I have had the original aquaponic system since Feb 2014 and now I have decided to upgrade the grow bed. My original grow bed was actually a cement mixing trough from Home Depot that I paid $12 for and then hooked up the bell siphon. It was actually a really good way to get started since it was easy and cheap. But now I want more growing room so I found a great deal online for a 2 x 4 feet grow bed for only $45 and bought it. I also bought new expanded clay pellets so that I can start out with something that is sorta clean. Before I go through the "how-to" here is the old system running...
The first thing you have to do is remove all the plants, growing material and water. Don't be fooled into thinking you can just lift these things, you can't. They are very heavy when completely weighed down like this.
|New Grow bed - it was being discontinued so I got it for about 50% off|
|Rooting some of the strawberry plants and needed to remove them|
|Half the plant removed|
|Start shoveling clay pellets|
|What I started with when the old tank was removed|
|Added a post to support the front of the tank and it is tied into the back wall board|
|I have 2 levels that I used, a short one and a long one. Being level in this set-up is important or the water will run over the side.|
|I screwed the support boards into the back wall and then out from the corner. You need it to be really sturdy.|
First you drill a hole using your drill and a spade bit that fits the size of the drain tube. This is a two piece contraption that goes through the tank and you use the large screw on connector from the bottom. I use the longer version of this so that I can get more water in the tank before it drains out. You can use the shorter version if you have a shallower tank.
|The bottom connection is for a black irrigation hose which I never have the right size of anyway.|
|What did humanity do before duct tape?|
Make sure you rinse your new clay pellets as they have a lot of dust on them..
|I let the new ones sit in a old tank for a while and then use the net to scoop them out.|