Aquaponic Gardening

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What are your thoughts on system design?  Media vs raft.  Deep media beds vs shallow.  Siphons vs timers.  Tell us your thoughts and let's get the conversation rolling

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Exactly what I was going to say, Kobus. Last weekend I got my first koi, and am considering trading in all my tilapia for koi going forward. They are incredibly beautiful and can bring in a healthy profit if you end up with an award winner a few years down the road.
Nope.....I'm gonna eat em....just wanted to get the question out of the way....
I'm under construction now and have filled 4 barrels gravel....I've got my sump and am gonna create a chop 2 system......8 -half barrels will be my goal.....
i think this stuff is a life style and as I'm leaning on the winter season here in Lousiiana...I can see some type of pvc hoop green house covering the whole thing.....it wont be much trouble.....I can put a small heater in the thing to keep my stuff from dying.....Why are fiberglass containers so expensive......I might go ahead and build a couple of plugs and make my own fiberglass tanks......I'm the only aquaponics guy in the whole state of louisiana, I believe....some hydroponics guys back in the woods.....
Once you get your fish started.....you have to keep growing greenery to keep them alive.....
Is there a premium fish food that everyone uses in the USA.....I'm a small system so I can afford to get the best stuff.....
Darryl
That's a great idea Sylvia. From what I understand Koi are not that expensive when bought small. Hrm..

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Exactly what I was going to say, Kobus. Last weekend I got my first koi, and am considering trading in all my tilapia for koi going forward. They are incredibly beautiful and can bring in a healthy profit if you end up with an award winner a few years down the road.
Darryl, I'd venture to say that most people use the Purina AquaMax line of feed, which you can order in 50 lb bags from your local feed store. I also sell a line of small batch, locally made tilapia feed that is excellent (https://www.theaquaponicsource.com/categories.php?cat=42) if you go the tilapia route.


Darryl Hinson said:
Is there a premium fish food that everyone uses in the USA.....I'm a small system so I can afford to get the best stuff.....
Darryl
No there are others in Louisiana, I believe some of them are even on this site.

Darryl Hinson said:
....I'm the only aquaponics guy in the whole state of louisiana, I believe....some hydroponics guys back in the woods.....
Once you get your fish started.....you have to keep growing greenery to keep them alive.....
The most easily available high quality feed for recirculating systems is AquaMax, it is a Purina Mills Product so you should be able to have any feed store that is a Purina Dealer (except Tractor supply, they won't special order Purina and only supply their normal stock) can probably have a bag of two of whatever type put on the next truck order for you. You don't want fish food that has been sitting in a store, you want to call for it when you need it since the high protein content and oils will cause it to go bad quickly. The higher the protein, the shorter the shelf life. Anyway, you can go to the Purina Mills web site and look up Aqua Max to see what type you want. The Dense Culture 4000 is what I mostly use for the tilapia and catfish and I would guess it might be appropriate for blue gill too.

I would love to find something more natural and with less corn/soy to feed my fish but I'm also not willing to pay 10 times the price plus shipping so I haven't yet found much alternative that I like.

The few other fish feeds I've gotten locally were meant for pond culture and tend not to be as well balanced since they figure the fish are also getting more natural feed in a pond, they also tended to give me water quality problems in the recirculating system so I've stayed with AquaMax mostly.

Darryl Hinson said:
Is there a premium fish food that everyone uses in the USA.....I'm a small system so I can afford to get the best stuff.....
Darryl
I do have bug zappers hanging over my fish tank and they are contributing to feed my fish though I don't know quite how to measure the amount and nutritional value I'm really getting for the 15 watts 4 hours or so a night.


RupertofOZ said:
They change out water in hydroponics as the nutrient solution becomes spent, or begins precipitating out due to temperature...

You could just run your media based AP system on ammonia alone... but I'd suspect it would be cheaper to run fish...

Also the fish feed contains a balance of trace elements, which in due course are provided to the plants... partly by conversion of wastes by the worms in our grow beds...

Feeding your system pure ammonia may very well kill your worm colony... or your plants could, even with the right pH, become deficient in some trace elements...



