Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Jeff S
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  • Westland, MI
  • United States

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Jeff S's Discussions

Astronomical nitrate levels

Started Sep 9, 2017 0 Replies

I did a water change several months ago due to excessive ammonia. I put the water into a container, added a gallon jug of hydroton with an air line inserted to see if I could preserve and use the…Continue

Radial Flow Filter Problem

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jeff S Nov 14, 2016. 2 Replies

I have a 65 gallon filter tank that I recently switched from swirl to radial flow because I felt like the swirl wasn't catching enough of the solids. The RFF definitely catches lots more of the…Continue

Using Fish Water To Fertilize Gardens

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Oliphant Nov 5, 2017. 1 Reply

I read about adding nitrogen to soil gardens but there aren't any suggested levels for nitrogen in the form of nitrates. If I want to use fish water to fertilize my gardens what level of nitrates…Continue

Can I eat the Tilapia

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jeff S Mar 23, 2016. 2 Replies

I had a power outage and lost 47 lbs of Tilapia to lack of oxygen. Are they still edible? If so how do I store them while waiting to fillet them? Seems like all the big ones died.Continue


Jeff S's Page

Latest Activity

Jeff S replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"I use the API kit. I've used ph meters in the past but the calibration isn't stable enough for me. The problem with the API kit is that it doesn't go lower than 6.0 so when it's yellow you don't really know how low it is so…"
Mar 13
Jeff S commented on Chi Ma's group Aquaponics For Beginners
"Charles, I've been doing aquaponics for about 4 years. I have 500, 100, and 50 gallon systems. Not a day goes by that I don't think about what I would do differently if I did it again. I'm a believer in go big or go home but Jim is…"
Dec 30, 2017
Jeff S commented on Chi Ma's group Aquaponics For Beginners
"Start small. Don't get too excited by all the neat things you see. Like Leo said, look around and decide on a system that looks like it will work for you. A Tilapia farm with vegetables is sorta reversed aquaponics. I see aquaponics as more a…"
Dec 29, 2017
Ian Cameron replied to Jeff S's discussion Cold weather problem? in the group Cold Weather Aquaponics
"looks like aphid casings"
Nov 16, 2017
Jeff S replied to Tom Oliphant's discussion Dry Yellow Leaves
"This is the complete nutrient list: Search "CO2 Bright Agrotech" on YouTube and you'll get all you need to know on CO2 Nate is educated on what he…"
Nov 8, 2017
Jeff S replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"Actually most plants like closer to 6.0. Nutrient take up is hampered by ph as high as you are running. In theory a properly running system will require regular raising of the ph. This is where I use potassium hydroxide and lime which also supplies…"
Nov 5, 2017
Tom Oliphant replied to Jeff S's discussion Using Fish Water To Fertilize Gardens
"Once per week I water all my soil plants with fish water (water I take from my 500 gallon fish tank that has been filtered and nutrient balanced. The rest of the time I use Chlorine free water from the garden font. TVO >:)"
Nov 5, 2017
Tom Oliphant replied to Jeff S's discussion What's in my fish water
"Since the end of cycling for my 600 gallon system I have always had Nitrates over 160 ppm. Nitrates are good. If you are worried, plant more plants. The system should balance out and not require a lot of tweeking. I am a pilot. If you steer by the…"
Nov 5, 2017
Jeff S replied to Tom Oliphant's discussion Dry Yellow Leaves
"My GH is screened in the summer and I use a wood burner in the winter. I never worried too much about co2. I'm no expert but 220 TDS is low. I know in hydroponic setups they run 800-1200. Why do you get 2 different readings on your PH? I use…"
Nov 5, 2017
Jeff S replied to Tom Oliphant's discussion Dry Yellow Leaves
"I sympathize with you Tom. My system worked great for a year or so then I started having the same problem. I had the water tested  at the local university and found everything on the high side as far as nutrients. The thing that stood out was…"
Nov 5, 2017
Jeff S replied to Darlene Cerullo's discussion Need Help Settling A Disagreement-Sump Tanks
"I've heard of it, I think in one of Sylvia's videos but I have never worried too much about it. I've tested it but didn't make any changes. There are 2 schools of thought for controlling PH, carbonates and hydroxides. Sylvia…"
Oct 19, 2017
Jeff S replied to Darlene Cerullo's discussion Need Help Settling A Disagreement-Sump Tanks
"You don't need any special water for germination. Seeds have plenty of nutrient for the initial growth. I do use the system water because it's convenient and I don't have to worry about when to switch over to system water. I…"
Oct 18, 2017
Jeff S replied to Darlene Cerullo's discussion Need Help Settling A Disagreement-Sump Tanks
"Why slope your bed instead of centering the siphon?"
Oct 17, 2017
Jeff S replied to Larry Miller's discussion I didn't know this was a place to advertise your products. I'm out!
"Frank. Don't let one persons opinion affect your enjoyment of this forum. Every once in a while someone will try to market something on here. Just ignore it and follow what you like. I just wish it was more active like it use to be."
Oct 17, 2017
Jeff S replied to Darlene Cerullo's discussion Need Help Settling A Disagreement-Sump Tanks
"Wish I could redo my space. 1st I'd double the size. I'm curious too why you chose not to use bell siphons Yaacov. I'd stick em right in the middle and drain from all directions. I've recently seen a video of a guy who just has…"
Oct 16, 2017
Jeff S replied to Frank's discussion Newbie needs advise.
"I have the same setup and beds, even the same block supports. My sump is 200 gallons and in ground. 300 gallon FT. A single feed to the beds will be sufficient. As I said before it will be difficult to feed the beds evenly from all corners/sides.…"
Oct 14, 2017

