Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hi, posted a couple of times but never introduced myself.

I am the middle school science teacher at Eagle Nest School in Eagle Nest, NM. We have a 700 gallon, 5 bed CHOP 2 system.

It has been cycling slowly since October, first with just fish and then plants added. I also incorporated the grobeds one at a time. The school had trouble getting the system working, so I started slowly and all has been well since.

Rainbow trout in 2 250 gallon tanks. Lettuce, broccoli, dill, kale, bok choy, a few ornamentals such as nasturtium, zinnias and geraniums, just experimenting. Also two aquabags with carrots and beets.

Limited bc of the cold water for trout, not my choice. Hoping to expand with some warm water systems.

It is part of our science curriculum, and we work collaboratively with our village council as well. Plans to move some greens into the cafeteria in the next year, and then hopefully an expanded food program as we expand our systems.

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Aquaponics as a school project that's cool.

 amazing that you are exposing the kids to this-- I believe this is the future of farming.!........ any photos!!??

Clear with your board of health before consuming the greens in the cafeteria. Our local school built a large and very popular AP system and got shut down by the local BOH based upon E.Coli concerns (and we are just a small mountain community) just before I got into AP 3+ yrs ago. Folks around here still try to send me there thinking it is still in op. They went back to hydroponics. Little do they understand that one bird getting into the GH and taking a poop is more of an E.Coli concern than 500 fish will ever be. Big gov at work. Now if you are a reservation school and not a Fed school you might be able to dodge this bullet and go with common sense. I hope that is the case.

BTW thank your lucky stars that you can do trout as we do. Better tasting and better for you than any warm water fish. Sorry Tilapia

Jim, where are you located? We are a small mountain community too....

LOL I am not a fan of trout, but I do like tomatoes and cucumbers.  I'll be happy to keep the fish as pets if I can get my veggies

Regarding warm VS cold water, what most people do is try to avoid heating or cooling the water, either of which add expense and/or work.  If you have naturally cold water then trout seem like a good choice.  

We are located in The Great Smoky Mountains of NE TN. Highs in the 80's and lows to -20F. System water ranges from 45F to 75F and at those extremes I add well water (Artesian well from 300' down and pretty stable between 47 and 50F and NO pump needed!!!) Big selling point when we were looking for our retirement homestead. Waters the entire homestead at zero cost.

In Winter we use our own design woodstove that heats the water and the air. I also added a 100' solar collector that is on it's own small pond pump (in the buried sump) and T-stat and that heats the 2500g system water about 2F on a Sunny day and saves wood. That I plan on tripling in the future. Simple and effective and totally hands off now. I used an atic fan T-stat, removed the cover and painted the bimetallic plate flat black and placed it near the collector which is at the peak N wall of the "Sun room" part of the GH. Now whenever there is enough Sun it kicks on. Nearly free heat.

Btw, trout are big on Omega oils so are very healthy for you. Most cold water fish are.

@George, right on. Don't fight Mother Nature. It gets expensive.

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