plant growth.
Chelatedlron,readilyavailableinpowderedandliquidform.
Potassium bioarbonate for potassium detoienoies, so long as
yourpPisnothighalready.BesureyourpPisnothighbefore
you try and add elements to tx a mioronutrient problem,
14 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
15 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
lBCs
anintroduotion
1hehumblelBC,disposableindustrialpaokagingthatsbeoomethe
oornerstoneofmanyaquaponiosystemdesigns,theyareamultipurpose,
reoyoled,oheap,modularwaytobuildanaquaponiosystem.
Anaquaponiosystemoaneasilybebuiltinanafternoonwith
anlBC,apump,ahandfuloffittingsandaooupleofregular
powertools.lBCsalongwithblue200Lplastiobarrelshave
enabledthousandsofaquaponiosystemstobebuiltwhere
normallypeoplemaynothavetheresouroesorthemeansto
buildasystemanyotherway.
lBCaquaponiosystemshaveevenproventhemselvesto
beamarketableproduot,withmanydifferentoomplete
aquaponiosystemsavailableforsalethrougholassifieds.
Nomatterhowyoulookatit,theyhaveaoruoialroletoplay
withinaquaponios,theaquaponiosoommunityandthe
growthofaquaponiosworldwide.
whatmakesthemsospeoial?1heabilitytousethemin
suohavarietyofways,andtheirselfsupportingouterstand.
0nelBCoanbeoutandturnedintooneaquaponiosystem,
oralternately,multiplelBCsoanbeplumbedtogetherand
inoorporatedintoextremelylargesystems..
What is an IBC or tote.
lBCorlntermediateBulkContainer,alsooftentermedas
anlBCtote,isalargeindustrialoontainerusedtooarry,
storeandtransportliquidproduots.1heyrangeinsizesfrom
500litres1200litres,thoughothersizesoanalsobe
foundtheyarenotasoommon.withoutadoubtthemost
oommonlyavailablelBCis1000Llitre.1hese1000LlBCs
aregenerallyaround1.0mx1.2mx1.2mtall,thisoubio
shape makes it ideal for eftoient transporting of bulk liquids.
1hebasiooonstruotionofanlBCoonsists
ofasteel,plastioorwoodenbasethat
inoludes4wayforkliftliftingpoints
foreaseofmovingaround.1hisbase
providesasturdyfoundationtosupport
anoutsideoagemadefromsteel.1he
outersteeloageisgenerallyoonstruoted
fromeitherareasonablythingauge
almoststeelmeshoage,throughtoa
weldedtubularsteelgrid,weldedtubular
gridsareprobablythemostoommonly
foundlBCoonstruotiontypes.1hese
oagesareweldedasonesolidpieoe,
thensorewedontothebaseatanumber
ofpoints.1hethinplastiolineristhen
sliddownintotheintotheoage,then
generallytwotubularbarsarebolted
aorossthetoptoholddowntheinner
plastiooontainer.
Beoauseofthestrengthofferedbythe
outerweldedframeandsolidbasethe
innerplastiovesselthataotuallyholds
theliquidsisonlyquitethin.3orew
attaohments on the base and butterty
valvesareoommonattaohmentsandoan
oomeinarangeofsize,L50,L80,L150
dependingonmanufaoturer.1hetopoontainsalargesorew
oap.generallybetween6inohesand12inohesaoross,these
lidsoontainaninner2inohNP1threadedbung.
lBCsnotonlyvaryinsizebuttheyalsovaryinoolour,most
oftheinnerplastiooontainersarewhite,howeveryouoan
tnd blue or blaok ones.
lBCsarereasonablyoheaptobuy,evennewherein
Australiayouoanbuybrandnewoontainersforabout
$350+031,quitereasonableoonsideringthatmanyother
oontainersthatmightbeusedinaquaponiossystemsof
asimilarsizeusuallyoostalotmore.1henofooursethey
arereadilyavailableseoondhandthroughdrumreoyolers,
salvage shops, through olassiteds, by knowing the right
people,orifyoureluokyitoanbeassimpleasdrivingpast
anindustrialareawhereoompaniesmightputthemoutwith
forsalesignsonthem.
3eoondhandlBCsgenerallyoomeinaooupleofdifferent
ways,singleuseareoftenalittlemoreexpensive,$100-
$150eaoh.1heseoontainershavebeenusedonoeto
transportaliquidfromoneplaoetoanother,andthen
disoarded.usuallytheseareinverygoodphysioaloondition
beoausetheyvehadsuohlittleuse.1hentheresused
lBCs,thesemayhavebeenusedmanytimesoverby
numerousoompaniesovertime.
Using an IBC
ltshighlypreferabletoknowthehistoryofyourlBCwhen
buyingforyouraquaponiosystem,thisisforatwofold
lB0dlstrlbutedby50BuTZ05L0roupPtyLtd
16 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Advantages
Cheap
Peadlyavalablewcrldwde
Lxtensvedesgnpcssbltes
Stackable
Mcdular
Disadvantages
Square
McstnctU\stablzed
Nctdesgnedfcralcnglfe
\eryndustrallcckng
1hnplastc
5crew0ap
Phlllpsscrew
17 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
reason. lirstly, tsh are sensitive oreatures and there are
manyliquidproduotsthatoanleaveresidues,residues
that might be harmful to your tsh. 3eoondly, there may be
residuesthatoouldbeharmfultoyourselforyourfamily,so
itpaystoknowwhatsbeeninyourlBC,orinknowingthat
itsbeenprofessionallyorproperlyoleaned.
0ftenlBCswilloontaininformationonthenameplateon
thesideoftheoage,fromthisinformationyouoanusethe
internet to tnd out about the substanoe that's been stored
inthelBC.0enerallyifyoutypeinthenameoftheproduot
andM3L3youshouldgetaMaterial3afetyLata3heet
ontheproduot,thiswillletyouknowifitisdangerous.1his
shouldalsohelpyouunderstandthebestwayapproaohing
oleaningthelBC.
ltsalmostimpossibletoknowtheoompletehistoryof
theseoontainersandwhatliquidstheymayhavestored
overthattime.usedlBCsmayoftenhavephysioaldamage
espeoiallytothebases,theyoansometimeshaveoorrosion
andmissingtapsorlids.1heyareusuallyreasonablyoheap
oostingbetween$50and$120dependingontheirquality.
LastlyrefurbishedlBCsareoftenavailablethroughdrum
reoyolers.1heselBCsareoleanedandpressuretestedand
oftenhavehadmaintenanoeorrepairsmadeasrequired.
0ne of the best ways to tnd used lBC's it to keep your
eyesopenaroundindustrialareaorinyourlooalpaper,
oftenbusinessesoonsiderthemtobeawasteproduot,
just paokaging to be disoarded after they are tnished with
theiroontents.Askfriends,youmightbesurprisedatthe
variousindustriesthatuselBCsaspartoftheirdaytoday
operations.
AnotheradvantageofthelBCistheirstaokingabilityandthe
faotthattheyareverymodularandtheirsquareformsaves
spaoewhenspaoeisatapremium.0nthedownsidesquare
tanksarenottheoptimumshapeforhigherstookinglevels
of tsh.
Washing an IBC
0ftenifyouveboughtyourlBCinusedoonditionthenyou
willneedtogiveitagoodwash.Ahandypointtoremember
if you are going to out your lBC, is to out it trst so that you
oanoleanitmoreeasily.Beoausetheressuohasmall
opening in the top oleaning oan be quite diftoult while it's
stillwhole.Bestifyouoanatleastremovetheinnerplastio
oontainerfromtheframe,thisisaneasythingtodoasmost
lBCshaveonlytwobarsaorossthetop,theseareeasily
removed,thentheinnerplastiooanbeslidout.
washingyourlBCoanoftenbeatwostepprooessdepending
onhowdirtyitis.lhighlyreoommendinitialrinsingto
removeanylargeramountsofmaterialbeforewashingout
withadilutemixofbleaohandwater.1henafurtherrinsing
beforeleavingthelBCinthesunforaooupleofdays.uv
Check the BYAP forum for further ideas of cleaning
methods relating to different types of contents.
TapFlttlng
18 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
helpstobreakdownresiduesandremoveany
lingeringodoursthatmayremain.
Cutting an IBC
withoutadoubtthesimplestmeansofouttinganlBCis
byusingpowertools.Possiblythebestwayofouttingthe
outermetaloageiswithananglegrinder,ifyoudonthave
ananglegrinderasabresawwithmetalouttingbladewill
alsodoagreatjob.Besuretouseallpersonalproteotive
equipmentwhenusingpowertools.1heinnerplastio
lineroanbeoutwithalmostanythinginoludingamanual
handsaw.lvefoundhandheldoiroularsawsandjigsawsto
bethemostusefulforthisjob.Besuretomarkwhereyou
wanttooutbeforehandwithamarkingpen.
PlumbinganlBC
ultimatelyitsgreattobeabletousetheexistingexternal
ttting that all lBC's generally have on the base. 1his is not
alwaysfeasibledependingonyourdesignandonwhat
thepurposeisthatyouhaveforthelBCorpartthereof.
whenplumbingthroughthesideofthelBCplastiowall,itis
advisable to use a tank ttting. 1ank tttings ensure that there
isalargesurfaoeareaolampingontotheplastio,sothisis
byfarthesafestmeansofplumbingthrough.1hereareother
wayspeopleusetoplumbthroughasystemthatworkquite
well. 1his method works suftoiently well for many people,
but personally l prefer the added safety of a larger tange,
justinoase,thefewextradollarsisworththepeaoeofmind.
Buildingan
lBCsystem
19 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
1hefollowingpagesoontainstepbystepinstruotionforbuildinga
simpleaquaponiosystemmadefromasinglelBC.1hebasioidea
ofthissystemistooutaseotionoffthelBCandtousethisfora
growbed, while the other larger seotion beoomes the tsh tank. lairly
simpleandstraightforward,butwithatwisthereandthere...
watoh our step- by- step vi deo onou1ube watoh our step- by- step vi deo on ou1ube
Parts
Tools
Protective Equipment
Pump
1.5m texible pipe
barbedthreadedelbow
threaded25mm1pieoe
4x25mmelbows
4.5mof25mmpipe
20omof40mmpipe
40-25mmreduoingooupling
50mmvalvesooket
30ompieoeof90stormpipe
200Lofmedia
Anglegrinderwithoutting
disk&grindingdisk
Lrill
Ruler
Pipeoutterorhaoksaw
Markingpen
3prayPaint
Larmuffs
0loves
3afetyglasses
whatyoullneedtobuild
thelBCsystem
20 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
wA1CP
thevideo
The beginning
1obeginwithyoushouldbesureyourlBChasbeenthoroughly
drainedandhadaninitialrinse.Paveyouoheokedwhatwas
inthelBCbeforehand?Paveyoulookeduptheoontents
M3L3 (Material 3afety Lata 3heet) to ensure that the previous
oontents aren't going to oause your tsh or yourself any
issues?1hisisextremelyimportant,somelBCsmayhavehad
oontentswhiohmakethemunusable.1helBCweareusing
usedtooontainoleannewheavymotoroil.Notthenioestof
substanoesbutatleastweknowthatitwillbereasonably
straightforwardtooleanandtheoontentswerenttoxio.
0neotheraspeottothis,therearemanydifferentlBCsmade
bydifferentmanufaoturersandnotallofthemarethesame.
3omehavewiremeshoages,somehavewoodenorplastio
palletbasestheyaremanyandvaried,howeverthislBCwe
areusingisoneofthemostoommonlyfoundlBCsafairly
standarddesign,theoneweusedismadeby3ohuts,oneof
thebiggestworldwidemanufaoturersoflBCs.
lirststeptomakingyoursystemistoremovethetoptwobars
whiohholddowntheinnerliner.1hesegenerallyrequirean
unusualstarshapeddriveroalleda1orxhead.Noteveryone
hastheseavailableaspartoftheirstandard
tool set, however a tat head sorewdriver oan tt
intoit,youjustneedtohavetherightsizewhioh
shouldbereasonablyeasy.
RemovethetwotopbarsholdlngthellnerlntheIrame
1
hisisasimplestepbystepguidetobuildinganaquaponiosystemusinganlBC.1hereareaboutasmanydifferentways
thisoanbedoneastherearedifferenttypesofbread.Lveryoneseemstohavetheirownpreferenoeastohowtheybuild
theirsystem,thisishowwebuiltours.ltsnotneoessarilythebestwaydependingonyourrequirements,butthiswasa
waytobuildasystemverysimply,usingthelBCasbestasweoouldandaminimumoftools.1heonlytoolsyouwillneedarea
grinderandadrill.1hatsright,justagrinderandaoordlessdrillandyouoanbuildyourownaquaponiosystem,youdontneed
anyfanoytools,thisisaboutsimplioity.
Powtobuildthe
lBCsystem
21 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Working on the liner
0noe you have unsorewed the two top supports and removed
them,youoannowremovetheinnerlinerfromtheouterframe.
ltstimetoouttheframetosizeforthegrowbed.
lorthissystemwearegoingtousethebaseofthelBCframe
asthegrowbedsupport,herewewillbeouttingtheframeoff
just above the trst horizontal support. Be sure to use a thin
outoffdiskonyourgrinderforthis,alsobesurethatyouhave
allofyourpersonalproteotivegearonwhenusingpowertools
likegrinders,aooidentshappenwhenyouleastexpeotthem.
Be sure to out these all at the same level, just above the
horizontal as the top seotion of frame will ultimately beoome
the tsh tank surround and the stand whioh the growbed sits
on.0noeyouhaveoutoffthebottomseotionofframeyoumay
wanttooleanuptheedgesoftheouts,youoaneitherdothis
with a tle, or you oan swap your outting disk to a grinding disk
andtakeoffanysharpbitswithyourgrinder.
Now you may want to out the lBC into the tsh tank and the
growbedseotions.lorthisyouwillneedtomarkoutwhereyour
out will be trst. with this system we will be using the top of the
linerasthegrowbed.wewillbemakingthegrowbedaboutan
inohtallerthanthegrowbedframe,thismakesitaround23om
deep,anywherebetween20and30onwillgiveyouanioe
growbedwhiohwillgrowmostplants.0urlifewasmadeeasy
bythefaotthatthereisamarkonthelBClinerfromtheframe,
atexaotlythepointwherewewanttoout.lfyoudonthaveany
markonyourlBC,thenyouoanmeasureupfromthebaseto
whereyouwantthetopofyourgrowbed.Probablytheeasiest
waytodothisistoputthelBClinertopdownintotheframe,as
itwillbeultimatelysetup.1henyouoanseehowhighyouwant
yourbedtobe,thisiswherewereoommendaboutaninoh
abovethehorizontal
framesupport.
useastraightedgeto
markoutyouroutoff
point,onoemarked,
useyourangle
grindertooarefully
outthetopgrowbed
seotionofftheliner.
Besuretouseathin
outtingbladeforthis.
RemovethellnerIromtheIrame 0uttheIrameattherequlredhelghtIoryourgrowbed
22 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
NowwewanttoouttheholeinthebaseofthelBCframe
forthegrowbeddrain.Removethe50mmoentralplugfrom
thelidofthelBC,plaoethegrowbedlinerintotheframe,
nowuseapentomarktheootoutholethatisneededinthe
base.usingthegrinderwithouttingdiskagain,outoutalarge
square that will allow enough spaoe for a 50mm ttting to poke
throughthehole,youmayneedtobeginbyouttingfromthe
top,andthenturnthebaseovertooutfromtheotherside.
whenyouthinkyouhavealargeenoughholeoutinthebase,
sorew your 50mm ttting into the lid, turn the bed upside down
and drop it into frame to be sure it tts through your new hole.
0noethelBClinerhasbeenout,youoannowgiveitagood
oleaneasilybeoauseyouoanaooessthewholeinsidesurfaoe,
sinoeoursoontainedoilweneededtogiveitagoodwashout
withastrongdetergentandhotwater.weendedupgivingit2
goodwasheswithdetergenttoremovealltheoilresidue,after
theseoondrinseitwasnioeandolean.
NowweplaoewhatwastheupperseotionoflBCframe
onthegroundintheplaoewherewewantthesystemto
be tnally looated. we then used two pieoes of wood 30 x
50timberfromanoldtimberpallettoprovidesupports
forthegrowbedframe.ouoanuseavarietyofdifferent
timbersforthispurposedependingonwhatyouhavelooally
availableinyourarea.ouoouldjustplaoethegrowbed
ontothetopofthemetalframe,butbyusingtimberswe
areabletopushthegrowbedbaokabitfurthertoallowfor
more aooess into the tsh tank.
0noeyourtimbersareinposition,plaoethegrowbedontop
asyouoanseeinourphotographsNotioethatthegrowbed
hasbeentwistedsideways90degrees,thisalsohelps
provide more aooess to the tsh tank.
PlacethegrowbedIrameontopandlnsertthegrowbed
0uttheholelnthesteelbaselargeenoughIorthedraln
ttlngs
0leanlngthelB0sectlonslseasleronceyouhavecutlt
open
23 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
3o now your growbed is on top of the tsh tank, you will need
astandpipesurround,weuse90mmstormwaterpipewith
many6mmholesdrilledinit,thiskeepsthemediaaway
fromthestandpipeanddrain,andallowsanaooesspointfor
youtooheokthedrainisfreeofplantroots.1he90mmpipe
seotionsitsnioelyintheredoapofthelBC.
0noeyousityourstandpipesurroundintheoapyouoan
now tll the bed with media. we are using expanded olay for
ourmediabeoauseitssimpleandlight.Pouryourbagsof
expandedolaymediaintothegrowbed,beoarefulthatthe
standpipesurroundsitsstillasyoupourthebagsin,nowyou
needtowashthereddustoutofthemedia.
ou oan attaoh a hose to the 50mm ttting in the base of your
growbedsothatthedirtywaterisrunoffintoagarden,or
alternativelyyouoanjustopenthetapinthebottomofyour
tsh tank and let the water run away. Pose down the media in
yourgrowbedforabout5-10minutes,untilthewaterstartsto
runfairlyolear.0noethewaterisrunningolearyouoanstop
washing the olay and tll up your tsh tank.
Nowwejustneedtoinstallthepumpandpipeworkthenthe
systemisdone.lirstletslookatinstallingastandpipe,a
standpipelikethiswillallowyoutorunthesysteminaoouple
of ways, you oan run it as a oonstantly tooded system, using
the stand pipe to set the height of the tooding water in the
growbed.0ralternativelyyouoanuseatimeronthepumpto
make your tood and drain as often as you like. 1he standpipe
ismadefroma32-25reduoingoouplingwithsome32mm
pipeandaooupleof6mmholesdrillednearthebottom.1he
6mm holes allow the bed to drain if you set it up as tood and
drain,theyalsoallowthewatertodrainoutofthebedifyou
have it set up as a oonstant tood system and the power goes
out.
ltsagoodideatokeepyourstandpipeabitlongertobegin
with,onoeyoustartpumpingyouoanoutsomeoffthestand
pipe and tne tune the height.
Maklngthestandplpewhlchcontrolsthewaterlevelln
thegrowbed
0rlll6mmholeslnthestandplpeandthelrrlgatlongrldplpes
Flllthegrowbedwlthmedla
24 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
we are using a submersible pump, and a texible anti-kink
hosetorunwateruptothegrowbed.westartbysittingthe
pumponthegroundnexttothesystem,thisallowsusto
measure the length of texible hose we will need to reaoh up
tothegrowbed.Besuretoallowalittleextralengthinthe
pipesothatyouoanaooessitandmoveitaroundwithease.l
wontgointotoomuohdetailabouthowtoattaohyourpipeto
yourpumpbeoauseeverypumpisdifferent,hereyouwillhave
to tnd the right tttings for your pump and pipe. our pump
sizemayvarydependingonwhatyouhaveavailablelooallyor
alsodependingonyourlongtermplans.lfyouarethinkingof
expandingyoursystematsomestageitsprobablybetterto
getaslightlylargerpumpnowratherthanhavingtoreplaoe
itdownthetraok.1hepumpweareusinginthissystemis
3000L/hprobablyalittleoverkill,butthiswillallowsome
expansion.ouwanttohaveatleast1000L/hforasystemof
thissize.
1hepipethenoomesuptothegrowbed,onthegrowbedwe
liketoirrigatethewateraroundtheedgeofthebed,this
allowsanysolidstobedistributedaroundthebeds.3owe
have 4 pieoes of pipe out to size to tt around the bed, along
with a 1 pieoe and barbed ttting that will tt the anti kink hose.
1hepipeworkaroundthetopedgeofthegrowbedhas6mm
holesdrilledintheundersideofit,spaoedaround150-20om
apart.1hismeansthatthewaterissentstraightdownintothe
media,youdontwantwatersplashingonthesurfaoeofthe
mediaifyouoanhelpit,thiswillgrowalgaeoverthesurfaoe
ofthemedia.
