Aquaponic Gardening

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What type of aquaponics methods offer the highest and quickest ROI for backyard sized systems? Many interested in growing food will be surprised at the cost of media systems. I know I am. It is nice to have a hobby but at my house hobbies need to pay their own way a little better.

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That's a pretty cool looking tote. The guy that sells IBC containers a couple miles from here get $100 a piece. This morning he told me he has no idea what has been in the containers, but someone who buys them regularly from him raises fish in them.

I went the local Aquamax dealer today and he pointed me back to Rubbermaid stock tanks.

If i recall there is a thread on here from the perspective of a marine who had to clean the used IBC totes used for all purposes.


If I recall you remove the solids then wash with soap + water, then you fill with bleach + water and let sit for a couple of weeks, then you scrub again with soap and water then fill with plain water and wait for algae to grow. That's when you know its safe ...


Might be able to find it if you search IBC on here :) or just IBC cleaning on google

Found it :) ... containers I can find locally have been used for syrup transport
Thanks for posting the link.

I plan to go with a round tank and sink it in the ground except for maybe 6 inches.


B. Pearcy said:


Thanks for the thoughtful response. You pointed out some things I had not thought of yet. Your right in the ballpark I am planning. I have to go a little lighter on fish tank and needs to look good. I will be at $300 for 200 gallons. The media expense is the area money is tight for me.$200 seems high for river gravel for a country boy but in an urban area it seems unavoidable.

Sorry for butting in late but I have been busy!


I think ROI considerations on a home system is an interesting but complicated matter.  Most people getting into AP because of distance to market or produce quality considerations may argue that what they grow is far more valuable to them than the stuff on shop shelves.  Also, you need to look at growing what you consume, which is often difficult to balance - a simple salad bowl can contain a great many different items and to be able to grow them all at once, you need a rather larger system than what many people consider.  Then there are the losses that are not easy to predict - one of your cucumber plants go belly up and you are without cucumbers for 40 days.......


I am trying to collate how much I have been able to produce in a year run, because I think some long term yield results is all that is going to settle the matter.  since December, I have had over 360 salad tomatoes alone, although some system issues have delayed other crops.  I think in the end a smaller system will take a longer time to "pay" for itself, but there is more value in it to me than simply the shelf value of the crops I am getting.


In terms of comments I have seen about type of systems, I firmly believe that raft cannot do an entire home basket.  It was developed for commercial leaf crop production.  Mixed systems with some raft, some tower and some media components, I believe, is going to be the best type of set-up to get you a diverse crop supply for a home system.  Also, I will not take recommendations from companies that have not operated a system extensively seriously.  The Aussies rule in media beds, the afore-mentioned guys know their rafts well, and then there are people here with a lot of experience with vertical growing.  They all have good points to promote (I think the best system takes the best of all the methods, not a single one). I'm always cautious of consultants who only sell one design, but have a lot to say about systems they have less experience on.  My media beds are not bothersome to manage, but some of the raft systems need daily filter clean-ups.  That to me is more of a bother.  Also, you have to be vegetarian to go through a raft of greens.  I am not.  I simply cannot deal with all that leaf production in my family, thus I have a system biast to fruit, which does far better in media.  A carefully constructed bed can be turned from a media bed to a DWC bed and back again, allowing for experimentation.


Look at the posts of Chris Smith from Hawaii - he started off with a pure raft system but started integrating media beds withworms into them for a good reason. 

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