Aquaponics is Growing

Oliveoilguy
By Oliveoilguy on Mon, Sep 2, 2013 - 7:23am

I've just spent two months of intensive study on Aquaponics system design, and have fired up a prototype system and am breaking ground on a passive greenhouse / shadehouse for Texas. Would be glad to share experience with anyone taking a serious interst in aquaponics. 

 

10 Comments

msmithic's picture
msmithic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2013
Posts: 2
Interested

I live in the North east. Would like to hear more on how you are doing. 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
I couldn't be *more*

I couldn't be *more* interested. 
This is the kind of thing that I've been wanting to try, but have put off for lack of knowledge.

Eagerly looking forward to your contribution!
Cheers,
Aaron

ljhaines's picture
ljhaines
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Posts: 35
Interested

I'm in Texas and am interested in starting an  Eco-Village project somewhere north of Houston. Aquaponics and permaculture would be part of it so I'm definately interested. Anyone else interested?

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
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Posts: 3102
Very interested

OOG -

Very interested as I'm about to set up a small fish-farming trial with a farmer friend. If we find we can keep the fish alive well enough, adding aquaponic vegetable growing on to the operation is the next phase.

tx

A

Ready's picture
Ready
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Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
A. M. ~

Time for a trip back to the farm! I'd love to show you the 12 x 25 greenhouse I just put up (heated via pex in slab from outdoor wood boiler) and full of all my hydroponics from the basement. I got the hydro figured out well in the basement, but the lighting was costing me about $4000 per tomato (jk, but waaaay too much energy use) so I took it to the next logical step. 

I now have solar panels to provide electricty, well and rain for water, wood for heat, and sunshine for everything else. Truly a 4 seasons harvest. I'm getting help from JAG on growing citrus too, something I could never do without a greenhouse. I looked into aquaponics hard too, but Farmer Brown talked me out of that due to the huge energy inputs needed. But I have 3 lakes and plenty of wild fish, so no big deal on that, I just won't have tilapia.

Best part of a heated grteenhouse is no more canning necessary.

Come on down and we'll get that hunt in we have been talking about for 4 years and you can check out how to eat completely local, off the land. You wouldn't recognize the place. It's been 6 years in the making, and I'd have to say I am just about done, if there is such a thing.

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 29 2012
Posts: 578
Pex in Slab?
Ready wrote:

Time for a trip back to the farm! I'd love to show you the 12 x 25 greenhouse I just put up (heated via pex in slab from outdoor wood boiler) and full of all my hydroponics from the basement. I got the hydro figured out well in the basement, but the lighting was costing me about $4000 per tomato (jk, but waaaay too much energy use) so I took it to the next logical step. 

I now have solar panels to provide electricty, well and rain for water, wood for heat, and sunshine for everything else. Truly a 4 seasons harvest. I'm getting help from JAG on growing citrus too, something I could never do without a greenhouse. I looked into aquaponics hard too, but Farmer Brown talked me out of that due to the huge energy inputs needed. But I have 3 lakes and plenty of wild fish, so no big deal on that, I just won't have tilapia.

Best part of a heated grteenhouse is no more canning necessary.

Come on down and we'll get that hunt in we have been talking about for 4 years and you can check out how to eat completely local, off the land. You wouldn't recognize the place. It's been 6 years in the making, and I'd have to say I am just about done, if there is such a thing.

What size and spacing did you use on the PEX? I'm doing a similar design. Are you in a cold region? Or is cooling an issue for you?

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
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Posts: 578
Aquaponics Greenhouse Design

JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
AP Design

Hey OOG,

If the moderators will let this post through, I wanted to offer some design considerations you might ponder:

  1. Forget the media beds, use ZipGrow Towers for your biofiltration and growing your greens. Not only can you grow more greens per square foot of greenhouse (2-3X), but the biological surface area of the grow medium used in the towers is 10X that of a gravel media bed. They also provide excellent aeration for the system as well, eliminating the need for blowers in an appropriately stocked fish tank. 
  2. For growing fruiting plants, use wicking beds that are fed water from the aquaponic system, but that are separated from it (meaning that the water from the wicking beds is not recirculated to the fish tanks). This will allow you to add the necessary fertilizers for fruiting without harming the fish. It will also allow you to grow root crops. Of course you will need to replace the water taken from the aquaponic system with fresh water, but this will be good for the fish and the system will still be water efficient.
  3. Start your system with Reverse Osmosis water or rain water to minimize the carbonates in your system. This will make it much easier to control pH over time.
  4. Don't crowd your fish. Just as you don't want to eat factory chicken that lived it's whole life in a tiny cage, you don't want to eat fish chronically stressed from overcrowding. 
  5. You might consider using an airlift pump to run the system. They are much more energy efficient and provide fantastic aeration for the fish, bacteria, and plants.

Good luck and let us know about your progress.

All the best,

Jeff

robshepler's picture
robshepler
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 16 2010
Posts: 109
Disolved solids

Jeff you are dead right about starting with RO water or rainwater! We have had a small system running for about four years and have changed to captured rain water. Our well water has very high ph and dissolved solids. Our fish did not mind it, but the plants sure did. Great video of the Olomana air lift, it is my feeling that his work has made these systems much more sustainable and cheaper to run.

Endrunner's picture
Endrunner
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Joined: Mar 12 2018
Posts: 1
Aquaponics in North Houston

We have been doing aquaponics for 10 years or so and actually make and sell products for aquaponics. 

Here is one of our products.

http://www.gropockets.com/Gallery-Videos_c_14.html

It is a diverse world with lots of different ways to approach it. I am always interested in learning more and would love to cooperate, share, or otherwise coordinate efforts. 

We also have an extensive orchard (over 100 trees) which we can not manage and would love share the fruits if someone is interest in helping out. 

 

 

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