Aquaponic Gardening

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I live in Indiana and want to try my hand a aquaponic gardening.  Does anyone know where I can inexpensively purchase a breeding group of tilapia, duckweed, and water testing kits?  Also, has anyone tried growing duck weed?  Is it easy to grow?

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Friendly Aquaponics website advises against duckweed in aquaponics based on the troubles he had. I am not sure if anyone else had success with duckweed on this website. I am going to experment with other types of feed I create. I will let you know if they work or not.
Many people do grow duckweed, However, don't expect to grow enough duckweed in a single storage tote to feed more than a few fish an occasional treat.  A dozen tilapia will completely clear the surface of a 16 foot by 2 1/2 foot tank of a thick layer of duckweed in about 5 days if you are not also feeding them a good commercial feed.  Please don't think you can grow enough duckweed to completely feed the fish on the waste of the fish only eating that duckweed if you also expect to have enough nutrients left over to also grow some veggies.
The duckweed at the Friendlies got into the raft beds and became a problem at harvest time because of the hassle it was to wash it completely off the lettuce before processing.  Also, people have found it easier to feed the duckweed to tilapia if you begin when they are small and they grow up eating it.  If the fish are trained to eat pellets and then fed duckweed, they are much less willing to eat the duckweed.

we sell live tilapia out of the greenhouse;but, you would have to get a fish haulers permit to produce and sell live fish in  IN. The good news its free

Hello Jennifer!
  I was reading several posts on here and ran across your posts dated several months ago. How has your system come along? Do you have one up and running? 


Brenda Windell

Velpen Aquaponics

Can you provide the temps Tilapia need in order to breed and thrive year round? You may want to take that into consideration.

Tilapia needs temps around 80- 85 to grow and thrive. Too much below that and they won't grow.

You can actually get away with water temps between 70-86 F for tilapia and they will survive down to 60 F and some types even down to 55 F but they pretty much quit eating/growing below 70 F.  Some books will tell you that the water temp should be exactly 74 F for Aquaponics but that is for lettuce production I guess.

You say that tilapia need temps of 80 - 85 to thrive and breed.  The highest temp I have ever recorded is 78 and that was only in one of my tanks.  The rest of the tanks were 75 to 75.  Our outside temp only gets up to 89 the water could never get any where near that in the day time .  Night time temps go as low as 56 in the winter.  That is the outside temp.  My tilapia thrive very well and breed a lot so I think whoever made those rules are a little off I just killed several fish the smallest 1 lb and the biggest 2.25 lbs.  They are extremely happy fish.  Most of my tanks stay in the shade so I keep the temp lower to get the max oxygen.  Remember I live in Hawaii and it is 75 to 89 in daytime year round.  75 to 82 is the winter temps and the fish continue to eat and are very happy.

Ah Raychel, isn't paradise tough.

Yes 86 might be prime breeding temperature for tilapia but I've read plenty of statements that say they can start breeding at 72-74 F.

And your temp range Raychel, in the mid 70's seems to support Nelson and Pade's recommendation of 74 being a good temperature.

I think Raychel's success is due to her having little temp fluctuations. In IN it would be more of a concern about keeping the water warm.

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