Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi All, I am trying to build a hoop house and aquaponics system in my backyard this summer and I was wondering if there was any Northern california, Bay Area,Valley, or Hills members or set ups that I could visit.  Any good training programs, suppliers I can learn from?

Thx much!!

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Looks like there are a fair number over closer to San Fran.  Have you Befriended and sent messages to those within striking distance for you on the member map?
my tiny deck system lives in Fairfax.  I heard there's a commercial outfit in a warehouse somewhere in Oakland...
Thanks Averan, I have heard people say there are a lot of systems in the area but i have not had luck in being able to find or visit them. I will keep trying

Averan said:
my tiny deck system lives in Fairfax.  I heard there's a commercial outfit in a warehouse somewhere in Oakland...

Member map

zoom in and see who is around then see if they will be your friend so you can send them a message to see if you can visit.

Hi Peter, sounds great, Is home farming of Tilapia illegal in California? I would love to come see the setups when you are available after August 15th.

Peter Shaw said:

We have 3 systems running at Cabrillo College in Aptos,


could look into bullhead.  Chi just got some for his system, they are smaller than channel catfish so the 200 gallon tanks might not be too small for a few of them.
Is Tilapia not an option in California? what about perch? trout? what are the reasons for not doing these popular fish?

TCLynx said:
could look into bullhead.  Chi just got some for his system, they are smaller than channel catfish so the 200 gallon tanks might not be too small for a few of them.
Tilapia are not Native and have been known to get loose into natural water ways and become an invasive species.

 I will check out bullhead and see what others are doing, still trying to get a visit or some training in, hopefully 2012 will be the year. thank you for all the info.

You're welcome to visit my place. I'm in Santa Cruz, not far from Cabrillo and Peter Shaw. BTW, tilapia are most certainly legal in all of California, and I can prove it. They are not practical to warm thru the winter unless you have a free-heat situation, but it is very easy to keep a breeding population thru the winter in an indoor aquarium to populate a summer grow and harvest.

I have Sacramento blackfish and Sacramento Perch as well, both true Cali natives and suitable for year-round growth without heating or greenhouse, and capable of tank breeding as well. Sac Perch are sunfish like bluegill, and supposedly the absolute best tasting fresh-water fish. I haven't tried them yet.

Trout are used as well, I know of at least one local using brown trout. Browns tolerate the warmest water, and thus the most suitable for growing plants. DFG is so bassackwards that they fund local hatchery efforts for brown trout (browns are non-native and invasive) in one department, and fund removal of the invasive browns at the same time. DFG also approves catfish, bluegill, and bass, all non-native, very invasive, and established. Tilapia is only an invasive threat where water temps sustain an annual min of 55 F, of which nor-cal has none. Hence, tilapia are thereby probably the least likely of any AP fish to survive the wild, yet DFG frowns on them, and is attempting to revise the regulation to enforce their "policy". DFG is corrupt, and logic is hard to find among their ranks.

You might try to schedule a walk-thru at Santa Cruz Aquaponics, a local commercial venture, raising striped bass (another non-native, invasive, established fish, hypocritical DFG crooks) and water cress. There is also a free 4 hr AP demo in Felton on Jan 22, I'll look for the details if you're interested.

I just recently joined this list.  We are in the process of building an aquaponics system as part of our large organic gardens in San Mateo.  It seemed strange to be doing soil-less gardening when we have had such an emphasis on building soil.  We actually moved the soil from the area where we put the grow beds and tanks.  I have been very disappointed to hear that tilapia are illegal. They are suppose to be so easy to grow...and tasty.  I can't say that I am surprised to hear a government organization is making illogical decisions. Eric Maundu is designing our system and he is recommending the Sacramento Blackfish that John Parr mentioned.  I have been leery because I read on a foody website that they have lots of small bones.  Has anyone eaten them yet.  I am also curious about the brown trout mentioned by John.  I like the way you can remove all the bones at once in rainbow trout...are brown trout the same.  I have posted pictures of our building process if anyone is interested....probably too many pictures. We are building a greenhouse over it right now and then Eric will be coming back to finish the sensors and microprocessors.

Tilapia are legal in Cali, Sandra. I can prove it, and I raise and sell them only 1/2 hour from you in Santa Cruz. The DFG will not grant aquaculture permits for tilapia for human consumption, but they are legal for Aquaponics and personal consumption. I have given up the thought of raising blackfish to eat, because the fingerlings I have were two years old when I got them, and only 4-6" long. In the 3 months I've had them, I can't discern any growth, so too slow growing for me. Sacramento perch are my new exciting fish to try, similar to bluegill. I'm trying to breed a pair right now. Since they're Cali natives, no need to heat or cool for us.

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