But please remember to leave an e-mail address so that I may respond.
This Blog Post Goes out to Robert in Texas who contacted me through my www.TCLynx.com web site but didn’t leave an e-mail address for me to respond.
He asks for some pointers and notes how I often recommend starting small. Well yes small is subjective and you are in Texas where I guess everything is bigger (well at least till you start comparing to OZ.)
Anyway, 3 spas 600-700 estimated volume each. And plenty of space, lumber, plumbing fittings and a couple pumps and blowers. What do I suggest.
I’ll start off bombarding you with questions if I could.
Well how deep are those spas, are they the kinda shallow ones or are they the deeper variety? If deeper then I say start with the deepest one to make a fish tank.
What is your site like? Super flat or do you have some elevation change?
Do you want to use just the spas as fish tank and grow beds? Or are all the spas to be fish tanks and you will add other containers as grow beds? Do you want media beds or raft? Or towers?
What is your climate like, TX has a variety of those, are you in SE TX with the almost tropical wet gulf climate or are you in the interior or West with a more desert climate? Do you get the cold where you are, will you need a greenhouse or would you rather go for a system that can survive what winter you do get?
What kind of fish do you want?
As to the pumps you have, inspect them closely, if there is any metal other than stainless steel in contact with the fish water, I would avoid using them for aquaponics since not only can the metal leach and become toxic to the fish but it will eventually corrode to the point of pump failure in aquaponics. They also tend to be a little more energy hungry than I like to use. However, I know some people who have successfully used spa pumps so if you don’t mind the extra energy consumption, go for it. As long as the blowers are oil-less they could also be useful to you, depending on the type of system you go with (if it is a flood and drain media system the blowers may be extreme overkill for supplemental aeration but if you do raft beds you will likely make good use of them.)
To “start small” I would use one (or two) of the spas as fish tank and sump tank and then scrounge for some other smaller containers to use as grow beds and set up a system with 500-600 gallons of fish tank water and 1000-1200 gallons of flood and drain grow beds for a nice “small” starter system. Make sure whatever gravel you use won’t affect your water pH.
Answer a few more questions and I might be able to give you more details on design ideas.