Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hi everbody!


I am about to begin my adventure in aquaponics. I will appreciate any advice you may have for me. I have been studying as much as I can and trying to digest and come up with a plan for my locale and budget.


I have so far settled on a starter greenhouse size of 12x20. I have the space next to my shop that allows for easy access of power and water. I think my tank size will be around 900 gallons. Here in the Northwest heat is an issue, so I am going to use a wood fired snorkel stove in conjunction with electric heat. I have studied the designs of snorkel stoves and believe I have come up with one that I can build easily and mabe market?$$ I have been collecting glass from sliding glass patio doors and have enough for the walls. I am probably going to use polycarbonate for the roof (falling branches here.) I am also going to include attached colframes so I can have different growing temperatures during the winter months.


I like the ebb and flow system. I have been researching the Bell syphon and I want to implement that over float switches and additional pumps. I like the idea of worms existing in the media beds, to help breakdown the solids buildup.


I think I have decided on the White Nile Tilapia, but have also considered Channel Catfish. I want to try crayfish in the sytem, and saw freshwater mussels were a possibility as well.

I will keep you informed as I go, and again, would appreciate your thoughts and comments.

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Welcome to the AP site.  Newer here myself and also in the NW! Are  you a Seattle - ite? I have a very small experimental system going, moving to 55 gallonn indoor set up come spring,I'm looking to get fellow NW - ers into growing indoors and looking at where food comes from.  Anyway,welcome to the site and once at my laptop I'll join your NW AP group!

Chef Ricky
Hi Rick, and welcome to AP. I've read that crayfish become a real pest in Ap systems and tend to dominate by competing with everything,plants and fish.If you are intent on raising them you may want to consider isolating from the mainstream system. Best of luck with your trial and please post some pics as you go along.
Thanks for your thoughts. I am planning on keeping the crayfish separate. I was thinking of raising them in those 275 gallon IBC totes. I was going to cut the tops off but leave a lip to prevent them from escaping.
I was thinking of putting the tank in the ground insulating the sides and bottom with styrofoam insulation. I hadnt thought about insulating the growing beds though, I like that idea. I was reading about the White Nile Tilapia, the seller claims survival down to 45 degrees. I figured the snorkel stove would heat the ambient air temp as well as augment the electric water heaters.
I like the snorkel stove because it heats both the water and the air. The fire box is in the water which also prevents premature burnout of the stove due to the constant cooling of the hottest part of the stove. The top of the stove and the chimney will of course be heating the air. I also have a forested 7 acre parcel. A continuous source of fuel. Electric heaters will be for balancing and maintaining the temp once I figure out how often I want to run the stove. Water is a great heat sink so it will radiate heat and help to maintain the ambient temp. I have found some 12 volt elements that I thought might work well with a generator/battery system during outages as well. Summer here is pretty short, and we only have a few weeks of warm weather, So I am pretty sure cooling can be accommodated by a few fans and vents. Sounds pretty good in theory anyway.....

Your right about the fish. I am sure that survival and thriving are two different things. I intend to have it no cooler than 70-75 degrees, and the median being about 80. We get cold weather for short periods 20-30 for a week or so at a time. This is also when we have power failures. I am just looking for a hardy fish should I have a temperature drop while I have to improvise or deal with a heating issue for a short time. I intend to have a few redundancies and alternative sources of heat and aeration to avoid total system failure due to power failure.

I tend to way over build, it is in my nature. I was raised with an army engineer for a grandfather. He also taught me to believe in and use "Murphy's Law" "If something can go wrong, it will." when ever I build something.

Hey Rick, I'm a fellow northwesterner, where ya located?


I am in Roy WA. But will soon be relocating unfortunately.

Joseph Michael Martino said:

Hey Rick, I'm a fellow northwesterner, where ya located?


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