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.
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.