Aquaponics : What do you think?

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
asymptote
asymptote's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/16/2011
Hat Tips: 395
Posts: 48
Aquaponics : What do you think?

I've ben reading a lot about aquaponics lately. HEre are some thoughts:

  • Extremely high yield for area. This means you can possibly even hide it better, or be located in less favorable terrain for traditional growing.
  • Protein production thats not beans
  • Seems to be fun and interesting (perhaps this is a geek thing)

But...

  • Most fish species appear to not breed in the tank, which means once fingerlings are no longer available the system breaks down. 
  • Mechanic and electronic devices (solar panels, etc). Things to break. Tanks that can leak.
  • Costly. If the same money was spent on Mylar sealed rice, you would have a heck of a lot more food. IN fact I'd argue, that for this price, you could afford enough rice to eat it every day for 1-2 decades!
  • Possibly needing consumables, minor like ph\nitro testing kits. Fish still need to eat something.

What else do you guys thing? Possibility or gimmick?

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:06
I Run Bartertown
I Run Bartertown's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/11/2011
Hat Tips: 14902
Posts: 2023
Love it

Look on Youtube for some videos about it. I'm unclear on the ability to breed/sustain over time and how easy that part is. Part of the idea is that the plants that filter the wastewater also provide food for the fish...and that this is part of the design efficiency. I think reliance on test kits, etc. would be reduced with experience and knowledge.

Hopefully someone who has actually done it will respond. I think it's viable, and rice is just preparation for a collapse....aquaponics is more of a prep for a rebirth, in my estimation.

Kumanari
Kumanari's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/14/2011
Hat Tips: 1465
Posts: 221
Aquaponics is the future and

Aquaponics is the future and is part of preparing accordingly. The "systems" you have seen are way too expensive. FAP sells a manual so you can build your own system at much less cost than the "systems" others have for sale. If you subscribe to their free news letter you will get all the info that is in the manual and much more.

As one prepares for the future it would be wise to have a larger view, mylar rice is good and part of preparing but it is the difference between feeding a man a fish or teaching her HOW to fish. I have not the time to go into all I've discovered now but you may want to check these guys out. They came over to Maui and set up a system across the street from my house for a nonprofit community org.. I started educating and investigating AP about two years ago. Since that time several commercial operations have begun and many more non commercial. i hope I've helped, I'll return later this week if you like.

http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/

asymptote
asymptote's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/16/2011
Hat Tips: 395
Posts: 48
I'm interested in hearing

I'm interested in hearing more. Are there any databases \ tables available on aquatic species and their attributes in relation to things AP would care about:

  • Ability to breed them
  • Temperature ranges
  • Stocking levels (some can be compounded, others prefer not to school)
  • Non fish based stock (Here in australia we grow Marron which looks like a small freshwater lobster), edible eels, etc.

(I have a reasonable amount of experience growing \ seed saving and have spend the last year investigating buying \ running a farm. I have a bunch of permiculture books and was considering a PDC, etc)

Your comment about post SHTF hit a chord with me. My 2 decades in banking IT is coming to an end by looks of things and I'm looking for a change anyway.(70% of IT in my city is banking related) I've been looking over FriendlyAquaponics, but the $400 design plans is not the kind of thing you just download to have a read. (I subscribed, BTW). Be nice if they gave away a trivially small system design for free so you would see the basic component layout.

What plants work, what doesn't? Root crops would be out right? What informational overlap is there with hydroponics? Presumably the techniques are very similar in the growbed, the Aqua part just takes care of the nutrients in a more organic way, in a way the fish are like a chemical battery, converting the fish food in to nitrogen. What about growing fish food in one of the growbeds?

Jager06
Jager06's picture
Online
Joined: 06/15/2011
Hat Tips: 1025
Posts: 134
Down Under Aquaponics...

Murray Hallam is the "go to guy" in Australia. If you google his name and "aquaponics" there will quite a bit of info. He breeds fish in his systems I believe....I could be mistaken about that though.

There are ways of growing duckweed to feed your fish, as well as vermiculture to feed them worms. There is a guy in Michigan who is growing/ raising 1 million pounds of food per year on 3 acres with aquaponics. He uses the compost piles inside the greenhouses for worms and to keep things warm in the winter, as well as duckweed ponds for feeding the fish. Do a youtube search for "million pounds of food on 3 acres" and check out their video.

I am slowly working on a system, putting bits together here and there. You might want to just grow some tomatoes, lettuce and peppers off of an indoor fish tank to get started cheap and get some experience. Re route the tank pump into your grow beds and use a bell siphon to flush. With this you should be bale to use any cheap fish while you work out the kinks, since you won't be eating them. Put the tank and grow media near a maximum sun exposure window though.....just sayin.

Best Wishes,

Jager06

Kumanari
Kumanari's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/14/2011
Hat Tips: 1465
Posts: 221
DO NOT USE DUCK WEED

Do not use duckweed what ever you do, research FRiendly Aquaponics newsletters.

You will hate life and NEVER get rid of duck weed, it has very little nutritional value. EVERYONE makes this mistake, bad move. You must do extensive research with people who are commercial growers. I would not change anything that Friendly does as they have made ALL (almost all) the mistakes already.  Your weight gain with duck weed is lame. The nutrient value is low as it is 90% h20, e veryone uses the wrong math utilizing data from DRY WEIGHT of duckweed instead of weight which is what fish consume, plus fish would eat duckweed when they few other choices. 

