Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


Commercial Aquaponics

This is a place we can share and help each other in our new industry.  If you have already established yourself in the industry or are looking to this group is for you.

Members: 354
Latest Activity: Dec 18, 2020

Discussion Forum

New IBC Grow Out Tanks

Started by Phil Slaton Mar 30, 2015. 0 Replies

The barrels in the back of the 6-IBC grow out tanks are 2-media filters, 1 lava rock filter and on the extreme left, the sump.The large 1,000 tanks in the back are not currently in use.Continue

Aquaponics start-up. Still undergoing business plan - In SPAIN - Help need it (please)

Started by Atreyu M. Last reply by William B Lunche Dec 16, 2014. 2 Replies

Hello every body. I am seriously researching in order to create a AQ start-up. Hope to develop a feasible business plan. It looks like no one has tried AQ in Spain al though it is a perfect country…Continue

One on One advice

Started by William Kohut. Last reply by William Kohut Jul 30, 2014. 2 Replies

I would to talk to someone who started their business One on one hopefully. Either through email , skype or if local enough meet with them. As I have a bunch of questions of what you went through to…Continue


Started by William Kohut. Last reply by Phil Slaton Jun 20, 2014. 7 Replies

As i am writing my business plan. I am trying to work on prices for catfish and minnows, How do you people work on your pricing ?Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Dave Lindstedt on May 8, 2013 at 8:12pm

Property has a new 160 ft deep well and septic system.  Trash runs $34 @ month.  Mobile home is rented at present.  The 38 ft  park model trail has rented for $475 a month which includes all utilities. Electric bill runs about $180 monthly for the farm.  I am expanding as I go along with out of pocket cash. I have  only been selling produce for 4 full months.  Trailer should produce enough to pay all taxes, utilities and maintainence on the property.  The mobile has been totally renovated with new kitchen and bath, walk in closets and ceramic tile floors throught, should make comfortable housing for family of 4.  At $40,000 gross I would estimate $30,000 to $35,000.

This in fact is a pilot program for at least one other similar property I own.  Presently I average about 3 hours daily 7 days a week.  I do have a friend and "handyman" who I hire ocassionly for construction projects and when I travel north.

Most skilled labor jobs in the area pay $10 to $12.50 an hour with the bulk of jobs paying minimum wage or just above.


Comment by TCLynx on May 8, 2013 at 7:38pm

Is a Gross of $40,000 a year going to be of any use?  How much do you think you will be left with after all expenses are paid?

Comment by Dave Lindstedt on May 8, 2013 at 4:39pm

I come at aquaponics from a different motivation and objective.  First we are in the worst economic disaster to hit this nation in my 77 year life time. Part of this, I believe is a direct result of a national early retirement program called 2 year extended unemployment compensation.  It afforded millions of people to discover the actual cost of having a "JOB"!  But enough of politics.

I have been a real estate investor/landlord of single family homes for 40 years. Between 2000 and 2006 I managed to sell the majority of properties, I had acquired in the Lehigh Valley area (Easton, Bethlehem & Allentown) of PA.

As these properties sold I began to acquire properties in western Pasco county FL.  Real estate values collapsed in 2007 & 2008. To give you some idea, my residence had a tax appraisal of $175,000 in 2006 and was just appraised for refinancing at $65,000 last month.

So the question becomes "How do I restore the equity of my property?"

I have created a couple businesses in my lifetime.  So my plan was to turn a property into a 100% self sufficient entity.  After much research aquaponics looked like the answer for an acre & half property I purchased for cash in 2007!

The game plan is to create a commercial aquaponics farm that will gross $40,000 a year one a property.  The property has a 2 bedroom "built out" mobile home with a 38 ft "park model" travel trailer as rental unit  on an acre & half property.

My major problem now is to find 3 to 5 crops with a 75 to 80 day cycle as permenant crops.   

