Aquaponic Gardening

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Well, I think I hit the wall with energy costs here.   Just adding a post let people know who are thinking about indoor setup. 

Over 2 years, I have grown my basement system to 175 gallons of water and three 2' x 3' x 9" deep grow beds. 

I recently upgraded my grow lights and that put me on the list of people the power company calls out and shames with nastygrams. 

I currently have:

1000w grow light on a light mover ( accepts halide and hps bulbs )

400w grow light stationary over the tomatoes

Not running my two, 250w HPS lights. 

2 x 400watt aquarium heaters in main FT ( 125 gallon aquarium ) 

2 x 100watt aquarium heaters in fingerling tank ( 30 gallon aquarium ) 

Plus pump, airstones, and a few powerheads. 

25 white nile tilapia.  ( 2 months old and about 6" already! ) 

Well, I'm using 3100 kWh of electricity which I was just told is 221% more than anyone the neighborhood. Granted I have 5 computers and kid with game systems plus an old house with inefficient insulation.   But I'm feeling kinda sick over this. 

I love my garden.  With my current setup, we have full time lettuce. basil, and tomatoes.  My sweet peppers are looking very good too.      I was planning on adding a grow-out FT perhaps an IBC and a couple more grow beds as I am putting out more nitrogen than I am taking in.  

But the cost seems to finally be a significant hurdle.  Sure it is a freezing winter and my energy costs will be up but I am not sure I can justify 220% of my neighborhood average.   


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Depends on the fish you have. Tilapia need 70 degree water and higher to be productive. Other fish are more happy in cooler water.

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