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Aquaponics a Key to the Future?

On another thread the Granger wrote that she does not like Aquaponics and that it's... well here is what she wrote exactly:

"I'm not a fan of aquaponics, I don't find it sustainable.. I find it expensive, high maintenance, probably great for occupying Mars, but I'm sticking to raised beds, and chickens.. while I do have a 250 gal tank, with fish.. and I have learned how to repair pumps.. but to me.. it's expensive and not worth it and the food is not as good as home grown tomatoes in the sun. I do like square foot gardening.. but I'm food forest gardening as it is."

We had been going back and forth on other issues too on that thread and the exchange is getting quite long so I decided to give this its own thread.

When I read her statement I thought to myself of all the ignorant statements one could make this has to be one of the tops. Sorry for sort of picking on you Granger but this is an educational opportunity that can't be missed IMO. So I will respond here and also hopefully educate others that might not know much or anything about aquaponics.

Aquaponics is a synthesis of hydroponics and aquaculture (fish raising). Fish produce waste that is then fed to grow beds for plants where it becomes nutrients to feed the plants. The plants in turn clean the water and it is returned to the fish tank.

Plants grow much faster require half the space as conventional gardening and only a 10th of the water.

Granger claims it is expensive and unsustainable proving she deos not know anything about aquaponics and then claims she likes square foot gardening further showing her lack of knowledge. The water bill alone for conventional gardening is more expensive then aquaponics. Aquaponics systems that can keep the family in vegetables year round have been set up for as little as $50 dollars. But on average you would probably spend 2 to 3 hundred to get started however that is a one time expense. If your savvy you can build a system for pretty cheap. I have about $90 into my system.

People buy all kinds of elaborate fertilizers for conventional gardens and treatments for pest control etc. So much for keeping expenses down.;)

Granger then amazingly goes on to claim the food doesn't taste good compered to home grown tomatoes ripened in the sun further cementing her complete lack of knowledge on the subject ... I was like wow just wow! I would venture to say she has never tasted food from an aquaponics garden.

Aquaponics produce is home grown in the sun Granger! And it taste as good or better then anything grown in the regular garden. You must be thinking if commercially grown hydroponic crap you buy in the store.

Back to expenses; Granger says she has a 250 gallon fish tank and has learned to repair pumps so thinks she knows what she is talking about. So Granger let me ask you how often do you have to change the water in in that tank? How about filters? There is more expenses for you...

With Aquaponics you do not need to change the water only top off once in a while for evaporation as the plants return clean water to the fish. No filters needed for the pump as the grow beds act as a biofilter. Hence you use a tenth the water as conventional gardening. You could save a lot of time changing water filters and save money on your water bill by setting up grow beds to clean the water in your fish tank and have fresh sun ripened veggies year round to boot!

As for sustainable it's as sustainable as anything in the current society the relies on electricity. The only thing needed is a pump. Most aquaponics systems can run off a single pump and use gravity to feed the other direction. A small solar panel inverter and a battery can run the system to if the power goes out.

If the SHTF to the point you don't have electricity how are you going to water your conventional garden without electric pumps pumping the water to your house or out of your well? What will you do in winter when you garden is dormant? The same kind of planning for all those things is all you need to sustain your AP system!

To be fair and to hopefully ease my picking on you here I will praise you for having raised beds and chickens and contemplating a food forest those are all good things i have done and I will be teaching also. I highly recommend you look into hugelkultur raised beds as they do not require watering and you do not have to till and replant every year. You aquaponics system can sustain you through the winter with fresh produce when your garden and food forest is dormant.

Anyways thanks Granger for letting me pick on you here as it provided an opportunity to perhaps help educate others too!

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Almost Done My Product Design Thesis

In Home Aquaponics / Hydroponic system - high end appliance style
I call it the 'Growtop"
check it out
All I have to do is finish the control panel and work on the marketing

It's practical to have

It's practical to have multiple forms of food production...raised beds, chickens, rabits, bees, aquaponics, etc.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

One benefit I can see

Is the ability to produce fresh veggies and protein year round! And you KNOW where your food comes from and what is in it!
Did you know how some of the farmed fish are produced in China?? Chicken pens are suspended above their fish ponds so the chicken poo is "recycled" through the fish!
Chickens are routinely fed antibiotics, so this, too, is recycled through the fish, and sometimes the fish need antibiotics for fish diseases.
I am an activist for Country Of Origin Labeling, please check labels if you buy ANY food! And consider that their pesticide and herbicide use is not controlled in the same way it is in this country.

so this is my beef with aquaponics

So I am a farmer and trained permaculture designer. I have seen many systems, designed systems, and removed faulty ones. I personally believe in using appropriate tech to solve problems. I also believe anyone can and should do what works for them. That said, I also am an avid fisherman, both fresh and saltwater. The intense pressure to supply the growing fish farm industry is causing a mass depletion of feedstock around the globe, affecting entire populations of larger species, like tuna, cod, haddock, halibut, and salmon. There are many folks out there feeding fish to fish, only peletized. I have seen one system work with fish food produced on site. They raised mealworms, freshwater shrimp, red wigglers in a prefilter bed, and fed ground fishmeal they made from waste from the docks. They were starting with duckweed and other aquatic plants for food as well. Its important to me to look at the consequences of the entire system, whatever it may be. Check out where your pellets come from, cause the cod are going hungry over here! Peace

free state project member

good points!

