Edroe started out with a couple of IBCs and a few blue barrels. One IBC will be home to the fish and the other IBC will serve as a sump tank which is partly buried. Eight barrels have been cut in half to make a total of eight growbeds.
After displacing a mountain of sand to bury the second IBC the layout began to take shape, before it was on to shovelling and washing a ton of pea gravel. A back breaking job for sure, but part of the induction to Aquaponics as any experienced aquaponics person will tell you.
A Pondmax 8000lph pump was used as a trial run. Water is pumped from the sump tank to the fish tank through 25mm pvc pipe, the water level then overflows to the growbeds and fills them in around 20 – 30 minutes. Each bed has a stand pipe with a 4.5mm hole allowing them to drain in around 35 minutes.
The same 25mm pvc pipe returns water back to the sump tank through two lengths of 13mm polypipe, this allows for stage 2 of the overall plan. Unfortunately the 25mm pipe caused the fish tank to overflow so fittings were added to reduce the outlet to 20mm.
A short piece of pipe was then put in the overflow to prevent water from running over the T piece. Ed’s plan is to expand the system by slicing about 350mm off each side of an IBC, though it will initially cost more than the equivalent of 4 blue barrels, it will be a lot cheaper on the plumbing.