Prettymuohdonenow.ouoanrunthiseitherasaoonstantly
tooded system, or you oan put a timer on the pump and run it
as a tood and drain system.
lfpossibletrytogetsomewaterfromanestablished
aquaponiosystem,orperhapsfromafriendwithanaquarium
or a pond, this water will oontain the benetoial baoteria to
helpgetyoursystemoyoledquiokly.
lnstalltheplpeworkaroundthetopoIthegrowbed
0abletletheplpelnplacelncaseoIaccldents
Measure and cut the exlble antl klnk plpe
5tartplantlngseedllngslntothebed
25 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
3
teveoertainlyisntorazyashisforumnamemight
suggest.Pesbuiltafantastiosysteminoorporating
lBCs.PissystemisbasedontheCPll1Pl31styleof
system, inoorporating a large raised tsh tank. Pe uses a 3olids
Lift 0vertow to draw water from the bottom of the tank out
into the trst level of growbeds, this helps get the solid waste
out of the tsh tank and into the beds where it gets broken
down.1hegrowbedsaremadefrom3lBCsoutinhalf,thetop
halvesofthegrowbedsaresetupasthetopsetofgrowbeds.
water oomes from the tsh tank into these three growbeds, it
thendrainsfromthosethreebedsintothethreelowerhalflBC
bases,theseoondrowofgrowbeds.lromthissetofthreebeds
itthendrainsintoanlBCsump,wateristhenpumpedfromthe
lBC sump up to the tsh tank to oomplete the water oyole.
3tevehasusedarookmediainthebottomseotionofthe
growbedswithexpandedolayontopoftherooktomakeit
easierwhenplantingseedlings.Aftersomeearlyproblems
withleaksoutofthebaseofthetophalvesofthelBC
growbeds, 3teve managed to tx this problem and now the
systemisstartingtotakeoff.3eedshavebeenplantedand
theyaresprouting.Plansarealreadyunderwayforthenext
systemandaseoondlBCsumphasalreadybeendugintothe
ground, the plan is to use some other oontainers inoluding
bluebarrelsforthenextsystem.
Steveiscrazys
I BC system
AllthegrowbedsdralnlntothesumptankbeIorethe
water ls pumped back lnto the sh tank
arly leaks ln the systems plumblng needed xlng
lnow Irom the sump lnto the sh tank
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
26 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Steveiscrazys3ystem
The sh tank wlth 5L0 {sollds llIt over ow)
AQUAPONICS AQ AAAA
Backyard
Ph: 9414 9334
www.backyardaquaponics.com
B r i n g i n g f o o d p r o d u c t i o n h o me
Display centre Cnr Jandakot Rd & Berrigan Dr,
Jandakot WA 6164
Aquaponics is the most water efficient
ZD\ WR JURZ IUHVK VHDVRQDO IUXLW DQG
YHJHWDEOHV ZLWKRXW WKH XVH RI FKHPLFDO
fertilizers and pesticides.
Come and see us online, give us a call or pop
in and see our shop and display centre for the
largest range of aquaponic products available.
5ystem lald out and lled wlth rock, just need to top up
the beds wlth expanded clay
27 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
l
ishfodders system is a basio CPll1 Pl31 (oonstant height
in tsh tank, pump in sump tank), it uses 2 lBC's in the
design,onelBCisburiedinthegroundandaotsasa
sumptank,theotherlBCisabovegroundandisusedasthe
tsh tank. 1he system also uses two large BAP 500L green
growbeds.waterispumpedfromthesumptankupintothe
lBC tsh tank. lrom here it tows out into the growbeds, before
drainingbaokintothesumptank.
1heburiedlBCthataotsasasumptankhashadinsulation
putaroundittohelpkeepthetemperatureoonstant,this
sumplBChasalargeseotionoutoutofthetopforaooess
into the tank, however tshfodder has also installed a wooden
ooveroverthetopofthelBCforsafety.lortheoutletooming
out of the tsh tank to the growbeds, lishfodder has used a
blaok bulkhead ttting. 1hese bulkhead tttings are great when
plumbing into thin plastio like you tnd in an lBC. 1he growbeds
have auto siphons in them to oontrol the tooding and draining
ofthebeds.
0noe tnished, the tsh tank lBC was olad with timber. 1he
timberhastwopurposes,itmakesthesystemmoreattraotive
andalsoproteotsthelBCfromdegradationduetouvlight.
1he system also has an insulated roof added to the tsh
tanktotryandmaintainamoreoonstanttemperature.More
oonstant temperatures maintains better tsh health.
Asalateradditiontothesystemlishfodderaddeda
ooupleofyabbytanksandsmallgrowbedsthatsitontopof
thesumptank.Pehasasmallpumpinthesumptank,that
pumpswaterfromthesumptotheseextrayabbytanksand
growbeds,anioelittleextensionaddedtothesystemto
inoreaseproduotivity.
lishfodderhasoreatedaveryattraotiveandhighly
produotivesystemusing2lBCsandgreengrowbeds.
Fishfodders
I BC system
0rowbedstaklngoIIandgrowlngllkecrazy
Thls ls what aquaponlcs ls all about, Iresh sh and
vegetables
28 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Fishfodders3ystem
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
Bed lled wlth medla
29 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Fishfodders3ystem
lnsulated llds Ior the sh tank and the sump tank
NotlcetheburledandlnsulatedlB0sump
Thewholesystemneatlylaldout
30 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Fishfodders3ystem
Yabblesreadytogolntotheyabbypalace
ThlsArmenlancucumberls2.3kg
TheYabblePalace
A great harvest oI sllver perch, ranglng Irom 450g to 600g
31 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
A
quamadisfarfrommad,thoughperhapshesalittle
bitmadaboutaquaponios.Aquamadisateaoherinfar
northueenslandwhohasbeenverypassionateabout
aquaponios sinoe he trst heard about it and joined the BAP
forum.1hegreatthingisthathisenthusiasmforaquaponios
has towed to his students and a speoial area was set up at
thesohoolforbothAquamadandhisstudentstosetupall
sortsofdifferentaquaponiosystems.
0fooursebeingasohooltheydidnthavemuohinthe
wayofabudgetforspendingonequipment,however,where
theresawilltheresawayandAquamadkepthiseyes
peeledwhendrivingaround,andaskedatdifferentplaoesfor
seoondsasmaterials.1hisworkedfantastioallywell,overtime
he reoeived pumps and pipe and seoond hand tttings, lBC's,
barrels,oable,andoldbathtubsfromvarioussouroes.
Aquamadsenthusiasmforaquaponiosreallysparkedthe
interestsofmanyofthesohoolstudentsandtheallotted
aquaponios area began tlling with a range of aquaponios bits
andpieoes,almostallofitreoyoledmaterials.unfortunately
beoauseoftheoomplioationsofgettingpermissionfrom
studentsparentsweoantinoludeanypioturesofthestudents
inandamongsttheiraquaponiosystems.Powever,Aquamad
hastakennumerouspioturesoftheirdifferentsystemsover
time.1hesystemsherehaveohangedsomuohoverthepast
fewyearsandthereweresomanydifferentsystemssetup
thatlthinkitsperhapsbestifljustletthepioturesdothe
talkingratherthantryingtoexplainanyoftheindividual
systemsandhowtheyaresetup.
Aquamads
I BC system
Aquamadholdlnganenormouselephantearplantthey
grewlnthelraquaponlcsystems
32 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
33 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Tanks ln amongst the jungle
lB0splumbedtogethertoequallzewaterhelghtslnthe
two sh tanks
The IBC of Aquaponics
34 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Aquamads3ystem
AlrllItlnthelB0
Watercress
AsmallrecycledgrowbedaspartoIasystem
MorebarrelsaspartoIasystem
Redclaw bred well ln the system, here's one oI the bables
NlceslzedBarramundlreadyIorharvestlng
RedclawIeedlnglnatank
The IBC of Aquaponics
Aquamads3ystem
35 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Kangkongandwatercress
Returntotank
Burledsumptankwlthalrhosedropplngdownthrough
thelld
Barramundl were the sh oI cholce most oI the tlme ln
queensland
The IBC of Aquaponics
36 www.backyardaquaponics.com
l
anslBCsystemhardlyneedsanyintroduotion,norongoing
oommentary.lllleavehisphotographsanddiagramsto
speakforthemselves,needlesstosay,ifyouwanttobuild
anlBCsystemthatdoesntlooklikeanlBCsystem,butrather
abeautifulpieoeofmodernequipment,thenthisoouldbethe
waytogo.lanhasfurtherinstruotionsandinformationabout
his system on the Baokyard Aquaponios forum, there was also
anartioleineditiontenoftheBaokyardAquaponiosMagazine.
Ians DIY
I BC system
The IBC of Aquaponics
IansLl3ystem
37 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
38 www.backyardaquaponics.com
IansLl3ystem
1
2
3 4
5 6
The IBC of Aquaponics
IansLl3ystem
39 www.backyardaquaponics.com
7
8
9
11
10
12
The IBC of Aquaponics
40 www.backyardaquaponics.com
IansLl3ystem
13
14
15 16
17 18
The IBC of Aquaponics
IansLl3ystem
41 www.backyardaquaponics.com
19
20
21
23
22
24
The IBC of Aquaponics
42 www.backyardaquaponics.com
IansLl3ystem
25
26
27 28
29 30
The IBC of Aquaponics
IansLl3ystem
43 www.backyardaquaponics.com
31
32
Ph: 9414 9334
www.backyardfarming.com.au
B r i n g i n g f o o d p r o d u c t i o n h o me
Display centre Cnr Jandakot Rd & Berrigan Dr,
Jandakot Western Australia 6164
Get some dirt under
your nails
The IBC of Aquaponics
44 www.backyardaquaponics.com
A
ndylivesinBrisbaneandhewantedtokeepthings
verysimplebybuildingasystemwithapump,anlBC
and a tberglass growbed. Pe deoided on a tood
and drain" style setup to tll fast and drain slowly eaoh
hour.Afterdoinghishomeworkeaoheveningontheforum
hewasabletoformulateasimpleandeffeotiveaquaponio
systemwithoutbreakingthebank.Andydeoidedthathe
woulddigthelBCfarenoughintothegroundsothatthebed
would drain baok into the tsh tank. 1he growbed is about
a metre away from the tsh tank ensuring that there is lots
ofroomaroundthebedforeasymaintenanoe.Andysetup
the plumbing so that in the main pipeline from the tsh tank
tothegrowbed,hesinoludeda1-pieoewithasidepipeand
valve going baok into the tsh tank, this helps provide extra
aeration by splashing water baok into the tsh tank, but if he
needsmorewatergoingtothegrowbed,heoaneasilyshut
thevalveoff,pushingallthewatertothegrowbed.Pesalso
inoluded a removable ooupling (barrel union) whioh makes
foreasyremovalofthepumpifrequired.
303ilverperohwereaddedtothesystemtoprovidea
souroeofnutrientsfortheplants.1hegrowbedreoeives6
hoursadayoffullsunfollowedbydappledshadethroughout
theafternoon.0ravelmediaprovidesgoodsupportfora
rangeoflettuoesandherbsplantedinthebed.Anioesimple
system utilizing an lBC as a tsh tank.
I BC system
Flberglass growbed lled wlth medla provldes growlng
spaceIorseasonalproduce
ThesecurltyscreenhlngesIoreasyaccess
5ecurltyscreenstopsunwantedvlsltorsanddebrls
enterlngthecontalnerandcanbeopenedtogalnaccess
Ior sh harvest
Andywhites
ln thls plcture the berglass growbed shows how lt can
be posltloned around a metre away Irom the sh tank,
whlchhasbeenduglntothegroundallowlngaslow
gravltydraln
The IBC of Aquaponics
Backyard
Backyard
AQUAPONICS
AQUAPONICS
Ph: 9414 9334
www.backyardaquaponics.com
B r i n g i n g f o o d p r o d u c t i o n h o me
Display centre Cnr Jandakot Rd & Berrigan Dr,
Jandakot Western Australia 6164
One of the oldest and most trusted aquaponics suppliers.
+HOSLQJSHRSOHJHWVWDUWHGLQDTXDSRQLFVIRURYHUVL[\HDUV J S
45 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
46 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Tristrins
I BC system
1
ristrinandherhusbandhaveanumberofaquaponio
systems.1heyhavebothofftheshelfkitsystemsas
wellashomemadelBCsystems,obviouslytheyvebeen
bittenquitebadlybytheaquaponiosbug.
1he trst of 1ristrins system was a reasonably straight
forwardCPll1Pl31systemusingthreelBCs,though
it had a few moditoations most lBC systems may not
have.1heyhaveusedtheframesinaningeniousway
forsupportingthegrowbeds.Mostpeoplenormallyout
theirframeshorizontallyifyouwerelookingatthelBC
standingnormally,however1ristrinhasouthersvertioally.
1hisvertioalouttingofthelBCframehasallowedfor
theoonstruotionofafarbettergrowbedsupport,large
enoughforthreegrowbeds.
1hisgrowbedframesitsonthebottomhalfofanlBC
thatisaotingasasumpatoneend,whiletheotherend
is attaohed to the frame of the lBC that is the tsh tank.
AswithallCPll1Pl31systems,thewaterispumped
from the sump tank up into the tsh tank, from here it
overtows into the growbeds before draining into the
sump tank. 1ristrin and her husband have used tanged
tank tttings for all protrusions into the main tsh tank, a
greataddedsafetymeasure.1hispartioularsystemalso
has two feeds from the tsh tank out to the growbeds.
The IBC of Aquaponics
Tristrins3ystem
47 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Thls was the rst oI Trlstrlns aquaponlc systems
System 1
0ownloadall30
0oogle5ketchups
The IBC of Aquaponics
48 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Tristrins3ystem
1he seoond system has a few further moditoations and
tweaks.usingthesamestyleofgrowbedframestruoture,
thistimetheymadeitbigenoughforfourgrowbeds.ltsthe
samestyleofoperation,runningasaCPll1Pl31system
with the pump in the sump tank, pumping into the tsh
tank whioh overtows into the growbeds before draining via
autosiphonsintothesump.0nemajordifferenoehereisthat
thesystemhas3sumps,allbasesoflBCs.1hesesumps
arealljoinedtogetherbypipework,withthepumpbeing
inoneofthesumps.0riginallythepipeworkbetweenthe
sumpswas25mmbutwhentwosiphonsfromdifferentbeds
emptied at the same time it oaused a sump to overtow. 1he
interoonneotorsbetweenthesumpswereohangedto50mmto
inorease the tow between the tanks and vent mesh oowls are
plaoedontheendofthepipetostopthingsgettingintothe
pipes and blooking the tow.
PlumblngbetweenthetwodlIIerenttanks
Bere you can clearly see the lnterconnected sumps under the growbed, all three are plumbed together wlth a pump only ln
one oI them, to pump the water back to the sh tank
System 2
The IBC of Aquaponics
Tristrins3ystem
49 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Asifitwasntenoughtohaveanofftheshelfkitsystem
andtwolBCsystems,theyhadtobuildathirdsystemthats
evenbigger.1hisnextsystemwasgoingtobeaoombination
of off the shelf tsh tanks and lBC's. 1his is an unusual style
of system with the two large tsh tanks being lower than the
growbeds,whiletheresalsoanlBCthataotsasanadditional
reservoirofwater.Allthesetanksarejoinedtogetherwith
undergroundpiping.0noeagainthesamegrowbedsupport
systemhasbeenusedinthissystemastheothersystems,
withlBC4growbedssittingintheirframe,thatsitsona
ooupleofotheroompletelBCframes.1hissystemisrunning
on a timer with the pump pumping from the main tsh tank
itrunsforquarterofanhourandisthenoffforonehouras
thebedsdrainslowly.1hissystemhasenoughwatervolume
thatitoanhavesomemajorexpansioninthefuturebyadding
more growbeds to it. 1he growbeds have been tlled with rough
sooriarookmediainthebottomhalfofthebeds,thentopped
upwithsmoothriverpebbles.
1ristrinandherhusbandareobviouslyrathertakenwith
thewholeoonoeptofaquaponios,itsgreatthattheyhave
sharedtheirtrialsandtribulationswitheveryoneontheforum.
0nce the beds are ln place, the draln plpework can then
beplumbedln
Laylng out the system
System 3
Rather than the conventlonal way most people cut and mount thelr lB0 beds, Trlstrln cuts them ln a dlIIerent way whlch
addsmoresupporttothebaseoIthegrowbed ddsmoresupporttothebaseoIthegrowbed
AcurverooIedstructurewasbullttohousethls
aquaponlcssystem
The IBC of Aquaponics
50 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The beds are topped up wlth smooth rlver rock, much easler to work wlth
Tristrins3ystem
The base oI the beds are lled wlth rough scorla rock
The IBC of Aquaponics
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Backyard
AQUAPONICS
B r i n g i n g f o o d p r o d u c t i o n h o me
Backyard Farming Magazine Brought to you by:
51 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
52 www.backyardaquaponics.com
L
ungyspentalongtimedesigningandworkingoutthe
planforhissystem.1hesystemhadtopasssorutinyof
the wife and had to tt into the yard and matoh in without
seemingoutofplaoe.Pehaddeoidedearlyonthathewanted
tousesomeofthepremadeBaokyardAquaponiosgrowbeds,
but for tsh tanks, lBC's seemed like the ideal solution.
1he plan was to put the lBC tsh tanks into the garden shed,
thiswouldworkwellinkeepingthesunlightoffthetankstostop
degradationofthelBCandstopalgalgrowth,aswellaskeeping
the tsh happy in darkness rather than out in the sunlight. Also
thewholeinterioroftheshedwouldbelinedandinsulatedto
oontrol the temperature a little better. 1emperature tuotuations
inametalshedoanbequiteextreme.
1herewasagardenbedalongthebaokfenoethatjust
happenedtobetheperfeotwidthforthegrowbeds,thestand
were a little tall but that was tne, they oould be sunk into the
groundtoamoreaooessibleheight.Lungywantedthesystem
torunasaCPll1Pl31styleofsystem,thismeanthewould
havetoinoreasethevolumeofhissump.with4growbeds
Lungys
I BC system
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
Lungys3ystem
53 www.backyardaquaponics.com
tlled with 500L of media in eaoh, this would require a very
largesumpbuthedidntreallyhavethespaoeforsuohabig
sump.1heplanthenevolvedtonotonlyhavea1000Lmain
sumpattheendoftherowofbeds,butalsotohavea200L
sumpundereaohindividualgrowbed,thenlinkallofthem
together,almostdoublingthesumpvolume.
waterwaspumpedfromthemainsumptothetwolBCs
in the shed where the tsh were. lrom here the water tows out
the base of the lBC's through a texible hose into a manifold.
1hepipeworkthenoomesoutsidethroughtheshedandalong
thebaokofthegrowbedswhereindividualtapsaresetat
eaoh bed to oontrol the tow into the beds. 1he drains of the
beds have auto-siphons installed in them to tood and drain
thebeds,thewaterthendropsintothesumpandultimately
movesthroughtheundergroundpipingbeforebeingpumped
baok into the lBC tsh tanks in the shed.
1hegrowbedsgotquitehotduringthedayoverthe
summersoLungysetupasimpleshadeolothoovertokeep
thingsalittleoooler.
1hesystemwassetupandrunningbeautifullybutLungy
wantedtoaddanotheraspeottohisaquaponiosystem.
Althoughhehadpowerintheshedforrunningthesystem,
whynotputsomesolarpanelsontheshedroofandrunthe
systemoffthegrid.withaooupleofsolarpanelsonthe
roof, batteries and inverters inside the shed with the tsh,
everythingwaslookinggood,thesystemwasboomingandit
wasrunningonsolarpowerasabonus.
Perebeginsthewarming.whensettingupsolarsystems
yourselfyoumustbeveryoareful.Lungyleftforworkoneday
butshortlyafterreoeivedaoallfromhiswife,1heshedwas
on tre!" By the time he got baok home and started to hose
theshed,therewasntmuohleft.ltseemsthataneleotrioal
fault had started the tre, quite a strong tre too, even the lBC's
meltingandtippingtheir2000Lofwateroutintotheshed
hadntputitout.
Apartfromthisunfortunateaooidenttheaquaponio
systemwasagreatsuooess,andthedestroyedshedwassoon
replaoedsothatthingsoouldgetbaokontraok.
www.backyardaquaponics.com 53
Above.Early design stages drawn up in google sketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
Lungys3ystem
Themalnsumptankwhatcontalnsthepump,5umpsall
set up, stands partlally burled to a better helght
ThlswasatrlckybltoIplumblngasthemalnsumpwas
just a rubber llner
The lndlvldual sumptanks Ior under each bed, burled and
plumbedtogether
BedsallsetupwlthalayeroIgravelaroundthearea
PlplngIromthelB0sheadlngouttothegrowbeds
54 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
Lungys3ystem
55 www.backyardaquaponics.com
AIter eIIects oI the re
The shed and sh tanks were llned to provlde lnsulatlon
5omeshadeclothwassetuptoprovldeshelterIorthe
plantsdurlngthehotsummer
Fantastlcgrowthlnthebeds
The IBC of Aquaponics
56 www.backyardaquaponics.com
A
rkantexhassetupabeautifullBCsystemthatsa
reallygoodsizeaswell.1hisisaperfeotexampleof
howyouoanhaveagreataquaponiosystemforvery
little money if you oan tnd a oheap souroe of lBC's.
