Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Tom OBrien
  • Male
  • Antioch, IL
  • United States
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  • Craig Hannaford
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Profile Information

How did you find us?
Search engine (Google)
If you found us through a search engine, what search words were you using?
trout aquaponics
Are you an aquaponic gardener already?
If so, what type of system? (pick all that apply)
flood and drain media
How old is your system?
6 mos - 1 yr
What type of fish do you grow with? (select all that apply)
Goldfish, Trout
How big is your fish tank?
2 x 150 gallons
Please tell us something else about yourself.
I am an engineer and I started this project in the basement with the goldfish from a little pond we dug last summer. The goldfish are back in the pond and we've had rainbow trout in the tanks for about 3 months now.

Tom OBrien's Blog

Sunlight vs HPS

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 11:45pm 3 Comments

I finally broke down and bought a real HPS grow light after growing a big batch of really long stringy pea plants that produced no pea pods. And while it is a very big improvement over the T-8 grow lights with year old bulbs I had been using, I can't help noticing that my outdoor peas are now kicking ass on my indoor plants even though they were started later. Of course, the indoor garden does have a pretty big edge in this area from October through March, but when it warms up it looks like…


Giving Perch a try

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 8:07pm 6 Comments

After having some bad luck with the second batch of trout, I decided to give yellow perch a try. This is going to be a much longer project because the fish are smaller (3-5") and don't grow as fast, but the perch are doing well after the first few weeks. They ate very little for the first couple days, but now they are feeding eagerly. Some of the smaller ones looked like they couldn't handle the pellet size, so I broke some of them up and that seems to be doing the trick. Wish me luck!

Fishless cycling is boring

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 8:59pm 7 Comments

The trout kicked the bucket and now I'm left with an empty tank and two grow beds full of vigorously growing pea plants. I think I'd like to try a hardier fish next time like yellow perch. Unfortunately my local hatchery won't be selling perch until things thaw out around here.

Trout Project II

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 10:23pm 0 Comments

I have re-started my system with 16 8-10" trout in a 150 gallon stock tank and pea plants in two 50 gallon grow beds. Fish-less cycling in preparation for the trout was very quick compared to the new system startup last spring. I was concerned that the temperature differential between the outdoor pond at the hatchery (45 F) and the water in my basement tank (62 F) would be a problem, but all the fish seem to have survived it despite some initial sluggishness.

This time we also had a…


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At 4:01am on June 26, 2013, Leo White Bear said…


  Yes, I will be adding lights to this system.  First we need to install some "green board" to the celing to stop the paint from peeling off and to cover some holes there.  Then comes the electric and the lights so it is still a work in progress and as stated we hope to be up and running by the end of August.  I will be posting more pics as the build progresses.  Thanks for you reply.

White Bear

At 8:51pm on October 7, 2012, Craig Hannaford said…

thanks man

At 2:28pm on September 24, 2012, Phil Slaton said…

Thanks Tom!

At 8:08pm on January 23, 2012, Sylvia Bernstein said…

Welcome Thomas,

Thanks for joining the Aquaponic Gardening community!  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 Home page.  You might also find the “Aquaponic Gardening Rules of Thumb” guidelines helpful.

Please add a profile image, participate and check in with us every day!  We are constantly posting news about aquaponics and the good food movement.

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



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