Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Aquaponics is growing so rapidly I don't think I have a good handle on the reason so I thought I would ask the question. 

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I am a very DIY person and so is my family, I like the aspect of being self reliant.  I learned & raised parrots for 20 years and created a business around them.  I learned and started raising miniature horses since 1999.  Thoroughly enjoy the color genetics of raising both.  Now on to something new, plants & fish, and I am tying them into the continued raising of the horses.  I think it is the way our brains are wired, some people are programmers, some are good at sales and some are good with animals and plants.

Because I believed it was the best way to grow food, but the wild claims of 4 times the yield proved to be a lie.

I have been there and done that. I might even return completely to soil based gardening because it does not rely on pumps and pipes. 

For me soil is forgiving and just as productive. When used in conjunction with bio-nutrients in Earthan Beds it's still got some of the advantages of AP but the water quality is not as demanding.  This reduces the energy requirements.

The energy required to keep fish alive is too expensive where I live.  My aquaponics garden was costing $21.50 per month.  I can do the same thing without fish for pennies per month.

The only thing I like about AP is transplants and starts are easy.  Plus it's fun. But I can still do soil less without fish.

Personally, we are turning to aquaponics out of desperation.  My answer may not count because I am just in start-up mode and not yet actually growing aquaponically.

Big AG is forcing us into it. 

GMO proliferation of the food chain and pesticide residue in and on conventional foods   ...coupled with my dismal results with in-ground vegetable gardening in the low desert.  Living in a rural city, there are few options for trying to obtain organic healthy foods, even if we could afford it. 

We have only 2 grocery stores and their combined organic selection would total aprox 10' of wall space in the produce section.  Azure Standard only delivers once a month to a town 30 miles from us, but we drive 60 miles round trip monthly to buy our organic grains, beans, and chicken feed. 

We have already given up red meat and all dairy products due to antibiotic and hormone over-use in that industry.  We have given up pork products for purely humane reasons. We gave up chicken due to the continually rising arsenic levels in their meat and eggs.

We grow our own hens for eggs.  We can't eat our hens because our city allows only 3 hens per house.  Killing one for meat would severely curtail egg production... but sometimes we still get hungry for an animal based protein. 

Our hope is that aquaponics will allow us to eat safe and humanely raised animal based protein once-in-awhile... and yield better veggie results than my current gardening efforts.  Bonus!

We are now ready to try aquaponics and hope to get our system started this fall.  At this point, I am overwhelmed by all of the things I have to learn in preparation for this endeavor. 

I love to try new things, grew up fishing and I love gardening, so the concept of aquaponics was to intriguing to dismiss.  I really want to do a bigger system outside, but haven't figured out how to find the space... so am content at the moment with my small dining room system.

In our case our AP greenhouse is like a little piece of heaven. In the Summer it is the one garden that does NOT need constant weeding. It is also safe from environmental hazards such as chemtrails, among others. It is always ready to provide a great meal and often with Trout which are our fish of choice. In the Winter it IS heaven. We can harvest true organic non GMO delicious food all Winter long and when it is 20F (or minus 20F this last Winter) outside with a foot of snow we gravitate to the GH at 80F for true R&R. Hot tub going in by this Fall. So far I cannot see a down side and after 3 years in operation it just keeps getting better.

And then there is the creativity thing. I for one cannot stop growing and learning and building and AP fills that craving like none other. We have been organic homesteaders all our lives and AP just extends and adds to our homestead. Helping others achieve food independence is the other craving we love to fill. We have now sold just under 500 bell siphons to folks all over the world and have made so many friends in doing so. AP has literally opened a whole new world to us and we never even need to leave home.

Downside: Still waiting! Haven't found one so far. Thanks for asking!

I live near Phoenix Arizona where the soil is rock and powdered rock.   I've tried container gardening but my multiple attempts ended with dead desiccated plants.  Even large containers with insulation had soil temperature over 90 degrees.  I saw some YouTube videos about aquaponics.  It looked interesting.  I started with some Rubbermaid water trough's and water tank.  It was a bit hard finding tilapia fingerlings.  I had to buy the fish on the Internet.  

As a test, I planted herbs, vegetables, and landscape plants.  There are two media beds with clay pebbles and one float tank partially filled with lava rock.  During July and August - 110 degree days, the plants were growing like crazy instead of being being dead sticks.  

I plan to raise the fish for a year before turning them into fish taco's.  They are fun to feed and watch.  So far, I've only lost a few.  Some jumpers tried to escape and hike through the desert.  A net cover for the fish tank turns out to be a good precaution.  

So, self watering, self fertilizing, and faster growing plants add up to a big win.  The fact that my aquaponics plants are even alive is a huge recommendation.  


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