Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi everyone,

I am considering setting up a aquaponics system here in Palm Springs, CA. If anyone has one setup here I would be interested in checking it out. Anyway the temperatures in winter are nice, summer can be brutal. 112 is not uncommon in summer. I wonder if I put my fish behind a tree will it be enough to keep them cool in the summer. I am thinking about earth bagging the pond and maybe even digging down a little. Any advice for a super hot summer climate.

I am still in the design stages and trying to get an idea of what direction to take.

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Some shade cloth over the grow beds as well for the hot part of summer will probably help your plants as well as help cool the water a little too.

I live in a temperate climate too (100+ in summer and down to 32 in winter) and I have built up a bit of experience with trying to keep things happy.  I frequently see 130 F and up in my closed polycarb system, even with vents open.  The ideal type of set-up would be one where I could provide 40% shade netting cover for the plants in summer, and perhaps greenhouse plastic in winter.  No single set-up is likely going to be perfect year long, but at least you can get by with a frame set up to deal with both requirements, and experiment with covering.  Also note though that there seem to be a potential link between aphid explosions and mildew problems and having a completely enclosed system.  Many of us have found less management with open systems.  Maybe you will end up with a split system like UVI - tanks in the shade of a solid roof and plants in the open.  What is your winter like?


You can grow anything in Palm Springs. We have the best winters in the country I think. I have four 4x4 square foot gardens and they are doing pretty well. I have been pricing greenhouses and they are beyond my means. I may earthbag the grow beds and use a plastic liner of some sort.

Feb 28  Today
Partly cloudy. High 68F. Winds light and variable.
Feb 28  Tonight
Mostly clear. Low around 45F. Winds light and variable.
Mar 1  Tomorrow
Mostly sunny skies. High 74F. Winds light and variable.
Mar 1  Tomorrow night
Generally fair. Low 49F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Mar 2  Wednesday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 50s.
Mar 3  Thursday
Plenty of sun. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 40s.
Mar 4  Friday
Sunny. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 50s.
Mar 5  Saturday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 50s.
Mar 6  Sunday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 50s.
Mar 7  Monday
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the upper 40s.
Mar 8  Tuesday
More sun than clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the upper 40s.
Mar 9  Wednesday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 40s.

I have a cousin who lived in Palm Springs for a while. He had a nice little goldfish pond in his backyard. It was an in-ground liner type pond and his fish lived there several years.  There was very little shade, just broken shade from palm trees.

 I think your earthbag and hole in ground could work for you. Your fish should grow fast there. You will probably need some shade cloth in summer to help prevent algae. Maybe shadecloth on your crops as well depending what is growing.

I have my fish in an in-ground pond in the phoenix metro area and they have done fine for years.  Not sure how much the new grow bed will raise the water temp but I don't think it will be too bad with blue foam on all 6 sides.  When colder water fish like trout get to warm they need extra O2 so you may need to watch that.  You could also cool the water with a heat exchanger in a swamp cooler.   I agree that shade cloth may be warranted, but for the plants, not the fish or water temp.


all the best,



I plan to raise Tilapia so they should be fine. Well based on the feedback I think I am going to do alright. I ordered Murray Hallam's Aquaponics made easy. When it gets here I am going to plan and build the system.


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