Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hey there Sacramento folks (present and future):  would love to hear what your aquaponics system is, or if you haven't got it started yet, what you're planning to do.  A bit about mine to start things off:  I've got two small flood-and-drain growbeds and two fish tanks, about 200 gallons total, on a south-facing porch in downtown Sac. You can see a short video of it at   http://youtu.be/WrwNJNP1Rko.  Raising mostly bluegill at the moment, with a few goldfish for good measure.  Started raising black soldier fly larvae this summer to feed the bluegill, but not enough to represent a big part of their diet (yet).  Still got lots of basil growing but about to replace it with lettuce.  Am open to visitors if you ever want to check it out in person.  So--how about yours?  (Susie, I know about yours, but feel free to post it here for others to hear about too).

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Paul,

Kind of off subject, but this week I was talking with someone at the Cooperative Extension in Placer County and she mentioned that an Environmental Health inspector she knows, failed an AP system just by standing in the doorway of the hoophouse.  Something about E-Coli being absorbed by the roots of the plants and thereby actually inside the produce.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks!  Should have my micro system up and running by the May 19th!  SO, excited. :)

Vonita, do you mean this inspector failed it without inspecting it?   They just "stood in the doorway" and said "failed"!  That proved there was E-Coli!  I'll be nice and stop here!!!  Never heard of this before!!



Vonita V Murray said:

Paul,

Kind of off subject, but this week I was talking with someone at the Cooperative Extension in Placer County and she mentioned that an Environmental Health inspector she knows, failed an AP system just by standing in the doorway of the hoophouse.  Something about E-Coli being absorbed by the roots of the plants and thereby actually inside the produce.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks!  Should have my micro system up and running by the May 19th!  SO, excited.

Here's a video from Green Acres.  Listen starting at 8:20

Vonita V Murray said:

Paul,

Kind of off subject, but this week I was talking with someone at the Cooperative Extension in Placer County and she mentioned that an Environmental Health inspector she knows, failed an AP system just by standing in the doorway of the hoophouse.  Something about E-Coli being absorbed by the roots of the plants and thereby actually inside the produce.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks!  Should have my micro system up and running by the May 19th!  SO, excited.

11:41 "that is not only wrong, it's ludicrous, it's ridiculous." Loving this.

Hi Vonita,

Never heard of something quite like what you're talking about.  But in a video on AquacultureHub.org, I believe I remember Dr. Wilson Lennard describing a situation where a commercial AP operation was inspected and found to have e. coli present.  Inspectors wanted to have operators drain and disinfect everything.  Dr. Lennard suggested keeping the system running and checking back in a week, because the e. coli wouldn't be able to persist in an aquaponics system.  That's what they did and testing after a week indicated the e. coli problem was resolved as he predicted. 

Didn't realize you were so far along on your system - excellent!  Keep us posted.

 

Paul
Vonita V Murray said:

Paul,

Kind of off subject, but this week I was talking with someone at the Cooperative Extension in Placer County and she mentioned that an Environmental Health inspector she knows, failed an AP system just by standing in the doorway of the hoophouse.  Something about E-Coli being absorbed by the roots of the plants and thereby actually inside the produce.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks!  Should have my micro system up and running by the May 19th!  SO, excited.

Big thanks to JP for chipping in for 2 afternoons last week to help get my greenhouse frame erected.  More to do but it's really coming along.  Would post a picture here but technology demons seem to be conspiring against allowing any kind of camera to function properly in my hands at the moment.

Thanks to others (Jane, Bob, Susie, Anne...) for advice and/or offers of future help...

 

Paul Trudeau said:

Have wanted to expand my AP system but am out of room at my condo.  Put out a request on my neighborhood email list asking if anyone had an underused backyard they wouldn't mind having a greenhouse in, in exchange for some veggies once in a while.  And sure enough found a perfect match:  folks I've known for 10 years or so with a good attitude and a fenced-in south-facing back yard with no obstructions.  Have been busy with design and site prep ever since. 

Will be building a 10' x 12' greenhouse, because 120 sf is the max allowed in City of Sacramento without a building permit, as noted by Fishy in his "8x15 Greenhouse Build" thread.  Because my neighborhood is an official Historic Preservation District, such a structure does require a City approval for the "appropriateness" of the design; got that (and paid the significant fee as well).  Framing will be 3/4" electrical metallic tubing (EMT conduit) (easy to work with, low profile, sturdy, won't rot any time soon in contact with the ground, and is recyclable unlike PVC).  Covering for the upcoming warm months will be something more to keep dogs/raccoons/children out than to keep heat in.  Planning to use a glass door recently removed from our shower stall.  Here's a basic drawing:

Aquaponics setup inside will be a version of "tray-ponics" design by Glenn Martinez at Olomana Garden in Hawaii.  Basically 2' x 3' x 8" plastic cement mixing trays (from Home Depot, about $13/each) as raft tanks and media beds/biofilter, plumbed in series on standard plastic-top folding banquet tables (also from Home D), with a 90 gallon fish tank under one of the tables.  90 gallons is less than what I have in my current setup on my porch, but the new setup will have something like 10x as much plant growing area.  : )

The thing I like about both the greenhouse and AP system designs is that both can be broken down and then moved or stored in a relatively small space, which may be necessary at some point if things change for either my neighbors or myself or both.

Don't know if I'll have the system up and running in time for our June 10 tour but if not, it won't be for lack of effort...

Great to meet you Paul and a pleasure working with you. It's been a lot of fun already and we haven't even got to the aquaponics yet! Oh and thank you for letting me be part of the process (and for the excellent lunch). Fun stuff.

 Hi Paul, I just put up a picture of my AP system. I'm still test cycling, I already hade the indexing valve get hung up I hope thats not a sign of things to come.

http://aquaponicscommunity.com/photo/dsc-2004

Jason, wow, looks good.  So clean...thanks for letting us know about the photo.  I haven't figured out how to track postings of photos, so probably would have gotten by me.

Got time for some questions?  Hope so!:  

Is that a pre-fab system?  What one?  Is that tank round (not oval), how many gallons is it, do you know what it's made of, and where'd you get it?

Curious about that shelter you've got it in too.  Never seen something quite like that.  Can you say more about it?

Would also like to hear more about the indexing valve if you don't mind.

Thanks.

Thank you!

So, its not a pre-fab system. I built it all my self, the stands and growbeds. Then purchased 2 pumps (theres a sump in the system) an indexing valve. Plumbed it all together. Still trying to figure how long each bed should run for. I guess I'll know better when I have fish and plants in there. The indexing valve is between the pump and the grow beds, its supposed to open and close a different port each time the pump turns on and off, to fill each bed one at a time in sequence. I reall hope I dont have issues with that. One more thing that can fail.

The fish tank is a 350 gallon round stock tank that I got from the local feed store (Lees Feed, Shingle Springs). Its plastic and cost about as much as it would probably cost to build one. 

I have my system in my "barn". Thats what it was any way. Its about 1100 square feet and made of corrugated metal. There were no windows or ligth that got into it before I modified it. It took me almost 3 weeks to turn it into a greenhouse, well, kind of a greenhouse. I used clear twin wall pollycarbonate and built a few skylights, then cut sections of the metal out to add more windows in certain spots so that they allow light in throughout the course of the day. We have some starts growing in there and they seem to be growing very well.

Thanks for taking interest in this system, please feel free to critique.

Jason....what a beautiful system you've made. I'm way impressed!  Looks way better than totes!

yeah, very nice. if you ever give a tour, sign me up too! It's all new to me so I'm trying to learn everything I can before I begin.

Cheers!

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