Good Morning all! My name is Adam Cohen and four years ago I first learned about aquaponics while doing some research on traditional aquaculture. From that moment I was hooked, so to speak. Over the next two years I searched out every bit of information that I could find and learned what I could from the web. When I discovered Travis Hughey's Barrelponic manual, I just had to build one. That system went together easily and I operated it for almost three years - raising goldfish, tilapia and rainbow trout in successive crops.
A little about me, I have two B.S. degrees from Texas A&M - the first in Biology and the second in Marine Fisheries (with a focus on regulation and aquaculture). While I have done a number of things since then, the truth is that I am an educator at heart - I have spent a little over 10 years in the classroom teaching Math and Science. I have a strong interest in writing curriculum that could bring Aquaponics into more classrooms and how we can teach children today useful and truly marketable skills -- like problem solving and practical engineering!
I opened Green Phoenix Farms almost one year ago with the intention of developing a commercial production facility in the DFW area similar to that of Growing Power. I wanted (and still do) to bring that level of community interaction and growth to my local area. Earlier this year, I left my position at my school and decided to make the jump to doing this full time. I am working hard to turn this small business into a positive force in my community and I welcome all suggestions and advice. I have been doing AP now for 4 years, and every day I learn something new about it.
I currently give small classes and workshops in the DFW area about Aquaponics, with the goal of bringing more people into the hobby. I also work with interested parties to design and build custom aquaponic systems in their backyards and even indoors. I have begun the process to design a few ready to install systems that can be placed roughly anywhere, and the response on these has been pretty good. While I have not given up on my dream of having my own "Growing Power" style facility, I currently do not have the ability to buy/rent the land and get this started. So, I have expanded my timeline and now hope to be there sometime in the next 3-5 years.
I do have several systems in operation in the DFW area and if anyone is interested in seeing how my growth is going below are a few links. This system is about 750-800 gallons and set up along the CHOP design. We are using one IBC as a fish tank, the 10 barrel halves are the grow-beds and then a buried IBC is the sump. Originally we built the system with pvc fittings and I had horrible leaks that I just could not fix. In February of this year, we revised the system and upgraded all of the through-fittings to Uniseals and I have not had one leak since! Overall, this system has been running for one year, but about a month since it had been remodeled.
I hope to learn a great deal from all of you! We are the Good Food Revolution!
Thank you TCLynx - I will put pictures in directly in future posts, but I was running short on time, and didn't want to re-write all the information that went with the photos - so the links were the easiest solution. Thanks for the pointer, I hadn't seen the img button.
How are you. Good job. I am currently studying on aquaponics, and would love to start one here in San Antonio. I am currently in the military, and get out in a year and a half. I would like to start when I get home from Afghanistan so that way I can jump to commercial as soon as possible. Any suggestions or help and guidance would be great.