Scottie & Shelley started out with 2 standard IBC containers and a few 44 gallon drums. They cut them in to two parts, the top portion became growbeds and the bases became fish and sump tanks which were connected through the side of the IBC, and the water flows freely between them. They set about purchasing the plumbing components and used the 44 gallon drums to make the bases for the growbeds, as they are sturdy and as long as you are not too short they will serve the purpose well without breaking the bank. The media chosen for this system is gravel which is locally available and cheap on the pocket.
The system was set up and, irrigations lines were added using 25mm PVC pipe. A barrel union was added to the pipe above the submersible pump, this is a really good idea because it makes the pump easy to access in the event that something needs to be cleaned, or the pump has to be removed for any reason. Ball valves were placed inline to adjust the flow to each of the growbeds as well as returning water to the sump tank. A spray bar was also designed to reduce flow from the pump and provide additional aeration to the fish tank .
The pump was turned on and lines were tested, checked for leaks and made sure that the drains were able to keep up with the water flow. Water is pumped from the fish tank to the growbeds and takes around 12 minutes to fill the beds. The pump is operated on a timer, on for 15 minutes then off for 45 minutes. The cycle is repeated 24 hours per day as fish have a high requirement for dissolved oxygen overnight.
Stand pipes were fine tuned and the system was then ready for operation.
Scottie also made a shadecloth cover to reduce the direct overhead sun as well as covers for the fish tanks which are easy to remove when it comes to fish feeding. Fish were added and it wasn’t long before the system started to show some good