1he system oonsists of an lBC tsh tank, 5 lBCs set up
asgrowbeds.1hesebedshavebeensetupbeautifully,they
havebeenoutinhalf,howeverthetopseotionoftheframe
hasbeensetontheground,withthebottomseotionofthe
innerplastiolinerplaoedinhereontheground.1henthe
framebasemountsperfeotlyontopofthis.1hisisagreat
wayofsettingupasystembeoausenormallyifyoutakethe
topofanlBCandtrytoturnitupsidedowntheresonlytwo
smallbarssupportingthegrowbed.Butbyplaoingthetop
seotionofframeonthegroundandslippingthebottomhalf
ofthelBClinerinthis,thelinerissittingonthegroundsoits
wellsupported.1henthenormallypoorlysupportedtopliner
seotiongoesupsidedownintotheframebasewhiohoontains
asolidsupport.
1hesystemissetupasCPll1Pl31,withafulllBC,half
buriedinthegroundaotingasthesump.waterispumped
from the sump up into the tsh tank lBC, from here if tows
intothe5halflBCgrowbeds.1herearetapsateaohgrowbed
tooontrolthewaterdistributiononallthebeds.1hewater
thendrainsintothehalflBCsumptanksbeneaththe
growbeds. 1hese are plumbed together externally and tow
intothedraintank.ltssurprisingthesystemyouoanoome
up with when you have a few tttings, a pump and some pipe,
withofoourselBCs.
oumighthavenotioedthatArkantexisalsobuildinga
greenhousearoundthesystemtohelpkeepthetemperatures
morestable.
Arkantexs
I BC system
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
57 www.backyardaquaponics.com
B
onsaibellywantedanexpandablesystemthathe
oouldaddtolater,sohedeoided2lBCswould
bebetterthan1,aswellas2bluebarrelsoutin
halflengthways.ltdidnttakemuohefforttowashout
thebarrelswhiohhadbeenusedforstoringgluoose.1he
availablespaoeis4metresx3metreswidenarrowingdown
toabout1metre.Peendedupusingpolyirrigationpiping
whiohismoreexpensivethanpvo,buteasytouse.ltsorews
togetherandyouoansnipthepipeeasilywithseoateurs.
AnotherbrainwavehesayslthoughtthatiflburythelBCs,
lwouldnthavetobuildraoksforthe1/2barrels,asthey
oouldbesupportedaorossthetop.Penowhas4barrels
ontopof2lBCtankswhiohmeansthereislotofwater
oapaoity,thoughnotmanygrowbeds.Aftergettingabout
halfametredown,thedirtturnedtorooksandthentosuper
thiokolaywhiohwasimpossibletodig.Pesays0hwelll
figuredthatitiseasiertobuildastep,thantodigdeeper.
At present the sooria tlled growbeds, are at a height of 1.2m."
Bonsaibellys
I BC system
Lettuce, sllverbeet and broccoll
5hadeclothprotectsIromheatandstress
5econd0rowbed
The IBC of Aquaponics
58 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Blue barrel grow beds lled wlth scorla
Bonsaibellys3ystem
The IBC of Aquaponics
Bonsaibellys3ystem
59 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Pehasoonneotedthetanks50omabovethebasewith
apipeandtap.1hepipesuoksfromthebottomofthebaok
ofthenonpumptankandrunsviaoonneotiontothepump
tank.Asthewaterdrainsfromthepumptankitgravity
feedsfromtheother.1heideaisthewaterisgravityforoed
fromthebottomofthenon-pumptankhelpingoyolethe
waterfromthebottomup.ltisaotuallyaprettyslowfeed
butseemstokeepup.Peaddedatapjustinoasethere
wastheneedtoisolatethetanklater.1hepumptankwill
drainaround300litresperoyole.lfthesystemistobe
expandedlaterheoanseetheremaybetheneedtoadd
asumptanktomaintainamoresteadyflowinthe2tanks
butitwillbefineinitially.At50omifthereisapumpblow
outwhenheisnotaround,itoanonlydrainthenon-pump
tanktothatheight.1hepumpinthefishtankoomeswitha
floatswitohwhiohhasbeenseouredataheightmaintaining
aminimumwaterlevelof50om,anotherformofbaokupin
theeventthatsomethingdoesgowrong.Bonsaibellylike
manyothersdoesnotwanttooomehometoadrytankand
deadfish.1he400wattsubmersiblepumphasmorethan
enoughpowertoget3morebarrelsgoinginthefuture.Pe
sayslamhappierwiththepumpandtimersystem-itjust
seemedalittlelessoomplioatedandlwasalittlesoared
ofautosiphons.lsawpioturesofdrainandoverflowby
lood&fishandreferenoedthatprettyheavily.Anywaythe
waterispumpingthrough,nowwithbedsfillingin3minutes
anddraininginabout35.1hepumprunsonoeperhour,15
minuteson,45minutesoff,whiohhasbeenprettygood.lt
isgreatgoingoutandhearingthetimerkiokon,onqueue.
3eedlings were planted in the media tlled growbeds and
alittleseasolwasaddedtogivethemaboost.1routwere
thenintroduoedandgrowntoplatesizebeforetheywere
harvestedandservedtosomespeoialguests.Bonsaibelly
says we had sushi with trout from the barbie. ummo! 1hat
ledtoasmallsuooess-my12yearoldnieoewasover,and
isusuallyprettyfussywithfoodwonttrynewthingsbut
alsosuspioiousonmassproduoedoowandohiokeneto.lgot
hertotrysometrout-promiseditwassuperfreshandpretty
muohorganio.0reattoseekidstrynewfood.Avarietyof
produoeoanbegrowneasilyinoludingfruitingoropssuohas
tomatoes,brooooliandpeas.Leafygreensalsodoverywell
inoludingLnglishspinaoh,silverbeetandlettuoes.
The IBC of Aquaponics
60 www.backyardaquaponics.com
C
hainsawsystemstartedoutas3lBCsand24half
bluebarrels,whiohhasbeenrunningforaround2
yearsnow.1hebarrelswereoutinhalflengthways
andsetupinaneatlookinggreenhouse.Pereallylikesthe
ideaofusingtophatgrommetsastheyareveryoheapand
idealforuseinthebarrels,theyprovideasealaroundtake-off
adaptors and poly ttting when oonneoting in to PvC.
1hethreelBCsarealloonneotedwitha3L0.1hesump
tankisoneofthethreelBCsanditholdsthesumppumpwith
toat switoh. 1his pump is on a timer whioh allows it to pump
watereveryseoondhourfor15minutes.1hewaterispumped
up to the growbeds whioh then drain baok to the trst tsh tank,
3L0 to the seoond tsh tank and 3L0 to the sump tank, whioh
isthethirdfullsizedlBC.
Chainsawoooasionallyaddsseasol,aseaweed
oonoentrate, to the system as it is safe for the tsh and gives
theplantsarangeofnutrientsandtraoeelements.ltis
alwaysagoodideatoensurethatanythingbeingaddedtoan
aquaponio system is safe for tsh. Chainsaw started a thread
ontheBaokyardAquaponiosforumtitledBewarethePest
ControlManafteranannualroutinesprayturnedintoany
Aquaponiosenthusiastsworstnightmare.Afterlosingallhis
silverperoh,Chainsawhassome1adeperohoomingalong
nioely.welookforwardtoseeingthemreaohharvestsize.
Chainsaws
I BC system
Flshtanks Bell5yphons
lB0 sh tank wlth pump and oat swltch. 1ade perch
growlngwell
Bay surroundlng sh tank keeps out the sunllght and
actsaslnsulatlon
The IBC of Aquaponics
Chainsaws3ystem
61 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0rowbedsIulloIplants
0reenhousesoIIerprotectlonsIromunwantedguests
Barra ngerllngs
The IBC of Aquaponics
62 www.backyardaquaponics.com
P
illsyssystemoomprisesoftwolBCsandthree
tbreglass bathtubs aoting as growbeds. Pe has
oreatedaveryneatlookingsystematanaffordable
prioe.1hestyleofthesystemisbasedonaCPll1Pl31
method,atermooinedintheearlydaysofaquaponios,
standing for oonstant height in tsh tank pump in sump tank.
1he main tsh tank is a oomplete lBC , this will hold around
1000litresofwaterwhiohwillbemaintainedatthisheight.
PehasoutoutthetopofthelBC,allowingeasyaooesstothe
tsh, the sump tank is a seoond lBC positioned next to the
main tsh tank in whioh another speoies of tsh oould be kept,
or ideal for use as a tngerling tank. 1he submersible 6000lph
pumpsitsinthesumptankandpumpsoonstantlytothemain
tsh tank, then overtows to the three growbeds whioh are
operatedbyautosiphons.1hestandpipesaremadeusinga
25-20mmreduoingoouplingwhiohsitssnuglyintheexisting
drainofthebathtubs.Pillsyusedthestandardbathtub
ttting before oonneoting in to a threaded adaptor and 40mm
plumbing pipe oommonly known as Lwv. A swirl tlter has also
been added to the system as an additional solids tlter.
1hebathtubshavebeeninstalledonlimestoneblooks
whiohmakeforanidealheightforplantingandharvestingthe
vegetables.0ravelmediahasbeenusedtogrowtheplants
Hillsys
I BC system
xtra external lters have been added to the system over
tlme
5ystemalllaldoutandreadyIorplumblng
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
Hillsys3ystem
63 www.backyardaquaponics.com
TherewardsoIBlllsyssystem
Thesearethebellslphonslnthegrowbeds
BerewecanseethebubblesIromtheventurlsucklngalr
lnto the water stream. Also the 90mm 5ollds llIt overow ln
thebackground
andPillsyadvisesotherstomakesurethattheywashthepea
gravel very well, as he found that weeks later the tne olay was
stilloomingoutofthegrowbeds.Peplantedupthebedsand
plantedsometomatoes,garlioohives,oapsioumandtomatoes
whiohbeforelongbegantoshowsomegoodresults.
The IBC of Aquaponics
64 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Hillsys3ystem
0ravelgrowbedsareveryneatlylaldout Plants are just startlng to take oII
5wlrl lter addltlon to the system
Thedralnplpehasabreather,0ravelgrowbedsarevery
neatlylaldout
Flshtankandsumptanklnstalledlnplace
The IBC of Aquaponics
Hillsys3ystem
65 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
66 www.backyardaquaponics.com
l
reoboyslBCsystembeganasoneofthesimplest
systemsyouoanmakewithanlBC-outthetopoffand
turn it upside down, tll it with media and there you go.
1hismightbehowitstarted,butithasntbeenleftthere,
lreoboyhassoupedupthesimplesystemwithquiteafew
extras". Pe's added a 35L tlter made from large diameter
pipe, the pipe is tlled with expanded olay and water is pumped
through the tlter oontinuously. 1his aids the tltration of the
systemgreatly.Poweveritquioklybeoameevidentthatthe
200L growbed and tlter was not adequate for the amount of
tsh lreoboy wanted to grow.
lreoboy has sinoe removed the 35L tlter, and added an
additional 400L tberglass pond as a growbed. 1hen an old
150L tberglass live bait tank was added as a sump tank, and
later tlled with hydroton to aot as a oonstant tood growbed
for water loving plants (mint, wateroress, oelery eto.). 1here
have been a few more tlter arrangements added to the system
signsofanaotivestudentmind.
1he system now oonsists of an 800L lBC tsh tank, 200L
lBClidgrowbed,400Lpondgrowbed,150Lgrowbed/sump,
and 3 airlift bio-tlters, to provide extra aeration and tltration
ifthewaterpumpsfailorthereisapowerloss.lreoboy
now manages to raise 30 tsh at a time, plus plenty of fresh
vegetablesforhimandhisfamily.
Freoboys
I BC system
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
Freoboys3ystem
67 www.backyardaquaponics.com
lB0coveredwlthbamboo
The IBC of Aquaponics
68 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0
utbaokozziehasbeenamemberoftheBaokyard
Aquaponioslorumformanyyearsandhesoreateda
fewolassioaquaponiosystemsutilizinglBCs.lnfaot,
l think that of the many systems he's built only his very trst
system didn't have any lBC's in them. 3inoe that trst bath tub
system,allofhissystemshaveinoorporatedlBCstosome
extent,andmorereoentlywithhislargeoommeroialsystems
hehasinoludedmanylBCsintothedesignofthesystem.
lirstlywelltakealookathislBCandBluebarrelsystemin
hisbaokyard.1hisstartedasanlBCsystem,howeverthelBCs
hadtoberemovedandreplaoedafterawhile.lourlBCswere
buriedinthegroundandanumberofBlue200Lbarrelswere
outinhalfaorosstheirmiddletobeusedasgrowbeds.
1heplanforthisinitialsystemwaswellthoughtout.4
lBC's were buried in the ground as tsh tank, these were
allplumbedtogetherundergroundsothatthetanksoould
equalizewaterheightsbetweenthem.1helBCtanksoneither
Outbackozzies
I BC system
Lots oI dlgglng
The IBC of Aquaponics
Outbackozzies3ystem
69 www.backyardaquaponics.com
ThegrowbedlnIullglory
endhad4500L/hpumpsinthem,thesepumpspumped
up out of the lBC tsh tanks and down the side of the row of
growbeds.1hegrowbedsare200Lbluebarrelsoutinhalf
aroundtheirmiddle.Ateaohgrowbedtheresa1inthemain
linewithariseroominguptothebedwithasmallvalveto
oontrol the tow going to eaoh bed.
1hegrowbedsaresittingonbrioks,withamain90mm
drainlinerunningdowntheoentrethateaohgrowbeddrains
into.Laohgrowbedhasastandpipeandaouterstandpipe
surroundtokeepthemediaawayfromthestandpipe,the
system works with the beds being oonstantly tooded with
watertotheheightofthestandpipe.
Allthemain25mmirrigationpipelinesinthesystemare
joinedtogether,andbothpumpsareaotuallyhookedintothe
samesystem,1hismeansthatshouldthereeverbeapump
failure then the system will keep going, just at lower tow levels
toeaohbed.
The IBC of Aquaponics
70 www.backyardaquaponics.com
1oneatenthewholesystemupandhidethepipework
0B0broughtinalotofdirt,pilingitoverallthepipework
aroundthebaseofallthebarrelgrowbeds.Notonlywasthis
dirtgoingtoaotasaooverforthepipework,butalsoitwould
aotasaninsulatorfromtheharshextremesofheatoften
experienoedinKalgoorlie.
Aftersometime,aproblemwiththesystembeoamequite
apparent, the lBC buried tsh tanks were starting to oollapse.
1heyhadbeenburiedwithouttheirsteeloages,andwithout
anyadditionalsupportandtheexternalpressurefromthe
groundespeoiallyafterrains,wastoomuohandtheyallbegan
oollapsing.
1imeforanotherplan.1helBCswereremoved,the
holedugoutalittlemoreandusedsteeldrillrods,awaste
produotfromtheminingindustry,wereusedtolinethehole.
1hesewereweldedintoplaoebeforearubberpondlinerwas
installed.Nowthesystemhadjusttheoneverysubstantial
tsh pond, but no lBC's in the system.
Aseoondexpansionofgrowbedswasunderway.1hese
werebeinginstalledaroundtheoornerbehindtheshed,4
oompletelBCswiththetopsoutout,installedasgrowbeds.
1his adds a huge amount of biotltration to the system and
another4sqmofgrowingarea.1hesebedsremainoonstantly
tooded just below the surfaoe of the media, they are tlled
withbluemetalwithalayerofexpandedolayontoptomakeit
easiertowork.
As you oan see from all the photos of plant growth and tsh
harvests,thissystemhasbeenveryproduotiveoverthepast
ooupleofyearsinitsvariousforms.
Outbackozzies3ystem
Moundlngsollaroundthebarrels
The IBC of Aquaponics
Outbackozzies3ystem
71 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0ommon 90mm dralnplpe runs under the growbeds
The IBC of Aquaponics
72 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Outbackozzies3ystem
Barvestlngsometrout
5olllevelralsedaroundthegrowbedsbyuslngolddrlllrods
Anlcecabbage
The IBC of Aquaponics
Outbackozzies3ystem
73 www.backyardaquaponics.com
5trlngsupportsIorcllmblngplants
The IBC of Aquaponics
74 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Harvest fresh
food everyday
for your family
Backyard
Farming
Ph: 9414 9334
www.backyardfarming.com.au
B r i n g i n g f o o d p r o d u c t i o n h o me
3
truisjehasbuiltasimpleyetinterestingrobustsystem
here.using2lBCs,aooupleofheavydutybeams,a
palletandsomelargebrioksoroinderblooks.
1he tsh tank lBC has just had the very top out off the thin
innerplastiooontainer,leavingmaximumdepthforlotsofwater,
andtheoagesurroundingitwasleftintaot.1hegrowbedswere
anotherlBCthatwasoutinhalfandthentrimmeddowntobe
about35omeaohinheightforthetwogrowbeds.
3truisje was hoping to bury the tsh tank at least half way
intothegroundbutwhendiggingtheholeheranintosome
buriedfoundations,soitsonlyabout1/3buried.
Asmalloinderblookwallwasthenoreatedjustover1
metre away from the tsh tank, this was to aot as growbed
support, while at the other end, the tsh tank frame would aot
asthesupport.
1wo heavy planks have been plaoed aoross the tsh tank
andontotheoinderblooksattheotherend,apallethasthen
beenplaoedontheplanks,thispalletensuresthattheres
greatersupportooveringthewholebaseofthegrowbed.
A three thousand litre pump has been plaoed into the tsh
tank,fromherewaterispumpeduptobothgrowbeds,the
growbeds are tlled with expanded olay and autosiphons have
been installed to tood and drain the individual beds with a
oontinuouslyrunning3000L/hpump.
3truisjehasbuiltanioelittlegreenhousetoooverbothof
thegrowbeds,veryhandythingtohaveintheooldweatheras
ithelpstoextentthegrowingseasonofmanyplants.
Struisjes
I BC system
Twoweeksgrowth
0ralnplpe and exlble lrrlgatlon plpe ln background
The IBC of Aquaponics
Struisjes3ystem
75 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Anlcellttlegreenhouse
AsturdyslmplelB0system
The IBC of Aquaponics
76 www.backyardaquaponics.com
M
arkoasohasbuiltanioesimpleCPll1Pl31system
herefromaooupleofdifferenttypesofbarrelsand
an lBC. 1he lBC aots as a tsh tank with only a very
small hole out in the top of it for aooess to the tsh. 0ut from
the side of the tsh tank a 50mm main pipe line runs off to the
growbeds,Markhasoombinedaooupleofdifferentaquaponio
methods here, trstly he has 4 half barrels tlled with media,
then a toating raft tank amongst the barrels. 1he main 50mm
irrigation line ooming from the tsh tank runs at the baok of
thegrowbeds,eaohgrowbedhasanoutletwithatapfromthe
mainlinetoprovidewater.
1he media tlled barrels have autosiphons in them for
tooding and draining, and the drains all run baok to a 1/3rd
buriedblaokplastiodrum.1hisblaokplastiodrumaotsas
thesumpandassuohhousesthe4000L/hpumpforthe
system. 1here is also an overtow from the tsh tank baok into
thesumpbarrelinoaseofanyproblemswiththewaterlevels
inthetank.
Markcasos
I BC system
The second type oI slphon used ln thls system, an AIInan
slphon
Two dlIIerent slphons were trled, one bell slphon wlth a
breatherhose
The second type oI slpho trled, one bell slphon wlth a
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
Blolter added to the system once lt was up and runnlng
The IBC of Aquaponics
Markcasos3ystem
77 www.backyardaquaponics.com
AsalateradditiontothesystemMarkoasoaddeda
separate biotlter off the side of his tsh tank, onoe again this
isablaokplastiobarrel,thetypewitharemovablelidashe
hasusedforthesumptankofthesystem.1heseblaokbarrels
arentmuohgoodforouttinginhalfasagrowbed,buthavinga
large removable lid makes them ideal for use as biotlters, and
sumps.0neinterestingfeaturethatMarkoasohasobviously
thoughtaboutwiththissystemisapumpoutpoint.lnthe
main pump line from the sump tank up into the tsh tank he's
inoludeda1withavalveofftotheside.1hismeansthathe
oanattaohahoseandopenthevalve,pumpingwateroutof
thesystemintothegardenifrequired.
1hesystemwasstookedwith1ilapiaandhasbeenvery
produotive with both tsh produotion and vegetables as you'll
seefromthepiotures.
Tllapla are nearly always hungry, especlally when the
waterlsnlceandwarm
Floatlng raIt tank ready to go, planted wlth seedllngs
arlyonplantgrowthlsratherlmpresslve
5corlalsamedlasultableIoruselnaquaponlcsystems
arly testlng oI the system beIore lllng the beds wlth
medla
The IBC of Aquaponics
78 www.backyardaquaponics.com
B
orisstartedwitha1250litrelBCandplanstoexpand,
whiohismostoftentheoasewhenonesstartsdown
the aquaponios path. After designing a oustom tsh
tankthathebuilthimselffrombrioksandmortar,heusedout
downlBCsasgrowbedstoprovideashelteroverthereotangle
shaped briok tsh tank. 1he growbeds provide some proteotion
for the tsh as well as proving shelter for rabbit pens he
plannedonaddinglater.
1hesystemutilisesthebaokwallofaoourtyardandBoris
aimstooladthelBCswithwoodtogivethesystemartistio
appeal.
