Aquaponic Gardening

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I've done my 3 or 4 months of research so far with the majority of it being websites like this.  Along with that I've finished the "Aquaponic Food Product - Raising..." book written by Nelson & Pade.

They did a good job on the book, but I feel that they were a little light on the details and explanations of the science beyond the general nitrogen cycle and basics like that.

Does anyone know of books that go into more details?

Along with that, the book touched lightly on the commercial needs for an aquaponics system, but I was wondering if there were any books that you would suggest that go into detail on commercial experience.

I understand that these books may not exist yet and do plan on attempting to get some face to face time with some experienced aquapons running commercial sites.  I figured I would check to see what other resources were out there until then.

Thanks,

Chris

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Chris, there really are very few commercial Aquaponics operations running so far.  For published works on Aquaponics you may want to focus on the University of the Virgin Islands in some of your searching and read papers and articles published from their research station.  They have the oldest large commercial scale aquaponics operation and being a university they publish research.

Few of the commercial operations are publishing anything yet and what they are sharing they are often doing it only if you pay to attend their training.  Most other commercial operations are still to new to have much in the way of data to share.

As for details for things like the nitrogen cycle, you should be able to find books on recirculating aquaculture or even simple aquariums and bio-filters that would go into more details but if you have been reading here and on BYAP and others, you probably already have a fairly good handle on the nitrogen cycle or if you go and read the Basic info and useful info sections on the BYAP forum you will have details.

As to needs for a commercial system, that will vary depending on the situation.  Aquaponics is still really new and there are no cookie cutter plans that will make for a successful aquaponics system in every situation let alone a successful business.  The biggest thing is to find a market for what you will grow.  Simply managing to grow a commercial quantity of anything doesn't guarantee you will manage to sell it let alone sell it while it is still salable.

I appreciate your input.  I definitely agree that there is no "this is how you can succeed" type of commercial aquaponics method out there, but I love to read about everyone's experiences and try to take a little from here and there.

What is your experience with aquaponics?  It seems like you are full of knowledge in the field.  I've seen posts that reference some of your systems but never really have picked up on what all you do or where you gained this wealth of knowledge.

Recirculating Aquaculture by Timmons And Ebeling is a great book if you are looking for detailed information on system design. They also have a short section specifically on aquaponics written by Dr Rackocy. 

Chris Lukenbill said:

I appreciate your input.  I definitely agree that there is no "this is how you can succeed" type of commercial aquaponics method out there, but I love to read about everyone's experiences and try to take a little from here and there.

What is your experience with aquaponics?  It seems like you are full of knowledge in the field.  I've seen posts that reference some of your systems but never really have picked up on what all you do or where you gained this wealth of knowledge.

My experience.  I was sucked into this vortex during the end of 2007, I discovered the BYAP Forum and finally the idea of aquaponics was explained in a way that made sense and I switched from hydroponics to aquaponics.  And I'm completely addicted to aquaponics and growing my own food and permacutlure and I'm a self proclaimed compost whacko.

Here is my main big system thread over on BYAP

I've built several systems since and the big one is ever changing.

What am I in real life you might ask?  Well by training and education I'm an audio engineer/threatre technician.  By Trade I'm a stagehand/AV tech.  I used to tape microphones to people's feet out on liver...I mean Riverdance.  I got sick of the road and went nuts, cam home and started trying to compost on my 9 foot by 9 foot patio of our little apartment in the shade.  I was also trying to grow a garden on that little patio and in the window.  When we finally decided that the water damage from the hurricanes and leaky pipes in the apartment were making us sick, we moved to a house and that is when the gardening really got out of hand.  I want to make my living growing food and helping others grow food, till then I'll have to keep the day job so to speak.

Aquaponic Lynx LLC

Ryan,

Thanks for the information!  TCLynx also pointed out that aquaculture might be a good industry to look into for more details. That makes sense, being that it's been "in practice" for longer.

TCLynx,

It's always fun to see what everyone's story is with getting pulled into aquaponics.  I myself am a computer scientist/software engineer by trade.  I'm hoping to use my experience creating websites and automating tasks in my adventure into auquaponics.

Thanks again for all your help!

Hello Chris,

As mentioned at the start of this discussion by TCLynx, given the limited number of Commercial Aquaponics operations as of today (cannot assert to the fact they they are profitable so far), there really is no "One" book or publication that will hit the nail on the head. As TCLynx states..." As to needs for a commercial system, that will vary depending on the situation.  Aquaponics is still really new and there are no cookie cutter plans that will make for a successful aquaponics system in every situation let alone a successful business.  The biggest thing is to find a market for what you will grow.  Simply managing to grow a commercial quantity of anything doesn't guarantee you will manage to sell it let alone sell it while it is still salable."


So if we take that as the starting point, once you have understood how to grow by Aquaponics methods (rafts/ nft/ media/ vertical and so on), and you have identified your own local market demand and supply situation, you can then look into researching the numerous books on Commercial Hydroponics. All you would really be doing is changing the "fertilizer" source (not adding the Hydroponic based nutrient solutions etc), as well as the "pest" control methods. This should give to plenty of information to evaluate your individual situation and put together a basic MS Excel spreadsheet (or other program), to see if you have the possibilities of a profitable business using Aquaponics. As mentioned, each situation is different as Aquaponics really advocates "Locally Grown".  

Good luck :-)

God bless,


Good point Sahib on looking to hydroponics...that and to a lesser degree aquaculture for the fish portion of it (even though a person would want to reduce their fish overhead, it's still worth researching).

I definitely agree with everyone's statements that there is no one final guide to any of this, but it is great to be able to take a little bit from everyone.  It's what makes these forums so perfect.

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