Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

hello all,

i'm new to aquaponics and am planning my first system (which from my initial research seems like one of the more enjoyed aspects!).  i was wondering if anyone would have any suggestions for the feasibility of setting up in my detached garage?  (apologies for any cross posts on the aquaponic associate site, but i figured the best place to start would be with this colorado group...which i found after the fact)

my initial thought is to build an insulated 'room' within the garage for the system (mainly for the winter).  the garage is not insulated.  there are 2 vents that i could hook up fans to better circulate the air (mainly in the summer) if needed.

i'm sure some type of space heater/tank heater could be incorporated if the costs of running them weren't too bad.  i was thinking of using a 100 gallon stock tank, media-based flood and drain system.  i'm also curious if anyone had specific suggestions on insulation and what the best heating method would be?  perhaps additional water storage to help regulate temps better?  would i also need to consider a chiller for the summer (would start with tilapia)?

any personal experiences, thoughts, or suggestions would be appreciated!  i don't want to start in the garage if it will be destined to fail come winter (or even summer) ;(

thanks for your time

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Replies to This Discussion

Greetings West Colfax! Welcome to your new obsession! 

I am also a newbie to aquaponics though I have been reading about it for a couple of years. I suggest start with something small and manageable outdoors for the summer to get the idea of keeping it all balanced. This will give you time to make your room in the garage without a huge amount of pressure. You can also use the water from the outdoor system to charge the indoor one thus cutting the time to properly cycle your tanks. (Don't I sound like a pro?)

I suggest that you also read a copy of Sylvia Bernstein's book Aquaponic Gardening. It is a great primer for the beginner, and I think it is well written and easy to read.

thanks for the welcome Margaret.  i just finished reading Sylvia's book and must agree it is a must read for the beginner.  i appreciate your suggestions as i decide on my path forward.

Margaret said:

Greetings West Colfax! Welcome to your new obsession! 

I am also a newbie to aquaponics though I have been reading about it for a couple of years. I suggest start with something small and manageable outdoors for the summer to get the idea of keeping it all balanced. This will give you time to make your room in the garage without a huge amount of pressure. You can also use the water from the outdoor system to charge the indoor one thus cutting the time to properly cycle your tanks. (Don't I sound like a pro?)

I suggest that you also read a copy of Sylvia Bernstein's book Aquaponic Gardening. It is a great primer for the beginner, and I think it is well written and easy to read.

Sorry to find your post so late.  I built my indoor system for warm water fish in one bay of my shop.  I removed the garage door and replaced it with a window.  Summer temperatures have been ideal, and winter temps still require a little extra heat.  The 10'x10' room is insulated with R19 and each tank and bed is insulated with R11.  My local temperature range is 20 to 105.

Initially I built a large evaporation cooler to keep the temperatures down in the summer.  I have removed that because it was not necessary.  I'm using supplemental lighting in the winter but nothing extra in the summer.  The only problem I have with this system is that I need more grow beds and don't have enough glazing or room to add more.  I only have 25 sq ft of grow bed but it provides a few salads each month.  I enjoy using this room for starts and flowers. It's looking pretty lush in there right now.

I have built a second cool water system outside and the indoor warm water system system has become my laboratory for other aquatic creatures, experimentation, water testing, and record keeping.

It has taken me almost one year to design what I believe would be the perfect system.  I wish had a lot with more sun exposure.  I'm thinking of asking my neighbor if I could build a green house on his property, and share the crop in return.  That seems better than asking my other neighbor to cut down his beautiful shades trees

I'm curious how things are working out for you and what you did.

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