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Aquaponics

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by Snowypinesridge, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Snowypinesridge

    Snowypinesridge Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone!

    Thought I would put a link here to show off our aquaponics system so everyone can see it. Currently we are using quail to help heat the building, eventually I will get the rocket stove built.

    http://www.snowypinesridge.com/man-cave/aquaponics/
     
  2. Snowypinesridge

    Snowypinesridge Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Newport, WA
    My Coop
  3. 1MrsMagoo

    1MrsMagoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great job and congratulations on being featured in Mother Earth News! Oh, and I loved the picture of your geese...bet they'd love to get into the greenhouse and graze!

    I am really glad to have found your thread. After fighting with nearly an acre of outdoor gardens that are continuously plagued by drought, or too much rain, and bugs, we have decided to do an aquaponics setup. I'll still use my garden, but if all goes well, use more row space for corn and animal feed like sunflowers instead.

    We are putting together out first small-scale aquaponics system this week using some IBC totes that had cattle molasses in them. The pumps, heaters, etc are on their way and the fish will be here by the end of the week. If they work out, we will build a larger greenhouse and increase the scale of the system over time.

    We are going to use Blue Tilapia (okay with our state's wildlife and fisheries as long as the system is kept indoors) and hybrid bluegill to start with. I love the idea of the hot tub and have seen several systems that use old bath tubs as well (we are remodel contractors so old bath tubs are easy to come by for us). I already grow duckweed and plan on integrating that into the system as part of the bio filter. We are also hoping to add some bullhead minnows after we are up and running to supplement our ducks and cut their feed bill.

    I see you give your goldies red worms. What else do you feed? I have a decent sized meal worm farm, and am building a couple Black Soldier Fly grub bins as well. Between those, the duckweed, and a home made feed from egg yolks, yeast, and flour, I am hoping to use very little commercial rations.

    Any tips, pointers, or words of wisdom you may have to pass along to an aquaponics newbie? I have read tons of research, forums, etc, but always appreciate first-hand information the most!

    Best wishes for continued success!
     
  4. Snowypinesridge

    Snowypinesridge Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Newport, WA
    My Coop
    The biggest thing that I learned over the years is to keep things simple. That is why I have only one electrical appliance in the whole set up. Everything is based on gravity and simple ecosystems. We have had other fish but they were very agressive and would jump out of the tub after a flying moth attracted by solar lights that lit up at night. Fish are attracted to lights at night and so are bugs....Bug zappers work but the fish don't like the cooked meal as much. This helps keep the feed bills down too! Don't forget to watch the video we did on Youtube. Hopefully I do this right:



    Or look for Snowy Pines Ridge Farm on You Tube.

    Good luck!
     
  5. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    I following this with great attention. I have a nice pond set up in my yard, and would like to add an aquaponics section to it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    Very nice set up Snowypinesridge! [​IMG] Congratulations on the Mother Earth News piece too. We have a thriving aquaponics community here in Tucson. We have a group called the Tucson Aquaponics Project that has over 180 members and we meet once a month (not all of us at once) to have speakers, discuss our systems and teach those that are interested in aquaponics how to get started. Last night I harvested and prepared our first Tilapia that we grew in our modest system.

    [​IMG]

    I have a 670 gallon tank in the ground that was originally intended to be my sump tank with a 4' X 8' gravel bed above it. In order to get started I put my first batch of fish in the sump tank. It's worked very well and we'll probably continue keeping them down there. I now also have a 500 gallon above ground tank that I'm currently using as a deep water culture tank. I think that it will eventually be used to grow Malaysian freshwater prawns this spring. This core of the system is inside a greenhouse that I'm in the process of building. This winter we'll add larger gravel beds just outside the greenhouse.

    I started with a hole in the ground.

    [​IMG]


    I lined the hole with concrete blocks. They're just stacked in there with soil tamped into the holes.

    [​IMG]

    I lined that with a geo-textile blanket and fish-safe EPDM pond liner and built the frame and grow bed over top. The grow bed is lined with EPDM and filled with gravel.

    [​IMG]


    We built a hoop house greenhouse over the top of it all. Up until this week it was covered with old scraps of shade cloth we had laying around. Next month we will finish framing it out and it will get a new polyethylene skin. The tomatoes eventually grew up and out the top of the greenhouse between the two sheets of shade cloth. It was amazing to see the rate of growth.

    [​IMG]


    The new tank currently has lettuce growing in it.


    [​IMG]


    We had a few months from late summer through fall of endless cucumbers. They're still growing, but slowing down considerably now as the nights get cooler.

    [​IMG]


    This weekend my project is to make a solar water heater to keep the water warm enough to breed the tilapia over winter. I'll post pics as I get them.
     
  7. Snowypinesridge

    Snowypinesridge Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Newport, WA
    My Coop
    Very nice set up. You are most certainly in a warmer climate than us! I like how you dug your pit and put in the blocks....very nice. I might keep that in mind when I build the rocket stove for a deeper thermal mass.
     
  8. RoussoHomestead

    RoussoHomestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2012
    Tucson, Arizona
    I love it!

    We are in the planning phase (aka the dreaming phase) of building a system here. I love-love-love tilapia and loathe our high water bills in the desert.

    I have to giggle at your post a little because I had suggested to my husband that we convert our (working) hot tub into a tank. First time he has EVER told me no. :p

    Congrats on your feature!
     
  9. Snowypinesridge

    Snowypinesridge Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Newport, WA
    My Coop
    Keep an eye on craigslist....I am always seeing them for free on there. Also check some of the local spa dealers. They normally have to pay to have the old ones dumped. Good luck!
     
  10. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    Do either of you have recommendations on specific books or websites that help the planning process for this? There is just so much information out there, it would be nice to find a single source or two that answers most of the questions. I think we'll probably use the spa idea and have it flow in to the growbed. It will be three doors down from me, at my parents' house. The area is probably 8'x8' for the spa with another 12'-15' for the grow beds.

    I think my two main questions are for the water's flow rate and if you ever clean out the water. Most of the rest seems pretty self-explanatory, but I want to make sure I do it all right from the start.

    Thanks ahead of time.
     

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