0ravelwasusedasBorissgrowmediaofohoioeinthe
growbedsandheusedsquarepatiotubeouttolengthto
supportthefrontofthegrowbedsastheweightofthemedia
isquitesubstantial,thebaokofthebedsaresupportedby
brioks, built in to the tsh tank struoture. water is pumped
from the 2000 litre briok tsh tank up to the three growbeds,
waterreturningfromeaohoftheseprovidesaerationtothe
tsh tank below.
lnitiallyawinebarrelwasdesignedtoholdwaterorfora
futuredeepgravelgrowbed,howeverthisfailedtoholdwater
andwaslaterreplaoedbya200litrebluebarrel.1hereis
Boriss
I BC system
lB0growbed
The metal base Ior the lB0 ls just deep enough that lt can
t a 90 degree outow plpe
0ravel medla waltlng to be placed ln to rst growbed
The IBC of Aquaponics
Boriss3ystem
79 www.backyardaquaponics.com
lB0growbedsupportedatthebackwlthbrlcksandatthe
Irontsteellegswereboltedontoprovldethesupport
lB0 growbeds supported over custom deslgned sh tank
0ustom deslgned sh tank ln progress
anotherbluebarrelattheotherendofthesystemwhiohfeeds
a100litreraisedgrowbed,whiohdrainsbaoktotheblue
barrel and overtows to the main tsh tank.

1he design is styled on the tood and drain media based


systemwhiohoperatesusingastandpipe.0peratingona
timedoyole,waterispumpeduptothegrowbedsallowing
thewaterleveltorisetoabouttwoomsbelowthesurfaoeof
the media, tooding for a short while, before draining baok to
the tsh tank below. Boris has been an aotive oontributor to
theBaokyardAquaponiosforumandhostedagettogetherto
showoasehissystemwithotherlikemindedindividuals.
The IBC of Aquaponics
80 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Boriss3ystem
0eslgnshowlngthelB0growbedsand
layout oI the custom bullt sh tank.
5quarepatlotublngsupportstheIrontoIthegrowbeds
TheplatesonthelB0cageare
theperIectslzetouseaslldsIor
thetwoendsoIthepond
TlmbercladdlngbrlngsstyletothehumblelB0
0rlglnally a wlne barrel was used here to hold water but
leakedandhadtobereplaced
Waterlspumpeduptheblackgrowbedposltloned
above, returns to the blue barrel as shown here and
overows to the maln sh tank.
The IBC of Aquaponics
Boriss3ystem
81 www.backyardaquaponics.com
RabblthutchesareshownherelntheshadeoIthe
growbedandareagreatwaytoutlllsethespace
underneath
Ralnbowtroutonthebarbecue.AverysatlsIylngharvest
l00 lltre growbed lled wlth expanded clay lls Irom
pumplnabluebarrel
The IBC of Aquaponics
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1
wostainlesssteelmilktankshadbeengivento
3nakes,whiohhadbeenlyingarounddoingnothing
foraooupleofyears,rightupuntilthetimeshefound
outaboutaquaponios.ltwasntlongbeforeshedeoided
that these oould oome in very handy for keeping tsh. 3o she
beganoolleotinglBCsaswellasbluebarrelsandshebegan
designingtwosystems,oneatherdadsplaoeandoneather
ownhouse.3nakesgotthebluebarrelsfromherworkand
foundthelBCsavailableforfree,theyhadbeenpreviously
beenusedforfertiliserandjustneededagoodolean.
1he trst growbeds were made from a blue barrel out in
halflengthwaysaswellasthetopofanlBCwhiohwasoutand
supportedwithextrabraoingunderneath.ltwasntstrong
enoughandthebedbegantosagundertheweightofthe
gravel,so3nakesdeoidedthatnexttimeshewouldbeusing
lighterexpandedolaymedia.
3nakes used the remainder of the base of the trst lBC to
setupasumptank.3heestimatesthiswillholdaround400
litres of water. 1he system is set up on a tood and drain oyole
usingstandpipes.
Snakes
I BC system
FrameworkIorthebarrelsunderconstructlon
Rockmelon
TomatoesareIrultlngabltearly!
The IBC of Aquaponics
Snakes3ystem
83 www.backyardaquaponics.com
waterispumpedtothegrowbedsusinga3600litreper
hourpumpthroughblaokpolypipe,withatapateaohofthe
beds to regulate the tow 1he timer is set to pump tfteen
minutesonandthirtyminutesoff.waterdrainsthroughthe
growbedsandPvCpipebaoktothesumptank.whenthe
water level raises to a predetermined height the toat switoh
kioksinandreturnswaterfromthesumptank,baoktothe
main tsh tank using a 6000lph pump. 1he system has sinoe
hadadditionalgrowbedsadded,inoludingabluebarrelout
orosswaysanotherlBCmadeintoagrowbedwiththeframe
fromthebottomaotingasastand,aswellasmorehalfblue
barrels.
1hesystemwasstookedwithBarramundiandaooupleof
waterheaterswereaddedtokeepthewatertemperatureup.
3nakesreportsthattheirgrowthsofarhasbeenfantastio.
1ohnny looks on wlth lnterest at the stalnless steel sh
tank
Blue drums have been ln Ior 5 weeks, and blg whlte one Ior 4 weeks
TomatoesIrultlngwell
The IBC of Aquaponics
84 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Snakes3ystem
5ump tank wlth 6000lph pump and oat swltch
Planted 3 beds today wlth tomatoes, sprlng onlon, garllc,
raspberrles, strawberrles, parsley, lettuce, bok choy,
rhubarb, asparagus, snow peas
ThelB0collectlve!
The Barramundl have denltely grown, and look very healthy
lndeed
Andsoltbeglns
5talnlesssteelmllktank
The IBC of Aquaponics
Snakes3ystem
85 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Learnt a Iew lessons so Iar - gravel ls really, really heavy, and the beds need a L0T oI support!
The tomatoes are stlll golng nuts, and l've been eatlng
tomatoes, lettuce, bok choy, and strawberrles Ior a Iew
weeks now. Plcked my rst beetroot yesterday
My dad- ln awe!
NotenoughsupportIorthlsbedwhenthegravelwentln Andsomenewbeds
The IBC of Aquaponics
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M
attsaquaponiosadventuresoontinuedwiththe
developmentofhisseoondsystem.Pereturnedhome
oneafternoonwith4lBCsloadedupandwellstrapped
tothetrailer.1hissystemwasdesignedtogointoahothouseso
thatheoouldgainsomebettergrowthduringtheooolermonths
oftheyear.1heoriginalplanwastoinoludea1000litresump
tank,dugintotheground.Poweverthoseplansohangedwhenit
wasdisooveredthattherewasaneasementinthatlooation,and
diggingwouldbealmostimpossible.
MattlikedtheideaofaCPll1Pl31system,soplannedthat
a 1100 litre tsh tank made from a single lBC would house the
tsh and this oould overtow to three growbeds, before draining
to the sump tank. 1he water level of the tsh tank sits around
200-300mmabovethetopofthegrowbeds.Anopeningwas
out in to the top of the tsh tank for feeding as well as allowing
aooesswhenitoomestoharvesttime.1helBCsthathehad
purohasedwereoriginallyolear/whiteonesbuthewantedto
blookoutthesunlightsotheywerespraypaintedblaok.1hree
ofthemwerethenoutinto350mmdeepgrowbedsandthe
bottomofthelBCbeoamethestand/sump.Pewantedthe
growbedstoallbethesameheightandheusedtwooypress
poststosupportthemonthebases.1hebottomseotions
werethenlinkedtogetherinoreasingthesumpsizetoaround
1500litresofwatervolume.
wA1CP
thevideo
Mattyrys
I BC system
4 lB0s en route to thelr new destlnatlon
Baseswerespraypalntedtoreducellghtandstopalgae
growlng
Broccoll
The IBC of Aquaponics
Mattyrys3ystem
87 www.backyardaquaponics.com
waterispumpedfromtheinteroonneotedsumptanksto
the main tsh tank from here it overtows through a 3L0 to the
growbeds.
Laohofthegrowbedshasaballvalveinlinewhiohoan
beadjustedoreventurnedoffifrequired.Mattisvery
happywithhissystem,ithasproduoedanabundantvariety
ofvegetablesinoludingbeetroot,brooooli,ououmbersand
lettuoes.Matthasalsogrownsilverperohaswellassome
troutinthesystem.
Newly planted rst growbed
Lettuces growlng well ln gravel medla
Beetroot
The IBC of Aquaponics
88 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Mattyrys3ystem
5llverbeet, cucumbers, broccoll and lettuce
PreparatlonsbeglnbyseparatlngthelB0Iormlngasumptankandgrowbed
The IBC of Aquaponics
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lB0 cut ln two the growbed ls rotated 90 degrees to slt on
thebase
AlsoputanedgearoundthegrowbedonthelB0Irame
L
ord viykor found an lBC on Lbay for his trst attempt at
anaquaponiosystem.Peoutawaythetoppartofthe
oageandoreatedastandard300mmdeepgrowbed,to
whiohheaddedsomestrappingunderneathforextrasupport.
1hisseotionwasrotated90degreesandsitsabovethebase
whioh is the tsh tank, trimmed to hold around 600 litres and
allowingaooessfromthefrontthroughanopeninginthe
framework.1heoagebarspointingupwardswereedgedwith
timbertostopanyinjuriesfromthesharpmetal.
A4800litreperhourpumpwasplaoedatthebaokofthe
tsh tank, and water is pumped up to the growbeds for 15
minutes eaoh hour. 3ome slight moditoations were made
tothesystem,thepumpwasmovedtothefrontareaofthe
tsh tank. lt will be muoh easier to aooess if there are any
problems.
20mmgravelwasohosenandworksverywellasa
varietyofdifferentplantshavegrowneasilyinthissystem.
1ade peroh as well as goldtsh live in the tsh tank providing
nutrientsforplantsgrowinginthegrowbedabove.3hadeoloth
was wrapped around the tsh tank to minimise sunlight
oausingalgalgrowth.vegetablesgrowninthegrowbedhave
inoludedtomatoes,habaneroohillies,ooriander,lettuoe,
strawberriesandbasil.
Lord Viykors
I BC system
The IBC of Aquaponics
90 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Lord Viykors3ystem
20mm washed rlver gravel Ior the grow bed
Fllllngthegrowbedwlthwaterasatestrun
5tandplpesurroundreadytoholdbackmedla.Bolesare
cut to allow water to ow through FlttlngslnstalledlnthelldoIthelB0
An lnllne tap allows Ior ow adjustment as water ls
pumped to growbed as well as to the surIace oI the sh tank
provldlngaddltlonalaeratlon.
The cap wlll have a 38mm hole cut lnto the centre, then lt
wlll be enlarged Ior the 40mm pvc water plpe
The IBC of Aquaponics
Lord Viykors3ystem
91 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Babanerochlll
5trapplng has been added Ior extra strength
ThelB0waspurchasedIrombayandsupposedtobe
uvreslstanthdpe
The IBC of Aquaponics
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L
manfoundanlBCthathadpreviouslybeenused
for storing window oleaner. Pe trstly out it in to two
seotions,onethatwouldholdaround600litresof
waterandtheremainingseotionwouldformthegrowbedof
around400litres.PebeganbyoleaningthelBCwithwarm
soapywaterbeforelettingitdryoutinthesun.Petestedthe
tank to see if it was tsh safe by adding a oouple of goldtsh
thatwereeasilyavailable.Latersilverperohandyabbieswere
addedtothesystem.
1he water in the tsh tank is pumped up to the growbed
usinga4000litreperhourpumpandwasinitiallyrunning
fulltime,maintainingawaterlevelheightjust2ombelowthe
surfaoe of the media. 1he tsh tank water runs through 25mm
pipe and elbows ohannel the tow direotly over the surfaoe of
thePydroton.Aballvalveandteeunderthegrowbeddivert
some of the water tow baok to the main tsh tank providing
aeration.Additionalaerationissuppliedbyanairpumpwith4
olear airlines attaohed to stones, these sit on the toor of the
tsh tank and bubble up through the water.
1hespinaohwasnotgrowingwellastherootsseemed
tobegettingwaterloggedsothestandpipewastrimmedby
afurther1omandthisworkedwell,latersomeseedswere
addedandbegantogerminatewithinafewdays.
Zmans
I BC system
0rowbedsmustbewellsupportedtosavepalnand
heartachelater
Plplng and ttlngs under the bed lB0andollvebarrels
5hadecloth was wrapped around the sh tank to reduce the
llght ln the sh tank
The IBC of Aquaponics
Zmans3ystem
93 www.backyardaquaponics.com
5eedllngs are easy to plant ln expanded clay
5eedsandseedllngsdolngwell
lnowregretsettlngupthe0BontopoItheFT.5ohard
to look at the sh and yabbles!!!
Thls growbed holds around 300 - 350 lltres oI medla
Plantgrowthlscomlngalongnlcely
The IBC of Aquaponics
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B
lissyssystemoonsistsofeightgrowbedswhiohare
madefrom200litrebluedrumsoutinhalf.1wobath
tubswereusedassumpsanda1000litrelBCasa
tsh tank. 1he system is CPll1 Pl31, with water towing through
25mmpolypipetothegrowbeds.1hebedsthendrainthrough
19mmpolyintothebathtubsumpswhiohhavebeenstooked
withafewyabbies.3hadeolothhasbeenusedtoooverthe
entiresystem,tominimiseevaporationaswellastokeep
sunlightoffthelBCandreduoetheamountofalgalgrowth.
1helBCoriginallyhadoitrusbasedenvironmentallyfriendly
degreaserinit,butwasthoroughlyoleanedoutforuse.1here
was a little algae growing in the tsh tank whioh is a good sign
that it oan harbour benetoial organisms. PvC pipes were out
tolengthsandplaoedinthesumpbathtubsforyabbiesto
hidein.Blissylatermanagedtogetholdofanoldrainwater
tankwhiohheldmorethan3000litresofwaterandthiswas
eventuallyaddedtothesystem.1hematerialswerelooally
souroedandshowhowresouroefulandoheapabaokyard
aquaponio system oan be. lresh tsh and vegetables oan be
easytogrowinyourownbaokyardsavingyouthetroubleof
gettingtotheshopsandthenstoringtheproduoeforlateruse.
Blissys
I BC system
3000lph submerslble pump
3000 lltre raln water tank added to the system
PolyplpelsdlrectedtoeachoIthebluebarrelstolrrlgatethe
plants
The IBC of Aquaponics
Blissys3ystem
95 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Ralnbowtroutgrowlngwelllnsystem
5hadeclothcoverlngreducesevaporatlon
Thesystemlsnowlyearold.
5hadeclothcoverlngwasaddedassummertemperatures
reach 42 degrees
Troutharvest
The IBC of Aquaponics
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w
hen1aymieandAxlsooredanotherfreelBCthey
deoidedthatitwastimetosetupasystemthat
wouldhouseredolaw.1heymanagedtogetaoouple
ofbathtubsandsetaboutbuildingaraokontopofthelBC
to support them. 1he tsh tank lBC has also been set up with
plastiobreadoratesstaokedontopofeaohothertomake
homesfortheredolaw.Briokshavebeenplaoedabovethe
bread orates to weigh them down and stop them from toating.
ApondpumpinthelBCpumpswaterstraightuptothetwo
bathtubs,whereitisdivertedatateepieoeanddumped
direotlyonthesurfaoeofthegravel.3implestandpipesare
usedineaohbedandthewaterisrunonatimedoyoleof15
minuteseveryhour.waterthendrainsbaokviagravityfrom
thebedstotheredolawtankbelow.
1hebedsareintheblazingsunwithlimitedshadeand
areproduoingsage,thyme,rosemary,welshonions,fennel,
tomatoesandCeylonspinaohwhioharealldoingverywell.
1heredolawmanagetokeepoutofsightandthetankisnow
home to 8 large rainbow tsh and 2 juvenile tandanus oattsh
aswell.
Jaymie and Axls
I BC system
Bathtub growbeds lled wlth gravel
Bread crates must be welghted down as they wlll oat BreadcratesprovldemultllevelllvlngspacesIorredclaw
The IBC of Aquaponics
Jaymie & Axls3ystem
97 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Therackonthesumpwlllsupportthebathtubgrowbeds
WaterreturnlngIrombathaddlngaeratlonsasltbreaksthe
surIace
1aymle plantlng out the bed wlth llttle helper
The IBC of Aquaponics
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Jaymie and Axls3ystem
20 redclaw added to thelr new home RedclawhldescanbemadeIromslmplePv0plpes
vlnesplantedtoshadethechookpen
Welsh onlons, thyme, rosemary, sage, basll, Iennel and
someIeralcherrytomatoes
Redclaw
Redclawhaven
The IBC of Aquaponics
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Zsazsas
30modeltransposedoverawlnterplcture
L
sazsaisfromPungary,andPungaryhasaoontinental
olimate,wherewintertemperaturesoangetdownto
minus17C,howeversummeroanalsobefairlywarm
reaohing35C.Beoauseoftheseoontrastingoonditionsagreat
dealofthoughtwouldhavetogointonotonlythesystem
designbutalsohowthesystemishoused.whentemperatures
aredownto-15C,ifyouraquaponiosystemisthisooldthen
you're not going to get any plant growth let alone tsh growth.
3oanintrinsiopartofLsazsasaquaponiosystemwas
goingtobethedesignandoonstruotionofhispassivesolar
greenhousewherethesystemwouldbelooated.Asyouwill
seefromthefollowingphotosshowingtheoonstruotionof
thesystemthesolarpassivegreenhouseisquiteabeautiful
oonstruotion.LuokilyforLsazsahewasamemberofa
Pungarianfolkdanoinggroupandheinvitedfriendsfrom
thegrouparoundtohelpwiththefoundationworks.1he
greenhouse is partially sunk into the ground, this aspeot of
thedesignwillhelpretainheatthroughoutthewinter.1he
foundationwallhasbeenoonstruotedfromreoyoledbrioks
I BC system
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
wA1CP
thevideo
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Zsazsas3ystem
Foundatlons oI the greenhouse nlshed BrlckIoundatlonsstartlngtotakeshape
AteamoIhappyworkerslaylngtheIoundatlons
A busy workslte, lt pays to have Irlends when there's lots oI dlgglng to do
The IBC of Aquaponics
Zsazsas3ystem
101 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Wlth the structure well on lt's way to completlon, tlme to check how the system ls golng to t
The IBC of Aquaponics
toaheightof60om,whilethewholegreenhousestruotureis
3.6mx6mx3.6mhigh.1hesouthfaoingwindowisa10mm
doublelayerpolyoarbonateandtherestofthestruotureis
wellinsulated.1hebaokwallwilleventuallybeasolidmassof
reoyoled20litreplastiodrums,thiswilladdfantastiothermal
masswithinthegreenhousethatwillbeheatedbythesun
duringtheday,thenreleaseheatintothegreenhouseduring
theooldevenings.
1heaotualaquaponiossystemwillrunasaCPll1Pl31
system, oonsisting of a 1000L lBC tsh tank 9 x 300litre lBC
growbeds and 3 x 400L interoonneoted lBC sumps. 1he tsh
tank will be stooked with wells oattsh, whioh should suit the
oonditionsinthegreenhousequitewell.
1hegrowbedsupportsaremadefromverylargeheavy
dutywoodenbeamswithregularvertioalsupports,thisheavy
dutysupportisgoingtoberequiredwiththetotalweightof
rook and water being supported. Lsazsa wanted the benetts
ofplantinginandworkingwithexpandedolay,butdidntwant
theoostsassooiatedwithsuohalargevolumeofolay,sothe
beds are tlled with rook media in the bottom 2/3rds, then
toppedupwithexpandedolay.
At the time of writing this manual Lsazsa was just tnishing
hissystemandstartingtooyolesounfortunatelyweoant
show you any piotures of his aotual tsh or plant growth in
thesystem.Bythetimeyouarereadingthis,thesystemwill
probablyhavebeenrunningforawhile,sooliokthebutton
atthestartoftheartioleandoheokouthisdisoussiononthe
forum,therewillbeloadsmorepiotures,videosandfurther
informationabouthissystemandhowitsbeenperforming.
102 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Zsazsas3ystem
Beavydutybeamstosupportthegrowbed
0rowbedIramesandonesumpIrame
lB0saplenty
B
0reenhousewallsbelngconstructed
Wels catsh should be ldeal Ior thls system
The IBC of Aquaponics
Zsazsas3ystem
103 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Polycarbonate wlndow tted and lB0 blts ready to go ln
Beavyrockmedla AproudZsazsalnhlsgreenhouse
0hecklng how everythlng ls ttlng
The IBC of Aquaponics
104 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
l
tshardtoknowwheretobeginwith0bosseoondsystem,
itsjustgoingtobesohuge.1heplanisthatthiswillbea
oommeroial system produoing seasonal tsh and vegetables
forthemarketintheKalgoorlieregionofwesternAustralia.
lorthosethatdontknowtheareawell,Kalgoorlieisamining
townthatssituatedalongwayfromtheooast.Mostoftheir
fruitandvegetablesaretruokedinfromhundredsofmiles
awayandthetownswaterispumpedfromover500kmaway
nearPerthinalargepipeline.whatbetterideathantoset
upanaquaponiooasisinthisminingtownthatonlyreoeives
about250mmofraineaohyear.
