Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Basically my interests in aquaponics comes from a single phrase and my own self interests. The quote comes from a book I read a long time age. but this is it. THAT WHICH IS NOT ECOLOGICALLY FEASIBLE WILL NOT BE ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE. That makes a man think.

I live and work on a small ranch with a pond. I like to fish on that pond using minnows and was basically trying to figure out a way to keep numerous minnows alive and happy. That pretty much led me here, because I'm also an avid gardener.

Here in Texas water is precious. Probably more than oil, but that's just a personal opinion. It is definitly the case for me.

I've investigated a few sites and this one seems promising. People seem to be frank as far as their successes and failures.

I'm looking for advice on how to get started. I have the space, that's not a problem. The fish of choice will be catfish , perch or tilapia. They survive here when the outside temp is 105 degrees. I would like to set up the system this winter and get things started. Winter in Texas is kind of a downtime for me, so I can persue my personal interests.

I have many questions on the ratio of fish to plants/surface area of the plants. In particular, how does one filter the fish water before it goes to the plants. It seems like it would clog the chosen media to grow the plants.

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Comment by Rolando on April 12, 2011 at 11:32am
Fishing also led me to aquaponics! it's a beautiful thing to see all the things you love come together and work in harmony. I look forward to following your journey. I myself have been experimenting with small systems for about a year. I read that going bigger is better. Easier to maintain. The larger size gives time to adjust, so glade you have the room.
Comment by Rick Op on December 16, 2010 at 5:05pm

Just monitor where the water goes in. If a water pipe is dumping too much solids and threatening to clog the media, put a sock on it temporarily and scoop whatever it is out of the fish tank... or don't scoop and instead change the sock. Take it over to the compost pile and turn it inside out, then put it back on the pipe. I used a "paint strainer bag" from a hardware store and it worked great to filter the water going into the bed, and for the water return back to pond. After a while it just subsides!



Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on December 11, 2010 at 1:20pm

Hi Robert.  Welcome to aquaponics!  You will want to read the Aquaponic Gardening Rules of Thumb on the home page upper left corner for some basic ratios and tips.  As far as filtration, believe it or not it just isn't necessary with media based aquaponics...assuming you are working within the fish quantity to fish tank to grow bed ratios suggested in the Rules of Thumb.  Red worms also help break down the solid waste and are a must for an optimally functioning aquaponics grow bed.  

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