Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I'm trying to put together a BCA (Business Case Analysis) for commercial AP operation. I have come across a few things that I'm not sure about. If you guys could help me out a little here I would appreciate it.

1) Is there a list of what vegetables grow best in different beds? Like I know tomatoes grow best in media beds, lettuce grows well in raft beds, strawberries do well in pipe beds. I'm looking for a more exhaustive list.

2) Now what would be awesome is if that list included how long each plant takes to mature or produce fruit. I know this is cheating but how long does it take for tomatoes for instance to go from a seedling to start producing fruit, how long will it produce fruit, so I can plan for bed usage for tomatoes so I will have constant tomatoes (just as one batch is finishing producing fruit the next batch is starting to produce. I know that tomatoes usually take about 3 months to produce fruit in dirt and last for about 2-3 months of fruit production in a dirt garden but is there a difference in AP systems?

3) Can you reuse the net pots or do the roots destroy them when you remove them? Are the china made net pots made from a plastic that is safe?

4) Does anyone know if you have to use grow lights in a greenhouse in North Alabama? I dont think its necessary during the summer but maybe in the winter? What is the minimum hrs of light required for most plants?

5) Is anyone selling their fish to the public? If so are you selling whole, dressed, or filleted?

Thank you for any help. 



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Hi Hollis, thank you for the well thought out reply and some of your background info...and no, the tone it doesn't seem defensive at all...

My concern wasn't that you were asking these types of questions, you should absolutely ask as many questions, and gather as much information as you possibly can. The gist of my concern was that you were asking some of those types of questions on a forum such as this one...where the lack of answers may potentially frustrate you...

About 12 or so years ago when I was building tomato hoophouses in a small village (of 200 or so homes) on the other side of the planet, I was obtaining really good information from universities of Alabama and Mississippi (kind of ironic huh?). They had, even back then, a wonderful trove of meaningful data on greenhouse tomato production...Those might be more appropriate places from which to cull your answers.

Also, I may have gotten the wrong impression from another thread where you were looking for info to present your investors for a 400,000 sq. foot facility. Your plan here to proceed with a "modular" GH that you can then expand as needed seems much more sane 

I hope you find the two links below helpful and useful. Again, when possible try to cull info that is relevant to your area and environment. This won't always be possible though.

Crop diversification (within reason) is, I feel, is a good idea...but it does present some management difficulties at times...nothing that can't be overcome, it just adds more layers of logistics to things like IPM (integrated pest management), managing plant essential elements within the system etc...


Im impressed with your knowledge, English, and passion. I do have a tendency to jump in with both feet and hands without checking how deep the water is. I always seem to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and I always dream big. Reality sometimews brings me back down to earth and I have to regroup. yes my initial plan of 4 10k greenhouses (derived from the Portable Farms add) was to reach a profit margin to repay investors quickly. Upon further investigation and seeing how many grow beds I can fit into one 90x120 greenhouse I quickly saw that 4 greenhouses to start out with was more than ambitious it was suicidal. Also once I saw that the greenhouses can be added to to go as wide as you desire I also rethought my plan. I think I can go with 4-6 30 ft wide sections to begin with and build on later. Grouping high DLI demand plants in one section and medium in another and low in even another may help but I would like to consult experienced AP grows on this thinking. The reason I asked my questions in here is because I'm thinking that even though greenhouse growing has been around and the information can be very helpful I am under the impression that AP greenhouse results are different.


Im not sure exactly what point acroos the globe you are from (I have my guess) but I spent 4 years in Europe (Germany) and my wife is full German. I loved Europe and learned a great deal about life, people, symbiotic relationships and so much more from my experience there. My in-laws were very impressive to me that with just a 3rd grade education (they were only 8 and 10 at the end of the war) they were able to work a job, run a farm, pack advertisements into news papers, sell cabinet hinges, raise parakeets, raise and shear sheep, grow a garden, grow a small greenhouse, and still have time to go dancing and on occasion help their nephew out at the local pub during special events. That couple never seemed to run out of energy. I welcome any and all information you can help me out with. Thanks Hollis

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