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Aquaponics...getting started

Peter Mally


Joined: Jun 03, 2012
Posts: 15
So my wife and I started a CSA this year, and I was doing some reading around, and kinda had this in the back of my mind on doing Aquaponics with it as well. Just wondering if there was anyone here that has/is doing it and where to get some information on how to start one up.

Thanks for the help up front
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5318
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
I'm a beginning aquaponicist and I've already killed my first batch of fish! Not uncommon, as it turns out. Going to try again in another couple weeks. My primary lesson: Don't try to get along without a water test kit!

I've found a good amount of info and help here: http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/index.php


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Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
Aquaponics is great, especially for high intensity spaces. What kinds of things do you want to know?


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Peter Mally


Joined: Jun 03, 2012
Posts: 15
Neal McSpadden wrote:Aquaponics is great, especially for high intensity spaces. What kinds of things do you want to know?


pretty much how to do it easy, inexpensive. I probably wont be able to get started this year, probably have to wait till next year, but I'd like start putting plans together and have some idea on what I need to get started...don't have a ton of room and would like to do it with some solar power as well
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1314
Location: Chihuahua Desert
    
    6
Check out LEAP:
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11704
http://www.aquaponicshq.com/forums/showthread.php/6994-Low-Energy-Aquaponics-LEAP/

read both of those threads all the way through. Once you are done, buy this book: Small Scale Aquaculture

Then, you will have everything you need to know to get started. There is a lot to learn, and a lot to plan for. Don't jump into it, and don't assume anything.


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Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
This is my very basic demonstration system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7tlgqzmQmM

It goes over the components of what you'll need. Sizes vary, of course. The demo system is only 5 gallons of fish tank, so you'll probably want to build something larger eventually.

AP has 4 fundamental components: a fish tank, a grow bed, a pump, and symbiotic bacteria that convert fish waste (ammonia) to plant food (nitrate).

For me there is nothing quite like doing, so I always recommend setting up a small system to help you understand how the pieces fit together. Experiment small, then build big.

Oh, and generally solar and inexpensive don't go together unless you are able to source free solar parts.
Peter Mally


Joined: Jun 03, 2012
Posts: 15
Neal McSpadden wrote:This is my very basic demonstration system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7tlgqzmQmM

It goes over the components of what you'll need. Sizes vary, of course. The demo system is only 5 gallons of fish tank, so you'll probably want to build something larger eventually.

AP has 4 fundamental components: a fish tank, a grow bed, a pump, and symbiotic bacteria that convert fish waste (ammonia) to plant food (nitrate).

For me there is nothing quite like doing, so I always recommend setting up a small system to help you understand how the pieces fit together. Experiment small, then build big.

Oh, and generally solar and inexpensive don't go together unless you are able to source free solar parts.


Thanks! I'll check it out.

Yeah, the solar panels wont be for a while longer than this. definitely starting small makes a lot of sense.
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1314
Location: Chihuahua Desert
    
    6
if you look at those threads on LEAP, you can have cheap and solar at the same time. The whole idea is to reduce the head as much as possible, and to use efficient pumps at low head (airlift). I think the final design could do about 60kg of fish a year on 10 watts (or less) and cost around $600 (or less).

Seriously, though, get Small Scale Aquaculture, it goes over everything in great detail, and has a lot of good information.
Christian McMahon


Joined: Nov 20, 2011
Posts: 70
I have had great success with DIY Aquaponics by Murray Hallan. Yes you will need a lot of patience and a quality water test kit. I am ready for a larger system now. I will also be getting a greenhouse to keep the water warm in the winter time. It should also help with the wind blowing the flower petals off some of the plants.

Travis Day


Joined: Oct 23, 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Idaho, 43rd parallel Zone 6A
Well I am not sure how much room you have to work with, but lets say you have room for a 12'x24' greenhouse you could have a 4000-6000 gallon FT that could turn over about 6000-8000 or more Tilapia a year (if legal for you) and with a NFT system you could harvest 100-150 heads or luttuce a week.

I hope that is helpful as an idea of what you can expect from 288 sq ft of space.


Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin
Jon Tomlinson


Joined: Feb 17, 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Houston Texas
Hmm, I have a 12 by 24 Greenhouse and it was all I could do to put in 2500 gallons, I guess I could have squeezed another 1750 gallons into it but why? With less than 300 fish my nitrate stays at about 80.
I keep hearing of numbers 1 fish per 1 gallon and that's just not a maintainable number in a 12 by 24 green house, nor would I ever put 1 to1 ratio even if I had the room. I can just imagine seeing a Tilapia at 1 pound in a 1 gallon milk jug.
I have seen that kind of fish numbers to gallons of water at the Hong Kong markets, They all look sick and diseased and that's just a holding tank.
R Scott


Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Posts: 1823
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
    
  19
You CAN stock that dense, but that is running at the edge and things can go belly up FAST. If you have room, it makes your life MUCH simpler to run at a lower stocking rate.

The LEAP threads are very helpful for thinking about energy efficiency whether you go full LEAP or not.


"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi. "Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
 
 
subject: Aquaponics...getting started
 
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