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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So just months ago I was introduced by my friend about the concept of aquaponic. After some research I believe I can start one at my balcony for my tomato and cucumber. I am planning to use a 50gallon tank I have sitting on balcony, throw in a few hardy fish, and use my underwater pump to drive the water over my plants which are sitting on top of the tank then drip back to the tank.

Here comes my question, I am looking for a few "waste productive" fish which can take more extreme enviroment. Can anyone suggest any? Is there any fish that will actually eat things like " ends of lettuce, left over rice" sort of stuff. If not I will likely go for normal fish food.

Again, I am still doing my research. So if anything doesn't sound right to you let me know. :)
 

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Wait a minute... don't koi need at least 1000g? Doesn't sound like a good idea unless you know for a fac tthat you can house the koi long term.

From what you want to feed them, it sounds like goldfish would fit the bill as poop-producers. The only problem is that single-tailed goldfish (comets, shubunkins, wakins), which winter quite well will overstock a 50g even if you have just one. Fancies (telescopes, orandas, bubble-eyes, etc) on the other hand do not handle winters too well as they get older and even if you wanted to try it you would want to do so in a deep pond.


However, assuming you will only be growing the tomato and cukes during the summer, you could most definitely get some fancy goldfish and keep them inside during the winter. Fantails are a good, hardy breed that should do well outside, although if I were you I would add a heater to buffer the heat-up and cool-down effect produced by the day and night cycle.

Just be sure to feed them other stuff on top of the lettuce and rice... I know of very few fish who could healthily live on only 2 foods. Goldfish need about a 50-50 mix of meat and veggies, but you will want to supplement the diet with lots of protein while they're still growing.
 

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I too would say goldfish is the way to go.

One concern about feeding it left over veggies is that it would be a lot of work. While the fish would eat the veggies, they won't eat it "all" and you have to make sure to get it out of the water before it rots and spoils the water.

If you did got that route tho, I would feed them veggies one day and store bought food the next. they do need some sort of balanced diet.

I guess one question comes to mind. Are you trying to keep fish and grow some veggies in the process or are you trying to grow veggies and have they fish cut down on your fert costs? Depending on which route you go, the setup would be fairly different.
 

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Windermere Secondary School in east van
has an aquaponics system.
give em a call at 604 713 8179
and ask to speak to Mr. Castilho.
Im sure if you ask him, he can give you a tour of the aquaponics system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice, I believe I will go for some goldfish.
I want to get the fish as a replacement of fertilization.
The greenest way to do of course is to feed the fish of any kitchen waste I have.
But I will feed them the needed protein with normal goldfish food.
After doing some more research I came out with a draft.

I will have about 4 or 5 goldfish in my tank, in the tank I will have a diy floating platform with lettuce growing. With a underwater pump pumping water to my tomatos and cucumber soil and running back into the tank. Now just need to make sure water coming out from the soil is fine to just go back into the tank without filtering.


again, thanks everyone!!
 

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Get a Few cheap common gold fish, 5 for $1 :)

Try to get them from a good batch, and pick out the lively one's
They'l thrive in mucky conditions compared to other fish great.
A small heater would be good to keep temperature constant. They can survive cold conditions but rapid changes are not so good.
 

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Oh also if you want don't want extra hassle, you could just plant the plants in regular soil, and just water them with fish water waste. >>Compost Tea<<
 

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First what system are you planning to do flood drain, or drip? Goldfish are only ideal because they produce higher amount of waste, good in colder water and will eat rice and lettus. I don't know how heathy it is for any creature to just that.
 

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Look at a how a "bog filter" works for a pond. similar setup. they usually just use gravel as the substrate and plant the plants in there. keeping in mind that they are working with a planting area that is about 1/2 of what you have in mind but a water volume many many many times of what you have. Ponds are generally 1000+ gallons (if not much bigger).
 

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Don't worry about using soil to grow your plants. As stated above, you could use gravel. In a true aquaponics system the plants don't actually get any nutrients from their growing medium itself, but get everything from the water. A commercial system that I know of uses coconut coir (ground up/shredded coconut shell) as their growing medium because it holds water well and is organic. You might have a problem growing tomatoes and cucumbers in a system that's only using 4-5 goldfish because both plants are heavy feeders and the fish might not produce enough waste. It's all about a balance, and you might find that you could easily have 10-15 goldfish in your tank with the plants keeping the waste in check.

I'm actually planning on a semi-commercial aquaponics greenhouse in my backyard, so if you've got any other questions I'll be glad to answer anything.
 
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