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I watched a little NATGEOTV this afternoon.  I really enjoyed seeing the aquaponics system in this video episode:

Too bad I don't have a swimming pool. Catching supper in the pool every night would be pretty cool, but I don't think I could eat the duckweed shakes like they are doing.

I have to question the chicken manure falling into the fish tank. I'd be a little queasy about the raw manure personally. The only reason I can see for it (and I don't think I agree with it) is as a means to dispose of the chicken manure in a highly populated urban area.

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Chip I wasn't directing the phobic comment to you or anyone in particular, more as a cultural phenomenon. And we agree it's all about procedure, although I think the septic tank/landfill one is not the right one either. And as for the "killer" thing yes it is but it is the procedure again that kills or not, just like cars don't kill people, it's the drivers. 

Yes the Hep wasn't fun  :) never felt so worn out. But I spent over 15 years of my life in Africa and India, sometimes in pretty "local" conditions so I'm rather glad that this Hep is the only thing that I ever caught.

Anyway my point is that neither the western method nor the SE Asian one are adequate in the long run ... Composting is by far the best way, hygienically, ecologically and economically. Using the compost for veggies or flowers or fodder crops is another discussion...

Hi Alexandre,

No worries, I didn't take the phobic comment wrong, actually I was addressing the attitude of the book, which I've now seen (and plan to read). Our culture certainly does have it's share of phobia's and taboo subjects. I just think caution is warranted with this one.

Humanure composting is not for everyone.  Some one has to manage the compost properly and safely.  If managed properly and safely, it is the best way to protect from pathogens and pollution while also keeping the nutrients for use.  I definitely agree that use of the raw manure for growing food is a bad idea and leaving poo around on the ground is not a good idea either.  Worms, parasites, diseases and much more can come of open sewers/fields and streets contaminated with human/animal waste, such situations where flush toilets and such are not an option are actually a very good example of where humanure composting could really improve the health of the community.

I believe Carey Ma also adds another level to his operations which is the anaerobic bio-digesters to produce and collect the fuel before further composting before use for growing.

Since I like to eat my raw foods, I keep the warm blooded manure away from my aquaponics and gardens.  Warm blooded manure must be well composed and well aged before we use it.

Just finished tearing through the Humanure Handbook specified above; thank you for the link.  Not sure what link it has to aquaponics but it was an immensely informative book nevertheless and will provide me food for thought into the foreseeable future.  Perhaps one day when I have my own land -- and don't live in a condo -- I can put some of the concepts to better use.

No real connection with aquaponics other than as an alternative use of warm blooded manure instead of putting it into your aquaponics.  And the handbook is a useful guide to composting anything not just humanure so I think anyone who might maybe do any composting or who wants to conserve water or close the nutrient loop should read it.

Hi guys, I didn't mean to rile you all up. I was just trying to point out that in order for us to be ecologically sustainable, we need to balance our nutrient input with output. Our poop has to be a factor. I agree that most Asian (esp. SE Asian) countries have little education and use unsafe practices combined with high temperature and humidity is a good formula to breed pestilence.

I advocate a three step process: 1 Bio digestion to extract methane. 2 High temp (hot) compost. 3 Time processed compost.

After this second stage, nutrients can be safely integrated into the AP stream indirectly, through raised bed hydro-organic filtration or directly after the third stage.

I am in the process (next few years) of determining the safety of using some animal feces in green water culture. Fresh feces from healthy animals if eaten immediately, seems at this point, to be acceptably safe ( not lab confirmed yet). 

I do not advocate the use of human manure directly without full composting.

Hi all,

Been reading and I'm getting up to speed on the topic - it's really quite interesting. I believe Carey hit it on the head, as did TC - proper treatment (and education) are key. Not sure that I'm ready to take it on at home, but if some govt agencies over here could get up to speed, there would be great benefits gained.

Just to refresh - we got onto the whole discussion over the chicken waste going into the AP system.


Which lends itself to Murray's question on how to get the wife to operate a the pump all day.

Chip Pilkington said:

This topic has been getting some airplay on a few of the forums - unfortunately not the best representation of AP.

The subject is certainly not a new one, rather those folks have been doing there thing for generations waiting for the big event. What I find interesting is the replies - some folks are seeing the value in being prepared, while others treat them as freaky militia types.

Regardless, I don't think AP will be of much use should the "big event" occur as there most likely won't be any power to drive pumps. What power is generated would probably best be used for refrigeration, etc. I think there are better farming techniques for a survival-type scenario.

I'll bet there are millions of tons of tilapia consumed in the U.S. each year that were grown out using this method abroad - poop (probably any kind of poop) growing algae which is then consumed by fish.  We pollute our own waters, close them to commercial fishing, but then import cheap fish with no quality control whatsoever.  If the playing field were leveled the American fish farmers would probably fair better.  Gross factor is right - too gross for me to consider eating it.

those are surely some food for thought kind of shows. Just enough to get the mind intreged. I saw a show a couple of days ago that was about doomsday preppers, I don't remember what it was called and it was about how well prepared they were also they were rated by a panel. At the end of the rating they were told where they were rated and where they could improve. I do believe in being prepared but we all have to judge for areselves how far we want to take it.

A friend is a prepper, and I respect it but that still doesn't make fresh chicken poop in an aquaponics system a good idea.

Robert C. Wood said:

 I do believe in being prepared but we all have to judge for areselves how far we want to take it.

it isn't really the use of fresh manure to fertilize fish water that bothers me since I eat my fresh water fish cooked.

But, when you start growing your salad that you won't eat cooked using fresh warm blooded manure, THAT is where the danger lies.

I'm definitely not Feco Phobic (search discussions on pee ponics and humanure) but it should definitely be composted well before use in production of any food that doesn't get super thoroughly cooked.

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