Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey everyone,

 

I know this is a farfetched and potentially ridiculous idea, but I'm planning modifying a school bus to make it a mobile green house and would like to put a small aquaponics system on it.  It's for a non-profit I'm starting, showcasing and educating the youth about permaculture, sustainable technologies, and fresh, healthy food.  

 

I guess the potential problems I see are that the fish don't like movement and get stressed easily that way.  Does anyone know of a specific fish or other creature that wouldn't mind the movement? Or a way to design a smooth riding fish tank?

 

Also, designing a way to have the pump and O2 to be on constantly, supplemental power in one form or another.  

 

Maybe I'm crazy, but I see this as an exciting idea!  I welcome any input or ideas regarding the topic.

 

Thank you

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Okay, update!  

 

The bus is going to be more of a phase 2-3 sort of thing.  We are going to start small by creating a Truck Farm!  (Check us out on facebook - Boulder and Aspen, CO Truck Farm).  So, my new goal is to have a very small aquaponics system in the back of a truck bed, strictly for demonstration and educational purposes.  I'm wondering how small of an aquarium style set-up I could do, and if anyone else on here has had any thoughts around mobile systems recently.  Let's keep the conversation rollin' (literally!)

very small systems are possible.  Just keep in mind that you need to protect them from temperature extremes and they are less stable so more careful monitoring is needed.

 

Michelle Silva said:
  What about the possibility of running a system strictly with worms (vermiponics) or maybe with just a very small amount of fish to provide nutrients for the worms?

 

Hi Michelle,

 

I cycled up using worm tea, aerated compost tea, kelp and humonia.  I have worm bins on the grow beds and worms are starting to establish in the gravel.  I feed them wheat straw fines w/some grain & kitchen food waste.  Decomposing plant matter emits plenty Ammonia.  When the worms are well established i plan to omit the pee.  I often have Nitrate off the chart and the plants are doing great. 

Who needs fish? Unless i decide later that i really want to eat fish.

 

Hf



your water tank will need to be baffled , to stop the water from slamming around , and water is heavier than heck just guess 10 pounds per gallon with the container
If the tank is one that you can tightly close a tight fitting lid for travel and you keep it completely full right up to the lid, there won't be sloshing, that only happens when there is air space in the container.  You may still have some water loss through the vent you will need to be able to have aeration while traveling.

Oh wow,very exciting Homefire..we have to talk more . I just wouldn't do the humonia thing since I have a buying club and think that might possibly freak some members out, lol.

Homefire said:

 

Michelle Silva said:
  What about the possibility of running a system strictly with worms (vermiponics) or maybe with just a very small amount of fish to provide nutrients for the worms?

 

Hi Michelle,

 

I cycled up using worm tea, aerated compost tea, kelp and humonia.  I have worm bins on the grow beds and worms are starting to establish in the gravel.  I feed them wheat straw fines w/some grain & kitchen food waste.  Decomposing plant matter emits plenty Ammonia.  When the worms are well established i plan to omit the pee.  I often have Nitrate off the chart and the plants are doing great. 

Who needs fish? Unless i decide later that i really want to eat fish.

 

Hf



There is a video on YouTube about people doing something very similar maybe you could search for it there and get ideas. I didn't pay clos attention because I knew I wouldn't be using a bus but if you can figure out the fish movement issues I think it is a great idea.

 

I am a teacher and have a aquaponics system set up in the science lab. Total cost $1500. You might think about setting up schools as you go kinda like Johnny Appleseed of aquaponics.

That's a great idea John!  Thank you!

John Meehan said:

I am a teacher and have a aquaponics system set up in the science lab. Total cost $1500. You might think about setting up schools as you go kinda like Johnny Appleseed of aquaponics.

The truck bed is a good idea, but have you considered something less permanent... and more detachable?

Maybe an aquaponics trailer?  Part of the beauty of aquaponics is seeing the incredible growth.  If you could park a trailer somewhere and leave it for a few weeks... people could see for themselves.

You'd need invest in some remote monitoring/controllers, but that seems to be getting cheaper and easier by the day (ala seneye monitors).

I'm planning to build one of these myself.  A smaller (6x8) trailer (would need double 3,000lb axles to transport a 300-500 gallon tank + grow media + composting with BSFL's.  Initially, I just want to be able to move my food system around with myself, but long term I plan to demo these at schools, and preview the system for potential clients.

This is an amazing idea I can't wait to see a bus with a full aquaponics system on the road. Waste Vegetable Oil is a great way to power busses sustainably. 

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