Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

When considering your "advantage" or "benefit of AP, I know many here look at the vegetables they harvest. Mainly because they are using non-food fish (koi etc).

On the other hand,I have a good amount of garden space with plenty of compost and worm castings to grow alot in a dirt garden, so i tend to look at the fish I produce. and figure the veggies as a bonus. This is also largely due to the hassle in figuring veggie/herb production.

My point here is I have ignored the vegetable production and kept track of the fish production. As of today, my cost per pound of dressed out fish, in the freezer, and ready to cook calculates at $7.45  per pound.

This only takes into account the cost of the fingerlings and the food., NOT any of the equipment or labor.

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I used to think about how much I could save by growing my own food but I realized for me Aquaponics was a hobby and a passion. I just let go of competing with the supermarket.

The fact that you grow and eat your own fish is priceless!

If you had to dispose of all of the fish waste, your cost would probably be $10/pound of fish... but if you sell $10 worth of vegetables for every pound of fish; then your cost is $0/pound of fish.  

Keep in mind Pat that your system is not normal. You are running large swimming pool pumps (last time I checked), have no greenhouse for Winter production, etc. I believe that our year round system is actually quite economical as it is a very compact 2000 gal system that we heat with wood.

Having said that I am really not that concerned as to cost because we know it is safe and truely organic. Not to mention the fun we have year round gardening, Sun bathing when it is 20F out, etc.

If we go commercial, THEN the bottom line will start to count. Your's is not a commercial system so I am not sure why you are concerned. You NEED a GH for that Winter production and then you will appreciate the veggies more.

BTW how has your electric bill been altered by your AP system? I figure ours went up 10 - 15$ per mo. running a 1100gph pump and 2 air pumps.

Jim, I'm confused by your cost per lb.  Is that just for purchasing fingerlings or does that include food? I've been trying to find an economical feed to control my costs. I am just a hobbyist but keeping costs down is part of the hobby challenge.

Jeff, I was counting the cost of all the fingerlings I purchased, plus the 8 bags of feed I have used to this point (although I have about 1/3 left of bag #8). I had a massive die -off one day last summer so that knocked the population a bit. I pay right at 25 cents for the fish and $20 per bag of food.

Jim, I don't see any changes to my electric bill because I was running the pool pump full time anyway. I did add a fountain pump after my die off that I used during the hot months but that did not consume enough to worry about.

I agree that having food you produce yourself and know is safe is worth its weight in gold. Plus the 'fun factor". I just like to sort of keep track of certain aspects..Plus i can justify my time and money better to the wife when she complains...

I am in total agreement with you on this Jonathan :D

Unfortunately, I abandoned thinking about the cost of aquaponics a long time ago. As far as hobbies go, it's hard to find ones where there is ALWAYS something new to learn. And ones that leave you a better and healthier human being afterwards. It's been more like "screw the budget; this is the most entertaining thing I've ever done". 

And that's why I'll never be a commercial aquaponic grower....

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

I used to think about how much I could save by growing my own food but I realized for me Aquaponics was a hobby and a passion. I just let go of competing with the supermarket.

The fact that you grow and eat your own fish is priceless!

I assume you mean Pat. I did not give any cost per #.

Jeff S said:

Jim, I'm confused by your cost per lb.  Is that just for purchasing fingerlings or does that include food? I've been trying to find an economical feed to control my costs. I am just a hobbyist but keeping costs down is part of the hobby challenge.

Yea, I understand although I took it upon myself to make sure the AP IS cost effective by selling parts (mainly siphons) and info at my Ebay store that have far more than covered the GH and system and electric bill. That is my way of entering the commercial aspect of AP for now at least and of course others charge handsomely for tours and classes. We have grossed close to $10K on siphons alone and profited about 7K. So my wife is very satisfied and does most of the packing and shipping. UNFORTUNATELY most of that has gone to pay for the house work and bills but eventually it will go back into the AP op and I don't see sales slowing down any time soon as the AP addiction grows and I am seeing an upsurge in sales this Spring so the word is getting out. We are purchasing so much plumbing at Lowes that they took it upon themselves to give us a tidy discount now.

Pat James said:

Jim, I don't see any changes to my electric bill because I was running the pool pump full time anyway. I did add a fountain pump after my die off that I used during the hot months but that did not consume enough to worry about.

I agree that having food you produce yourself and know is safe is worth its weight in gold. Plus the 'fun factor". I just like to sort of keep track of certain aspects..Plus i can justify my time and money better to the wife when she complains...

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