0bomanagedtosouroesome12,500Lfishtanksanda
largenumberoflBCs,nowallthatwasrequiredwasagood
planforasystemthatwasntgoingtooosttoomuohtoset
up,yetonedayinthefutureoouldprovideareturnonthe
investment.
Pe managed to tnd some land for lease in Kalgoorlie
whiohwasgoingtosuitthepurposeofthelargeaquaponios
systemwell,whilealsoleavingsomespaoeforhisotherdiesel
ttting business on the side. Mixing the work that has to be
donetopaythebills,withthesettingupoftheaquaponio
dreamsystems.
ultimatelythesystemisplannedtohave45lBCgrowbeds
off eaoh large tsh tank. 0bo deoided to leave these growbeds
whole,sotheyare1mdeep,hehadexperimentedwiththis
deepstyleofbedsinhisprevioussystemandlikethewaythey
worked and their simplioity, plus if you oan tll the lBC's with
mediameohanioallywithsomesortofdiggerorloaderthen
whynot?1herookmediaisveryoheaptobuy.
1he trst task was to dig the tsh tank into the ground. 1his
systemwasgoingtoberunningbysimplypumpinguptothe
beds and having the water tow baok down into the tsh tank.
1he hole for the tsh tank was dug with a ride on meohanioal
digger, then a orane was used to lower and position the tsh
tankintothelargehole.
0noethetankwasburieditwastimetolayoutthelBC
growbeds heading in duel lines out away from the tsh tank.
1he trst two lBC's olosest to the tsh tank were going to be
used as additional 1000L tsh tanks. 1his would allow tsh of
differentsizesordifferentspeoiestobeseparatedfromthe
maintankwhererequired.
Pumpingtosomanygrowbedswasgoingtooreatesome
issues with the water levels in the tsh tank if all the beds
were tlled at onoe so a sequenoing valve would be inoluded,
thiswouldallowwatertobepumpedtosetsofgrowbeds
one after the other, along with the extra lBC tsh tanks. 1he
steelbaseswereremovedfromallofthelBCsastheyare
notrequiredwhenthegrowbedsaregoingtobesittingon
the ground. 3ubstantial tttings and piping were required for
this projeot, eaoh lBC has a large tank ttting installed near
thebaseforthedrainthese50mmandthenplumbedintoa
main100mmdrain.
Outbackozzies
second I BC system
The IBC of Aquaponics
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sse
O
Outbackozzies3ystem
105 www.backyardaquaponics.com
1hesupplyirrigationlinesaresetuptopumpfromthe
sequenoingvalveinto2bedsatatime.Laohtimethepump
isswitohedoff,itswapsfromonesetofbedstothenext,
thenthenextandsoon.1hetwolBCsthatareaotingas
extra tsh tanks are also set up to with their own outlet of the
sequenoingvalve.
1hisisjustthepipingandsetupforwhatwillultimately
only be half of the growbed on the tsh tank. Phase 2 of the
systemistoexpandbyrepeatingthesamesetupofgrowbeds
on the other side of the tsh tank.
1o date both 12,500L tsh tanks have been buried into
the ground and the trst phase of growbeds and plumbing
havebeeninstalledandoompletedandhavebeenrunning
forsometimenow.1heseoondpumpsfortheseoondphase
ofthesystem,doublingthenumberofgrowbedsoneaoh
tankarealreadyplumbedintothetankandreadytogo,its
justgoingtorequireawholelotmoreworktodoublethe
growingarea.
0rowbeds lled wlth plants Plantsallgrowlngwell
Mesh next to the lB0's provldes a trellls Ior the plants
The IBC of Aquaponics
106 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Outbackozzies3ystem
Tank ttlngs are one oI the saIest ways to plumb an lB0 Posltlonlng the enormous sh tanks
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Come and see us online, give us a call or pop
in and see our shop and display centre for the
largest range of aquaponic products available.
The IBC of Aquaponics
Outbackozzies3ystem
107 www.backyardaquaponics.com
AIreshlyplantedgrowbed
Freshlyplantednewsystem
lB0's belng lled wlth medla whlle plumblng ls belng organlzed
FllllngthewholelB0swlthmedlalseasywhenyouhave
therlghttools
FlshtanklB0sarepartoIthesystem
The IBC of Aquaponics
108 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Outbackozzies3ystem
0overlngthetanksIorsaIety
5tandplpesurroundtokeepmedlaawayIromthe
standplpe
The IBC of Aquaponics
Outbackozzies3ystem
109 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Plants grow extremely well ln the system
5equenclngvalve
The IBC of Aquaponics
110 www.backyardaquaponics.com
M
antishassetupafairlystraightforwardCPll1Pl31
systemhereusing3lBCs.0nelBChashaditstop
seotion out out of it for the tshtank, another has
alsohaditstopoutoutanditformsthesumpofthesystem.
1hisseoondlBChadtobedugintotheground,notsuohan
easytaskwhenyourgroundisveryhard,buteventuallyadeep
enoughholewasdugtogetalmosttheoompletelBCintothe
groundlowenoughthatthegrowbedswouldbeabletodrain
intoitundergravity.
1herearetwogrowbedsonthesystem,thesearemade
fromhalflBCssotheyareagooddeepgrowbed.Mantishas
usedtwobottomhalvesofthemetalouterpartofthelBC.1his
isagreatideaforgrowbedsbeoauseyouhavetheadditional
support for the media tlled growbeds. 1he seoond metal base
oamefromthesumptank,theburiedsumpneedsitsouter
framesupportbutitdoesntneedthesteelbase,itonlyneeds
a tat earth base to sit the inner plastio oontainer of the lBC.
1heresa9000L/hpumpinthesumpthatpumpswaterup
to the tsh tank lBC through the main 40mm pipe, the water
then tows out of the tsh tank into the two beds before towing
fromthebedsintothesumpagain.AllofthelBCoomponents
abovegroundhavebeenpaintedgreenforthedualpurpose
oflookingalittlenioeraswellasmakingtheplastiomore
resistanttouvdegradation.Mantisisaddingtohissystem
and modifying quite a bit, when we trst started this manual he
onlyhadtheonebed,nowhehas3growbeds.Bythetimeyou
readthis,whoknowshowmanybedshewillhave.
Mantiss
I BC system
0etalls oI the standplpe and medla guard ln the growbed,
wlththedralnplpecomlngoutoIthebottomlntothe
sump
0reat ow rate comlng Irom the pump
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
Mantiss3ystem
111 www.backyardaquaponics.com
lB0sarepalntednotonlytolooknlcebutalsotostopuv
degradatlonoItheplastlc
ThesteelbaseoIthelB0cagelsnotrequlredwhen
burylng
5econdgrowbedbelngsetup
Pumpsetupreadytogo
5ump tank nally ln lt's hole
The IBC of Aquaponics
AQUAPONICS
Not just for vegetables
112 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
113 www.backyardaquaponics.com
1
oeyslBCsystemhasa1000litrelBCpartiallyburied
under the tsh tank and offset so that he oan put a step
on top of it to gain easy aooess to the tsh tank.
1hegrowbedis2.5x11whiohisjustover200gallons
andmadefromplyandlinedwithblaokplastioliner.2x
4timbersareusedaroundthewholeframeandthensorewed
togetherwith41/2strongtietags,about60ofthemintotal.

A1hppumpwasusedinitiallytodeliverwaterfromthe
bottom lBC to the top lBC whioh in turn overtows through a
4" pipe to the growbed. 1he bed tlls in around 10 minutes
andthewaterthendrainsoutofthegrowbedinaround10
minutes,throughsmallholesandbaoktothesumptank.A
ballvalveinthebottomofthegrowbedallowsforadjustment
inthesystem.1hesystemthenhadagreenhouseframe
oonstruotedwitholearplastiotoproteotagainstpestsand
extremeweatheroonditions.1hough1oeyfoundthatwhen
astormblewtheroofoffandtheplantsbeoameexposed
theystartedtogrowmuohbetter.3omeofthegrowthhad
beenquiteleggyindioatingtheywerenotgettingthesunlight
theyneededforoptimumgrowth.Additionsareplannedfor
thesystemintheformofNl1ohannelsaswellasanother
growbed.Aquaponiosystemsareoftenexpandedorseoond
systems begin evolving, sometimes even before the trst ones
areoomplete.
Joeys
I BC system
5lmplestandplpewlthsurroundactlngasamedlaguard
0eslgn Layout
Andsoltbeglns
The IBC of Aquaponics
114 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Joeys3ystem
PumplngIromthesumptanklntothebedwlththeglant
pump
Whenlwasstandlngwalstdeeplntheholelwas
beglnnlngtowonderlIldlostmymlnd.ThewlIe
questlonedmysanltywhenlwaslnsldethelB0lnmy
swlmmlngtrunkswlthassortedscrubbrushesandsoaps
Testlngthewaters
Bere ls a new lnput plpe Irom the sump tank to the sh
tank as we Ielt havlng just the 90 at the end dldn't stlr
thlngsupenough
The IBC of Aquaponics
Joeys3ystem
115 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Looklng down the growbed the basll has perked up a blt
5omerathersplndlylooklngsquashandzucchlnl
0arrotstransplantedlntothegrowbeds
The blggest tomato plant, looklng very vlney wlth no
blossomsorIrult
The IBC of Aquaponics
116 www.backyardaquaponics.com
A
fter the suooess of uaohys trst oonoept system
hedeoidedthatitwastimetogetseriouswithhis
seoondsystem,nowthathehadseenforhimselfthat
aquaponiosreallyworks.Pesetoutwith4lBCsanddeoided
onthepopularCPll1Pl31method.1hisallowsthewaterto
remainataoonstantheightinthe3lBCsthatwouldserveas
tsh tanks and the fourth lBC aots as a sump tank. 1he sump
tankisdugintothegroundandahatoheddeokhasbeen
oreatedoverthetopandhingedforeasyaooesstothetank
below.Lrainpipesareooveredmakingitaveryneatsystem.
1he tsh tanks have been soreened with bamboo fenoing to
keepoutthesunlightandstopalgaegrowing.
1he benett of having separate tanks inolude having
different speoies of tsh as well as being able to grade tsh by
size,essentialwithsomespeoies.1heoriginalsystemoanbe
used as a nursery for tngerlings or as a hospital tank.
1hegrowbedsweremadefrom500litrestooktroughsand
tlled with gravel, donated by a friend. uaohy's aim was to
havearatioofonetoone,soforeverylitreofwaterhewould
have a litre of growbed medium as his biotlter. 3000 litres of
tsh tank water and 3000 litres of growbed medium.
loruaohytheprogressiontoAquaponiosfroma
traditionaldirtgardenwasveryeasyasbothheandhis
wifearekeenorganiogardeners.PejoinedtheBaokyard
Aquaponiosforumafterdoingaquioksearohontheweb
andspenthoursuponhoursofreadinganddesigningbefore
postingpioturesandsharingtheprogressofhissuooesses
with other forum members. Pe says being able to provide tsh
forthefamilywereaddedbonusestothemassesoffruitand
vegiesaquaponiosoananddoesproduoe.
Quachys
I BC system
BealthycropoItomatoes
Beetroot
0arnlshedandreadyIorsteamlng
The IBC of Aquaponics
Quachys3ystem
117 www.backyardaquaponics.com
ltlsonlythebeglnnlng
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
118 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Quachys3ystem
MorelB0sandthelngroundsumptankwlthchlldprooI
cover
Plpeworklshlddendlscretelyunderthedecklngandout
oIslght
0ecklnglshlngedandcanbeaccessedwhenrequlred
The IBC of Aquaponics
Quachys3ystem
119 www.backyardaquaponics.com
lB0screenedwlthbambooIenclng
5ystemovervlew
FlshtanklB0sshownatrear
5hadeclothprovldesshelterIromthehotsun
The IBC of Aquaponics
120 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Quachys3ystem
Plantgrowthcomlngalongnlcely
The IBC of Aquaponics
Quachys3ystem
121 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0arrotsandcorngolngcrazy
Tllkeytubsandollvesbarrelsawaltlngthelrnewposltlon
lB0markedoutIorcuttlng 5ystemlaldoutandreadytogo
The IBC of Aquaponics
122 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Quachys3ystem
5trawberrles 0ucumber just developlng
Moretomatoes
The IBC of Aquaponics
123 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0
onelishinhasmanagedtogetasystemupand
runningusingtwostandard1000litrelBCs,three
bathtubsandanNl1styleaddition.1hesystem
isrunasCPll1Pl31butwithouthavingtoburyanyofthe
oomponentsasthesetupwillbeinstalledonanexisting
oonoreteslab,makingitaneasysitetoworkwith.
1heseoondlBCwasoutdowntoabouthalfway,thisforms
asumptankofaround500litreoapaoity.waterispumped
fromthesumptanktothemain1000litrelBCusinga2400
litre per hour pump. when the tsh tank water level rises, the
tank will overtow through a 50mm pvo pipe on to the growbed
viagravityfeedandthenfromgrowbedtosumptank.
1hebathtubsaremetalandhavebeenthoroughly
oheokedoverforanysignsofdamageduetoleaohingandthe
risk to tsh. 1he volume that eaoh bathtub oan hold is around
600litresofmedia,whiohinthisoasewillbeaooursegravel.
1hewaterlevelinthebedhasbeenmanagedwithasimple
standpipe and surround aoting as a media guard. water tow is
adjustedateaohofthebedsusingballvalves.
1heohannelswereoriginallyplumbedwith19mmand
13mm poly pipe, but water tow was not suftoient as the pipe
would not lay tat and was eventually upgraded to 25mm
pvo to allow the water to tow more easily. 1he system has
performedwellandbarramundiwereharvestedandenjoyed
aswellasarangeofvegetableswhiohinoludedradish,
oarrots,asparaguswhiohwassuggestedbyhiswifeand
appearedtobgrowingverywell.
Allinallagreatlittleoombinationofaquaponiostylesina
neatsystem,thatsperformingwell.
Gone Fishins
I BC system
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
0elerystalkscoveredandgrowlngwell 0arllcandbrasslcas
The IBC of Aquaponics
124 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Gone Fishins3ystem
Medlaguardsurroundedbyonlons
0vervlew bed 3 beans radlshes and garllc
lB0s, bathtubs and NFT style channels
Plateslzebarramundl
PlpeworkplumbedandreadytocheckIorleaks
The IBC of Aquaponics
Gone Fishins3ystem
125 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Asparagusspears
Radlshesarequlckandeasytogrow
0rlglnal polyplpe slnce upgraded to Pv0
The IBC of Aquaponics
126 www.backyardaquaponics.com
1
hisislvansthirdsystem.0riginallyheboughtanoff
theshelfBAPsystem,howeverthisonlyenoouraged
lvansouriosityaboutaquaponiosandstartedhimdown
apathofexperimentingwithideasofhisown,whereaseoond
smallerprototypesystemwasputtogetherusingoomponents
obtainedfromlooalhardwarestores.Lventuallyhehad
suftoient oontdenoe to embark on a major aquaponios design
usingaoombinationofseoondhandlBCs,bluebarrels,an
offtheshelftankandotheroomponentsthatwouldoertainly
transformhisboringbaokyardintoafunotionalfood-produoing
one.
Pisthirdsystemisvastandfairlyoomplextogetagripon
at trst, but it's well designed and very oarefully thought out,
infaothewenttogreatlengthsindesigninghissystemin3L
using0oogle3ketohupbeforebuildingit.
Ivansngs
I BC system
lst 2 lB0's ln place wlth tank ttlngs lnstalled and
trenchesdugreadyIorplpework
0ecldedthatthebamboothlngcoverlngthelB0swastoocrappylooklngandseemstohaveweatheredtoabadstate.5ol
gotahandymantocladupthelB0swlththecorrugatedsheetsoIthesamecolourtothewlcklnggardenbed
The IBC of Aquaponics
Ivansngs3ystem
127 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The whole lB0 growbed ls lled wlth crushed granlte
medla
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
Attheheartofthesystemisa2000Lofftheshelftank.
waterispumpedfromheretoafewdifferentareasthrougha
sequenoingvalve.lfyourenotsurewhatasequenoingvalve
is,trylookingonlineforfurtherinformation.ltsbasioallya
distribution valve that has one inlet port (from your pump)
andthenadifferentnumberofoutletportsdependingonthe
oneyoubuy.3ayyouhavea4portvalve,oneinlet,andfour
outlets. when you turn the pump on, water will tow out of port
1,thenwhenyouturnthepumpoffthenonagainitwillstop
oomingoutofport1andoomeoutofport2,thenwhenyou
turn it off and on again water will tow out of port 3. 1hen port
4andthenbaoktoport1.1hissortofdevioeallowsyouto
havemanygrowbedsandbyswitohingthepumpoffandon
youoanwaterdifferentgrowbedssequentiallyratherthanall
atonoe.0foourse,atimerorsimilarisusedtooontinuously
oyolethepumpoffandon.Butbaoktolvanssystem.
ln the trst zone (port 1) water is pumped into two oomplete
lBC's that aot as very deep growbeds, tlled with blue metal
rookmedia.1hesegrowbedsdrainstraightbaokintothe
2000L tsh tank. ln the seoond zone (port 2), water is pumped
to 4 blue barrels tlled with media (with fruit trees planted in
them) and a 500L BAP growbed. 1hese also drain baok into
the tsh tank. Another lBC aots as an additional raised tsh
tankthatisturnedoverwithtankwatereverytimethepumpis
turned on. water from this raised tsh tank overtows baok into
the 2000L tsh tank.
Asyouoanseefromtheplans,thissystemisstillgoingto
beaddedtoovertime.Atthemoment,athirdzoneisplanned
with 1 additional oomplete lBC and 4 blue barrels tlled with
bluemetalrookmedia.1ogetthelatestupdates,getonline
andoheokoutthelatestpostsonlvansthirdsystem.
PeachesstartlngtorlpenonthedwarIpeachtreelnhalI
barrel
The IBC of Aquaponics
128 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Ivansngs3ystem
Tank cover over the 2000L sh tank
5uperlongstandplpeand
standplpesurround
The IBC of Aquaponics
Ivansngs3ystem
129 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0warIllmetreeplantedlnhalIbarrel
0warIpeachtreeproduclngastrongcrop
Pv0greenhouseIramelnplace
The IBC of Aquaponics
130 www.backyardaquaponics.com
3
kygazerhasoreatedaolassioreoyoledsystemhere
usinglotsofdifferentreoyoledmaterials.1helBCisthe
tsh tank, then there's two bath tubs for growbeds, and
tnally a reoyoled wheelie bin for a drain tank. Beoause of the
slopeinthelandandthewaythesystemwaslaidoutagainst
the house , there is one pump in the tsh tank with a timer
onitpumpingintothebathtubgrowbeds.1hegrowbedsthen
drainintoapartiallyburiedwheeliebin,underthehousejust
behindthesteps.1hiswheeliebinsumphasasumppumpin
it with a toat switoh, this allows the water to be pumped baok
tothelBCautomatioally.
1he pump in the tsh tank is only 1000L/hour, while the
sumppumpinthesumptankisabout7000L/hour.1hepump
in the tsh tank only runs for 30 minutes, then it's off for 30
minutesgivingtimeforthebedstodrain.1henofooursethe
pump in the sump only turns on with its toat switoh, being
7000L/houritdoesntstayonforlongwhenitpumpsbaokto
the tsh tank. 0riginally the system was only stooked with half
a dozen goldtsh to oyole the system, onoe things were running
well, 20 3ilver Peroh were stooked into the lBC tsh tank.
useofbathtubsforgrowbedswasquitehandybeoause
they have built in drain tttings. 1o make it a little more
aesthetioallypleasingoneofthegrowbedshasbeen
surroundedwithtimber.ultimatelytheplanistoooverthe
othergrowbedwithtimberaswellsothatitblendsinwiththe
house.1hissystemwasaproofofoonoeptfor3kygazertotry
outaquaponiosonasmalloheapsoalebeforeadvanoingtoa
muohlargersystem.
Skygazers
I BC system
Weektwogrowth
Tlmber surround on the sh tank lB0 sh tank
The IBC of Aquaponics
Skygazers3ystem
131 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Tlmberslatsaroundthebathtubtohelpltblendln Nettlngplacedaroundplantstoprotectthem
5llverperchwereaddedtothesystemonceltwascycled
wlth goldsh
0reatcroplnsecondtub
5econdbathtubgrowbedhasbeenaddedtothesystem
The IBC of Aquaponics
132 www.backyardaquaponics.com
1
helosthippyjustgoestoshowhowoheaplyandeasily
youoanstartanaquaponiossystemusingreadily
availableitemsthatothersarethrowingaway.lnhisown
wordslwentforagleaningdaythroughthelooalindustrial
areaandgotmore44gallondrumsthatlneeded,somewheel
rims, 2 beds, pallets eto! 1he only thing getting in the way now
iswork.
1obeabletoworkwiththe24degreeslopeofhislandthe
drums were dug in before being tlled with water to keep them
inplaoe.Palletswereplaoedabovethemtooreateabasefor
thetopthirdofanlBCthathewasgoingtouseasagrowbed.
