Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A little more on this ponics stuff

I guess by now your probably getting tired of this stuff but its all I've done lately.

I started this just to see how these systems worked. My goal is setting something up out in Terlingua when we move out there and the one thing I know is that heat will be a killer on the fish and the plants because of water temp so the only way a Aquaponic system would work out there is you need to have one big ass water tank to keep the water at a reasonable temp or I have been thinking that burying the system with the fish in it under ground with just the top above ground and covered and shaded so the ground can keep your temperature down and the grow beds above ground should work. I really don't know I need to get out there and do a little experimenting with different setups. Evaporation shouldn't be a problem, there are different grow pots that the top seals the whole pot except the stem of the plant so I could make a sealed system out of the grow bed with a piece of Plexiglas with the holes cut out for the pots to set in covering the whole grow bed so I wouldn't have a lot of evaporation.

I built another 18 gallon tote for my strawberry's and other plants. They were not growing in with the tomato's. The tomato's had them covered up and no sun was reaching them. This system is the cheapest to do. All you need is this 18 gallon tote from Walmart for $5.00, 11 Net Pots at around .50 cents apiece, and a air pump for around $10.00 with a air stone and your in business.
 You don't need to have 11 pots, you can put 2 big pots or how ever many you want it doesn't matter.

                                I just built this Hydroponic system and have it up and running.

It's a 18 gallon tote with a pump in it to pump water up to the 5 gallon buckets and then drain back down into the tote.

I did get my 330 gallon IBC's that I'm going to make a Aquaponic system with.  I still need one more but the guy could only haul two at a time. They look brand new and have had a mixture of 80% water and 20% salt in them. They were one time used IBC's. I have no idea what that mixture was used for.

I have them set up to catch rain water so I will have the water to get the Aquaponic system up and running. I will have one fish tank feeding 3 grow beds when its all over with.
 We received a inch and a half of rain last night. I caught 330 gallons off the first storm that came through and noticed that the rain water was almost muddy looking so I dumped that 330 gallons and caught about 300 gallons on the next rain system that came through and its a lot cleaner looking water than that first batch.
One thing I did find nice about hydroponics is when you are forecast to get large hail you and another person can carry your garden inside out of the hail and carry it back out after its over, instead of having it beat all to hell.

It won't be long now before I have my first batch of tomato's. I have blooms coming on every plant now. The tomato's in that dang 18 gallon tote has just went crazy.

                                                           6 days ago


 I hear thunder outside so maybe I will get that IBC filled up now.



  1. Great progress..!!

    Wish I could do what you are doing, but I have to work nowadays.
    That muddy looking rain was roof dust, and you can fab up a "first flush" roof wash device with some pvc to catch the first few dirty gallons and when it fills the cleaner rain water will run into the tank. IMHO

    Thanks...and keep these posts coming please!


  2. Thanks Bigfoot, I'll have to check out that "first flush" set up.

  3. Check out this forum website:


  4. Hello! Don't worry about the hydroponics, this is good stuff!
    Are there instructions out there for that "cheapest" to do system? That might be just the way for someone like myself to give it a try!

    1. Rob, here is a good video on making the tote's. Mine are a little different but the same idea.

    2. Ok, thanks. The air stone just keep air in the nutrient solution.
      I have these 10 gallon totes, they are not as tall as the 18 gal. You have to keep enough solution so the roots are half wet anyway ... do you have any idea if there would be a problem with the smaller tote?

    3. The smaller tote will work,however the smaller you go the more you have to keep an eye on the PH levels and the water temp. My 18 gallon totes with the heat here in the summer I will have to freeze some water in small plastic bottles to throw in the tote to keep the water temp down during the day.

  5. Well, once my $200 Amazon order shows up at the house I can begin my hydroponic gizmo rig-up. Gotta get some heavy duty totes.

    I do have a bubbler and air compressor coming too, to bubble up the nutrient tank a tad. And I got a few of those 5 gallon bucket-top planter dealio things. (big price differences online it seems)

    Got a timer for the pumps I nabbed off craigslist long ago.

    I've go nearly 1000 gallons of rain water already tanked up from long ago, maybe need a touch of bleach in them and let them settle out a few days before I try to hook them up.

    I've got about three 55 gallon drums full of Hydroton clay pellets I bought off craigslist 3 yrs ago.

    So.. what sort of nutrient mix do you use?

    I must admit, seeing your successes are what pushed me forward into getting mine going, finally. That's what I'm planning for this weekend.

    Thanks and keep the updates coming.


    1. I'll give you more info on my blog update.