My name is Dan and my wife Jamie and I are new to Aquaponics. We went to a recent local "Self Reliance Expo" looking for ideas on how to do a few things to offset food and power costs. What we found was Aquaponics. While Jamie started picking the brains of the folks at the Aquaponics booth I began looking at the system and how it works. The system was made from an IBC container that had been modified to grow fish and veggies. My thought was, "Now how cool is that?"
My mind started racing. Please understand I am no genius, however I am a Ham radio operator...a geek (in my humble opinion). In the Aquaponics I saw possibilities, not only to grow food but also for me to apply my geekness in it's most tool-man technical type way.
We live in a nice little house on a nice little bit of land...okay so it's a postage stamp but that's only relevant if size matters to you. To me it means problem solving and applying my inner geek. So okay, we don't have much usable yard space. with no real room to put up a reasonable sized greenhouse I heard a small voice in my head say, "Luke I am...(no wait, different movie)... Luke...trust your garage! It is your destiny". Suddenly my brain started room size and floorspace calculations... then system power requirements...system components...what if there is a power outage? ... what happens in winter? ... we can grow all year long... I was hooked.
I had recently bought a small solar power set up from Harbor Freight for use with my Ham radios in the field and I realized that I might need emergency power for the system should we have an outage. Since the system would be in the garage I would need backup.My inner Uber Geek took over my body and I designed and built a workable power backup that would provide 48 hours of power if needed...then I built the IBC system, placed it in the garage, worked out the few bugs and made a few adjustments and bingo!... the system is up and running. Yesterday we went and got our first tilapia wherein I immediately named them "Fred and Ethyl; Desi and Lucy and Herman and Lilly". Now you need to understand me and my sense of humor (which is a bit twisted since I was a police officer for many years) all the names are from TV shows and I plan to kill them and eat them at some point in time (sick right?). The reason I did this was to be able to say, "Lets have Herman and Lilly over for dinner!" This of course will make my wife cringe and thus I get revenge for having to follow her around in Thrift Stores.
But back to the system... the setup will be temp controlled all year long and protected from severe weather like hail, snow and a very hot and direct sunlight we get here in Colorado. Eventually I will expand the single system to include several more IBC's and maybe a small float pond system in the tiny back yard we have. I'll also be expanding the solar capabilities as well. I'll document them as I go along and if anyone wants to ask questions of The Uber Geek I'll be glad to answer them.
I hope my humor and geekness don't offend...but this is going to be a lot of fun and it'll keep me out of other trouble...but that's another story!
Have a great day,
Well we have the tank fully established and have been harvesting lettuce, basil, spinach and green onions for 2 weeks now. The Anaheim pepper pant, the tomato pant and the bell pepper plant are doing nicely and will soon be put into soil with a very good start. We plan on replacing the plants with more spinach and I will be increasing the growing area with a 4x8 floatbed (I think...design is still in the opening stages).
Thanks to everyone that gave advice!
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