A friend and I want to setup a small aquaponic system in his basement. We want to raise a few fish, some plants that don’t need a ton of light, and maybe some clams to help filter the water. The basement receives some sun light as it has a couple windows, but probably not enough light. I’ve been toying with the idea of using a reflective membrane, maybe like metal coated Mylar to bounce light in there for the plants. I just don’t want it to get really hot in there, increasing his air conditioning bill. I did a Google search for hot mirrors and cold mirrors, but the prices are exhorbinant for ones even a couple inches in diameter.
I want to put something on the windows that’ll block infrared while still letting light through that the plants can use to photosynthesize. As I understand it what I want is a film or coating that’ll be opaque or reflective to wavelengths above about 700 nm, but transparent to shorter wave lengths (~400 to ~670 nm).
Alternatively, a “cold mirror” material might work to reflect the visible light into the basement.
I’m not sure if this is even a good website to ask this question, but you guys (some of you anyway) seem really smart.
Did I mention it needs to be cheap?
Why not just have a covered sump outside, that way you can keep your nitrate control elements in full sunlight while your livestock remain indoors. A few meters of hose seems like a cheap solution. And you’ll never run into the problem of an exposed powerhead since it’ll always be in the grow-out tank.
Anyway, let me know if you need help, I’ve some experience with tropical food fish and recirculating systems.
King Shannon of the Constitutional Monarchy of Logos.
Problem with hoses and connections is that they inevitably fail. Best, simplest system is a single pump, gravity return with nothing exiting the sides, put the grow-bed above the tank and overflow directly into the tank. The more complex the system, the more points of possible failure… I have not got one built, as it’s been too freaking hot, here in Texas, but I have a 275 gallon UBC tank and container that will be cut, for mine… Cut the top off, flip it over and rotate 90 deg, so it self-supports with a gap at one side, for access to fish tank. Can use auto-syphons to cause flood/drain cycle, so a simple, always ‘On’ fountain pump will move the water. No timer to fail, nothing sticking out to fail… Not sure how well it’ll work, but if nothing else, I can start growing Duckweed and use it to offset fish food… By having it splash, I’ll get my aeration for the fish, too… Be sure to insulate your tank…
Never be afraid to try something new…
Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.