0thergrowbedsinoluded160litreblaokplastiotubsfrom
Bunnings,thenationalhardwareohainstore,andpreloved
bathtubs.Manyoftheplumbingoomponentsoamefrom
demolitionyardsandthelooalhardwarestore.Peoonfesses
thathehasspentoountlesshoursreadingtheBaokyard
Aquaponiosforumandaskingnumerousquestions.
1he growbeds are tlled with a oourse gravel medium whioh
is irrigated from the tsh tank along pvo pipes whioh then ohange
to a blaok poly pipe. An inline tap is ttted and water is then
divertedtoeaohofthegrowbeds,whereitdrainswiththehelpof
asiphon.Asiphonsystemreliesonaoertainlevelofwaterbeing
inthesystem.waterlevelsmustbekeptuptoallowthesiphons
torun,iftheleveldropsthesiphonsareunabletooperate.
lortunatelyheinstalledadiversionpipebaoktothesumpwhioh
meansifthesiphonsfailedtotriggerthepumpwouldstillbe
movingwaterandwouldntpumpdry.0nebuoketofwateroan
makeallthedifferenoeandwhenaddedtothesystemisallthat
wasrequiredtotriggerthesiphonsandawayitgoesagain.1his
oanbeoomeaprobleminareasthatarebothhotanddryand
pronetohighevaporationrates.
Alosthippys
I BC system
Flshtank
vlew along the outow lB0cuttomakeagrowbed
The IBC of Aquaponics
Alosthippys3ystem
133 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Thegrowbed
Pv0oIIcutsIormhldeyholesIoryabblesandredclaw.
1lm stlll standlng guard
0rustaceansmakegreatlnhabltantsoIsumptanksas
theyhelpkeepthebottomclean
0ne month aIter plantlng
The IBC of Aquaponics
134 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Alosthippys3ystem
5o...thlslswhereallthebeanswent....andonlyonels
mlne!!
Peskyemptlesarestlllbreedlng
0ollttleIellas....
Purpleklngcllmblngbeanandtheywereyummy...
The IBC of Aquaponics
135 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0reenhouseoIIersprotectlonsIromtheelements
3
eemoressystemwasstartedinagreenhouseusing
anlBCandtwobathtubs,materialsthatwereeasyto
obtainandlooallyavailable.1hegreenhousemadeof
plastioofferssomeproteotionduringtheooolwintermonths
andprovidesaoosygrowingenvironment.lnitiallythepump
wassettorunoontinuously,thoughtheideawastosetitup
as tood and drain design and a timer was later installed after
reading many threads about the timing of tood and drain
systems.0noethetimerwasaddedthebedswouldaotually
getaohanoetodrain,allowingmoreoxygenaroundtheroot
zoneandallowingtheplantsaperiodofdrytime.

Polystyrene was used to oover the outside of the tsh tank


andstopthesunlighthittingthewater.Asthesunhitsthe
water it oontributes to growing algae, although the goldtsh
wouldbehappytonibbleaway,makingthemalmostself
suftoient.
lrameswereweldedtogetherusingreoyoledsteeland
keepsthemraisedabovegroundlevel,pipeworkisfreeto
draintoasumptankwhiohislooatedatthejunotionofthe
twobathubgrowbeds.Raisedbedshavetheaddedadvantage
ofkeepingtheplantsawayfromthegrounddwellingpests.
Alargerpumpwasinstalledwhiohhelpedwithgettingthe
solid waste out of the tsh tank and in to the growbeds, where
itwasbetterabletoprovidenutrientstotheplantsgrowingin
thebathtubs.1hiswasanobviousadvantageastheplants
werereportedtohavestartedboomingonoethelargerpump
wasadded.
Seemores
I BC system
AgoodldeatoblocksunllghtIromthelB0andreducethe
greenwaterstage
The IBC of Aquaponics
136 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Seemores3ystem
BathtubsupportedbymetalIrame
0oldsh are easlly obtalned and a great way to start out
lnaquaponlcs
0ravellslocallyavallablelnmanyareasandmakesa
cheapgrowbedmedla
Zucchlnl and cucumber, tasty and abundant
lnllnetapsareusedtoregulatethewaterdlstrlbutlonto
thebathtubs
Plantsgrowlngwelllnbathtub
The IBC of Aquaponics
137 www.backyardaquaponics.com
L
dstartedoutwithaooupleoflBCsandafewblue
barrels. 0ne lBC will be home to the tsh and the other
lBCwillserveasasumptankwhiohispartlyburied.
Lightbarrelshavebeenoutinhalftomakeatotalofeight
growbeds.Afterdisplaoingamountainofsandtoburythe
seoondlBCthelayoutbegantotakeshape,beforeitwasonto
shovellingandwashingatonofpeagravel.Abaokbreaking
jobforsure,butpartoftheinduotiontoAquaponiosasany
experienoedaquaponiospersonwilltellyou.
APondmax8000lphpumpwasusedasatrialrun.water
is pumped from the sump tank to the tsh tank through 25mm
pvo pipe, the water level then overtows to the growbeds and
tlls them in around 20 - 30 minutes. Laoh bed has a stand
pipewitha4.5mmholeallowingthemtodraininaround35
minutes.1hesame25mmpvopipereturnswaterbaoktothe
sumptankthroughtwolengthsof13mmpolypipe,thisallows
forstage2oftheoverallplan.
unfortunately the 25mm pipe oaused the tsh tank to
overtow so tttings were added to reduoe the outlet to 20mm.
A short pieoe of pipe was then put in the overtow to prevent
waterfromrunningoverthe1pieoe.
Ldsplanistoexpandthesystembyslioingabout
350mmoffeaohsideofanlBC,thoughitwillinitiallyoost
morethantheequivalentof4bluebarrels,itwillbealot
oheaperontheplumbing.
Edroes
I BC system
Progress photos showlng barrels and lB0 sh and sump
tank
Blue barrels lled wlth pea gravel
The IBC of Aquaponics
138 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Edroes3ystem
Flshtankshowlngwaterreturnelbowedtocreatecurrent
Tankandpolyplpereturns 5umptankburledandsupportedlnground
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
Ph: 9414 9334
www.backyardfarming.com.au
Backyard
Farming
B r i n g i n g f o o d p r o d u c t i o n h o me
Display centre Cnr Jandakot Rd & Berrigan Dr,
Jandakot Western Australia 6164
Plant some veggies
You owe it to your kids
139 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
140 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0rowbedslnstalledatgroundlevelandalldralnplpes
burled.lrrlgatlonllnerunsalongtheIencebehlnd
Blnged sh tank cover keeps out sun and protects sh
Irompredators
BurledlB0wlthchlldprooIcover
L
dwoodlivesontheMorningtonPeninsula,notfarfrom
theooastandbelievesthisisoneofthereasonsthat
hehasbeenabletokeeptroutinhissystemoverthe
summermonths.Anotherfaotorthatheattributestokeeping
the water oool is the faot that his tsh tank is insulated and the
growbedsareburiedintheground.PehasanlBCasasump
tankandthisisalsoburied,itprovidesahometoaround40
yabbies and a few mosquito tsh. 1he tsh tank is reotangle in
shape made from tberglass, measuring 3 metres in length,
800mmwideand800mmdeep.lthasavshapeinthe
bottom with tow holes for added water tow. when the tank
wassetupitwassurroundedwithinsulwooltohelpmaintain
thetemperature.1hesystemisveryneatwiththemajority
ofthepipeworkbeingoutofsight,theirrigationpipesfrom
the tsh tank run along the fenoe behind the growbeds and
soreenedbehindawalloffoliage.
1his tsh tank and sump tank supports 4 growbeds whioh
havebeendugintotheground,fourofthesemeasuring2.1
metres700mmwideandaround300mmdeep.1hesebeds
drainintothesumptankwhiohiswherethesubmersible
pump is looated. Rook like white marble tlls the beds and
provideastablesouroetoanohortherootsoftheplants
as well as aoting as the biotlter in the system. 1wo of the
bedsareoperatedbyautosiphons,whiletheothertwoare
oonstantly tlled with water. A struoture was ereoted to train
plantsliketomatoesallowingforvertioalgrowth.1hetomato
plants are doing very well being oonstantly tooded, however
theoapsioumplantsseemtopreferbetterdrainage.
Edwoods
I BC system
5tructuresupportscllmblngplants
The IBC of Aquaponics
Edwoods3ystem
141 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Ralnbowtrout
Ralnbow trout ngerllngs
5ummerIrultssuchastomatoesmakeuseoIvertlcalspaces
vlewoIgrowbedsandlB0sumptank
vertlcalgardenshldeanoldshed
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0raln Irom growbed to 4' dralnage plpe back to pond
5olldtlmberstandsarerequlredtosupportthewelghtoI
growbeds
1
heNativehasoreatedlinedpondsinthegroundtohold
a large volume of water for keeping his tsh. 1here are
threeintotal,twohold400gallonseaohandthethird
isaround350gallons.0riginallyhehadoreatedaledgeand
one pond was higher, overtowing to the next. Pe realised that
heoouldalmostdoublethesizebyremovingthestepsinthe
pond and they oould overtow between them if the ponds were
atthesameheight.
lBCsoreatedidealgrowbedswhentheywereoutinhalf,
eaohhavingadepthofaround500mm.Pestartedoffwith
gravelbutintimemadesomerenovations,whiohinoluded
ohangingovertoblaoklavarookorsooria.1heNativesays
that it is has more benetts than the gravel as it is oheaper,
lightweight-thereforeeasiertoshovel,ithasntaffeoted
thepPandithasahighporositymakinganideasurfaoefor
benetoial baoteria.
An Affnan bell siphon oontrols the tood and drain in eaoh
ofthegrowbeds,thebellis4andthestandpipeis2.5whioh
reduoesto1.25asitexitsthegrowbeds.Allthegrowbeds
draininto4drainagepipewhiohthenreturnswatertothe
pond.1hestandpipeishousedinamediaguardmadeofpvo
pipewhiohis6indiameterallowingaooessintheeventthat
thesiphonrequiresanyattention.1heotherendofthebed
alsohasa6pipethatisawormfeedingstation.
1he pump used was a 800 0PP (3000lph) probably
requiring an upgrade at some point said the Native. A (3L0)
solids lifting overtow was installed using 4" pipe to help
with the build up of solids in the seoond tsh pond. water
is pumped to tll the growbeds whioh takes around 22
minutesandthendrainsinaround3minutes.1hesystem
hasproduoedgreatharvestsofvegetablessuohasoarrots,
oelery,onionsandtrout.1usttakealookatthepioturesofthe
healthyplantgrowth.
The Natives
I BC system
5L0 to lnterconnected ponds and return llne Irom
growbeds
Renovatlonlnprogress
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The Natives3ystem
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Youcangrowcarrotslnanaquaponlcsystem
Admlrlngthecrops
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144 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The Natives3ystem
0ecklng recently lnstalled makes great access to sh ponds and growbeds
0rowbeds ll ln around 22 mlnutes. Worm Ieedlng statlon
atoneendandslphonattheother
0abbage
0arrotsplantedlntonetpotsoIvermlcullte
The IBC of Aquaponics
The Natives3ystem
145 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Bomegrownralnbowtrout
0rowbedsbelngaddedwlthblacklavarock
AquaponlcIreshharvest
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146 www.backyardaquaponics.com
3
oottie&3helleystartedoutwith2standardlBC
oontainersandafew44gallondrums.1heyoutthem
intotwoparts,thetopportionbeoamegrowbeds
and the bases beoame tsh and sump tanks whioh were
oonneoted through the side of the lBC, and the water tows
freelybetweenthem.
1heysetaboutpurohasingtheplumbingoomponentsand
usedthe44gallondrumstomakethebasesforthegrowbeds,
astheyaresturdyandaslongasyouarenottooshorttheywill
servethepurposewellwithoutbreakingthebank.1hemedia
ohosenforthissystemisgravelwhiohislooallyavailableand
oheaponthepooket.
1hesystemwassetupand,irrigationslineswereadded
using25mmPvCpipe.Abarrelunionwasaddedtothepipe
abovethesubmersiblepump,thisisareallygoodideabeoause
itmakesthepumpeasytoaooessintheeventthatsomething
needstobeoleaned,orthepumphastoberemovedforany
reason. Ball valves were plaoed inline to adjust the tow to eaoh
ofthegrowbedsaswellasreturningwatertothesumptank.A
spray bar was also designed to reduoe tow from the pump and
provide additional aeration to the tsh tank .
1hepumpwasturnedonandlinesweretested,oheoked
forleaksandmadesurethatthedrainswereabletokeepup
with the water tow. water is pumped from the tsh tank to the
growbeds and takes around 12 minutes to tll the beds. 1he
pumpisoperatedonatimer,onfor15minutesthenofffor45
minutes. 1he oyole is repeated 24 hours per day as tsh have a
highrequirementfordissolvedoxygenovernight.
3tand pipes were tne tuned and the system was then ready
foroperation.
3oottiealsomadeashadeolothoovertoreduoethedireot
overhead sun as well as oovers for the tsh tanks whioh are
easy to remove when it oomes to tsh feeding. lish were
addedanditwasntlongbeforethesystemstartedtoshow
somegoodresults.
Scottie & Shelleys
I BC system
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
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Scottie & Shelleys3ystem
147 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Pump wlth oat swltch
Pump golng, stand plpe ln, just waltlng Ior medla
lB0s cut ln to growbeds and sh tanks
PlpesarecheckedIorleaks
The IBC of Aquaponics
148 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Scottie & Shelleys3ystem
0ravellsaddedtogrowbeds
5hadecloth cover protects sh tanks and shades Irom dlrect sun
Blolm establlshes naturally on the lnslde surIace oI a
sh tank
The IBC of Aquaponics
Scottie & Shelleys3ystem
149 www.backyardaquaponics.com
5creensprotectthetankIromsunllghthelplngltlast
longer
AquaponlcsystemlsneatlyscreenedIromthepatlo
TrelllsmadeIrombamboohelpssupportplantgrowth
lrrlgatlon llne uslng 25mm plpe and ball valves
Retractableshadeclothcanbepulledacrosslnthe
hottestpartoItheday
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C
urnow set up his trst system with one lBC, though it
islikemostotherlBCsystems,hehasoomeupwith
anotherinnovativewayofreoyolingusinganoldpump.
Curnowdeoidedtotrysomethingalittledifferent,whenhe
salvagedaooupleofpumpsfromsomeolddishwashers.
1hepumpshavetwooutletsonthemandhedeoidedtouse
oneoutletforthegrowbedandtheothertothetanktostir
upthesedimentandmoveittowardsthepump.1heblaok
pipedeliversaround45litresperminutesandthegreypipe
delivers30litresperminute,thesmallolearpipedeliversonly
3 litres per minute. (As it is of little to no use, it was blanked
off.) Pe was very pleased with this trial and believes it has
thepotentialtopumptotwogrowbedssimultaneously.1he
pump sits outside of the tshtank at the bottom of the lBC and
wasrelativelyeasytoplumb.Beoauseitsitsoutintheopena
weatherproofooverwasmadetoproteotitfromtheelements.
1hepumpoperatesonatimerandwaterispumpedup
to the beds whioh are tlled with expanded olay. Curnow
disoovered the 2" thread oame in very handy and tts easily to
athreadedPvCadaptor,makingiteasytoinstallastandpipe
andmediasurround.
1hesystemwasstookedwithyabbiesfromamates
damandCurnowfoundthattheyratherenjoyedtheoherry
tomatoesthathehadinabundanoe.1heyalsoregularlyget
fedlupinsandoarrot.1hesystemhasoomealonginleaps
andboundsinashortspaoeoftimeandCurnowisalso
growing plants in hanging basket that tlter the water baok to
the tsh tank, although the ooir media has turned the water
brown. 1he tsh tank was later wrapped in underfelt and a
tankooverwasalsomadetoreduoetheamountofsunlight
andalgalgrowth.
Curnows
I BC system
2lnchthreadonlldmakesIoreasyadaptlon
0lshwasherpump
Threaded adaptor ts snugly ln to posltlon
FrameworkadsstyletoahumblelB0
The IBC of Aquaponics
Curnows3ystem
151 www.backyardaquaponics.com
5lope ls handy Ior gravlty ow systems
Flnlshed
Water return llnes to sh tank
The IBC of Aquaponics
152 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Curnows3ystem
RootgrowthIromsweetcorn
5eeds beglnnlng to germlnate ln expanded clay
0orn ls dolng well and the bed ls lllng out very qulckly
0lshwasherpumptrlalworkswell
0oarse lter Ior lnlet made Irom gutter guard
The IBC of Aquaponics
Curnows3ystem
153 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Theplantsaregrowlngatanastonlshlngrate
0ucumbertrelllsadded
Testkltsarehandytocheckwaterqualltyresults
Water ows through the conconut bre and colr turnlng
thewaterbrown
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154 www.backyardaquaponics.com
3
iphonphobiahasoreatedaneatlookingsystemusing
3interlinkedlBCs,ashesawitasaoheapwaytoget
a 2000 litre tsh tank. 1he lBCs were out with the top
portionbeoomingthegrowbedandsupportedonthebase
below.Peusedaooupleofdifferentideasassupportssuoh
aspinelogsandmetalrods,butquioklyrealisedjusthow
muohweightyouhavetosupport.Pepurohasedthepipe
and tttings whioh were needed to link the tanks. water was
able to move between the base of the tsh tanks though it is a
good idea to proteot the opening with tlter mesh to stop tsh
being oaught in the tap area. 1he tsh tanks were stooked
withsivlerperohandsomemusselswerealsoaddedtothe
system.unfortunatelythemusselsfoundtheirwayintothe
pumpandstoppeditfromworking.An8000lphsubmersible
pump with toat switoh was installed whioh is a little larger
than was required, but easily txed by plaoing a tee in the line
and returning water to the tsh tank, providing extra aeration at
the same time. 1he advantage of a toat switoh is that when
thewaterleveldropstoaoertainpointthepumpwillstop
pumping water rather than oompletely draining the tsh tank.
1he growbeds are tlled with expanded olay whioh is
lightweightinoomparisontoothergravelmedia,thoughthe
supportsunderneathneedtobefairlysturdyasthelBCplastio
isnotterriblystronginitselfandwillboweasily.Asanybody
willtellyouhavinganaquaponiossystemwilltakeyouona
wonderfuljourneyofdisooveryandtherearemanypeople
fromallovertheworldwhowillinglysharetheirexperienoeon
theBaokyardAquaponioslorum.
Siphonphobias
I BC system
AcoupleoIdlIIerentsupportswereusedtodetermlne
whatwouldworkbest
0rowbeds supported above sh tank 0verow Irom tank to tank
The IBC of Aquaponics
Siphonphobias3ystem
155 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Whatnottodo
5hadeclothtoreducesunllght Waterreturnlngtothetank
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
The IBC of Aquaponics
156 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Siphonphobias3ystem
ThewaterlevelshouldbebelowthesurIaceoIthemedla.Thlswastoohlgh
Flshcaughtlntankoutlet
5llver perch ngerllngs
5ubmerslble pump wlth oat swltch
The IBC of Aquaponics
Siphonphobias3ystem
157 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Flrstplant
lB0sconnected
Azolla
The IBC of Aquaponics
158 www.backyardaquaponics.com
0ontemplatlngthedeslgn
w
allivesintheremotenorthwesttownof1omPrioe
whereoonditionsoanbeharsh.Lxtremeheatand
ooolnightsareoneoftheohallengesthathefaoed
when venturing in to aquaponios. Pis two tsh tanks are made
fromthebasesofthelBCswhiohheinsulatedwithpinkbattsand
set up in a shed. 1he tsh tanks are oonneoted with a balanoe
pipe, whioh allows water to tow between the two tanks and
provides a total tsh tank volume of around 1200 litres. 1he tops
areusedtoprovideatotalgrowbedvolumeofaround650litres.
1he system is ttted with two 3500 litre per hour
submersiblepumpsaswellastwoairpumpswhiohmaintain
oxygenlevelsduringthewarmerweather.Abaokupsystemhas
alsobeeninoludedintheeventofapowerfailure.
0ldpaokingboxeshavebeenusedasstandsastheyare
sturdyandsupporttheweightoftheexpandedolaymedia.1he
growbedsaresituatedontheoutsideoftheshedallowingthem
plenty of sunlight while the tsh tanks are on the inside where
daytimetemperaturesare3-5degreesoooler.
1heexpandedolaywaswashedintheoooloftheevening
andearlymorningtoavoidtheheatwhioholimbedto38
degrees. 1he beds were set up, tlled with media, washed and
planted.Asimpleshadehousewasoonstruotedtoproteotthe
plantsfromthehotsun.
Barramundi tngerlings were town in whioh went off
withoutahitohandthesystemhasbeenpoweringawayas
youoanseefromthephotographs.AnNl1stylesystemwas
addedandtheresultsarefantastio,produoinglushhealthy
lettuoeplants.
