i do understand, but the application of a fishless system could help the running costs of the hobbyists as well as the commercialist. and really, fishless is the wrong term for it... i guess i should change it to inputless systems, and even that doesn't quite have it right... hmm... maybe naturalistic system...
if the theory works, then feeding fish will be a thing of the past for the owner of the system and again will rely on mother nature to take care of feeding the fish / fishless system.
fish will be more of an option instead of mandatory.
what sets it apart from hydro is not needed to put anything into the system to drive it. instead of feeding a system, you'd only have to keep an eye on the system and supplement nutrient changes when necessary. this also means less tending to the hobbyist. although it is enjoyable to feed the fish and watch them eat, for those people seeking to have an ap garden with is benefits of being able to be set up just about anywhere with it's high yield per sqft rates, but don't have either the time or just cant remember to feed fish everyday, this would be a great new system for them to have.
in the middle of typing that last part people started to walk into my house and i may have jumbled a few thoughts together... lol sorry all.
so, for the commercialization, it means lowered running costs. for the hobbyists, it not only makes the fish aspect optional, but would make it less hands on to reap the benefits of the systems. (=
i may not always put all of my thoughts down into the black and white, but i do consider many aspects all at once. i do realize that some forums are more built for the back yard warriors rather than the commercialists... but it's always easier to scale an idea down, than it is to scale it up. (=
I think you lost me a bit there? An inputless system? I don't think you can get much out of a system if nothing is going in.
I need a bit more explanation to understand better what you are getting at I guess.
I think I agree with Chip a fishless system is hydro any way you cut it. Damon You got your experience on the Big Island which has a very limited population. I live on Oahu where we have nearly a million people. Every fish you can raise you can take to town and sell for 5 to 6 dollars a pound. The man who taught me aquaculture has been doing it for years. He can't raise them fast enough. His problem is that he does aquaculture and that becomes expensive and work intensive. I would never do that again. I guess you call me a hobbyist I have 21 tanks bigger than 180 gall. My fish are very impoirtant to me. I raise them I sell them to people who come by, I trade them for services I need done, I eat them myself, and besides that I enjoy them. A lot o0f people have lids on their tanks and never see the fish. I interact all day long with my fish. I talk to them I take pride in them. I get a lotofpeace just watching them eat and swim. The have personalities. Some people would call that crazy but that is only their opinion.
I am aware that we may not be able to feed the world with aquaponics but there are a lot of other people out there who want to change the way we farm. I now am in a group that is going to start doing Master Cho's Natural farming. We are going to make the organic farm next to me the show place of Oahu. We can strive to improve things or we can sit down and eat a bag of GMO concips covered with peaticides. I choose the former. We can change the corner of our world AND WHEN THE CORNERS MEET IN THE MIDDLE THE WORLD WILL BE CHANGED.
I don't want and never will want a fishless system. One can do low density if you choose not to eat them. People are fascinated with fish. Go to the Dole Plantation here and see how many people pay 50 cents for a small handful of food to fed the Koi. It gives them pleasure. How many people have an aquarium in their house. Why not add a bed of lettuce or herbs to it. I just happen to have 21 aquariums in my yard.
Most people cant raise cattle or othe meat animals in there yards but the can have fish for dinner which is much healthier anyway. I can't vote for a fishless system
Here is a term that might be useful. "Bio-ponics" I believe S&S used the term long ago but it is a good one. Aquaponics is also Bio-ponic. Sterile traditional Hydroponics is NOT. "organic" hydroponics is probably some form of Bio-ponics since converting organic nitrogen and other organic nutrients usually requires the biological action much like aquaponics so bio-filters are needed to keep the "organic" hydroponics from becoming a foul smelling mess. Vermi-ponics would be a form of bio-ponics. And while all of those still require "inputs" I can understand where they are a bit different from strict aquaponics and what is most appropriate will depend on the situation.
Damon, I don't get it either. I can understand a fish-less system, but input-less? I've have had and currently have a number of little fishless systems, but they ALL have inputs of some kind? None of them are what you'd call traditional hydro either. Whether its castings from the worm bin dissolving in a stocking in the resevoir, humonia and wood ash...I'm not familiar with your posts on the other forums, but I'm not at all sure that it is at all possible to have a truly input-less system? Or even a system where you get more out of it than you put in i.e law of thermodynamics/entropy. Forgive me if I'm missing something as again I'm not familiar with your posts elsewhere?
like i said, inputless isn't the right term for it. that's why i chose to go thee naturalistic, but then reverted to inputless because i had already overlooked the new PC term.
the main focus on inputs to the system is the fish. you feed the fish, they relieve themselves into the system, the nitrification cycles takes over, plants grow. that's about the skinny of it more or less...
