Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


Arizona Aquaponics

Helping each other to learn and grow big nutritious plants and fish to help feed the world.

Location: Phoenix
Members: 229
Latest Activity: Apr 30


Thank you all for joining my group, I hope to do a lot with all anyone interested. Please
tell me any event suggestions you would like us to do.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jim Troyer on March 5, 2013 at 11:52pm

The member map link is at the top of this page right in the center

hope this helps!


Comment by Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. on March 5, 2013 at 10:13pm

@Matt. Ask for Tom Rothweiler. ( Sheri just admit it, you have good fish. ;-).  Photo: Strength test proof of concept 2 x 4ft x 1 inch blue board raft. About 9 pounds of bricks. Good but I think 1.5 inch thickness will be safer and more cost effective.

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on March 5, 2013 at 8:11pm

Getting caught up and going back a couple months…Bob Rowe, I can't believe it's been 2 months since you were here! How're the fish doing? Do you still have duckweed growing?

Matt, it sounds like you'll be making your way down here one day with Jim. It'll be good to meet you. When you get here, I'll show you why these two cheapskates chose to use hydroton. :)  But seriously, hydroton was our biggest investment.

Bob C., that was an interesting article about the super weeds. Not surprising, is it? Thanks for posting it.

Jacques, what a great hoop house!! Be sure your mosquitoes are mosquitoes and not midges or fungus gnats. The gnats do no harm that I can find, and the midge larvae are great food for your fish (they're commonly known as bloodworms.) If the critters are sucking your blood, they're definitely mosquitoes!

John, your worms are breeding! Compost worms are bisexual. The large ring on them is their sex organ. When they're mature, they'll do exactly what your picture shows. Both will leave the union with fertilized eggs that they'll lay. A worm egg holds up to 14 young. That's one of the best pictures I've seen of mating worms!

I'd love to take credit for your tough fish, but I can't. Tilapia never cease to amaze me with their adaptability! With your story and Larry's, I've now heard of four different people whose tilapia survived to the mid 40's. I'm so glad yours made it through!  

Larry, I’m SO sorry to hear that so many of yours didn't, but I'm glad your's are breeding well.

Nathaniel, If you're interested, we sell tilapia food produced by Rena for $2/lb, or if you want a 55 lb bag, we ask $65. Our fish have preferred it over Aquamax, and grown very well. It's 1/8", which we use for all sized fish from fingerling to dinner sized. You can call/text me at 480-889-4374.

Re: Aphid control. With the sun coming, aphids and other pests are going to get worse…they always do as the weather warms.  They attack stressed plants more than healthy ones, but I'm very skeptical about the idea that they never attack healthy plants. Be cautious about using soap or oils in an AP garden…you don't want anything mucking the system or affecting the water.  Garlic, cayenne, and cinnamon are good to brew into tea to spray on plants.  My favorite is worm tea. It seems to work the best and it gives plants a nutrient boost.

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on March 5, 2013 at 8:06pm

Hi, All! Well, I haven't been on December.  I've had good intentions, but little time. I'm sorry I didn't get on to respond to direct questions, too! The holidays were busy and then Bob popped the bicep muscle off his bone, so he had surgery & is in rehab. The upside is he's home & working on projects. :)

We've built a milking shed for our cow, our bull-calf is 2.5 months old now, we have 12 laying chicks in the brooder to replace older ladies, and we have oodles of meat chickens scheduled for delivery on the 15th.  We also made the SupUrban Farm (Superb Urban Farm Education) official.  We just built out a classroom, so within a month we'll be offering classes on everything from growing worms to eating rabbits, including classes on Aquaponics. I'm currently planning on an intro class, a class on siphons (bell, bridge, and overflow), and a workshop on AP design.  Any other ideas?   BTW, I'm teaching a Square Foot Garden class on 3/11 for the Valley Permaculture Alliance, if anyone's interested.

None of this is related to A/P, though. Our system is fine; we harvest fish every month or two and are now on our 2nd planting for the spring. We just added a separate ½ barrel for tomatoes. We have plans to convert part of our square foot garden into a floating bed, and we'll be adding an NFT section, too. That'll just about give us a little of everything!

Raising the same plants in the soil, the media A/P and the floating, our A/P plants grew nearly 3 times faster and much larger than the soil plants! That includes a variety of lettuces, radishes, turnips, beets, and cucumbers.  Between media and floating, the root plants and larger plants did better in the media, but everything else was as good in the floating bed.  Leaf plants are easier to manage in the floating bed.  

We survived the freezing winter pretty well. The only outdoor plant loss was the tomatoes; everything else we covered with cloth. Our AP is in the greenhouse and wasn't affected except for a slowdown in growth. During the worst days we turned off the pumps at night to conserve any warmth in the tanks. The plants did OK, and the fish did, too.

Comment by Matt Miskinnis on March 5, 2013 at 7:11pm

Thanks Dr Brooks, I'll check them out!

Comment by Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. on March 5, 2013 at 7:03pm

For a good chemical supply store that understands aquaculture try Chem Lab Supply in Phoenix

Comment by Matt Miskinnis on March 5, 2013 at 6:43pm

@Vlad, I'll pick one up and let you know the readings.  I'll also see if I can find some Potassium bicarbonate around the valley.

Comment by Juanita Colucci on March 4, 2013 at 10:37pm

Where is the member map please?

Comment by David Schwinghamer on March 4, 2013 at 8:07pm

Everyone please add your location to the member map.

Comment by David Schwinghamer on March 4, 2013 at 8:01pm

If your a newbie here please add your location to the member map.


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