Comment by Dave Lindstedt on May 8, 2013 at 3:00pm

From a commercial stand point, we have a major problem that never gets talked about and that is marketing!  I have teamed up with the "Suncoast Co-op". This group is affiliated with Habitat for Humanity. They take a 10% commission and sell only organic produce via a local market and a membership web site.  Merchandise for sale is posted by me on Sunday evening. Buyers post their orders by noon on Thursday.  I deliver the orders, and get paid, Saturday AM prior to 11:00 AM.  I take a few "extra" items for the "Market"  which sells direct to the public until 2:00 PM.  Those sales I collect the funds for the following week.  So part of this is building a customer base. 

Comment by TCLynx on May 7, 2013 at 10:32am

Jordan, if you want your group to be active, you should let people simply join it rather than making them request permission to join.

Most people only supplement the particular minerals needed in their aquaponics system and much of the time this is done by choosing the correct buffer that will provide either potassium or calcium.  If pH is too high or source water deficient, then chelated iron may need to be added.  In commercial systems careful water testing should be done to know what minerals are deficient before adding them and one needs to be careful that whatever they add to the system won't harm the fish or bio-filter bacteria.

Comment by TCLynx on May 6, 2013 at 7:25pm

Produce marketing

I just started a new group.  Anyone is invited.

The truth is you don't make any money growing vegetables.  To make money  you have to sell the vegetables.  At least 80% of a commercial aquaponic farm business has basically nothing to do with aquaponics.  So instead of talking about commercial aquaponics, I want this group to be about selling produce.

Comment by Rick Remington on May 6, 2013 at 6:08pm

Really enjoying the discussion here on commercial ops and thoughts. Thanks all!

Comment by TCLynx on May 6, 2013 at 2:05pm


   You may be able to get $3.50 a head for lettuce if you are selling it yourself direct to the customer.  But if you are selling lettuce through a wholesaler or distributor you may be hard pressed to get very much.  Think about it, when some one pays $4 for a head of living lettuce at the grocery store, do you think the farmer gets $4 for it?

Now figure in your costs for selling direct to the end customer?  Do you have a farm stand?  How many people come to your farm to buy produce weekly?  Or are you selling at farmers markets?  How much does the truck, packaging, labor, booth, your time or who-ever's time manning the booth?

In the end, how much are you going to make from the sale of each item?  Have you factored in the costs of production and losses of what doesn't sell?

I'm figuring that if I can manage to produce and sell 1000 items a week (average retail cost of items aprox $4) that half of the money is going to go to paying the overhead for retail/distrobution/sales so that leaves the farm getting the average of $2 and item and half of that at least has to go to paying for the aquaponics and growing operations which would leave me with a net of less than $1000 a week.

No I think I can live with that, provided I can figure out how to consistently grow those 1000 items a week and FAR More importantly, SELL them consistently.

So how much space is needed to grow those 1000 items per week?  Well that is gonna vary depending on so many factors.  But lets be conservative for lettuce in a good climate for it and figure you need 1 square foot per item and you need to be spaced at that for 4 weeks of the 8 week growing cycle.  So that would be 4000 square feet of growing area for the spaced out stuff plus 4 weeks worth of seedling and germination area (so if you are using 50 cell 1020 trays, figure you need about 4 square feet per 100 seedlings.  So that would be a seedling area of about 160 square feet?)

All of that is wild conjecture based loosely on an 8 week growing cycle for say a large butterhead lettuce varity.  As soon as you start dealing with other veggies or other varieties you get into very different numbers and of course space and growing cycle will vary with season, light levels, temperature, and nutrient levels.

Comment by Bob Campbell on May 6, 2013 at 12:31pm

@ Dan & Dave -   Your conversation about Black Seeded Simpson would be good in

Comment by Chelsea Brannan on May 6, 2013 at 9:57am

Dave,  $1 a plant?! There is no way I could invest all the time and $ it takes to make 64 beds for that. I can get $3.50 per head of lettuce and a few herbs are a bit less. Have you looked at growing something that will have a greater market value for your efforts? My goal for establishing aquaponic growing on the farm is that it produces slightly faster and brings additional income to support our family of three. Over wintering the rafts in a greenhouse also gives us income when our in ground growing stops during the winter.


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