So it has been 100+ degrees for a week + in my part of Texas. My setup is three 55 gallon barrels. 1 is split to make grow beds, 1 is for fish and 1 for sump. It has worked great. I know I have about a month of around 95-100 degree days left, but I (cross fingers) I have not lost a fish yet.
I started out growing strawberries. I got about 5 pints of great berries, then about 4-5 pints of smallish berries. But they all tested great.
I also started with 1 cherry tomato plant. I got 2 harvest from this bush. The first bunch was kinda few but the second was HUGE. I would go out each day and get 10+. I just keep getting tomatoes. It is still producing a few tomatoes a week.
I replaced most of the strawberry plants with various seedlings from my raised bed. Lettuce did well. I have jalapenos and okra growing right now and this weekend I plan to transplant some cantalopes. Not sure how this will work, but I plan to drape the vines over the edge and let them grow down. I have also transplanted a blueberry bush that was not doing well in the ground near a fence. It has perked up and is putting out leaves now.
Overall, I have gotten a lot more out than I expected. I am a pretty lousy farmer overall, so this is going great.
I have laid out plans to expand next year. I plan to put in a 3' X 8' X 1' square wooden fish tank lined with a pool liner in ground. The grow bed will be a 3' X 8' X 1' square wooden lined with a pool liner also. I will raise bluegills. I am thinking of a way to include some catfish also.
I plan to bury two 55 gal blue barrels, one on each end to help cool the water in the summer. One end will be the sump and the other will be a collector for the pump.
The best part is being able to easily move a plant and not worrying about shock. I have moved all my plants except the tomato. Some several times. This may not be an option on a larger system, but it has worked well on the smaller system.
Thanks to the AP community in these forums for all the information and advice.
Re shock, sometimes it works well and others it doesn't in my experience- hot weather transplanting seems to be more of a risk, compared to cool weather. Aquaponics is, by far, the easiest gardening I've ever done. Good report. Congratulations.
Great to hear about your success! Report back about the blueberries. As I know they require a pretty acidic soil environment to be successful so that is likely why it wasn't doing so well in the ground. In theory it also shouldn't work in AP but if it does, feel free to show it off :)
Yeah, I know. I am going to replant the blueberries at some point. But it was gonna die in ground. I plan to find some place I can replant it after treating the ground. But that sounds like a short term solution. I am too lazy to keep the ground "treated".
Great to hear about your success! Report back about the blueberries. As I know they require a pretty acidic soil environment to be successful so that is likely why it wasn't doing so well in the ground. In theory it also shouldn't work in AP but if it does, feel free to show it off
I grow blueberries in pots and they do great. I recall there being several online sites giving instructions. As for taking care of them, depending on heat and humidity, they need regular watering. (I water daily while they're producing and only once or twice a week when they're not.) Very easy this way and, if you have birds that steal your fruit (mockingbirds!!! grrr...), you can move them into a screened enclosure. (Hah!)