Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Debra Colvin
  • Female
  • Riverside, CA
  • United States

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Debra Colvin's Discussions

aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?

Started this discussion. Last reply by David Mar 16, 2016. 20 Replies

I ran into this when researching whether tilapia would be a good idea for me to raise. It seems that the state of California wants its share of my money, about 800 dollars of it, if they can say what…Continue

for those considering grow towers and the like...

Started this discussion. Last reply by Debra Colvin Mar 20, 2013. 6 Replies

This includes myself, since I've been looking into how to make one and integrate it well into my existing systems. Has anyone considered forgoing the tower entirely and simply expanding it out to its…Continue

other power sources...

Started this discussion. Last reply by Debra Colvin Dec 11, 2011. 7 Replies

This is going to sound bonkers, but what the hey.Anyone ever consider a whirligig for a source of power for, say, a water pump?I'm not speaking of the kind that generates electricity, then powers a…Continue


Debra Colvin's Page

Latest Activity

David replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"Temp is definitely an issue. Whitebrook farms sells a tilapia that survives down to 45°, but they are not legal for possession in CA. Mozambique are the only ones I know are allowed in So Cal per DWFG. I have heaters on thermostat and timers.…"
Mar 16, 2016
Chet Braun replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"Ha! No problem. Yes I'd love to have a local for collaboration! Two issues I'm struggling with right now; 1) Fish. I posted under the Fish heading but restating here I must say I'm torn. Tilapia have all the qualities I want;…"
Aug 14, 2015
David replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"Sorry, Chet - darn auto correct."
Aug 14, 2015
David replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"Hi Cheri, I'm in Santee. Are you familiar with San Diego Drum and Totes? Good quality used food grade IBC, etc. What kinda fish are you planning? Let me know if you want a local for collaboration."
Aug 14, 2015
Chet Braun replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"I'm just starting to design a system since we finally bought a house in San Diego. After reading numerous posts about California and potential fines if you grow fish for consumption I contacted, just this week, the State Aquaculture Coordinator…"
Aug 14, 2015
David replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"Awesome summary John. Thank you. I'm in So Cal (SD County) and I would love to have a good source for fingerlings. Specifically channel catfish but sturgeon sounds interesting and I've always wanted to try trout or salmon. It's a…"
Aug 11, 2015
Frank Andrews replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"I am interested in some fingerlings if you are not to far. thanks Frank Andrews"
Apr 20, 2015
Debra Colvin posted a photo
May 6, 2014
Debra Colvin posted a photo
Feb 21, 2014
Paul Phillip Meyer replied to Debra Colvin's discussion gravity pumps.. in the group OFF GRID
"So have you got this to work with buckets? "
Dec 16, 2013
Hannah replied to Debra Colvin's discussion aquaculture... is that what I'm doing?
"Hello:) We've just made an aquaponic system and we're looking for some fingerlings, and I read that you're selling fingerlings.  How much are you selling tilapia for? (I read that tilapia are sturdy fish and that we should start…"
Nov 2, 2013
Debra Colvin added a discussion to the group OFF GRID

gravity pumps..

I was thinking of experimenting with a heron fountain, and making it aquaponic of course. I think it would be ideal for a small system, but I have no idea just how long it would run. This first one I would like to try to build would be out of cheap ass buckets, bought from home depot.for those who don't know what a heron fountain is, like me when I woke up this morning, here's the guist:…See More
Oct 9, 2013
Debra Colvin replied to R.K. Castillo's discussion What Deficiency is This?
"Leaf miner"
Sep 30, 2013
Debra Colvin posted photos
Sep 30, 2013
Debra Colvin posted photos
Sep 23, 2013
Debra Colvin posted photos
Aug 23, 2013

Profile Information

How did you find us?
referral from another website
Are you an aquaponic gardener already?
If so, what type of system? (pick all that apply)
none of the above, combination
How old is your system?
6 mos - 1 yr
What type of fish do you grow with? (select all that apply)
Goldfish, Koi
How big is your fish tank?
nearly 400 gallons combined
Please tell us something else about yourself.
I've experimented with aquaponics for the past 4 years. The systems that I feature here are the most successful I have been with this marvelous way of farming. My projects usually involve cost effective methods as I search for the lowest cost way of getting a workable system together. I strive for more attractive presentations, but often fail in that regard as my hillbilly roots begin to show themselves. For instance, the current ponds are to be a celebration of duct tape!

I've been experimenting with aquaponics for 4 years. The newest system is under 6 months old, all because I moved back to Riverside back in April. I didn't document a thing with my earliest experiments, but I can say that I have lost my share of goldfish.


my blog dedicated to my garden when I lived with some friends.

indicator plants~ learned through experience

  • strawberry- sprawls when water nutients are high
  • hydrangea- becomes large and bushy when water is acidic
  • tomato - heavy feeder that needs dry roots to bloom & set fruit
  • garlic - heavy feeder that tolerates salt

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Debra Colvin's Blog

shopping at walmart is a bad idea

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 12:22am 2 Comments

At least as far as buying red wrigglers go. Walmart is on my bad side right now because they had previously mislabeled some squash plants I bought as cucumbers. I didn't figure that one out until the fruit was coming in, the bastards.

I bought worms today for my growbeds, and didn't think anything of the weird rubberized stuff they were packed in. Well, hours later, I checked in on how they were doing in their new home. Long story short: the ants are having a feast.

ick infection

Posted on June 24, 2011 at 1:02am 1 Comment

i think this is day four of my goldfish ick infection but I haven't exactly been keeping track. I lost one-- the little black moor--yesterday. He may have been the source, but as they're all infected, it's a moot point to be blaming any one fish. The white specks have either fallen off, or are smaller that they have been all week. I know my fish are far from being free of this thing, but this is the longest a batch has lived with it in any of my ponds.

Even though the new… Continue

Comment Wall (3 comments)

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At 10:19am on August 20, 2013, Lester Caplan said…

Hello Debra,

My name is
Les Caplan and I live in Palm Desert.  I have just started investigating aquaponics and I am looking to meet some other people in my area who have a system that I can talk to.  My email is my phone cell # is (760) 574-5242.

At 8:41am on June 14, 2011, Andrea said…
Hi, Debra!  We're practically neighbors.  :-)
At 9:27am on May 18, 2011, Sylvia Bernstein said…

Welcome Debra,

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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