when using a raft system people put in mosquito fish to control the mosquito problem... nobody feeds them by hand, and yet, their numbers constantly grow. gammarus show up to the few that are lucky enough to have them. nobody feeds them by hand, and yet they grow.
whats the difference between 50lbs of perch or tilapia driving a system and 50lbs of mosquito fish and gammarus? in essence only the size of each individual organism, but the numbers of the smaller organisms if far greater than the larger ones.
when i say inputless im not saying nothing going into the system, because that's just crazy talk, which is why i pointed out that an inputless system wasn't the best name for it just above, sorry for the confusion. inputs such a fish feed seem silly when there are plenty of organisms living in within the system that are thriving and not being hand fed.
so, i guess what i shuld have been saying from the get go was it would be a manual inputless system... it would instead be a passive input system where things like green water and mosquitos would be the main source of nutrition for the system. microbes and detritivores would drive the system, which im pretty sure they are doing a pretty big part of nitrifying the system already. this would explain how Friendly Aquaponics has been able to have 3 times the recommended growing area for the size of it's fish tank.
they way i see it is you would have to start off with fish and the ween your system off of them as the mosquito fish population grows... i actually know a guy that runs his whole system on mosquito fish in his fish tank and he just feeds them fish flakes and krill... so i know they can do the job, the only problem is they arent much for eating. the surface area of the troughs allows for the thriving mosquito fish community, so take that and apply it to your fish tank... instead of having a 20ftX20ftX4ft fish tank for tilapia, you'd want to increase the surface area of the water to maximize you change for a bug touch down or mosquito to lay its eggs. so you could try a 40X40X2ft tank. really mounded dirt could accomplish this easily instead of fabricating a tank.
i've been getting alot of opposition from the aussies on this idea... i think it's because they cant keep mosquito fish, or at least ive been told that it's against their current AG laws to keep them. also few people have seen gammarus in action, so few people know about their solid waste disposal effectiveness.
like i said earlier today, too few people trying too few things keeps the current mindset in motion... but, 1 guy in paradise hawaii using mosquito fish to drive his whole system, and haven seen the effectiveness of gammarus, lead to a whole new idea... im not saying i want to be the savior of aquaponics making it not only commercially viable, or more easily manageable... im just taking what i'm seeing work for other people and simply combining ideas...
i would also take system water and fertilize my dirt with it and grow plant sin the ground... i've seen the power of this practice... it's actually quite amazing. being purest is most definitely not the way to go. even though the raft systems are the best for commercial operations, some things just dont survive in the systems... but by combining the system water to current AG methods, you stand a chance to increase growth and yield rates naturally.
i think the correct question should have been, " i see how such a system could benefit AP commercially, but what benefits would there be for hobbyiests?"
im fully aware of the laws of physics, but i think we're all getting lost in the semantics. think clearly and use "Occams razor" when asking questions about how things work... sometimes the simplest explinations tend to be the most correct... maybe inputless was the wrong way to start off, because when i think of inputless im not thinking the literal term, im thinking cost inputs. the simplest explanation to this misunderstanding could have been, i was using the word "inputless" in a different way or to a different understanding than to the ways you currently know the word. again, it's not putting nothing into the system (yes i know thats a double negative but it's the only way it makes sense) it's not putting anything into the system that would cost the user money. natural inputs = naturalistic system. using what's already happening to the system to the fullest advantage.
and also like i said, it would make raising fish an option, not mandatory, different strokes for different folks. not everybody wants a gravel bed, or to use hydroton, or to use a rafts system, thats why we each chose what suits us best... fishless or not, it's a choice, just like all of the others. if you want to grow fish, by all means, go ahead, but if you don't, wouldn't it be nice to have an option not to? limiting choice limits expansion, of not only the physical nature, but the mind as well... george orwell sends the message. george orwell sends that message through this quote from 1984, "Orthodoxy means not thinking-not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." this passage comes from the thought of limiting the language... im just applying it to eh science of aquaponics... if we limit possibility, we destroy any chance of making it all work in the future.
I do see your point Damon, and certainly I agree... people totally over-estimate the amount of fish necessary to produce copious amounts of vegetables.... likewise, they totally under-estimate the amount of waste, particularly ammonia... that crustacea, pranws, crayfish etc... can produce...
One of my oldest, and most consistantly productive system... has been powered by a small number of crayfish... and/or fingerlings....
and i bet that saves you money on fish food. lol.
Once again, great stuff Damon...but I still think you're going into territory many most likely will never travel into. Many of the concepts you are exploring/discussing should be tried and proved out in commercial operations. I can only speak for myself, but my basic AP system doesn't need fixing. It needs it's owner/operator to pull his head out sometimes, but that's not a technology related issue - it has to do with my personal training and development.
