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Building a 500 gallon 80 sq ft aquaponic unit at Paul Quinn College

I recently installed a 500 gallon, 80 sq ft super-efficient aquaponic unit at Paul Quinn College.

This Meetup will be used to go over the design and construction of the Paul Quinn aquaponic unit, with hands-on training on the various steps used in building it out. The same basic design (with minor changes) can be built using one, two, three or four totes depending on the size unit you wish to build, your energy budget, etc. These designs will be discussed and the differences will be explained in full. The unit at Paul Quinn utilizes four 275 gallon IBC totes, and has four gravel grow beds and two raft sections. The unit is simple enough to be built in a day using readily available, low cost components.

For the 80 sq. ft. unit, a 400 watt circulation pump is controlled by a timer and an air pump is used for aeration of the fish tank/raft sections. A goof-proof, easy maintenance automatic drain system is used to keep the nutrient water where it belongs when it belongs there, and simple but precise flood controls can be adjusted to make sure that seeds and/or seedlings planted in the unit are properly watered as well as established plants.

Planting the unit will be demonstrated, along with pH management, proper fish feeding techniques, supplemental mineral addition and troubleshooting tips. A full set of plans for the 80 sq ft aquaponic system with a complete parts list will be provided, along with a starter supply of food grade minerals for pH control and enhanced plant growth. A nominal $30 fee will help defray some of the costs of this meeting.


BONUS!

For those attending this meetup, a special deal will be offered for 275 gallon food-grade IBC totes (up to four totes per person). These units usually sell for $100 on Craigslist (if you can even find food grade totes. Beware of totes which may have been used for chemical storage!), the deal for attendees will be $75 each plus delivery, which will be very minimal depending on where you're coming from. I have a large but limited supply of the totes, please RSVP early if you wish to purchase.

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  • Jason H.

    Hello,
    I'm hoping to build a system like this. When is the next time you will show it off? Also, i'm looking for some ibc's to start. Any help would be great.
    thanks
    Jason

    1 · July 19, 2013

  • Dave P.

    Gotcha covered, Chris. You can pick it up at the designated location (per our phone conversation) and as you get it set up let me know if you have any questions!

    August 1, 2011

  • Christopher D.

    Dave I am off tomorrow. It would be awesome if I could get my ibc tomorrow. Please call me on my cell. I have a truck.

    August 1, 2011

  • Dave P.

    Enjoyed all the great questions! Thanks everyone for making time to come out, hope to see you all again soon!

    August 1, 2011

  • John K.

    Super informative. I could have stayed twice as long.

    July 31, 2011

  • Dennis T.

    The ibc system is a lot simpler than the one I already have. I will be switching it out as soon as they get here. Thanks

    July 31, 2011

  • Robyn McLeod Y.

    It was very fun and educational, I cant wait to learn more and start our own aquaponic system. Dave Pennington is wonderful, and I am very happy to have the pleasure of meeting him.

    July 31, 2011

  • Liz L.

    Fabulous hands-on experience. 3D learning. Practical, time for questions. So much to learn I want to attend the next one too.

    July 31, 2011

  • John Patrick B.

    Dave is the man.....great work

    July 31, 2011

  • Eric H.

    Had a great time. Everybody was excited to be there and get started. Dave was excellent at explaining how the system worked. Look forward to the gathering.

    July 31, 2011

  • Christopher D.

    Awesome time, awesome teacher. Can't wait for my IBC.

    July 31, 2011

  • DJ T.

    Dave , thank-you for a real hands on experience of basic aquaponics. Thank-you Andrea letting us use Paul Quinn College Farm, readily accessible from all cities with plenty of parking, See ya'll there for future sessions.
    I did notice a pea gravel pit near the washer and only larger than 1/4 inch gravel is used in the beds, there was a shaker screen to sift out the smaller gravel.
    Quick delivery of the IBC's!!Thank-you Kaz and Dave for setting them over the fence :)

    July 30, 2011

  • Bob J.

    Just what I was looking for, hands on details for building and operating a home IBC AP system. Good job Dave.

    July 30, 2011

  • John Patrick B.

    Dave great job...really enjoyed it, save me 2 totes !

    July 30, 2011

  • Dave P.

    Joseph you're welcome to come (changed the RSVP status). Hope you can make it.

    July 29, 2011

  • Joe A.

    I see a couple of people have dropped out. Can I get added to the list. Is it OK if I show up tomorrow ?

    July 29, 2011

  • Liz L.

    Hey Dave. Two questions. 1. will there be totes available in the future? I need to attend the class first in order to assess my ability to implement this on my property. 2. What time do you expect the class to finish? Thanks....

    July 29, 2011

  • Dave P.

    OK, Chris Kirby and Chris Doud will switch spots.

    July 29, 2011

  • Chris K.

    If it's okay with Dave, I can give up my spot. I'll make the next one.

    July 29, 2011

  • Christopher D.

    I just found out that I can take the time off work to attend. Please let me know if a spot opens up for tomorrow.

    Christopher Doud

    July 29, 2011

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