Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

First off,

My name is Clay. I am turning in my Army Greens after 9 years and multiple deployments for a green thumb and to seek a more peaceful lifestyle. One thing that my particular job in the Army tought me was to be self sufficient. With hardships of finding steady and enough income to live comfortably, I am turning to mother nature to help me out.  I am an avid fly fisherman and fly tyer so I am quite in tune with how different types of ecosystems and water qualities can sustain or diminish life. I have a detailed plan (which will be uploaded for you folks to get an idea) that is only missing a few minute details. I hope that with the help of you and your personal experiences that you may lead me in the right direction.

My first system will be constructed from a well airated 55gal tank. Pond pump will be set on a timer to allow for proper flood and drain. The water will flow from the fish tank to the nitrate converstion station which consists of filter floss and red wigglers( a semi seperated part of my planter box).  I plan to build my planter box the same dimensions as the 55gal tank minus the height, under a 400w floro grow light, where the water will enter and exit based on the timer and overflow dranage back to the tank.

My plan for the fish and plants that I want to impliment is where I am conflicted. Trout would be my dream but given my circumstances are not the most practical. Like I said earlier, I am very intune with trout and trout waters. I am a catch and release fisherman only and the thought of losing fish due to being irresponsible is rediculous in my opinion. The other two fish that I have been considering are catfish and sunfish. Tilapia would be excellent due to being able to grow duckweed in your home. The only way I know catfish and sunfish is that they are predatory which is the only reason why they dissinterest me. I would like this entire system to be nearly self sufficient on its own.

Any and all advise is appreciated.



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Hi Clay . My advice is to join Aquaponics for beginners and the trout growers group and do your research.If you go the the home page and at the top click on groups and then from there search trout growers, you will find info. I don't blame you for wanting trout...yummy. I've heard trout needs moving water so you have to really aerate the tank. Take care


I don't know anything about Trout but I think they are a bit more difficult to raise/breed than Tilapia. Trout would be great but Tilapia are much more forgiving during your learning curve. It can be tough learning about aquaponics while raising a more tempermental  fish. I tried to do too much when I started 1 1/2 yrs ago and now I'm backing up to the basics. Go slow and easy would be my advice.

 Jack & Jeff,

Thanks gents. Anything to do with trout is awesome in my opinion but it takes away from my entire idea of this system to be as self sufficient as possible. Low water temps must be sustained and I am not sure if I am capable of doing so without a chiller involved. The other option I thought of was to incorperate 2 maxi jets to create current in the tank like a natural trout stream and to place rocks inside to create and eddie or a resting place for the fish. By doing this, the trout would have plenty of current and circulatuion in the water. Also, adding larger quantities of aerator stonesand more space between the flood drain and the surface of the water would be ample aeration to sustain trout. I though of rigging of an old Mini fridge I have laying around to cycle the water but the overall cost of materials to make a reliable devise and the added cost of running it isnt something that I am ready to commit to yet. What I think I am going to do is raise worms and try to breed comets and other smaller goldfish in a smaller system (artificial insemination) to provide food for something like green sunfish and maybe a few small catty daddys. It will not be as visually stimulating to see those guys swimming around but at the end of the day,  its all about the food you eat and knowing whats in it.

Thanks for the advice. Ill be sure to check out those groups.


Trout have been successfully raised in aquaponic systems with temps in the 70s.
Btw, trout are carnivorous predators too. ;) tilapia are really one of the few truly vegetarian fish.

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