Check out this book:

It's eye opening in showing how so many things can depend on one species. After reading this boook, I have wondered how menhaden would be managed in a libertarian society that allows ocean property rights.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

peletized feed

is made from fish meal which is made from the waste portion of the fishing industry the bones, scales, skin, heads and organs. But feeder guppies, and other fast reproducing fish can be grown along side in aquaponics for fish feed as well as the above mentioned worms, maggots, duck weed, soybeans and others. I am a fisherman as well and I take the fish carcass after I filet them and put it through a meat grinder and freeze it in ice cube trays. This year I'm going to try and build a solar dehydrator to dry out the grind into a meal type feed. Will probably add some soybeans and duckweed to the grind.

The bold effort the present bank had made to control the government ... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it-Andrew Jackson

maybe add some ash..

Have any ash from a wood stove is a quick way to add 16-18 trace minerals..

Heres a wood stove that can run a generator, heat h20, heat the house, make crude/dirty fuel:

Im hoping to mix this guys system in with some solar panels, a battery bank, aquaponic sytem when Im better situated.

Yes, make silver

And it will give you access to a separate micro climate, a off grid offline water and power system, and a new laboratory to introduce other exchanges ie mycelium, shrimp, microbes, bamboo, ect. Ect. Whatever floats your plants..hehe. Not to say canalizing tilapia through boundaries of terraces outdoors using cut dams wouldn't be efficient, but aqua ponics is certainly worth it if you have the start up capital and want dense production. It is also less susceptible to govt interference from negative externalities

A true flower can not blossom without sunlight and a true man can not live without love.

I'm starting an Aquaponics LLC this summer cant wait!!!

The only part about aquaponics that gets me thinking of building upon it is that mycelia hates phosphorous, so the soil used in aquaponics is usually lacking beneficial fungai and thus important minerals that give it heartier taste.

I suppose to develop teks to introduce beneficial fungai to your aquaponics beds (try researching advanced nutrients and their methods of combining bens in mycorrhizal symbiosis).

But other than the mineral issue, the mass manufacturing towards farmers markets would allow aquaponics to create a channel of production sufficient to sustain an entire conglomeration of permaculture projects, mycological projects, and interject food forestry, animal husbandry, aquacultures, hugelcultures, fukuoka crop rotation, all on small acreages bought at deed sales for below market value.... pumping the equity through a LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, or Non-profit Corporation.

Either way, Aquaponics can supply the permaculturalist with a new dynamic to expand the economy of scale of the small farm.

Thanks for the Post! :)

A true flower can not blossom without sunlight and a true man can not live without love.

expand the economy = make money?

expand the economy of scale of the small farm?

Are you saying a small farm can profit off the investment? Have you looked at the systems? How small a farm? A backyard?

Here's a decent system for a small farmer.. worth the investment (maybe if I was moving to Mars).

Yes, make silver

And it will give you access to a separate micro climate, a off grid offline water and power system, and a new laboratory to introduce other exchanges ie mycelium, shrimp, microbes, bamboo, ect. Ect. Whatever floats your plants..hehe. Not to say canalizing tilapia through boundaries of terraces outdoors using cut dams wouldn't be efficient, but aqua ponics is certainly worth it if you have the start up capital and want dense production. It is also less susceptible to govt interference from negative externalities

A true flower can not blossom without sunlight and a true man can not live without love.

Actually its constant

Actually its constant flooding of the grow beds that most likely prevent mycelia from fruiting. But bet you could put an inoculated stump in the grow bed and it might work. I may experiment with that in the future.

Minerialization can be fine in AP system if the fish waste is broken down properly. Soil is not used rock or expanded clay balls is the medium used mostly. The main thing needed is the bacteria that turns the ammonia into nitrates for plant uptake. Worms in the grow beds also help break down the solids for better mineralization and plant uptake.

Plus you can always add what is low if need be just like any garden. Just like any gardening there is a learning curve at first but its not rocket science...

Interesting business model you are suggesting there. I am putting in some small hugelkultur beds this year I already have a small food forest on a city lot. Will be looking for acreage also to do something Sepp Holzer style along with AP for year round fresh produce...

