Merry Christmas! My new indoor aquaponics system is finally online!

With the end of the year fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to start up a new website and a new indoor aquaponics system.

This system is designed for 100 gallons of water and is located in my apartment.  I currently have the fish tank and first deep water culture system connected and plan to expand it as each DWC tank cycles and stabilizes with the system.

Currently there are 17 net pots with peat moss and/or rock wool and hydroton installed in each bin. I’ve planted various herbs and garden veggies including tomatoes for a hanging system and 7 heads of romaine lettuce for a continuous harvest.

There is a single pictus catfish in the system and he seems pretty happy so far.  He took to the worms from the vermicompost immediately.  This is a very good indication that he’s perfectly happy with the extra water in the system even though it is not stabilized.

The lighting is a 400 switchable HPS/MH (High Pressure Sodium/Metal Halide) system.  It’s good enough to cover about 16 square feet of grow space.  The costs to operate this lamp is about $25-$30/month with my current rate for energy.

There is a low power garden pump installed for recirculating the DWC beds.  I would estimate the flow at 5 gallons per minute.  I will measure this later so I can get an accurate count of the volume of fluid change.

Inside the 20 gallon fish tank I have a fish filter that changes the water every 20 minutes.  The filter is for housing the beneficial bacteria that are needed to convert ammonia into nitrates/nitrites.  This tank had already been cycled before I started this project so it was only a matter of putting the water into several 5 gallon buckets while leaving a little in the bottom of the tank. I had to do this because it was too heavy to move otherwise.

The grow beds are black and yellow utility type storage containers from Home Depot.  I picked up 4 of them for about $11 each.  The top will need to be painted black to deter algae growth on the inside of the bed since light is able to pass through the yellow cover quite easily.  I will do this on the next warmer day we have providing that it’s not too windy here in Houston.

I also have a vermicompost system that was pre-established for this project.  I added some fresh organic soil to that system today.  I also got this at Home Depot.  It was on sale because not much product moves during the dead of winter here.So $8 for 50lbs worth.

I will have to get some pictures online in the next couple of days of the whole setup as it’s coming together and I am making adjustments to it.  This entire setup can be built for about $100 which doesn’t include the light which is currently on loan from a friend.  Hopefully in the spring I will be able to move to another apartment with faces the sun more often.  I will then move this system outside to the balcony area.

I wanted to start a new website, one that I didn’t have to maintain too much.  I am really good with websites but I grow tired of having to do all of the setup and maintenance.  This one will serve for now.  If it works out well then I will go ahead and build a dedicated site on a my server for it.  If not, then I’ve not wasted too much time.

Well that’s it for now.  I hope you and yours have a very happy holiday season.  Stay tuned for more updates as I get them.