Profile Information

How did you find us?
referral from another website
If you found us through a referral or a newsletter, which was it?
You Tube video info
Are you an aquaponic gardener already?
If so, what type of system? (pick all that apply)
flood and drain media, raft
How old is your system?
2 yrs or more
What type of fish do you grow with? (select all that apply)
Tilapia, Other
How big is your fish tank?
275 gallon
Name a part of a fish (spam blocking question)
Please tell us something else about yourself.
Started aquaponics for self sustainability but really am getting interested in all the possibilities. Great hobby. Watching videos is my new entertainment.

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Comment Wall (11 comments)

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At 8:42am on September 17, 2017, Michael simonzi said…
Jeff I'm not a frequent visitor here as of yet but as my garden develops further I will be in a position to contribute as everyone's experiment is unique. I built a permanent greenhouse that incorporates the concept of the Walipini ( I have a 5' deep poured foundation ) with a more functional roof design to catch as much light as possible. I set he design 15* to the southwest to improve winter exposure. It's set at 45* spans 20 feet and is made of 18mm double wall acrylic panels. The north face is at 65*, spans 18' and is standard roofing. I ran a 100 amp service to the building and have my own well. I've built my medium grow beds and have the material to Build and play with some grow towers. My project today is to complete my swirl filters and start to get the plumbing going? You seem to have a lot more experience. What made you try aquaponics, what are you growing and what type of setup do you have?
At 8:23am on May 28, 2017, Yaacov Levi said…

Hi Jeff

What kind of Tilapia do you have ?  I am looking for Nilotica, but also some Blue to set up a couple pairs for hybridizing. These will go into house tanks for control. Or as much as I can get with Tilapia.

I am planning a hoop house, with a couple of totes, and about 4-6 inverted ones for grow beds. Where did you find your totes? I havent located any food safe ones yet.



At 9:40pm on January 21, 2016, Douglas Wozniak said…

Your not exactly all alone but pretty close. I started this Michigan aquaponics group, but I get no help from anyone. I have requested someone else take it over, but no luck.

My operation is stopped and in disrepair due to a stroke. With no hopes of resurrection.

At 9:44pm on December 13, 2015, Moe said…

hello Jeff,

I saw the pictures of your system.  Awesome! 

At 3:03pm on January 9, 2015, Gene Parbst said…

Wow! that's great, are you using your greenhouse now?  There are others selling Tilapia in MI on craigslist.  They sell for $1-2 each around here.  I want to buy from a certified fishery, because of the legalities.  I don't heat the basement side of my house, its like 36.  My greenhouse is 32.  I'll wait til Apr when the greenhouse is 45-50.  I have two 275 gallon ICB totes and plan to start with 60-70 fingerlings and hope they don't breed.  Also have an old 7x7' hot tub that I'm going to put in the ground and use for a sediment tank.  I'm going to post my plans soon.

At 9:49am on January 9, 2015, Gene Parbst said…

Hi Jeff, I'm learning how to use this forum, looks like a good place for info and questions.  There are several fisheries in MI that have Tilapia planting stock.  I found this list, but not sure how current it is:

I'll be looking to buy Tilapia fingerlings like beginning of April.  I have emailed Mud Lake Farm, Zeeland, MI, but no response yet.  Are your Blue Tilapia pure breed stock?  I plan to raise the Tilapia April - Oct and shut down for the winter.  Have you harvested some of your Tilapia, I'll bet they're good eating.  I'm 6 miles from lake Michigan, near Saugatuck, time to get snow blowing done over a foot of snow here!

At 9:37pm on December 8, 2014, Jeremiah Robinson said…

Hi Jeff,

Currently I'm running a 4" flex duct to a small hair dryer into low tunnels over my grow beds. It keeps the air in there about 73 %RH during the day.  There are a couple of lights in there too, so I might be okay with just a little fan (no hair dryer).

Your idea could work.  You'd need to use copper pipe I think, and make sure the water got really cold before you recirculated it.  Probably glycol would work better.  Really creative.  I like it!

At 1:43pm on May 4, 2014, Jeremiah Robinson said…

Hi Jeff,

Sorry to hear you had trouble.  

Thanks for letting me know.

I guess if I start again I'll include a link in the message.


At 10:24am on February 27, 2014, Jim Fisk said…

Wow that took awhile to accept your friend request. The "Accept" button would not accept. It is finally working today.

At 10:09pm on February 16, 2014, Ria Follett said…

Ok will do. I don't know if this is related, but there is currently an issue with my hosted server, so I won't be able to do it until it is resolved by the hosting company. Will let you know as soon as its done.




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