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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone here currently running an aquaponics system? Need one more item to get my system up and running, but would love to hear anything from beginners to seasoned growers!!! Please send pics of systems if you have any would love to see what others have come up with!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is the system finally running. Just got water flow and drainage dialed in to flow correctly. Next step will be to add media. Then fish to get the bio going.

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What are planning on growing as far as vegetables? What type of fish and what is your total yield going to be or planned to be?
 

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interesting.
would love to try my own but right now i have no space at all for one.

havy anything going in your set up yet?
i'd love to try minnows in a setup. nice and small and could feed em to quail for more protein after SHTF and cant buy the feeds.
 

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I like the concept! It sounds a lot like a refugium or algae scrubber on my saltwater aquariums just on a much grander scale than I have done myself or seen in person. Seems like the only real difference is we are growing food this time, fish that we eat instead of looking pretty and with fresh water instead of salt. Its a concept that I think I could really get into and take off with. I really like the idea and think that it has huge potential!!!

Unfortunately until I can figure out a sustainable and cost effective way to do it with solar power, its a no go for me at the moment. However once I can cross that bridge I plan to set up an extensive system eventually. I will use the poly tanks used for watering cattle though I think. That seems to be very cost effective and I have used these in the past for aquaculture and they are pretty cost effective and easy to work with out of all of the other options. Might try it on a much smaller scale with a 55 gallon aquarium and some 55 gallon cattle troughs first to cut my teeth on it and learn the finer points before investing in a much larger system.

The other challenge I face in my area...predators! There is no shortage of festively plump Raccoon's or Blue Herons here and both could easily decimate a tank full of fish in short order!!! That would surely require a tank inside a green house or like the Japanese do a wire mesh screening over the top of the tank to deny access.

Since I have looked into this extensively, unlike most I think I will use Bluegill or possibly even catfish for my "live stock". The regulations associated with Talapia seem to be a little more red tape and cost that I am willing to for go. I am also right next to a water source and since they are considered an invasive species making the permitting system even more difficult to comply with. The other thing I have noticed about the Talapia is that most are hybrids and sterile which kind of precludes any sort of sustainability. On the other hand I can throw out a minnow trap and trap a gang of 3-4 inch bluegill 8 days a week here and keep a sustainable supply of fish to "grow out" into 8-10 inchers perfect for the cooking pan. Catfish is another one that I have looked at as well, especially since feeding them dog food works really well and is really cheap. Of course both species will do well on earth worms and since I keep rabbits, these are not in short supply by any stretch of the imagination. I have also considered Rio Grand Perch too. They are native here although due to the winters not quiet as easily sustainable this far north of their territory. But with the addition of a 400 watt heater or two or a green house set up they would be very durable. They are also a goregous fish as well and reach a some what larger size than Bluegill and I have had excellent success in the past breeding them in an aquarium setting and could easily continue to produce a sustainable population of fish to resupply the aquaponics system as required. So since I have rabbits, I have a sustainable fish food source as well as a source for fish to grow out and consume as needed.

But I definitely like the idea and see a lot of potential here for it. Imagine the possibilities?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did start some seeds a couple of weeks ago and tried to go with bush type plants so I woundnt be zip tieing all over the place. It is a small system, i wanted to start small just so I could see if I was going to get it up running smooth. I have tomatoes, bell;banana; and jalapeno peppers, baby carrots, lettuce, spinach and green beans. And a few herbs taht i am going to mix in. I went to the local pet store and bought 2 dz guppies just to get the bacteria going.. I will take them out later when I get my permanent fish. I was going to go with tilapia because they are very hardy and grow to a good size. One of the main reasons I chose them was that they are an herbavore species. They dont require protiens such as worms or insects like other species do. They thrive on leaf matter and pond plants. I have just started a small 10 gallon tank that I will plumb to the main tank so they are all running on same h2o. I will just keep aquatic plants and am getting ready to purchase some duck weed to fill it. It grows prolific, and all this will feed the tilapia. So nice to think that all of this together just keeps replenishing its self. And once its up and running we will definitely be enjoying it as well. I have done alot of searching for which type of fish we wanted to use and tilapia seemed to be the most hardy and easy. I hadnt heard anything about them being sterile and hopefully we dont run into that. The site from which I was going to purchase from next week, also sells breeding groups. Usually 1 male and 3 female. So I will definitely ask before purchasing that there is a garauntee that they will reproduce under the correct conditions. I am a fish junkie and have had everything from fresh, brackish and salt. So I am confident I can make it happen as long as they are NOT sterile and NOT Genectically Modified.. I am excited to get them in and once i am confident everything runs smooth, I have IBC tanks waiting for me in the garage!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Food Plant Ingredient Cuisine Grass

Ok everyone! So excited about this. Got my grow media in and the system running with some fish! Just added a couple dozen guppies to get it all going, but seems to be doing well so I took all my starts and transplanted them into the grow bed. They looked a little tired the day after transplanting, But, a couple days later, they look awesome and its doing what it needs to do. I have started nearly 300 veggie seeds each year indoors and these plants are loving this system, they look better than my dirt sown seeds. Seem very strong and healthy. I transplanted a pea plant start and wasnt sure if it would come back. It crinkled all up like it was gonna die, but as soon as it got a few good drinks of that yummy fishwater they opened right up and runners are flying off of it.. Now gonna have to come up with my trellis quicker than I planned probably. Since everything looks healthy, i went a head and direct seeded some of the things that dont transplant well, ie; lettuce, carrots etc. Waiting for my cucumber seeds to come in that I ordered, so when I get those in, again another trellis. Dont know, may have runners hanging from my ceiling beams in my livingroom!!! For Now, 2 tomatoes, jalapeno, bell and banana peppers, peas, lime basil, sweet basil, lettuce and carrots. The good thing about this system is that because the root system on these plants are getting everything they need directly sent them they dont have to spread so far to find nutrients, so you can plant double to triple the amount of veggies in one area compaired to a normal garden. You just have to adjust your amount of fish for amount of vegetable growth so they keep in balance! Now that it is up and running I have made a purchase of Hawaiian Gold Tilapia and they are on their way!!! These babies get plate size, so hopefully everyone here is ready to learn how to eat fish!!! Well they all love fish, they will just have it coming out of their ears! I am going to set up another tank and choose a male and 2 to 3 female for a breading tank so I can always keep adding new stock to my aquaponics system. Well hopefully the direct seeds pop up and when I get my fingerlings in I will post some new pics!!
 

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Very Cool, lae712! What kind of lights do you have on your system?

Also, if you may, you should consider introducing red wigglers into your grow bed to supercharge things (it looks like your system should be able to handle 1lb of them- based on the size of your tray).

Sounds exciting! Can't wait to see your tote system.
Here is a couple I had running at my old work:
Plant Property Grass Landscape Urban design

Happy Gardening!
 
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