Aquaponic Gardening

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We are doing a larger commercial greenhouse (+/- 10,000 s.f.).  We have a DIY small system running now.  Does something at a larger commercial scale make sense to go to a commercial system from a company or stick with a DIY version for cheaper?  Looking for input.  Thanks.

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What do you mean by DIY? Are you asking if its better to just purchase a commercial system versus building the same system on your own? You could custom build and design your own system, its the same principal as deciding whether you should paint your house yourself or hire someone else to do it; it's the same outcome, (the house gets painted) just one is more work and less money for the initial setup, while with the other, you pay a little more money and you don't have to think about it. If you do build your own commercial system, it's not going to be a ragtag, odds-and-ends system that gets thrown together on a whim; its going to take a little planning, whether you get your ideas from yourself or other people.  I guess it would depend on how much you trust yourself as a builder...

I have heard from others that if you are planning on making a profitable (can support you and a family) venture, it is imperative to start with large scale equipment since it is totally different than hobby systems. I don't know if it is that black and white or if I totally believe it, but I would at least consider how you will be scaling up if/when you do (if you choose to start small). Maybe start with a fish tank way bigger than you need, and only fill it partially for now-- then later either add more beds/fish or replace them all together.

I think Brian was talking about whether he should purchase a pre-designed system as a whole or design and make one himself. There are a few places (Farmtek is one of them) that sell commercial system bundles. You're definitely right in saying that hobby systems and commercial systems are completely different. You can't just scale up any old hobby system and expect it to succed commercially.

Conner Goertzen said:

I have heard from others that if you are planning on making a profitable (can support you and a family) venture, it is imperative to start with large scale equipment since it is totally different than hobby systems. I don't know if it is that black and white or if I totally believe it, but I would at least consider how you will be scaling up if/when you do (if you choose to start small). Maybe start with a fish tank way bigger than you need, and only fill it partially for now-- then later either add more beds/fish or replace them all together.

What exactly are the downfalls to building modularly, Alex? I understand the concept of economies of scale, but in this case I don't see why mid-sized modular units can't be added and managed as a larger system. Is it simply the fact that is it much easier to manage as one or two large systems rather than a half-dozen medium sized systems? Or is it mostly because of land/structure requirements? I am trying to understand this dynamic as well as I can.

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