Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hi,

I’m interested in starting a home aquaponics system. However, I’m worried about the fish during our summer months. I live in Elk Grove, and during the summer months we can see triple digit temperature. Should I be worried during the summer months? If so, how are my fellow aquaponics enthusiasts addressing the issue here in the Sacramento area?

Any other tips and suggestions would be welcomed as well.

Thanks for your time!

Brian

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Replies to This Discussion

My advice is:  pick your fish accordingly - get ones that take not only the heat of summer but the cool of our winters.  Ie, temperate climate fish (I like bluegill, catfish, carp, goldfish, etc), not tropical (tilapia etc.) or cold (trout etc.).

Secondly, keep your fish tank out of the sun in the summer.  Plants need the sun, fish do not.  

These strategies have been working well for me so far.

Good morning.

It's really easy to shade your tank so our hot temps shouldn't be something to worry about.  If you choose fish species that are adaptable to the temp swings we get you'll be fine.  Mostly people are concerned with keeping the system warm enough in winter (such as we have!).  There are things you can do to moderate temps, like circulating water through vertical towers or NFT during hot or cold times of day, depending on which way you're trying to go.

My tank is an IBC wrapped in landscape fabric, bubble wrap, and bamboo screen.  It sits in partial sun at best during summer and didn't get warmer than low 70's as I recall.  I'll have to check the notes.  Bluegill and Channel Catfish from Freshwater Fish in Sacramento are thriving. 

Cheers!

 

edit:  What Paul said!^^

I have enclosed my tanks in a plywood shell. This keeps the sun off and preserves the plastic.  I also keep a plywood lid on the tanks. have not had any issues with the fish regarding heat. I have sunfish and bluegills.

When I started out, I had talapia, which grew very fast in the summer. However, they all died in the winter from the cool water.

If you are using a fairly large tank, one thing you might investigate is sinking your fish tank into the ground.  It's a little more work but that will moderate the temperature and provide great insulation. It also allows you to use the space above the tank for other purposes.  After reading about this idea on some aquaponic blogs, I made plans to bury mine.

Everyone,

Thank you! There are many great ideas to consider. I am a novice but hope to contribute to the community when and where I can.

Brian

Keep your fish tank in the shade.  Everything gets hotter in direct sunlight.  Also, get your system started early.... Mature plants shade the media.  Last year I was in Manteca and my garden did fairly well.  I Just moved to Tracy a few months ago.  I am taking my time... setting up a system that I can expend over the course of a year or two.

Stay cool

Paul hit the nail on the head. Temperature depends on your fish choice. one thing not yet mentioned is aeration. As water gets warmer, dissolved oxygen drops significantly. Supplemental aeration can save the fish in your system during a heat wave.

Thanks for all the responses.

The followup question would be, what types of fish are you raising? I've had a vegetable garden for several years. One of the reason I want to move into Aquaponics is the added source of protein.

Brian, good afternoon.

I'm raising Bluegill and Channel Catfish together.  There was a time the tank was Bluegill only and solids accumulated evenly across the entire tank bottom.  Upon adding the catfish, solids would concentrate near my corner SLO, to where I can occasionally reach down and 'push' stuff into the SLO.  The catfish, preferring to stay on the very bottom of the tank seem to sweep the solids into motion as they swim around, and I think that helps stuff migrate towards the SLO.

It could also be entirely the case that the catfish are simply consuming the solids, but I prefer to imagine the former!

 

San Luis Obispo?

Nate B said:

Brian, good afternoon.

I'm raising Bluegill and Channel Catfish together.  There was a time the tank was Bluegill only and solids accumulated evenly across the entire tank bottom.  Upon adding the catfish, solids would concentrate near my corner SLO, to where I can occasionally reach down and 'push' stuff into the SLO.  The catfish, preferring to stay on the very bottom of the tank seem to sweep the solids into motion as they swim around, and I think that helps stuff migrate towards the SLO.

It could also be entirely the case that the catfish are simply consuming the solids, but I prefer to imagine the former!

 

Solids Lifting Overflow

(The Australians' love of acronyms on their forum must've rubbed off on me!)

Paul Trudeau said:

San Luis Obispo?

Nate B said:

Brian, good afternoon.

I'm raising Bluegill and Channel Catfish together.  There was a time the tank was Bluegill only and solids accumulated evenly across the entire tank bottom.  Upon adding the catfish, solids would concentrate near my corner SLO, to where I can occasionally reach down and 'push' stuff into the SLO.  The catfish, preferring to stay on the very bottom of the tank seem to sweep the solids into motion as they swim around, and I think that helps stuff migrate towards the SLO.

It could also be entirely the case that the catfish are simply consuming the solids, but I prefer to imagine the former!

 

I have a couple of crayfish in my tanks to keep them clean.

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