Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi everyone. I am a total rookie with this type of gardening. I grew up in Illinois but now I live in Puerto Rico. I planted some cantaloupe, tomato's (Beefsteak) and a couple other things here. Could be the sun is to hot or any other myriad of problems, but results were poor. Cantaloupe withered and the tomato's were small and then died out. I have read much and researched on the net until I couldn't find much else new. I have mad skillsets for all of the construction, plumbing, electrical and much more. I haven't jumped in yet because of the holidays. Any preferred vendors for fish stock and feed that won't be outrageous to get it here? I accidently found tilapia fingerlings for 49 cents before shipping, but they were mixed breeds, can I do that? Is it possible to grow enough duck weed, and raise reds worms to make it cost effective on feed? I'm not going to start with a large school of fish but want to eventually have around 50 sq. feet of growing beds in a hoop house with some kind of netting to reduce the direct sunlight in the summer months.

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Hmm, I don't think it would be the heat....tomatoes and cantaloupes love the summer. But I don't know how hot it really gets in Puerto Rico. 

Can you do mixed breeds with tilapia? Well, that depends on what you want. If you want tilapia "mutts", then there shouldn't be any problems; however, if you were looking to raise a pure strain, then that would be an issue :) Both are fine. I'll bet tilapia's a good choice for Puerto Rico.

Fish are already pretty cost effective, due the fact that they are cold blooded (they don't expend calories creating body heat) and suspended in fluid (they don't burn as many calories moving). So you've already got a head start over, say, a cow. Yeah, depending on how you set things up, you can supplement your feed with duckweed and redworms.

Merry Christmas. Mutts are OK, they're only to eat. The problem with most things I planted is the intensity of the sun. You're right they do like the heat, but I need a netting so the sun is filtered. I'll probably make a simple hoop house. There are plenty of green houses here so I can source the material they all use. I've semi retired here so I have the time and plenty of space.

Yeah, you could use shade cloth.

 Another food source that would be easy for you to attract and manage is black soldier fly larva.  When you get your veggies growing, you can also feed the trimmings from your AP garden to your fish.  From my experience in Honduras in a greenhouse,  you will really need some sort of shading, either from shade cloth or other locally adapted vines growing in our on the greenhouse to filter the sun.  It will get really hot in a hoop house with any solid siding.  You might consider the walls being made from insect screening rather than anything solid (and maybe have roll-down sides of solid material to protect plants in wind storms).  I wish you the best with this. Hope this is helpful

-Converse

Hey thanks for the input. I'm not sure it is native or found here, 've never seen one. As far as the hoop house goes, only a frame will be used to hold some 4 ply poly plastic over the top for rain and to support netting material. I'm still quite away from starting the project and any input is great.

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