I am very excited to say that Molly, the fish, the cats and I are all moving to a bigger space (with a full basement and half an acre)! This is exciting news for the tilapia, who are now 6 months old and are threatening to breed.
This means that I get to plan new systems for the new house! Livestock wise, I want to do perch outdoors on the screen porch (in Michigan), and tilapia and red claw crayfish indoors. The tilapia will need to be tackled first.
I am also currently set up breeding several different ornamental fish... smaller tanks, less poo, but still more fish and water to keep healthy. I have enjoyed breeding aquarium fish that are typically harvested from the wild - I think it's important for hobbyists to be mindful of the habitats and wild stocks of their beloved fish species. I've thought about selling them mail order, as most of my species are quite small.
This all is a lot of fish, I realize. I am laid off at the moment, so caring for them all sounds like great fun right now... but I want to be mindful of the system upkeep required, because I may not always be so lucky as to have unlimited free time. I also need to be mindful of energy (and money) consumption. I understand that I may not be able to do all the fishy (and planty) things I have dreamt up and still be responsible with my resources.
Plant-wise, we want to have a grow space indoors for year-round production and and outdoor system so I can finally cash in on sun power in the summer. I plan to start out with a system on the screen porch (with good southern exposure!), but I have talked to the city planner and zoning regs allow for a pond and a (rigid) greenhouse up to 900 sq ft. The place is chock full of aquaponic potential!
Projects slated for this spring include figuring out an expanded tilapia set-up and getting the perennials into the garden (I am so excited about my asparagus, I can't tell you!). The expensive projects that are competing for cash this spring are the screen porch perch/growing set up and some tree removal on the lot. There are also some house repairs to do and if we don't buy a new mattress I fear my girlfriend may leave me for my comfortable sleeping arrangements. ;)
I apologize for the long and unfocused post, but it's good for me to spell out all these ideas together in one place.