Aquaponics Review: Aquaponics Source Grow Bed

I spotted a grow bed during one of my walks around Soil Born Farms.  I found it because I could hear the siphon.  I didn’t realize how tuned I am to that particular sound.  What I found was a small grow bed made by The Aquaponics Source .  I’ve never used their products, so this was a great opportunity for me to poke around.

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This setup is small.  I’m guessing it’s one of the Space Saver systems.

20131019_093955Soil Born had a neat little paper showing the science behind an AP grow bed.  I really appreciate the learning opportunities they provide.

 

I waited until siphon had broken and pulled the cap on the bell siphon.  The cap walls are very thick and the whole thing is heavy.  This is a good thing.  Casual jostling isn’t going to tip it.  If the cap is tipped, it will probably settle back quickly.

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Interesting design.  The siphon pipe (white piece) has a large piece on it.  I bet it keeps the cap nice and centered.  I wonder what the effect on the water is when siphon is going.  I am guessing but I bet the black thing is for aerating water for the fish.

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The spray bar(s) are doing a great job.

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Looks like goldfish.  I don’t know what the bigger, dark fish is.  They looked healthy and popped up to the surface immediately.

The pump is DC, plugged into the wall.  I couldn’t really see it, so no pic.  Sorry.

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I got a pic of the water siphoning.  I didn’t time it, but a rough estimate is a 5 minute cycle between siphons.  That’s very nice.  water was blowing out really fast here–the pic doesn’t give that sense.

This is a great system.  I wouldn’t buy it–it wasn’t designed for my needs.  But it’s perfect as a system for small homes, apartments, etc.  I don’t think this grow bed is about being self-sufficient.  The idea is that you’re getting quality food from your porch or balcony.

I do have a negative.  I’ve attempted to contact The Aquaponics Source in the past.  I haven’t received replies.  I know that they’ve recently relocated, so maybe the move got in the way of things.

One other note.  The grow bed had peas and a few other greens growing in the expanded clay pellets.  There were also chives in the growbed.  Chives are allelopathic–they have properties that aren’t good for some plants around them.  This is something to keep in mind when you pick plants for grow beds.

 

–J.S.