Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An under ground aquaponic concept

With weather going from 115F in the Summer to 20F in the Winter I have been concerned about insulation and maintaining a consistent temperature.  By insulating and placing a large portion of the tanks under ground I may be able to control the water temperature.

Below is a concept drawing of what that might look like.   There would be a covered opening over the sump tank which would also provide access to plumbing.

  • The sump tank contains the pump which will operate 100% of the time without a timer.
  • Water from the sump tank is poured into the fish tanks.
  • Then into the settling tank using a bottom pickup tube not shown here
  • As water is pumped into the fish tanks it seeks the level of the spill tube which runs to the grow bed.
  • The water percolates through the grow media filling the grow bed
  • When the water reaches the height of the siphon it is dumped into the sump tank as clean water.  

An idea I have for a buried system

Some of the features I like in this design are:
  1. Reduced exposure to UV will help prevent damage to the polyethylene IBC's
  2. One pump design with no chance of pumping the fish tanks dry
  3. Well insulated
  4. Looks very clean with most of the mechanical system hidden underground
  5. Easy to add additional grow beds
Shown from the back side

Some features I don't like are:
  1. Plumbing is more difficult to access
  2. Grow beds are low to the ground
  3. Periodic cleaning of the bio filter may require significant effort
  4. The initial cost of digging the hole
  5. Possible problems from ground water (our water table can raise in the rainy season.)
SketchUp Link to this drawing

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