Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I bought a 275 gal plastic liquid storage cube and have cut off the top 12 inches for the grow bed.  The bottom 3/4 is then the fish tank.  No greenhouse yet, hopefully by the fall.  I am wondering about placement.  How much sunshine is enough?  Can I get too much?  Does the fish tank need to be shaded?  I am planning on catfish, but have trout at home I could use as well.  I do not wish to chill the water, and I suspect direct sunshine will make the water too warm for trout.  I appreciate any advice.  thanks!

Views: 93

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Most garden vegetables require at least 6 hours of direct sunshine a day, more is better for alot of them. Some tender plants like lettuce don't do as well in extreme heat and sun. Too much sun on the tank will create algae, and heat. Shading the tank will solve that.
Ok I'm guessing the liquid storage cube is one of those IBC type containers. You want to protect the plastic a bit from the sun since it can get brittle with age and UV exposure. The grow bed you want to get good sun for the winter and for summer it might depend a bit on your location (I don't know where you are really.) I'm in Central Florida and dappled shade over the plants from mid day on is often not a bad thing through the hottest part of summer. As to the fish tank, yes you want to shade that big time. Fish only need to have enough light to tell night from day so covering the fish tank is a good way to keep the algae down, let the fish feel sheltered, and keep leaves out of the fish tank.

Some people set up systems where the fish tanks are in sheds and the grow beds outside our out in greenhouses. My fish tanks are generally right near my grow beds and I just cover them with shade cloth our netting and black fabric to reduce the amount of sun hitting the water. Now that my systems are quite mature, I don't worry too much about the algae but my catfish still like the sheltered feeling so I keep black fabric over at least part of the fish tank cover though I don't worry too much about blocking all light. There is usually a gap around the feeders and bug zappers.
I'll try to upload some pictures this weekend (Once I get my camera back from my son!) I will show my arrangement and ask for guidance with shading.

The webinar last night discussed perch; I grew up on Lake Erie and remember that perch were usually 30 feet down; Also remembered catfish were always caught on the bottom of dark/mirky water. Lightbulb went off understanding dark tank environment for my fish will be necessary.
Cover the outside of it to stop algae growth, most food grade IBC totes are UV protected. As far as fish if you are warm enough and the state you’re in has no restrictions Tilapia are almost bullet proof.
Tilapia my be very durable but only if you can provide warm water year round. They grow when water is over 74 F and they definitely like water up in the mid 80s F.
If your water is below 70 F, tilapia only survive and if the water is gonna drop below 55 F, Tilapia may not survive (mine survived down to 53 F though they were not doing to well but when the water got to 50 F all the tilapia left in the outdoor systems died.

I am in central Florida and those tanks were under plastic and the water still got down below 50 F this past winter.
I live in Indiana I heat my tanks even in the summer when the water temp goes below 70 heater kicks in. I have Tilapia from mid May to October under plastic. After that its time to start over, I keep gold fish in the outside tanks over winter and Tilapia in the freezer. In Jan I start breeding Tilapia in aquariums in my basement, grow out in aquariums and 100 gallon stock tank, and hope for an early spring

TCLynx said:
Tilapia my be very durable but only if you can provide warm water year round. They grow when water is over 74 F and they definitely like water up in the mid 80s F.
If your water is below 70 F, tilapia only survive and if the water is gonna drop below 55 F, Tilapia may not survive (mine survived down to 53 F though they were not doing to well but when the water got to 50 F all the tilapia left in the outdoor systems died.

I am in central Florida and those tanks were under plastic and the water still got down below 50 F this past winter.
What kind of size do you get out of your tilapia with that shorter growing season Earl?

Earl ward said:
I live in Indiana I heat my tanks even in the summer when the water temp goes below 70 heater kicks in. I have Tilapia from mid May to October under plastic. After that its time to start over, I keep gold fish in the outside tanks over winter and Tilapia in the freezer. In Jan I start breeding Tilapia in aquariums in my basement, grow out in aquariums and 100 gallon stock tank, and hope for an early spring

TCLynx said:
Tilapia my be very durable but only if you can provide warm water year round. They grow when water is over 74 F and they definitely like water up in the mid 80s F.
If your water is below 70 F, tilapia only survive and if the water is gonna drop below 55 F, Tilapia may not survive (mine survived down to 53 F though they were not doing to well but when the water got to 50 F all the tilapia left in the outdoor systems died.

I am in central Florida and those tanks were under plastic and the water still got down below 50 F this past winter.
They are about 1-1.5 lb anything smaller than that goes in the 100 in the basement. They are about 5-ins when they go outside I only raise 300 a year. I have looked at other fish but its kind of a moot point temp gets to low for the plants and heating the green house is not cost effective. The tanks out side are well insulated bottom, sides and semi-covered

Richard Wyman said:
What kind of size do you get out of your tilapia with that shorter growing season Earl?

