I've ben reading a lot about aquaponics lately. HEre are some thoughts:
What else do you guys thing? Possibility or gimmick?
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.
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.
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:
(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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
FYI, here is an upcoming seminar with associates of the Friendly's in FL. BTW, cost of the two-day seminar is $299.
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):
Hands-on Field Session:
Classroom Session (2):
Application: Day 2
Hands-on Field Session:
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.