Darryl Hinson said:
I understand the value of growing fish along with vegrtables ....but what if I'm allergic to fish....I may want to eliminate the fish from the system....from what I can glean so far, the fish produce ammonia ....why couldnt I just add ammonia manually and do away with the fish....pure ammonia is pretty cheap and I DO have a test kit.....
So then I'm into the hydroponic arena....but I've read that hydroponics have their problems with having to do a water change out....so the fish must produce more than just ammonia....??

So.... could you have a fishless system and provide the nutrients directly with fish food? I know you can do a fishless cycle with fish food as the ammonia source; with carefull testing, would just the fish food provide the tastiness of aquaponic produce---as opposed to the watery flavorless produce associated with hydroponics? Would the aeration and water flow be enough to get a good product?


Rebecca Branham said:


RupertofOZ said:
They change out water in hydroponics as the nutrient solution becomes spent, or begins precipitating out due to temperature...

You could just run your media based AP system on ammonia alone... but I'd suspect it would be cheaper to run fish...

Also the fish feed contains a balance of trace elements, which in due course are provided to the plants... partly by conversion of wastes by the worms in our grow beds...

Feeding your system pure ammonia may very well kill your worm colony... or your plants could, even with the right pH, become deficient in some trace elements...



Darryl Hinson said:
I understand the value of growing fish along with vegrtables ....but what if I'm allergic to fish....I may want to eliminate the fish from the system....from what I can glean so far, the fish produce ammonia ....why couldnt I just add ammonia manually and do away with the fish....pure ammonia is pretty cheap and I DO have a test kit.....
So then I'm into the hydroponic arena....but I've read that hydroponics have their problems with having to do a water change out....so the fish must produce more than just ammonia....??

So.... could you have a fishless system and provide the nutrients directly with fish food? I know you can do a fishless cycle with fish food as the ammonia source; with carefull testing, would just the fish food provide the tastiness of aquaponic produce---as opposed to the watery flavorless produce associated with hydroponics? Would the aeration and water flow be enough to get a good product?

Here in Hawaii, the fish are a "loss" because of the high costs of fish food and electricity; this is why Friendly Aquaponics developed the low density fish populations they use. I've actually been toying with the idea of vermiponics for several reasons. The cost of raising the fish is one. The altitude at which I live and the resultant cool temperatures are another. Too cold for tilapia without a lot of insulation. Trout are hard to come by and take more care. Other cool water fish like the yellow perch are not allowed to be imported. Koi are expensive; maybe feeder goldfish. Catfish?


Rebecca Branham said:


RupertofOZ said:
They change out water in hydroponics as the nutrient solution becomes spent, or begins precipitating out due to temperature...

You could just run your media based AP system on ammonia alone... but I'd suspect it would be cheaper to run fish...

Also the fish feed contains a balance of trace elements, which in due course are provided to the plants... partly by conversion of wastes by the worms in our grow beds...

Feeding your system pure ammonia may very well kill your worm colony... or your plants could, even with the right pH, become deficient in some trace elements...



Darryl Hinson said:
I understand the value of growing fish along with vegrtables ....but what if I'm allergic to fish....I may want to eliminate the fish from the system....from what I can glean so far, the fish produce ammonia ....why couldnt I just add ammonia manually and do away with the fish....pure ammonia is pretty cheap and I DO have a test kit.....
So then I'm into the hydroponic arena....but I've read that hydroponics have their problems with having to do a water change out....so the fish must produce more than just ammonia....??

So.... could you have a fishless system and provide the nutrients directly with fish food? I know you can do a fishless cycle with fish food as the ammonia source; with carefull testing, would just the fish food provide the tastiness of aquaponic produce---as opposed to the watery flavorless produce associated with hydroponics? Would the aeration and water flow be enough to get a good product?

If you want to go down that path (no fish) than just do Hydroponics. It is a proven method of growing. The whole idea of Aquaponics is to grow fish and plants together. If for any reason you wish to remove the fish from the equasion, then just do Hydroponics.
Hi Sylvia,
There is the CHOP system. Constant Height One Pump. We have been running CHOP on most of our systems for a long while now and it is very good.
I am sure there will be those who have built their systems around the CHOP idea.

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