Earl ward said:
I live in Indiana I heat my tanks even in the summer when the water temp goes below 70 heater kicks in. I have Tilapia from mid May to October under plastic. After that its time to start over, I keep gold fish in the outside tanks over winter and Tilapia in the freezer. In Jan I start breeding Tilapia in aquariums in my basement, grow out in aquariums and 100 gallon stock tank, and hope for an early spring

TCLynx said:
Tilapia my be very durable but only if you can provide warm water year round. They grow when water is over 74 F and they definitely like water up in the mid 80s F.
If your water is below 70 F, tilapia only survive and if the water is gonna drop below 55 F, Tilapia may not survive (mine survived down to 53 F though they were not doing to well but when the water got to 50 F all the tilapia left in the outdoor systems died.

I am in central Florida and those tanks were under plastic and the water still got down below 50 F this past winter.
P.S it the only fish that I could get this type of growth with.

Earl ward said:
They are about 1-1.5 lb anything smaller than that goes in the 100 in the basement. They are about 5-ins when they go outside I only raise 300 a year. I have looked at other fish but its kind of a moot point temp gets to low for the plants and heating the green house is not cost effective. The tanks out side are well insulated bottom, sides and semi-covered

Richard Wyman said:
What kind of size do you get out of your tilapia with that shorter growing season Earl?

Earl ward said:
I live in Indiana I heat my tanks even in the summer when the water temp goes below 70 heater kicks in. I have Tilapia from mid May to October under plastic. After that its time to start over, I keep gold fish in the outside tanks over winter and Tilapia in the freezer. In Jan I start breeding Tilapia in aquariums in my basement, grow out in aquariums and 100 gallon stock tank, and hope for an early spring

TCLynx said:
Tilapia my be very durable but only if you can provide warm water year round. They grow when water is over 74 F and they definitely like water up in the mid 80s F.
If your water is below 70 F, tilapia only survive and if the water is gonna drop below 55 F, Tilapia may not survive (mine survived down to 53 F though they were not doing to well but when the water got to 50 F all the tilapia left in the outdoor systems died.

I am in central Florida and those tanks were under plastic and the water still got down below 50 F this past winter.
Provided you can keep the greenhouse warm enough that the water doesn't freeze in the pipes, you could grow many types of fish year round. Granted, some types grow very slowly when the water gets cold but If the greenhouse is designed such that it will keep the water pipes from freezing, then a system could function right through winter even if perhaps on a reduced production basis for the coldest months.
In my experience broccoli seems to like cold weather, so do most of the other related vegetable crops. Cabbage, Kale, collards, kohlrabi, turnip, radish, mustard, and many more. Some might show a bit of damage from frost but I've seen broccoli with ice on the leaves and the sun melting it off and no damage from that.

Anyway, Down here since I can't keep the water cool enough for trout nor easily warm enough for tilapia, I'm quite happy with a year round fish that can take both extremes of my environment, Catfish. I have gotten catfish in November one year and we were eating a bunch of them by May and some of those were over a pound. Here in Florida I've gotten advanced catfish fingerlings (over 5 inches) and had them get quite big in only one year (anywhere from 2-6 lb in one year and the one we kept for two full years made it to 10 pounds.)

I haven't grown them myself but if you must have fin fish you might look into blue gill for a species that is native/local and able to survive your climate. They might take longer to grow out but some people swear they are the best eating out there.
I wanted to try bluegill or perch last winter the problem here is getting them. USDA APHIS has restrictions about either of these species crossing state lines U.S. States: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Canadian Provinces: Ontario, Quebec due to VHS. There is a hatchery 25 miles from my house but it is in IL. The hatchery does not want to pay the cost of testing the fish. I can get them in Indiana because they are not crossing a state line but that’s about 300 miles from my house. I can go one block down and catch them in a small lake but it would have to be with rod reel and hook its illegal to net game fish even if the lake is stunted. Its kind of Ironic that an arm of the agency I work for (USDA) is stopping me from getting fingerlings, I may make the trip this fall. And yes I would be one of those people nothing better! My tilapia are good, better than anything you can buy but nothing compared to a bluegill. Im from wisconsin originaly for some reason the cheseheads spicies are not fans of catfish

TCLynx said:
Provided you can keep the greenhouse warm enough that the water doesn't freeze in the pipes, you could grow many types of fish year round. Granted, some types grow very slowly when the water gets cold but If the greenhouse is designed such that it will keep the water pipes from freezing, then a system could function right through winter even if perhaps on a reduced production basis for the coldest months.
In my experience broccoli seems to like cold weather, so do most of the other related vegetable crops. Cabbage, Kale, collards, kohlrabi, turnip, radish, mustard, and many more. Some might show a bit of damage from frost but I've seen broccoli with ice on the leaves and the sun melting it off and no damage from that.

Anyway, Down here since I can't keep the water cool enough for trout nor easily warm enough for tilapia, I'm quite happy with a year round fish that can take both extremes of my environment, Catfish. I have gotten catfish in November one year and we were eating a bunch of them by May and some of those were over a pound. Here in Florida I've gotten advanced catfish fingerlings (over 5 inches) and had them get quite big in only one year (anywhere from 2-6 lb in one year and the one we kept for two full years made it to 10 pounds.)

I haven't grown them myself but if you must have fin fish you might look into blue gill for a species that is native/local and able to survive your climate. They might take longer to grow out but some people swear they are the best eating out there.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2021   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service