Back to fish. Like others, I love my fish. I raised Tilapia as a stand alone project for quite some time before AP. It began when I stubbled onto an article about a breeder who started using the fish water on his garden and, well, here I am. It's funny, Murray made a comment on a thread a while back that I will never forget. Those who participate in the Aussie forums know there appears to be some party lines drawn as to methodology. Anyway, Murray was answering a question on filtration and FT to GB ratios. His comment was something along the lines of "AP requires a balance in the system and anything else is just Aquaculture with a few GB's tacked on..." or close - the comment followed that line of thinking. At first I was a little offended, then I thought "yea, I'm that guy" and I'm good with it. Murray was correct in his statement and I appreciate all of the great information he has made available to us. For me personally, being a purist means nothing. Determining the best systems and inputs for your (1) budget, (2) your environment and (3) gov't restrictions which may be in place, tends to drive system direction in many cases. For me, I wasn't ready to put out the significant expense to buy additional GB's and media to come to a 1:1 ratio, at least not in one purchase. I did have a few barrels laying around which quickly became a swirl filter and an Asian style pond bio filter...
Those with the kits get off to a great start from day one, though I've got to laugh at the other "Aussie party" who believes that most of these systems have GB's resembling septic tanks in their functionality. It's entertaining stuff if you've got the time...
Keep at it Damon. I hope the people/investors operating at your level are listening. You may just make a positive impact in commercial practices and direction.
thank you for that chip, i do appreciate the encouragement... in everything i've ever done i've only sought to do it better than my predecessors. that even goes for my current day job as a bartender... we have spec books that tell us how we should make drinks... i just ad a personal touch to make them taste better... granted most of it's as simple as using sprite compared to soda water... but my tips generally seem to be higher then the other guys'.
that may seem a bit out of the realm of AP, but it correlates. like i said before i'm good at not only fixing a problem, but finding out why it happened and fixing that too... but when there aren't any problems to fix, i concentrait on makeing things work better... this thinking has worked for restaurant's in designing menus with item cross over and setting up a kitchen to work effectively and efficently... i've done this to a jet-ski rental, writting contracts and such, and i've even had the opprotnity to use my talents on a large scale commercial farm.
really when it comes to AP im my most ambitious. i see a new science, with in all reality, very little work done to improve on many aspects, large and small scale alike. basically i want to corner the market one day. lol. i've built a small system for my grandmother and she keeps it in her window sill to grow herbs, and really shes my "go to" person for gardening... she took some classes at age 60 and is now a certified master gardener.... basically a professional hobbyist. lol. she's the one that helped me out with the seeds surviving the sprouting table problems by brain storming with me and throwing out variables. now just 2 years later im giving her advice on her african tulips... funny how fast things chance when ou dive into something head first.
when my next project is all set up and running i do plan to start finding out the viability of my theories... i just have to make a bit of money for someone else first to gain the funding. a small price to pay... making money for someone else is also a talent of mine. lol. so to spend a few months making someone else money is a good trade off for the funding of my experiments... another part of my fathers job is he's a color's lab tech. manager. he's got 6 patients that most of you use and see every day... my goal is to have more patients than him one day, not only that, but to have them used just as much.
you never know what impossible things could be done tomorrow. if my ideas work and make AP sustainable, i'll be talking with the venus project to use AP in their projects instead of hydro. that'll be a giant step for AP. imagine an AP farm 1 acre in diameter and 50 stories high. they're already planning such a building with hydro, so i ask, "why not aquaponics?"
I like your innovative thinking Damon. I have never thought about Gammarus, except when I could never catch a Grayling cause the lake and fish were full of them. In a AP system they would need some input feed but of a cheaper, lower grade quality. I think ultimately a well rounded system with a variety of contributors would be best. Maybe some worms to help dissolve the fish waste, Mosquito fish to help eat tiny insects. Gammarus to eat leaves, algae and easy to find feed. These three would in turn help supplement feed for the fish. Which at least the fish are edible. Could be an incredible balanced system. Sometimes I find myself trying to control where a waste product goes. Like pig manure I apply to the fruit trees, only to have it robbed by the range chickens, or robbed by me for the gas digester, or now soon to be fed to the Soldier flies. Of which I plan to only feed to the chickens, wonder if its worth the extra process as they probably would have ate the soldier fly feed to begin with?. Nice to see such a nasty product in such high demand.
i guess the soldier fly question would be answered in the amount of protein in their feed vs. the resultant protein in the soldier flies.. kind of like how cows eat grass...
the gammarus also do a great job at breaking down the solid fish waste, not just the leaves and algae that fall into or grow in the system.
growing the gammarus for food supplementation would require other natural inputs.like you mentioned the leaves and such. they did real well on living on the coir that fell out of the net pots in the raft systems. they also cleaned the roots of the plants. they really did wonders for keeping.