Aquaponic Gardening

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anybody have a clue here?

 what is a quality food? does it make a difference ?

 how do you know good food?

 can you make your own food?

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Thanks Carey, and yes, I do throw in some worms, BSFL and duckweed. It must be a pleasure to feed your fish and yourself off of your own land. 

@ TC: I would love to do a How-to program or simple videos even but first have to reach beyond poverty and buy a cam before I can do anything. As for writing...I simply don't have the time or energy to do it justice. But I do appreciate your support. Thank you.

Cheers all!

Yes, I know the feeling of lack of time Carey.

I did not see anyone mention organic feed. I was told that if I feed my fish organic feed I could get organically certified. What feeds are organic?  Does this sound correct that if you feed your fish organic feed you can get organic certification?

Joe,

    There is more to organic certification than the feed.  In aquaponics, to get organic certification for the veggies, on doesn't actually need to get organic feed for the fish if it doesn't exist (which omnivore fish feed is not yet available on the market though it should be soon.)  There is no Carnivore organic fish feed.  There is some organic Koi feed though.

   And even once you get organic fish feed, it doesn't guarantee you can get organic certification for the fish because I don't think there are even guidelines for what would be an organic way to raise fish.

As for getting the organic certification for the plant side of things, well Friendlies did it and if you follow their methods and materials list exactly, you might be able to too.  But their methods only really cover low density fish and raft culture.  Now it might be possible to get some other method of aquaponics certified organic, but is it really worth the trouble?  Some of the people who could have gotten their Friendlies type systems certified decided it wasn't worth the extra costs anyway.

The reason I asked is I am working with a company that requires me to be certified in growing and harvesting before I can sell to them. I need to get certified for food safety and harvesting.  The guy that is helping me with this said that I can get organic certification but said I had to feed the fish organic food. He said that is all I need.

I understand that the Friendlies were organically certified but recently lost it.

Not sure if my guy knows enough about this or does.  I will ask more next time we talk. Does anyone else know more about this in regards to the food?

Joe. the fact is the usda is some long ways off to organics. Using aquaponics, there are 3rd party certificates, , The true answer is the 100 %  natural program allows for 12% fe2 , the formula here is 900 grams to every 26,000 gallons every 3rd week, also there is no evidence that the usda will allow tank raised food to be organic.  We use 0% pesticides period.

 There are no sprays used ever, We have very good ph.. and solids that are low, we use  river water that is sold from a commercial blending station, Using  the aquatic science lab at Texas state 3-4 times a year for t total work up, both sides from the discharge and from the fill side, Cost is  160 dollars each time, and  this give everyone a honest look at the water.

 Organics is a market tool, pesticides are wrong, Whole foods has it own version of organic Tilapia ? go figure? many others will sell you a certificate too. So  Pay any of these 3rd party people and you too will be organic,.

So you either have super quality practices or you do not! the feed issue is.... the better the food , the fresher it is, the better chance, you have to rear, superior fish.  Do Not add chemicals and you will insure your food quality. also having ample filtration is key, perfect suspension time, Also  2 more filters boxes , then  a degassing chamber.  Our  filter has over 1300 gallons and a gpm of 33. this works , it give me more than enough minerals to grow, 1800 pounds every month, using a 3 inch net pot and a 16 inch deep grow bed, do noy use  not 12 inches grow beds , it is to shallow, there is a point where the plants must be in a minimum of 14 inches not 11 inches, this is the difference, from a 5-6 ounce head and  say 13-16 ounce head. www.globalaquaponics.net

             thank you adam harwood
Joe Bifano said:

The reason I asked is I am working with a company that requires me to be certified in growing and harvesting before I can sell to them. I need to get certified for food safety and harvesting.  The guy that is helping me with this said that I can get organic certification but said I had to feed the fish organic food. He said that is all I need.

I understand that the Friendlies were organically certified but recently lost it.

Not sure if my guy knows enough about this or does.  I will ask more next time we talk. Does anyone else know more about this in regards to the food?

I just posted Part 3 of " Making your own feed" and Part 4 will be coming soon.

Soooo anyone grow their own Duckweed? Also would there be an added supplement that the fish would need just in case the duckweed isnt enough for a balanced diet? Happy Fish Happy Farmers

@Joe - suggest you check the USDA requirements for veggi crop certification, they have standards for GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and GHP (Good Handeling Practices) described on their website: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/GAPGHPAuditVerificationProgram

@Adam - is your system flow through or recirculating? I guess I didn't understand your comment on the testing of discharge water. I don't have any experience with raft systems yet but find your comment on needing deeper troughs to grow larger lettuce heads very interesting!

@Cary - OK, I admit I am not the most proficient surfer on this site or the web in general - please point me in the right direction to find your Part 3 of Making you own feed. Thanks

But didn't Friendlies then loose their GAP/Organic certification, and hence their Costco account when the third party or rather State (as the lines are a bit fuzzy to me) auditor came around to visit? 

I imagine unless some of the wording and/or definitions of what is considered "livestock" change, or until US policy makers learn the difference between cold blooded and warm blooded animals and the potential for which to carry what pathogens, it will be hard (impossible if the auditor fallows the "letter of the law" as it is currently written) to get GAP certification using ANY AP methodologies. Unless the certifying body/person is a slacker...And isn't following protocol.

Points 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 seem particularly problematic...as well as the fact that fish are included in the definition of "livestock", and therefore all the protocols regulating the thermophilic processing of their excrement (having compost the fish poo at a certain temperature, for certain lengths of time etc)...

Maybe helping to change some of this wording is one of the things that the American chapter of the AP Association is working on?

TCLynx said:

Joe,

    There is more to organic certification than the feed.  In aquaponics, to get organic certification for the veggies, on doesn't actually need to get organic feed for the fish if it doesn't exist (which omnivore fish feed is not yet available on the market though it should be soon.)  There is no Carnivore organic fish feed.  There is some organic Koi feed though.

   And even once you get organic fish feed, it doesn't guarantee you can get organic certification for the fish because I don't think there are even guidelines for what would be an organic way to raise fish.

As for getting the organic certification for the plant side of things, well Friendlies did it and if you follow their methods and materials list exactly, you might be able to too.  But their methods only really cover low density fish and raft culture.  Now it might be possible to get some other method of aquaponics certified organic, but is it really worth the trouble?  Some of the people who could have gotten their Friendlies type systems certified decided it wasn't worth the extra costs anyway.

@Vlad I think you are correct in that the Friendlies lost their certification and Costco accounts and now a lot more.

So I guess the only thing I need then is the food safety cert and harvesting cert. The food still needs to be the best it can and forget about Organic cert for now.

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