Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello all. Im starting work on my first real aquaponics system in my back yard this weekend and was hoping for some advice. im using a 50 gallon food grade plastic tub and was wondering on how many fish i should keep in it? I will have a few fish tank heaters hooked up to my solar/turbine system i made last year to keep the water warm since the temp goes down to the 40s at night. If i didnt use heaters would the water temp drop too low just overnight? Also another question is its placed in a location where it will be getting about 7-8 hours of direct sunlight a day so what leafy greens work well in direct sunlight? Thanks for any advice and if you have any other tips please let me know. Thanks

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Greetings James,

I think the first decision you must make is what type of fish you will be raising. Assuming from your profile that your project will be in Ventura county, Ca. you need to familiarize yourself with local and state laws about raising, transporting, and selling certain species and sub- species. Ventura is unique in that it is pretty much on the boundary of the north/south line where tilapia of certain sub species are legal or not.

I am in Santa Barbara county just North and have chosen trout. I have found that cooling in the summer is no more cumbersome than heating in the winter. Most issues WILL depend largely on what type of fish you choose to go with as there are a wide range of requirement differences..

I hope this helps.

are trout hard to raise ? since you said you have chosen trout can you tell me a place to buy them from? santa Barbra is not to far for me to drive to get them.


The Fillmore California Trout Hatchery is probably your best bet. There are a number of others state wide but the folks at Fillmore can better provide shipping/availability info. Here's a link. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/Fillmore/

 I suggest visiting them to see how they do it all with similar temperatures and natural local waters.

I generally purchase fingerlings/fry in August and February or there about, and receive them when they are ready..


james davis said:

are trout hard to raise ? since you said you have chosen trout can you tell me a place to buy them from? santa Barbra is not to far for me to drive to get them.

Aquaponics stocking rule is generally 1 pound of fish for every 5-10 gallons of water.

There are so many differences between growing trout instead of tilapia that some people think it is hard to raise trout. But no, they are not so hard, they are just different and their requirements are different. 

Trout thrive with lower water temps, faster flows, and higher DO. Trout do not normally reproduce/breed in captivity like tilapia. But breeding stock CAN be raised and manually milked for egg and milt, then fertilized eggs are incubated and grown out with great success.

The diet of trout is higher in protein and the energy is clearly noted in a more energetic animal and taste.

These are the biggest differences but there are others. And other results like a more energetic fish does pass on more nutrients to the plants but needs more protection from long nose dives onto the garden floor etc. I would also provide closer to 10 gallons per adult than 5.

I hope this helps.
 


james davis said:

are trout hard to raise ? since you said you have chosen trout can you tell me a place to buy them from? santa Barbra is not to far for me to drive to get them.

Lol, everything you just said about trout kinda proves the point. When compared to trout, tilapia are a walk in the park (outside of the high temperature requirements, which granted, is a pain). But no, I'm sure trout are not unattainably difficult :)

Glenn said:

There are so many differences between growing trout instead of tilapia that some people think it is hard to raise trout. But no, they are not so hard, they are just different and their requirements are different. 

Trout thrive with lower water temps, faster flows, and higher DO. Trout do not normally reproduce/breed in captivity like tilapia. But breeding stock CAN be raised and manually milked for egg and milt, then fertilized eggs are incubated and grown out with great success.

The diet of trout is higher in protein and the energy is clearly noted in a more energetic animal and taste.

These are the biggest differences but there are others. And other results like a more energetic fish does pass on more nutrients to the plants but needs more protection from long nose dives onto the garden floor etc. I would also provide closer to 10 gallons per adult than 5.

I hope this helps.
 


james davis said:

are trout hard to raise ? since you said you have chosen trout can you tell me a place to buy them from? santa Barbra is not to far for me to drive to get them.

Goats might seem like a cakewalk compared to Holsteins and require a simpler barn etc... But sometimes I wanna eat a cow and prefer yellow cheeses. :)

Alex Veidel said:

Lol, everything you just said about trout kinda proves the point. When compared to trout, tilapia are a walk in the park (outside of the high temperature requirements, which granted, is a pain). But no, I'm sure trout are not unattainably difficult :)
 

Thanks for all the advice from everyone i definetly know enough now to make a decision. i appreciate all the posts.

Hi James, welcome to aquaponics...
my main advice is to keep your design simple.. go with a single tank and pump, use a timer and perforated standpipe (not a bell siphon) and avoid expensive media like hydroton (go with shale, or my favorite.. crushed granite)
keep in mind that your plants (and bacteria) prefer a warmer than 40 environment, so heating at least a little is often necessary..

you can grow Kale and Chard all year long.. look into wicking beds if you want to grow root crops.

Happy Gardening,
Rob

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