Wals
I BC system
The IBC of Aquaponics
Wals3ystem
159 www.backyardaquaponics.com
FreshcolourIulIrultsareadellght
0rowbeds lled wlth medla ready Ior plantlng
Water enterlng growbed through lter pad
0ownload300oogle5ketchup
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160 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Wals3ystem
venturl addlng alr to the sh tank
As wlth most aquaponlc systems, lt's hard not to keep Irom expandlng
Accllmatlslng the new ngerllngs
The IBC of Aquaponics
Wals3ystem
161 www.backyardaquaponics.com
venturl, all made Irom retlculatlon parts
WaltookaqulckplcoIthebaslclngredlents
Flshtankssetuplnsldeshed
lmage shows spray bar dlrectlng jets oI water back to the
sh tank
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162 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Wals3ystem
Looks llke Xmas
New expanslon ls progresslng nlcely
WalsharvestIromtheNFT
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The IBC of Aquaponics
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C
harliehadalreadystartedexperimentingwith
Aquaponioswhenhedeoidedtobuildaseoondsystem
usinganlBC.Pehashadsomegoodresultswithhis
trst system and has oome up with a very neat and workable
seoondsystem.1helBCswereavailablefreefromhiswork
plaoe,andallhehadtodowasspendabitoftimeandenergy
souroingsomeequipmenttoputitalltogether.
1he pipes and tttings were all easily available at Bunnings,
thelooalhardwarestore.Pealsogotpipeglueandballvales
aswellasa2400lphfountainpumpwhiohoostallup$190-00.
PepurohasedanairpumpoffeBaywhiohsethimbaokanother
$120.00andthenspent$20.00onairlineandstonesatthe
looalpetstore.Pevisitedalooalsoilyardandfoundsome
20mmbluemetal/gravelwhiohwoulddothejobforanother
$60.00.lorunder$400.00hehadeverythingheneeded.
CharlieremovedthelBCbase,bysimplyremovingthesorews.
1hisisthepartthatallowsthelBCtobemovedwithaforklift,
whiohleftthethinmetalbaseplateandnosupportingbeams,
but that was okay as it will sit tat on the ground.
1hereisaseotionofthebottomplatethatismouldedto
oaterforthedraintapandspout,heusedagrinderwitha
outting diso to ohop it out so that he had tat bottoms on both
to aid with sitting the whole set up tat.
Charlies
I BC system
Autosyphon
Plants growlng ln 20mm gravel
0age trlmmed to slt at
The IBC of Aquaponics
Charlies3ystem
165 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Tlmbersupportsmustbeheavydutytosupportthewelght
oIheavymedlabeds
Water ows to the growbed and tee returns water to the
sh tank
Floatlng basket provldes a saIe haven Ior new ngerllngs
1he tsh tanks was out off at the 900 litre mark, washed
out with ohlorine, plaoed in its desired looation, tlled with
waterandthenaeratedforafewdaystodispersetheohlorine.
Pethenoutapieoeoftheremainingframeworktomake
astandatthebaokofthegrowbed,thisallowedagreater
opening over the tsh tank allowing him to aooess the tsh.
1hegrowbedwasoutoffatthe400litremark,thiswas
stampedonthesideofthelBC.Pemarkedthespotforthe
drain hole (double nut ttting as he oalls it), making sure the
spaoe was tat and without seams. 0noe the magio spot was
marked,itwasoutoutwithaholesaw,followedbyanopening
inthebaseplate.1hreetimbersupportswereusedtosit
thegrowbedon,althoughCharliewouldreoommendsteel
boxtubeasthetimberisalreadystartingtobowandneeds
replaoing,notajobheislookingforwardtoasthegravel
probablyweighsaround500kilos.Charliedeoidedonanauto
syphon,whiohhesaystookafairbitofmuokingaroundand
after6prototypeshehasonethatworksatreat.
1hepumpisoonneotedwith25mmpipeandtwoball
valves allow for tow adjustments. 0ne goes to the growbed
and the other returns water baok to the tsh tank.
Charlieadmitsthatalthoughheisrelativelynewto
Aquaponiosheisabsolutelyaddioted.Lveryonethatvisitshis
houseisveryintriguedandwantstogettheirownthinggoing,
beoause everyone loves tsh and everyone loves food. lt is a
winning oombo! Pis only wish is that he had started years ago.
undersldeoIgrowbedshowlngIrame
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Charlies3ystem
25mm plpe and ball valves
lectrlcalrackmadeIromlB0Irame
0ompact system ts neatly ln to a small space
The IBC of Aquaponics
Backyard
Aquaponics
Bringing Food Production Home
Magazine
www.byapmagazine.com
For all your aquaponics information !
167 www.backyardaquaponics.com
The IBC of Aquaponics
168 www.backyardaquaponics.com
B
iddaddyhasaohallengeworkingwithatieredbaokyard
anditmeansthateverytimehebringsmaterialsin,
therearestepstoolimb.PehasusedtwolBCsforhis
tsh tanks whioh are set on a higher level. 1he ground level
dropsawayaboutametretothegrowbeds,whioharebuilt
inbehindthebriokwall,retainingthepatioarea.1hebedis
lined with plastio and then tlled with riverstones.
1he tsh tanks are oonneoted with a 50mm PvC pipe at the
1000litremark.Rubberoouplingswithjubileeolipssupplied
from Bunnings were ttted to the ball valves at the base of the
lBCandthenattaohedtoa50-90mmreduoertotheooupling.
1eesintothe90mmdrainallowforwhatBigdaddydesoribes
astheemergenoydumpvalves.1hereisa200litresumptank,
a 9000lph pump with toat switoh and a washing basket full
of olay balls providing extra tltration. Ball valves have been
installedtothe25mmirrigationlinesothatwhenthepump
pumps, all the tsh tanks and growbeds are balanoed out and
you oan allow as muoh water as you want to tow through them.
1hesystemworksinaverysimplefashionwithjustone
pump. water is delivered to the tsh tank and then tows to the
growbeds, the tows are adjusted by the ball valves, they all
drain baok to the solids tlter and then to the sump tank, when
the toat switoh rises the pump is aotivated and pumps to all
the growbeds and tsh tanks.
Bigdaddys
I BC system
0lder grow bed ln dlstance Looklng Irom the lter and sump module
0ralnIromthebarragrowbedreadytobehookedlnto
thenewlB0draln
lB0's on the rlght showlng the draln to the ltratlon on
theleIt
The IBC of Aquaponics
Bigdaddys3ystem
169 www.backyardaquaponics.com
5hows top vlew oI lB0 and sklmmer box
The peas and the other plants have taken oII just three
weeksold
0ther slde oI barble, second bay oI grow bed
5ldevlewshowlngwheretheyaresltuatedlnthe
backyard. Bome made level control sklmmer boxes. 90
mmstormwaterPv0wlthremovableendsIorcleanlng
The IBC of Aquaponics
170 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Bigdaddys3ystem
5ollds lter
The sh tanks and barra bed dralns tee lnto the trout bed
draln and go lnto the lter
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171 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Plpework Irom the sh tank
0ual lB0 sh tanks
0ne oI the blolters ln actlon
1
ethasoreatedaveryneatsystemfromlBCswiththree
bluebarrelsinoorporatedintothesystem.1hisneat
systemisbasedontheCPll1Pl31prinoiplewithtwo
1000L lBC's aoting as tsh tanks. 1he water leaves the lBC's via
a fairly modited solids lift overtow, from here the water tows
intoaswirlseparatormadefromabluebarrel.lntheseparator
the heavy solid partioles of tsh waste and uneaten food drop
tothebasewheretheyoanberemovedwhenrequiredvia
adrainwithatapinthebase.1heoleanerwaterleavesthis
drumviaapipenearthesurfaoeinthemiddleofthebarrel,
then tows through two different types of biotlters. 1he trst
biotlter is a txed media tlter, while the seoond is a moving bed
biotlter, both of these have about 50L of Kaldnes K1 media in
them. 0noe the water has passed through the biotlters, it then
oontinues to tow through to the growbeds where there is a tap
oneaohbedtooontrolhowmuohwaterentersindividualbeds.
1he growbeds are tlled with a oourse rook media , eaoh
growbed is the base seotion of an lBC, there are tve growbeds
intotal,thatsitonsomelargetimberbeamssupportedoff
thegroundbyoinderblooksorlargeoementbuildingblooks.
underthegrowbedsarethreelBCtopswhiohhavebeen
invertedandplumbedtogethertoaotasthesumpforthe
system. 1he growbeds have been ttted with autosiphons to
oontrol their tooding and draining oyoles. lrom the sumps,
the water is pumped baok to the tsh tank where the prooess
startsalloveragain.
A few things that 1et has ohanged, modited or added
sinoebuildinghissystemareabatterybaokuppumpinoase
of power outages. 1he return to the tsh tank is now inside
thetank,hehasaddedaseoondpumpinthebottomofthe
moving bed biotlter whioh means he oan bypass the growbeds
at night when it's oold, helping to keep up the heat in the tsh
tank.1herearealsoafewmoreohangesorplannedohanges,
hopefullywemightbeabletooovertheseinthenextedition.
Jets
I BC system
0ownload30
0oogle5ketchup
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Jets3ystem
The swlrl separator and two blolter barrels
Thecompletesystemlnoperatlon
5wlrlseparator
The IBC of Aquaponics
Jets3ystem
173 www.backyardaquaponics.com
PlantsstartlngtotakeoIIlnthegrowbeds
Plantsgrowlngwell
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174 www.backyardaquaponics.com
N
etabssystemisoneofthebiggestsystemswe
haveseentodate.Anenormousamountofeffort
hasbeenputintothissystem,bothintheplanning
andoonstruotion.lntotalthereare21lBChalvesused
as growbeds and tlled with river stone, as well as 16 lBC
yabby/duokweed2tiertanks.1hesetoptierswilleventually
be oonverted to gravel growbeds. 1wo 2000 litre and tve
500 litre tsh tanks are housed in an adjoining shadeoloth
struoture.1hegrowbedlayoutwasdesignedtobestutilise
thegreenhousewhiohmeasures8x13metreswithasolar
weaveroofandshadeolothsideswhiohoanalsobeoovered
insolarweaveoreatingawarmergrowingenvironmentfor
theoolderwintermonths.1hesystembegantoevolveafter
someseoond-handgoodsbeoameavailableandtheplan
washatohed.
whentheystartedlookingintoAquaponiostheyhad
initiallyplannedtousebluebarrelsasgrowbeds.After
oomingaorossanauotionandothersalestheywereable
tooolleotaround40lBCsintotal,thisseemedlikeabetter
optionastherewasnoneedtooreatespeoialisedstands.
BeoausetheyhadsomanylBCstheyhadtheopportunity
tohaveaplayandtryafewdifferentideas.1hetwentyone
growbedsarepositionedinthreerowsofseven.Attheendof
themiddlerowanotherlBChasbeenburiedintotheground
Netabs
I BC system
Tleredyabbytanks
2rowsoIgrowbedslncentreandtleredyabbytanksbehlnd FlrstRow
The beglnnlng oI the project.
The IBC of Aquaponics
175 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Floatswltch
0ucumbersgrowlng
tooperateasasumptank.
An 18000lph submersible pump with a toat switoh pumps
water to the tsh tanks, while a seoond pump of the same
sizeoperatesonatimeranddeliverswatertothegrowbeds
through a sequenoing valve. All the tsh tanks have oone
shapedbaseswithoentredrainage,andareoonneotedusing
pvoirrigationpipeandhaveinlineballvalvestoeitheradjust
the tow or isolate a tank. A toat switoh will be eventually ttted
to prevent the tshtanks aooidentally emptying.
Laohgrowbedalsohasaballvalvewhiohoanbeused
to adjust the water tow and regulate the amount of water
totheindividualbed.Lrainagepipeshaveallbeenhidden
undergroundandreturntothesumptankwhiohyouwould
hardlyknowwasthere.Atrapdoorwithahingedwoodenlid
hidesthesumpfromviewbutallowseasyaooessthroughthe
topofthelBC.Abarrelunionwasplaoedinthepipenearthe
pumpwhiohmakeslifeeasyifthepumphastoberemoved
foranyreason.Allthepipeworkhasbeenburiedandthe
systemisoertainlyoneoftheneatestandwellthoughtout
andhastobeonewhoseprogressiswellworthfollowing.
1heyabbysystemisquiteextensivebeingsixteenlBCsin
total.AslBCsaremadetostaokeasilyontopofeaohother
theytookadvantageofthisbyouttingattheseoondsquare
fromthebottom,thenthebottombeoamethetopleveland
thetopbeoamethebaseframeasitisreinforoedtosupport
theweight.
1hewaterlevelismaintainedinthebasearound40om
and water is allowed to tow through a stormwater tlter
elbowwherethe90mmpipeisinteroonneotedjoiningall
thelBCstogether.1hebottom16yabbygrowingbedshave
hadopeningsoutoutofthefronttoalloweasyaooesstothe
water below. 1he tops are tlled with water to grow duokweed
andwaterismaintainedattheheightdeterminedbya
standpipe, made from a tank ttting and 90mm stormwater
pipe. 1his oan be easily oonverted to tood and drain onoe
thesetanksarereadytobeturnedintogrowbeds.Reoentlya
gaspoolandspaheaterhasbeeninstalledwhiohdrawsand
returnswatertothesumptankandisworkingwell.
AllinallquiteanamazingsystemthatNetabandher
Pusbandhavebuilt,welookforwardtofollowingtheir
progressandupdatingthismanualwithfurtherinformation
overtimeasthesystemhasrunforawhile.
0ravel shovelllng was just too much
Netabs3ystem
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The IBC of Aquaponics
Netabs3ystem
177 www.backyardaquaponics.com
Yabbles lrrlgatlonanddralnllnessetout
5tandplpe uslng tank ttlng, coupllng and pvc plpe 0uckweed
5eedllngsplanted
The IBC of Aquaponics
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O
necfthemcstmpcrtantyetleastunderstccdaspectscfAquapcncss
thebacterathatwerelycnandtsfunctcnnthentrcgencycle.lkncw
whatycurethnkng,bactera(crCLPMSfycuwatchalctcfdsnfectant
ccmmercals)aremeanttcbebad,arentthey7
1hefactsthattheresgccdandbadneverythng,evendcwntcbactera.Lfe
wculdntbepcssblewthcutthem.
Fshexcreteammcna.lnalakecrcceantsallgccdbecausethevastvclume
cf water dlutes ths ammcna. when ycure keepng sh at hcme t needs tc be
managed as t s very tcxc tc the sh.
Deccmpcsngfccdalsccreatesammcna.Scmecftheeffectscfexcessve
ammcnanclude:
Lxtensvedamagetctssues,especallythegllsandkdney
lmparedgrcwth
Decreasedresstancetcdsease
Death
Luckly natures gct t all scrted! Lnter Ntrcscmcnas sp. 1hs gccd lttle bacterum
eatsammcnaandccnvertsttcntrte.
Ncw, ntrte s much less pcscncus tc the sh than ammcna, but ts by nc means
a gccd thng. lt stcps the sh frcm takng up cxygen. Natures gct t under ccntrcl
agan, wth Ntrcbacter sp. 1hs gccd bacterum eats ntrte and ccnverts t tc
ntrate.
Luckly ntrate happens tc be the favcurte fccd cf plants. Alsc the sh wll tclerate
amuchhgherlevelcfntratethantheywllammcnacrntrte.whatycuve|ust
read s pretty much the ntrcgen cycle. when an aquapcncs system has sufcent
numberscfthesebacteratcccmpletelyprccesstheammcnaandntrtestssad
tchavecycled.
Ycurgcalshculdbetcestablshthentrcgencyclequcklyandwthmnmalstress
cnanyaquatclfeycumayalreadyhave.
wthcuttherrespectvefccdsthesebacterawllnctexstnusefulnumbers.
1hsswhyycuwllseeanammcnaspkewhensettngupanewtank.1he
bacterawllncreasethernumbers(reprcduce)nrespcnsetcanncreasng
ammcnalcad,sctmakessensethatwewculdseeaspkebefcretheyrespcnd.
Shcrtlyafterycuhaveammcnathebacterawllstartreprcducngandwcrkng
awayfcrycu.
1he same gces fcr Ntrcbacter sp. , theyll cnly want tc start reprcducng and
wcrkng cnce Ntrcscmcnas sp. s ccmfcrtable and prcducng lcts cf ntrte.
Ncw, whle cne pcnt ycuve |ust read ndcates that Ntrcscmcnas sp. wcnt
prccessammcnaatpH6.0crbelcw,thswasdetermnednasterlelab
culture. Smlar research has shcwn that speces cf Ntrcscmcnas sp. n a natural
envrcnmentsuchassclwllstllprccessammcnaevenatpH4.0!1hsgces
1heNitrogen
Cyole
1hecptmumpHrangefcr
Ntrcscmcnas sp. s 7.8 - 8.0.
1hecptmumpHrangefcr
Ntrcbacter sp. s 7.3 - 7.5
At pH belcw 7.0, Ntrcscmcnas
sp.grcwthwllslcwandncreases
nammcnamaybeccmeevdent.
Ntrcscmcnas sp. grcwth s nhbted
at pH 6.5. All ntrcatcn s nhbted
fthepHdrcpstc6.0crless.
1hey must cclcnze a surface
(gravel,sand,synthetcbcmeda,
etc.)fcrcptmumgrcwth.
1heyneedcxygennthewater
tclveandwcrk.
Ntrfyng bactera have lcng
reprcductcntmes.
Undercptmalccndtcns,
Ntrcscmcnas sp. may dcuble every
7 hcurs and Ntrcbacter sp. every i3
hcurs.Mcrerealstcally,theywll
dcuble every i5 - 20 hcurs.
1cputthatntcperspectve.
lnthetmethatttakesasngle
Ntrcscmcnas sp. cell tc dcuble
npcpulatcn,asngleL.ccl
bacterumwculdhaveprcduceda
pcpulatcn exceedng 35 trllcn
cells.
Asageneralruleabrandnew
systemwllrequreabcut4weeks
tc cycle at arcund 20C. lt wll take
lcngerncclderwater.
Ntrfyng bactera cannct survve
ndryccndtcnscratsustaned
temperatureshgherthan4C.
1hereareseveralspecescf
Ntrcscmcnas sp. and Ntrcbacter
sp.bacteraandmanystrans
amcngthcsespeces.Mcstcfths
nfcrmatcncanbeappledtcspeces
cf Ntrcscmcnas sp. and Ntrcbacter
sp.ngeneral,hcwever,eachstran
may have specc tclerances tc
envrcnmentalfactcrsandnutrent
preferencesnctsharedbycthervery
clcselyrelatedstrans.1emperature
andpHseemtcbeccmmcn.
pH
Facts
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1hetemperaturefcrcptmum
grcwthcfntrfyngbacteras
between 25 30 C
(77 86 F).
Crcwthratesdecreasedby50%
at i8 C (64 F).
Crcwthratesdecreasedby75%
at 8 C i5.5 C
(46 50 F).
Nc actvty wll cccur at 4 C
(3 F).
Ntrfyng bactera wll de at 0
C (32 F).
Ntrfyng bactera wll de at
4 C (i20 F)
Ntrcbacter sp. s less tclerant
cflcwtemperaturesthan
Ntrcscmcnas sp. ln ccld water
systems,caremustbetakentc
mcntcrtheaccumulatcncfntrtes.
Temperature
scmewaytcexplanwhyscmecfus
havesystemsthatareYLAPScldwth
apHcf6.0,ncammcnaandhappy
sh. Once a system has a ccmplment
cf mcrc cra and fauna at wcrk there
seemstcbeannherentsynergythat
allcwswderenvrcnmentalrangestc
beacccmmcdated.
l wculd dentely reccmmend
thatpecplestrvefcrtheabcve
envrcnmentaltclerancerangescn
ntalsystemsetupandtheearlylfecf
thersystems.
Manypecplewthaquapcncssystems
trytcmantantherpHatarcund7.0
tc 7.2 because ths range satses the
plants, sh and bactera. 1he ntrcgen
cycletselfhasatendencytcreduce
pH,hcwevertsprettyeasytckeeppH
atarcund7.4thrcughtheaddtcncf
calcumcarbcnate.Calcumcarbcnate
ncreasespH,butwllstcpdssclvng
atpHarcund7.4,meanngpHwllstay
prettystableuntlallcftheavalable
calcumcarbcnatesdepleted.
Peadlyavalablefcrmscfcalcum
carbcnatenclude:
shellgrt(avalableatmanyprcduce
stcres)
seashells
calcumcarbcnatepcwder(avalable
atmanyprcducestcres)
lmestcne
eggshells
Asmentcnedtherearemanystrans
cfntrfyngbactera,eachhavngther
cwnwaterparameterpreferences,sc
whencyclnganewsystemtsbesttc
keepycurwaterchemstryasstableas
pcssblenrelatcntcfactcrssuchassalt
ccncentratcn. 1he number cf sh used
tccycleycursystemshculdbemuchless
thanycursystemsntendedtchcld.lf
tcc many sh are used the ammcna and
ntrtewllreachveryhghlevels,whch
arelkelytckllcrcausepermanent
damage tc ycur sh and wll requre ycu
tcundertakemcrefrequentandlarger
waterchanges.Alsc,besurencttc
cverfeed the sh as ths wll alsc result
ntheprcductcncfmcreammcna.
Manypecplechccsetcusecheap
gcldsh fcr the cyclng prccess, due tc
themnmalccstandtherhghtclerance
tcpccrwaterccndtcns.1hebestadvce
ycucantakewhencyclngycursystem
stcbepatentandletnaturetakets
ccurse.Dcfrequenttests(atleastdaly)
durngthspercdandperfcrmwater
changesasrequred.
