Aquaponic Gardening

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Joe Bifano
  • Male
  • Kiowa, Colorado
  • United States
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Joe Bifano's Discussions

Over wintering Catfish and Perch

Started this discussion. Last reply by David - WI Aug 12, 2013. 1 Reply

I know it will be awhile before I need to think about this but I thought I would ask. I want to make sure if I need anything that I get it now and set it up before it happens.I have a 1000 gallon…Continue

Getting the darkest greens possible

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jon Parr Jun 2, 2013. 13 Replies

I am growing micro-greens for a customer and the last few orders they wanted to know if I could get them darker green.Usually you grow them to there first true set of leaves in just water. They say…Continue

System is 1 year old and need to find out the best way to clean up bottom of rafts

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joe Bifano May 26, 2013. 1 Reply

I have 2 separate systems and moved my fish from 1 tank to the other, so I have double of what I should have in 1 tank.  They are doing okay but I need to get them back as soon as possible.I have a…Continue

Ammonia way over 8 and PH at 6 and no dead fish

Started this discussion. Last reply by Harold Sukhbir May 9, 2013. 16 Replies

I have not been watching my PH, Ammonia and Nitrate for a few weeks and found that 1 of my fish systems is way over 8 on ammonia, 0 on Nitrite and my PH is at 6 or lower. The water is real dirty and…Continue


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Are you an aquaponic gardener already?
strating out
If so, what type of system? (pick all that apply)
building greenhouse 24x64 and want to do tomatoes
Please tell us something else about yourself.
I make custom kitchens and my website is

Comment Wall (6 comments)

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At 8:14pm on September 11, 2010, Dan Brown said…
Wow, that's a lot of information! As far as worms go (starting at the end), there's a great thread here, called,"worms" that covers this exact topic. Sylvia is a big proponent of using redworms (as is Murray Hallen, TYClynx, and numerous others here), and I'm going to be using them in the garage system I've got once the waste build-up is adequate. It's a shallow bed, so it probably won't be as successful as the deeper beds (12"+) that are espoused throughout the aquaponic community contained herein.

What type of fish are you planning to raise? I'm excited for you and your project, and wish you the best of luck! The simple design approach you're taking seems commonsense to me, but I'm not sure if media beds can run comfortable on that scale and complete bio filtration without solids removal and mineralization...but I'm sure some one here will answer that question expediently.
At 10:01pm on September 10, 2010, Joe Bifano said…
The 64' south facing wall has 3 doors framed into it so I can expand this greenhouse to the south. I can add 3 hoop style cold frames or 3 bays on a gutter connect setup but only time will tell on what I do. I have 14 acres so I can expand as needed. I have great water and I am zoned for agriculture. I am going to use a wood stove water boiler for raising the temperatures in my fish tanks. There is a lot of wood were I live and I can always go to the mountains for more if needed.

So that is what I have been planing. If there is anything that sounds like it is not going to work or I should be thinking of something else let me know what you think.
At 10:01pm on September 10, 2010, Joe Bifano said…
In the last few weeks I finished all the wood framing and dug 2 4'x8' holes in the ground 4.5' deep. These are going to be my fish tanks. I am modeling the fish tanks from the Growing Powers fish tanks with 2 troughs above them that will have media filled in them an be my bio-filter. Each tank will be between 1000 and 1200 gallons. I then want to pump water to the top trough and then gravity feed to the bottom trough and then go out to rafts using DWC. I will do leafy greens and herbs in the rafts and will be able to have 2 48x28' rafts and 2 48x24' rafts. I want to try to put a test row of Dutch Buckets in the mix and do tomatoes allowing the runoff to go back to the fish tanks. I will also setup sprout tables like the friendly's have to start seeds in, when the weather permits.

Basically I will have either 2 systems duplicated for testing in the 24x64 greenhouse or combine the 2 fish tanks and run this system all together. Not sure what I should do. I want to do something real small at first so I can see what I need to do and learn before I go to anything else. So I may just fill up one tank 1/4 or 1/2 of the way and only use one raft setup. I will look at maybe getting a small micro system or family system plan set from the Friendly's to make sure that I get the correct info on a small setup before I go any further. I have been told that the gravel media grow beds will not work for a high density system but for some reason Growing Power uses this and they just keep on putting in worms to take care of the solids. I will look at swirl filters and other things down the road.

Okay 3!
At 10:00pm on September 10, 2010, Joe Bifano said…
Thanks Daniel for the info. I read through it and also really liked what you had to say in the article you wrote, excellent job. First of all I have never grown a thing with fish only in the ground organically. I have had a small greenhouse for 7 years and have mostly grown heirloom tomatoes. In talking with stores and small restaurants, letting them taste my tomatoes, I would get a lot of great feedback and they would ask do I sell them.

I have been reading and looking at hydroponics for many years and then started to read about aquaponics. There is no question that is what I need to do. In my research I looked at Growing power and Friendly Aquaponics the most and decided that I would build a 12x32 building. I wanted this to have storage and some processing capabilities along with maybe starting seeds and a fish hatchery. But thought that I would have the building and keep it open on what I would use it for.

I added a 16 foot wall to both ends of the utility room making a wall 64' long and ran out of money last year. This year I added 2 24' end walls and a 64' south facing wall. The Utility room wall is about 12' high and the south facing wall is only 10' high on the greenhouse. The roof system will be a rebar roof that I have been working on that will be slopped from the shed and go up another 2 or 3 feet then back to the 10 foot wall on the south side of the greenhouse. It will have post and beams in the greenhouse to support it as well as purlins. I will use double poly.

I will use 2 posts
At 6:39pm on September 10, 2010, Dan Brown said…
Having read your posting on another aquaponic site, and your request for business model information, might be of some use to you. I'd like to see your system, please post any photos you take. Regarding food regulations, the vendors that you're selling to should have some type of verification that they need, and you'll need space in the green house to allow for cleaning and storing produce and fish (refrigeration). Have you planned that space into your design? I've written a paper on the business model, and the highest return areas from my research were herbs, have you considered growing those in addition to tomatoes? (paper at ).
At 6:28am on September 1, 2010, Sylvia Bernstein said…
Hi Joe,

Thanks for joining the Aquaponic Gardening community - always especially happy to have fellow Coloradans join! I hope you find it a fun place to explore aquaponics. There is a real blend of experienced and new aquapons in this community, so please don’t hesitate to get in there and start asking questions. Everyone is quite happy to help out new members – no question is too basic.

A great place to start is to read the How to Use This Site link on the upper right corner, “Start Here” section of the Main page.

Please participate!

Thanks again for joining us, and I look forward to getting to know you.


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