When I embark on a program I find the best at the particular endeavour and copy them and or do EXACTLY as they have instructed. Once I am successful THEN I may try to enhance but usually not. I always follow a professional(s) successful with a long track record.

good luck

http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/527375/9827150b47/1451002247/306429ea53/

http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/527375/ada6e679c5/1451002247/6f8be60bcf//

http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/support/newsletter-back-issues/

asymptote
asymptote's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/16/2011
Hat Tips: 395
Posts: 48
Thanks a lot guys. Over the

Thanks a lot guys. Over the past few days I have been reading a heck of a lot (Yes you can grow potatoes, but only in a flood\drain system). I'll look in to the reference on the breeding thanks.

I've looked over the friendly system, floating race, flood\drain, etc  and feel that the different internet silo's seem to have a favorite system. Looking at the problem (I'm an IT person btw) it seems that different systems are optimal for certain species. For example friendly systems(,etc and  are optimal for plants where you consume the leaf matter (lettuce, spinach, cabbage, herbs and possibly soft body plants like beans\peas), whereas systems based on substrate are better for plants that have either rootcrop or have a stem that supplies structure to the plant(tomatoes, eggplant, etc.).

One observation I made is that if you decide to 'not' eat the fish, and just use them as fertilizer generators (perhaps because you are planning for SHTF and cannot procure fingerlings for some time) you can perhaps opt for long lived species, and just leave them in the tank. Murray cod or carp perhaps.

BTW, I have a largish (240L) vermiculture implementation. So worms may be an option for protein supplementation assuming I can sustain the population harvesting. The worms are active enough to eat 100% of my cardboard, 100% of the lawn clippings, all the vege garden offcuts and family food waste.

Kind thanks for the response.

zalora
zalora's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/14/2011
Posts: 2
Kumanari, thank you for

Kumanari, thank you for posting those links. I am trying to compare as many different systems as possible before I try building my own in the spring.

BlackHawk
BlackHawk's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/15/2011
Hat Tips: 3888
Posts: 1455
Aquaponics Seminar in FL

FYI, here is an upcoming seminar with associates of the Friendly's in FL. BTW, cost of the two-day seminar is $299.

Sahib’s Training Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Guru’s

Attend an informative class on the basics of aquaponics.
Learn how to begin growing organic produce.

Sahib’s Training Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Guru’s – NOW Accepting Registration

December 10th – 11th 2011 from 10:00AM – 4:00PM

Training Course Duration: 2 days

  WWWw     Workshop Course Content

Basic: Day 1

Classroom Session (1):

  • Workshop Introduction, Concept and Purpose
  • Before Aquaponics
  • What exactly is Aquaponics
  • How does Aquaponics work – the Nitrogen Cycle
  • How do I create the conditions for the Nitrogen Cycle to begin
  • Which Fish can I use and how many do I need
  • How do I check water quality and what do I need to look for
  • What about pH levels
  • Why do I need to add oxygen to my system
  • One Aquaponics growing method – Rafts using net pots
  • Potting Material / Plant selection / seed starting / seedling transplanting
  • Pest control and health safety

Light Lunch

 Hands-on Field Session:

  • Assemble a small Aquaponics system – fish tank and raft growing bed
  • Introduce the pond pump and the air pump – plumb for water flow making use of gravity
  • Build the Raft bed, drill for net pots
  • Plant seeds in net pots / transfer seedlings to Raft beds

Classroom Session (2):

  • Wrap up of Workshop – Summary of what was covered during the day
  • Request those attending Application Workshop, as homework,  to review the course workshop outline and their class notes as well as download (if not already done), and review the Friendly Aquaponics Tabletop Systems Manual
  • Questions & Answers

 

Application: Day 2

Classroom Session (1):

  • Workshop Introduction, Concept & Purpose
  • Questions & Answers re participants experience
  • Additional seed starting medias & methods
  • Seed selection and plant growing times
  • Water issues & filteration
  • Methods of controlling water flow – bell siphons & timers
  • Fish  selection and feeding issues
  • Where can Aquaponics be used
  • Aquaponics “Gurus” around the world
  • Aquaponic Methods: Raft, NFT, Media-filled Systems, Verticals, Recirculating Wicking Beds
  • What are the advantages / disadvantages, if any, of these different methods
  • What and how much do you want to grow
  • Introduction to Environmental Control and Greenhouses

Light Lunch

Hands-on Field Session:

  • Review the class assembled small Aquaponics system
  • Add Media Bed and introduce timer for water pump
  • Introduce Media and add seedlings – see both beds work in unison
  • Introduction and tour of Sahib’s Aquaponic Research Farm
  • Visualization of Aquaponics at work in establishing a sustainable ECO system
  • Identification of Aquaponic growing methods
  • Environmental control in Aquaponic Systems

Classroom Session (2):

  • Wrap up of Workshop – Summary of what was covered during the day
  • Request those who would like to learn more to look into the next series of Sahib’s training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Guru’s  -   $50.00 discount voucher for participants
  • Questions & Answers
  • Award Workshop completion certificate

Sahib Aquaponics is a training affiliate for Friendly Aquaponics and this training workshop will use their Tabletop System Manual as part of the training.  This workshop will empower you to build an aquaponics system, either indoors or outdoors and begin to grow your own food naturally. We will cover aquaponics theory, system design, components, construction, water quality, planting techniques and more. The Friendly Tabletop Aquaponics System Manual, which includes construction plans and materials list, is included in the workshop materials that you will receive.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Topic locked
Syndicate contentComments for "Aquaponics : What do you think?"