Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

A clear path of aquaponics knowledge

I belong to about a half dozen forums on aquaponics. I am new, only a year into aquaponics, but have spent a lot of time researching and communicating with people more knowledgeable than I am.
It seems despite all the info that could allow most people, me included to go straight to doing aquaponics the right way, there is an inherent human quality that seems to want to do it from scratch and to find new ways.
I was just reading one of many posts from "newbie aquapons" that are asking many of the same questions.
It seems to me that much of it is an issue of the newbie needing to spend time researching, doing hands on and visiting systems if possible.
I also think that it's a matter of laying out a clear path to finding the knowledge needed and being able to use that knowledge to easily answer questions.
While Google is no doubt a help, much of the info is not laid out on the web with proper tags and seo friendly format. Content is pretty scattered across tangled threads of forums and can make a simple aquaponics question turn into a time consuming nightmare of web surfing for answers.
Meanwhile, the aquaponics system is languishing in various stages and after losing so much time on the web, very often the aquaponics system is built in a rushed manner without enough foresight.
The system that is rushed together may operate initially, but there seems to be a point when things fall apart and now you have plants and fish dying. It's not a pretty thing. Or just a failure popping up right before you leave the house and are dressed. Fish water on the good clothes and late to your appointment.
The challenge I see is to have a good authority site that is central, but can direct outward to other authority type sites or display like google with all the choices of related information.
This is where it would be great if everyone posting in forums had a standardized list of tags that we all used to accurately describe the post.
This way search engines could do a better job at connecting us all to the right info.
There are many sites building up and I am sure they will dominate the search engines, but there is a lot of good info that I would like to see, not just what google wants me to see.
The sites are relatively young and will get up to speed. Just seemed a good topics to bring up.

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Comment by Jim Fisk on August 20, 2012 at 7:15am

Yes, again. I arrived here just yesterday because Pub Cl House search engine battered me to do a search! So of course I searched "aquaponics" and arrived here:-) My first thought was "not another ap forum". I already follow 2 others and have a sys thread on 1. I quickly realized that this was not like the others as here we have clear well organized primers. I.e. I was just yesterday agonizing as to what size pump I needed for my 1200 gal ft system (still running on an oil filled Simer 1200gph "sump pump") and frankly my 2 forums were worthless on the subject after spending hrs searching the threads and fortunately I guessed about right as I did not find this forum until after I made the plunge (found by far the best deal on Overstock). Here I got the needed info almost immediately. Needless to say I joined immediately. I will get a sys thread going here very soon ( 16 x 24 gh sys on a shoestring). 6 mos in and still so many questions. Comet loss has been a bit troubling this week and I found a trace of oil in the 250gal sump. Could be from about 5 sources including algae but I figure eliminating the pump question had to be the starting place and the vintage air piston pump will be the next to go. Great to be here.

Comment by Jim Hall on August 15, 2012 at 1:14pm
Just signed up for Sylvia Bernstein's new aquaponics course and previously had signed up on the University of Hawaii's UHATOLL course. Sylvia is geared more directly to a home aquaponics type system and ATOLL is a variety spread from ocean to backyard.
Deciding if a person wants a well laid out system and has the money to dedicate to it or wants to build from available materials and is ready for the unexpected expenses when trying to make things fit a part you found or scrounged for free, is something people jump past in enthusiasm. I know I did.
The system that is laid out well, with decent materials from the beginning will be much more trouble free in the long run, but for me, just laying out the money would have prevented me from getting that hands on experience, excitement, frustration, etc, that I got from figuring out how to do it from scratch. It would be nice to have some nice systems just up and working and looking good.
Comment by Bob Campbell on August 15, 2012 at 11:55am

I relate to what you are saying.  I'm at the point now that I feel I would like to mentor new comers. All this experience should not go to waste, but every system is different because everybody has slightly different goals and resources and climate. 

For example I would recommend ag tanks over pond liner tanks.  But I find myself using a pond liner because I could not find exact dimensions dictated by the area I built my system.  It's just a series of decisions and circumstances that lead us into that area where we have to invent our own stuff. That's where things get a little shaky unless you are really good at design. 

Then as you say you are on your way out the door when you discover an emergency situation.   An you hear that voice in your head saying "Oh the boss is going to love this story!"

This is one of those things people do when they have a lot of flexible time.  Problem is so many of the videos make it look like it's simple and carefree.

Comment by JRComito on August 8, 2012 at 7:28pm

WOW! DITTO! I have so many questions, and limited knowledge and experience. I could use the system you describe.

Comment by Jim Hall on August 2, 2012 at 10:49am
I kind of nickel & dimed myself to death before getting Sylvia's book and could have saved myself so money, time and effort. The hands on is still a major part and I can see where local classes really make a difference. It seems all the books and videos just can't replace the sounds, smells and feel of running a system. Glad to see more classes starting up everywhere.
Comment by Chris Carr on August 2, 2012 at 8:47am

Well put concerns Jim. I completely agree that there is an overwhelming amount of scattered knowledge which leads to people diving in while still lacking a critical knowledge base. What I say is if they are willing to shell out a few hundred bucks to setup a system, they really need to sell out $30 for Sylvia's book and read it cover to cover first before setting anything up. If you can get through the book before setting up a system, it should be successful. Once you dive into the forums, you have really dove head first into the deep end. :)

The book makes a great gift too. Recycle the dead trees!

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