Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey All,

I am running a demonstration system at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wa. We are currently at the point where all the hardware has been installed and it is time to start finding fish!

Because it is a demonstration system we want to start with a healthy mix of koi and goldfish. I am curious to know if anyone has a line on where to find fry or fingerling of koi and goldfish in Washington State? We are working with a budget but also realize that you get what you pay for, so we're looking to balance. In any case, let me know what you know!


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Very cool, Joe!

We just added fish to our 1st IBC system at 250 gallons - we got Koi & goldfish at PetSmart -  not sure if that helps...

How big is the demo system, and is it open for tours?  We live up in Sedro-Woolley, & Carla is an Evergreen grad.

Best of luck!


Hey Karla and Dave,

Congrats on the new IBC System!  PetSmart huh?  Guess I forgot that petco isnt the only box store in town.  System is 440 gallons with two grow beds totaling to just about 46-47 sq ft.  It is open to tours!  Let me know when you would like to come out.  Carla, when did you graduate?  Im on my way quarter to go!

Thanks guys.


Hi Joe,

I graduated in 1989.  You know the dark ages before the internet when personal computers were the new thing. ha ha.

I don't know if it is reflective of the store or the chain, but I tend not to buy the fish from the Petco in our area because they seem to be a lot less healthy than the ones at our local Petsmart.  Also, when I asked about Koi at Petco they said they didn't have any because Koi are seasonal...  :P  By the way, I have not found cheap Koi. I ended up buying 4 medium sized koi and 2 smaller koi, then got a bunch of feeder goldfish. (and I think I need to get some more...)

There are a couple pond supply places down in that area, they might be able to tell you if there is somewhere better to buy fish.

Wishing you the best.


Hey Carla,

Yeah Petco is uh...

Anyways good call on Petsmart. Can get small Koi from the store in Lacey for $5.

Still leaning towards goldfish for now but have found a tilapia guy that I trust.

Anyways, let me know when you wanna come down!


Hey Joe,

Yeah that's about what I paid for small koi up here too. 

We decided not to do tilapia because they require a warmer temperature than we wanted to have to heat. (though the plants would probably have liked it...)

Do you know anything about raising cooler water fish like catfish, perch or bass?


I dont.  I do know that you want to pay attention to keeping the temps optimal for the microbacteria.  But I think they actually have a much larger range than folks actually thought.  Which are you leaning towards?  Let me know what you find out?

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