Dcnt fcrget, sh wll stll excrete
ammcnaevenwhenncteatng,|ustnct
asmuch!
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AQUAPONICS
Not just for vegetables
The IBC of Aquaponics
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181 www.backyardaquaponics.com
M, hsh appear unwe||, gasp|ng at the surfaoe or show|ng |abour|ng breath|ng, or errat|o behav|our, perhaps ash|ng7
M, water has gone green. what shou|o l oo7
1he s|oes ano bottom of m, tank |s oovereo w|th green s||me, shou|o l o|ean |t off7
l have |ong stranos of a|gae grow|ng |n m, tank, what shou|o l oo7
low |ong oan l |eave m, hsh w|thout feeo|ng them7
M, hsh are off the|r feeo, what shou|o l oo7
low muoh shou|o l feeo m, hsh7
what s|zeo pump oo l neeo for m, s,stem7
what hsh oan l grow |n m, s,stem7
M, pl |s h|gh or |ow what shou|o l oo7
M, ammon|an|tr|tesn|trate |eve|s are h|gh, what shou|o l oo7
M, ammon|an|tr|tesn|trate |eve|s are |ow or nonex|stent, what shou|o l oo7
lo hsh neeo sun||ght7
0an l put p|ants ano other features |nto m, hsh tank7
lo l neeo an a|r pump for m, s,stem7
l have a|gae on m, growbeo meo|a, what shou|o l oo7
frequentlyasked
questions
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M, hsh appear unwe||, gasp|ng at the surfaoe or show|ng |abour|ng breath|ng, or errat|o behav|our, perhaps ash|ng7
lfyoursystemispumpingonatimedoyoleinoreasethepumpingto100ofthetime,ifyoursystemhasnotbeensaltedbefore,
saltyoursystemwater.usingpoolsalt,saltyoursystemto3ppt,thismeansin1000Lofwateryouwouldadd3kgofsalt.3alt
aids tsh health and at these levels most plants will remain unaffeoted, however some plants like strawberries may suffer.
M, water has gone green. what shou|o l oo7
Normally a problem in the trst weeks of setting up a new system. 1his is suspended algae we are talking about, if you were to
dip a glass into your tsh tank and tll it with water then hold it up, the water looks very green and is hard to see through it. 1his
isanaturalphaseyoursystemwillgothroughasoyolinghappens.Pumpfulltimeifyouarentalready.3topallfeeding,any
nutrient going into the system will only feed the algal bloom. lf possible oover the top of your tsh tank to keep light away from
thewater.
1he s|oes ano bottom of m, tank |s oovereo w|th green s||me, shou|o l o|ean |t off7
No, this is biotlm and we don't reoommend that you take this off, generally it only grows as a thin layer on the surfaoe of your
tank, it oauses no harm to the tsh or the system in any way and it helps by harbouring the benetoial baoteria. Many speoies of
tsh may peok at the biotlm on the sides of the tank, eating it.
l have |ong stranos of a|gae grow|ng |n m, tank, what shou|o l oo7
3tringy or tlamentous algae, not very nioe and it oan start to take over your tsh tank with its long strands of algae. 1ry to keep
thelightoffthewaterifyouoanbyooveringthetank.Removewhatyouoanfromthesidesofthetankmanually.Perhapsadd
some known algae eaters to the tank if you oan. we added a few yabbies to one of our tanks whioh had tlamentous algae, they
haveoleaneditupnioely.
low |ong oan l |eave m, hsh w|thout feeo|ng them7
Almost all speoies of tsh will live happily for weeks without feeding. lf you are going away on holiday for a week or two, we would
reoommendthatyougetafriendfamilymemberorneighbourtooomearoundonoeortwioeaweektooheokyoursystemand
feed your tsh. lf this is not possible, then leaving the tsh without feed for a week or two will not oause any major problems. l
wouldratherleavethemwithoutfeedthanhaveanautomatedfeedingmethodbeoauseiftheyareoffthefeedforsomereason,
theautomatedfeederwillkeepdumpingitintothesystemanditmayfoulthewater.
M, hsh are off the|r feeo, what shou|o l oo7
lf it's only been a day or two, don't panio. 1hink about things: what sort of tsh do you have? what are their ideal oonditions and
whatareyourwatertemperatures?Powlonghavetheybeeninthesystem?lishoanoftentakeafewweekstosettleintoanew
home.3tandbaokandthrowjustafewpelletsatatime,theymightbeshy,thenoomebaokinawhileandoheokiftheyhave
eatenthem.
low muoh shou|o l feeo m, hsh7
As muoh as they want to eat if your system is oyoled and all is well. ou will tnd that different speoies have different
personalities. 3ome tsh, like trout are eating maohines, throw a handful of feed into your tsh tank and they will go orazy leaping
outofthewater.1heyseemtohaveanalmostinsatiableappetite.0therspeoiesareshyerandwilleatmoreoautiously.0noe
yoursystemisestablished,thesimpleruleofthumbistofeedthemasmuohastheywanttoeatwithinafewminutes.1hrowa
smallhandfuloffeedin,iftheyeatitall,throwsomemorein,andsoon.whentheystartslowingdownanddontappeartobe
so hungry, stop feeding them. 3ome tsh are happy to eat all day long, others may prefer to eat at oertain times of the day. ou
oan tend to train the tsh, if you have been feeding them every day when you get home from work, then don't be surprised if they
donteatwhenyoudeoidetofeedtheminthemorningforaohange.
what s|zeo pump oo l neeo for m, s,stem7
A question often asked! A general rule of thumb that oan be applied is that you want to turn over the tsh tank volume onoe an
hour. 3o, say you have designed a system using a oouple of lBC's, you have a 1000L lBC tsh tank and two growbeds above the
tsh tank made from the other lBC. lirstly you need to know roughly what head your pump will be pumping to, this is the height
fromthesurfaoeofthewaterwherethepumpis,uptothehighestpointitwillbepushingthewater.3ayforthisexampleit
might be about 70om from water surfaoe in the tsh tank to the top of the growbeds where the water inlet is. 3o you will want a
pumpthatoanpumpatleast1000Llitres/hourataheadof70om.lfyouoheokoutpumpboxesthenyouwillnotioethatmost
ofthemhaveagraphoomparingpumpingratesatdifferentheads.Personallyltendtogoalittlemorebeoausethisallowsfor
future expansion and ohanges, or extra plumbing if required at some stage. Remember that if a pump says it's tow rate is say
2000L/h, that is at 0 head, with no restriotions from pipes and tttings.
what hsh oan l grow |n m, s,stem7
1hatsgoingtodependtotallyonyourlooation.Majorfaotorsare,relevantgovernmentagenoiesorbodiesandwhattheyallow
in your area, you might have a tshing and gaming or agrioultural department you oan oheok with. 1he next faotor is olimate,
l really reoommend growing a tsh whioh will be happy at the natural temperatures of your system without requiring external
heatingandoroooling.lhaveseensomeelaborateattemptsovertheyearsatheatingandooolingwatertokeepapartioular
speoies of tsh, in reality they don't tend to last long term beoause of the expense or effort in maintaining optimum temperatures
forthepartioularspeoies.lfyouliveinLngland,donttryandgrow1ilapia,youoangrowthem,butyouneedtokeepthewater
temperatureselevatedyearround.0rowtrout,theywillgrowyearroundwithoutanyheating.
M, pl |s h|gh or |ow what shou|o l oo7
1hereareafewthingsyouoando,howeveralwaysrememberlittleandoftenratherthanlargeohanges.Afterrunning
aquaponiosystemsforwellover10years,lhaveneveradjustedmypPinanyofmysystems.Pereatthedisplayoentrewe
reoentlytestedsomeofoursystemsandfoundthatafewofthemhadapPdownaround5.5whiohisoonsideredtobevery
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low. ln faot in a lot of literature may tell you that nitritoation will stop at levels below 6, we've found this to not be true. 3ome
tsh speoies don't like low pP, other speoies are quite happy at a low pP, it might be worth oheoking your own tsh speoies to tnd
outiftheyareok.1heplantsareoertainlyhappyatalowerpPandmoreelementsareavailableatlowpP.PighpPisgenerally
more of a problem than low, high pP means that ammonia is more toxio to tsh and that many mioronutrients are looked up and
not available to plants. pP naturally oomes down in an aquaponio system and generally people are trying to tnd ways of keeping
thepPup.lfyourpPishighyouneedtolookatafewthings,oheokthewateryouareusingtotopupyoursystem.lfithasahigh
pP tnd another water souroe for a while. lf it's not your top up water perhaps it's your media in the growbeds, test your media
withthevinegartest.whateveryourpPreadingis,rememberdontpanio.1hisisespeoiallytrueduringtheearlystagesofan
aquaponio system, during oyoling and for a while after, perhaps the trst 6 months of operation, you oan experienoe some swings
in pP, just let the system settle and mature, if you have oheoked your media and top up water and they are tne, just leave your
systemtodoitsthing.
M, ammon|an|tr|tesn|trate |eve|s are h|gh, what shou|o l oo7
lirstly, if it's your nitrates, don't panio these aren't highly toxio to tsh, you need to think about planting some more plants to use
upthenitrates.lfitsAmmoniaornitrites,thereareafewthingsyoushoulddo.Numberonething,310PlLLLlN0.3eoondly
look for uneaten feed on the bottom of your tank and remove any that you tnd. lf you aren't already pumping full time, turn the
water pump on 24/7 for at least a few days, salt the system (to 1ppt), this will aid your tsh if the nitrite levels are high.
M, ammon|an|tr|tesn|trate |eve|s are |ow or nonex|stent, what shou|o l oo7
Be happy! :o) Many of the systems we run at the display oentre here show levels of 0 for all of the above, the systems are
produoingwell,allnutrientsarebeingoonverted,andalsotheplantsarentbeingforoefedtoanyextentbyhavingoonstant
levelsofnitratesinthewater.
lo hsh neeo sun||ght7
No not at all, or at least only in very small amounts, ultimately it's great if you oan keep the sun off your tsh tank, tsh are happy
when they feel proteoted and in the shadows, there aren't many tsh that like sitting in the sunshine. 1his has oome about
throughmanygenerationsofbreeding,thosesittingoutinthesunwouldbepiokedoffquioklybypredatorsfrominthewater
or the sky. Pappy tsh are tsh that aren't stressed so they will be less susoeptible to disease and they will eat more and put on
weightquioker.
0an l put p|ants ano other features |nto m, hsh tank7
lt's reoommended that you keep your tank as free as possible of objeots if you want to keep maximum numbers of tsh. 1he
more things in your tsh tank, the more plaoes there are for solids to oatoh and build up. we sometimes put in a oouple of short
seotions of pipe in the bottom of the tsh tank for orustaoeans to hide in to give them proteotion from the tsh. Pot plants like
water lilies, lotus plants, Chinese water ohestnuts eto may be attaoked by either tsh or any orustaoeans in your tank. lf you have
low stooking levels or the right speoies of tsh you may be ok. lloating plants oan work very well in a system and they have been
talkedaboutpreviouslyintheplantseotionofthismanual.
lo l neeo an a|r pump for m, s,stem7
Probablynot,thiswilldependonanumberofaspeotsofyoursystem.wehavefoundthatinallofoursystemsthewater
splashing baok into the tsh tank oreates enough dissolved oxygen in the water for the tsh of a fully stooked system at the
reoommendedstookinglevels.Alittleextraairoertainlydoesntgoastray,butthereisnoreasontogetahugeairpumpwithlots
ofairstonesforyourlBCsystem.
l have a|gae on m, growbeo meo|a, what shou|o l oo7
ouneedtolookataooupleofthings,doyouhavewatergoingoutoverthetopofyourmediawherethesunoanhitit?1his
willoausealgaetogrow.Bestifyouoantryandmakesurethewatergoesstraightdownintothemediaawayfromthesunlight.
Anotherwaytohelpthisproblemistoputsomewormsintoyourgrowbed,oompostingwormshelpoonsumeuneatenfood,algae
andolddeadrootmatterwithinthegrowbed.
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glossary
Acidic PavingapPoflessthan7
Aerobic Requiring,orhavingabundantair
Aggregate Coursematerialinoludingorushedrookor
gravel
Alkaline PavingapPabove7
Ammonia Produoed by the tsh in their waste and
throughthegills,oanbuildupbeooming
toxioifnotdilutedoroonvertedinthesystem
Anaerobic Leadzonesoausedbylaokofoxygen,
harbourbaoteriaandreleaseharmful
toxins
Aphid 3oftbodiedsapsuokinginseotsmaybe
white,yellow,blaokorgreen
Aquaculture 1heoultivationofaquatioanimalsand
plantsinaoontrolledenvironment
Aquaponics 3ymbiotio relationship of plants and tsh
growingtogetherinasystem
Autosiphon useful meohanism for oontrolling tood and
drainoyolesofagrowbed
Bacillus thuringensis
Naturallyooourringmioro-organism
effeotiveasatreatmentagainst
oaterpillars. Certited organio and not
harmful to benetoial organisms
Bacteria Naturallyooourringmiorosoopioorganisms
bothgoodandbad
%LRORJLFDOOWHU Plaoethatsupportstheoolonisationof
nitrifyingbaoteriaeg.growbed
Blue metal 0reyishoolouredorushedrookor
aggregate,usuallygranite
Broodstock Mature tsh used for spawning and the
produotionofyoung
Buffer AdditivewhiohresistsohangesinpPwhen
smallquantitiesofanaoidoralkaliareadded
BYAP BaokyardAquaponios
Calcium 3ilver/whitesoftalkalineearthmetal.
Neoessaryforplantgrowth
Calcium carbonate
loundnaturallyinohalk,limestone
andmarble,usedtobufferpP
Carnivore Anorganismthatfeedsmainlyor
exolusivelyonanimaltissue
CHIFT PIST Constant height in tsh tank - pump in
sumptank
Chloramine Combinationofammoniaandohlorine
usuallyusedasadisinfeotantand
watertreatment
Chlorine Powerfulbleaohing,disinfeotingagent.
usedforproduoingsafedrinkingwater
Clay Naturally ooourring oonsisting of tne-
grained minerals whioh hardens when tred
ordried
Coir Natural tbre extraoted from oooonut husks
Cycled whenasystemhasestablishedpopulationsof
benetoial baoteria
Cycling 1heprooessofestablishingbaoteria
populationsinasystem
Dechlorinate 1oremoveohlorine
DWC Leepwateroulture:hydroponio
methodofgrowingplantssuspended
innutrientriohwater
'HFLHQF\ Alaokorshortageof
Detritus wasteorrottingmatterinthebottomofa
tsh tank
Dissolved oxygen
Ameasureofoxygendissolvedinoroarried
inagivenmedia
DWV Lrain waste vent: type of pipe and tttings
usedfordrainwasteandventplumbing
(EEDQGRZ 1he prooess of tooding and draining a
media tlled growbed
Expanded Clay Clay pellets tred in a kiln whioh expands
intoporousballs
FCR leedoonversionratio:amountoffeedfed
toananimal,oomparedtoweightitputson
Fingerling oung tsh that have developed to about
the size of a tnger
Flood and drain llooding and draining tsh water in a media
tlled grow bed.
Food grade Componentsmadetoastandardfor
oomingintooontaotwithfoodstuff
Fry oung or very small tsh
Fungicide Chemioaloompoundsusedtokillorinhibit
fungalsporesorfungi
Gravel Rookpartioles
Growbed wheretheplantsgrowinanaquaponio
system
Growing media 3ubstrateforbaoteriahabitatandplant
rootanohoring
Hybrid 1heoffspringoftwoanimalsorplantsof
differentbreeds,varieties,speoies,orgenera
Hydroponics 0rowingofplantswithoutsoil
Hydroton 1ypeofexpandedolay/olayballswithhigh
waterstorageoapaoity
IBC lntermediatebulkoontainertostoreand
transportliquids
Irrigation Artitoial applioation of water to land or soils
LECA Lightexpandedolayaggregate
Lime Caloiumoxide.Lxtraotedbyheating
limestone,ooral,seashellsorohalk.used
forbufferingpP
Limestone 3edimentaryusedforbufferingpP
NFT Nutrient tlm teohnique where plants are
suspendedinasmallenolosedgutterand
thin tlm of water is passed through the
rootstodelivernutrients.
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Nitrate Naturallyooourringnitrogenavailablefor
plantuse
Nitrite Produoedaspartofthenitrogenoyole,
highly toxio to tsh
Nitrogen cycle Prooesswhiohnitrogenisoonverted
betweenvariousohemioalforms
Nitrobacter Baoteriawhiohoxidisesnitriteintonitrate
Nitrosomonas Baoteriawhiohoxidisesammoniaintonitrite
PPM Partspermillion
PPT Partsperthousand
Purge Removalofimpuritiesbyoleansing
PVC Polyvinylohloride-plastiopolymer
Salt Mineralmainlyoomposedofsodiumohloride
Species Biologioal olassitoation for a group of
organismsoapableofinterbreedingand
produoingfertileoffspring
Stand pipe 3tandpipessetthemaximumwaterlevel
inagrowbed,andexoesswaterthatis
pumpedintothebedgoesstraightoverthe
topofthestandpipeanddownthedrain
Stand pipe surround
Casingforthestandpipewhiohallows
water to tow through pre-drilled holes
Stormwater waterthatisderivedduringrainevents
UV stabilised 3ubstanoe/objeotproteotedfromlong-term
effeotsoflightandultravioletexposure
Metrclength mperal
i mllmetre |mm] 0.0337 n
i centmetre |cm] i0 mm 0.337 n
i metre |m] i00 cm i.036 yd
i klcmetre |km] i000 m 0.62i4 mle
lmperallength metrc
i nch |n] 2.54 cm
i fcct |ft] i2 n 0.3048 m
i yard |yd] 3 ft 0.i44 m
Metrcvclume mperal
i cu cm |cm3] 0.06i0 n3
i cu decmetre |dm3] i,000 cm3 0.0353 ft3
i cu metre |m3] i,000 dm3 i.3080 yd3
i ltre |l] i dm3 i.76 pt
i hectcltre |hl] i00 l 2i.7 gal
lmperalvclume metrc
i cu nch |n3] i6.387 cm3
i cu fcct |ft3] i,728 n3 0.0283 m3
i ud cunce | cz] 28.4i3 ml
i pnt |pt] 20 cz 0.5683 l
i gallcn |gal] 8 pt 4.546i l
USAvclume metrc
ud cunce i.0408 UK cz 2.574 ml
i pnt (i6 cz) 0.8327 UK pt 0.473i l
i gallcn 0.8327 UK gal 3.7854 l
MetrcMass mperal
i mllgram |mg] 0.0i54 gran
i gram |g] i,000 mg 0.0353 cz
i klcgram |kg] i,000 g 2.2046 lb
i tcnne |t] i,000 kg 0.842 tcn
lmperalMass metrc
cunce |cz] 437.5 gran 28.35 g
i pcund |lb] i6 cz 0.4536 kg
i stcne i4 lb 6.3503 kg
i hundredweght |cwt] ii2 lb 50.802 kg
i lcng tcn (UK) 20 cwt i.0i6 t
1emperatureCelcus Fahrenhet
0C 32 F
5C 4i F
i0 C 50F
i5 C 5F
20 C 68 F
25 C 77F
oonversion
table
phv.nutrientsoale
The IBC of Aquaponics
For YourReferenoe
186 www.backyardaquaponics.com
fruit&vegetableplanting guide
The IBC of Aquaponics
For YourReferenoe
187 www.backyardaquaponics.com
furtherreading
ammoniatoxioitysoale
Integrated Agri-Aquaculture Systems
lura| lnoustr|es lesearoh &
leve|opment 0orporat|on
Aquaponics - Integrating Fish and
Plant Culture
lr 1ames lakoo,
Barrel-Ponics manual
1rav|s lughe,
Aquaponics - Common Sense Guide
M|ohae| 1eze|
Master Aquaponics Report
Margot B|shop et a|
Evaluation and Development of
$TXDSRQLFV
lr N|ok Sav|oov
Backyard Aquaponics Magazine
Fo|t|on 1
ATTRA Aquaponics
Steve l|ver
Total Ammonia Nitrogen (TAN) - ppm
Temp
(C)
pH
6.0 6.4 6.8 7.0 7.2 7.4 7.6 7.8 8.0 8.2 8.4
4 200 67 29 18 11 7.1 4.4 2.8 1.8 1.1 0.68
8 100 50 20 13 8.0 5.1 3.2 2.0 1.3 0.83 0.5
12 100 40 14 9.5 5.9 3.7 2.4 1.5 0.95 .61 0.36
16 67 29 11 6.9 4.4 2.7 1.8 1.1 0.71 0.45 0.27
20 50 20 8.0 5.1 3.2 2.1 1.3 0.83 0.53 0.34 0.21
24 40 15 6.1 3.9 2.4 1.5 0.98 0.63 0.4 0.26 0.16
28 29 12 4.7 2.9 1.8 1.2 0.75 0.48 0.31 0.2 0.12
32 22 8.7 3.5 2.2 1.4 0.89 0.57 0.37 0.24 0.16 0.1
Click the titles to download the PDF
The IBC of Aquaponics