End The Fat
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deacon's picture

i buried

pulpy wood a spades depth deep and 2 wide
filled hole with this wood and recovered with the dirt
i bought a 50 lb package of rock dust for nutrients,as ours here
is all clay
but at this point,i am not sure where to plant to seeds,i am thinking in the rows created by the buried wood,do you know if it matters
that much?

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)

Where you put the wood would

Where you put the wood would be the most fertile as the wood breaks down. Since it pulpy already it should break down pretty fast and could be to much for the seeds. If you mulch the soil it will retain water better and keep the sun from drying our the soil and provide cover for healthy bacteria the keep the soil healthy.

End The Fat
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Get Prepared!


I would think that they would be much more lacking in this manner. But it is better than nothing.


If done correctly no

If done correctly no nutrients are lacking. On occasion you might need to add some trace minerals or iron just like in a regular garden.

End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

Water is subsidized for big farms

and as for my own.. I've got well water, so all I pay for water is pumping it, and since I have a septic system I don't pay for waste water. I farm an area with southern exposure. The water that feeds the garden is a chicken waste compost tea made with water from my 250 gal koi pond. I also have chickens.

Actually I was thinking of the hydroponic chemically grown and artificial light crap grown as medical marijuana.

The 250 gal fish tank, is on a timer system where the water is pumped through a 50 gal barrel filled with various filter material, and about once a week the 50 gal tank is run through the chicken crap compst to the tea and then distributed in the garden or the orchardm or the ornamentals I planted..

As for when SHTF and what to do about the well pump, I've got solar back up.. but I do worry that geoengineering will render that very limted and I'm looking into wind turbines.. in the mantime, when SHTF (usually once a year for at least three weeks at a time), I water the garden by hand.. but I do alot by hand..

Good luck with your classes

Sounds like you have a decent

Sounds like you have a decent set up you'd still use less water with aquaponics. That link is a joke they make it sound like it's brain surgery.

Aquaponics is easier then keeping fish in a pond or aquarium. Sure there can be problems but usually from not setting things up right to begin with. Once setup and running it is less work then a conventional garden.

Their are hundreds of youtubes showing successful backyard systems up and running just fine with beautiful produce. You should do some real research instead of trying to reinforce your uninformed emotional bias.

End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

What's so funny about you

I'm not interested in using less water.

I have no water meter. Why am I worried about water? I'm not.. well, I do have a water tank that's big enough I'm not worried about how much water..

Maybe what's easier to you is not what's easier to me? Flushing 50 gals about every ten days is pretty easy, but you can beat that.. I work my system 3 hours a month.. how many hours to you put into your system?

Yes, there are hundreds of YouTubes where people have sucessful aquaponic systems.. and there are thousands that failed that never get on YouTube.. the troubleshooting link shows you where the failures are, and since you are an instructure, I thought you might find it helpful to answering people's questions.. so it can be a joke to you, because you're selling pumps for some hydoponic company that got into auaponics (or maybe you didn't get that part of your "job")? great hobby. Would I trust my life on it? No. But by all means,, you go ahead.

Why not post us YoTubes of your success.. show us your abundant produce.. not someone's elses.

Now your just getting stupid

Now your just getting stupid Granger in your emotional outbursts accusing me of things like selling pumps... Sigh

So you waste 50 gallons of water every 10 days good for you... Sigh! Hope your aquifer does not go dry or worse decides to meter your well as they go broke (more likely)...

You have no proof of thousands of failures of aquaponics systems. People do not fail it's to easy; if they have a set back it is usually minor and due to just being new and easily corrected. Like I said its easier then keeping gold fish in an aquarium and less work once the system us up and running.

look at my avatar for what I have produced...

End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

But I'm not wasting the water

It goes into a compost tea that waters the gardens, orchards and ornamentals...

I don't kniw why you are accusing me of being emotional about this.

You don't think you're selling anything? You TEACH a class, and these students don't attempt to build a system and don't need to buy a pump? Come on.

What I'm stupid about is your avatar.. your name doesn't show anything, nor your signature.. so what do you mean by avatar.

I don't fear being stupid because I'm willing to learn. I just think your unsults don't make you look like you actually KNOW.. but then, if you want to learn,, TEACH.. So good luck with your class.


You may not be concerned with water, but globally we all should be. You may have cracked the code on a SHTF scenario for you. But in just the big picture, hydroponics (organic) and aquaponics (organic by default) will be huge pieces to the sustainable agriculture model. If you are in Southern California or Arizona, all of sudden the economics look allot better. Look at the yields produced per square foot in a greenhouse and the shrinking availability of arable land, plus the rising population... Well you see where this is going. Greenhouse food production is the future. Aquaponics can have the greatest impact in poor urban communities. Hydroponics may be a bit easier and actually have a higher ROI. That being said, aquaponics is not snake oil and it indeed has its place. Especially if you are concerned about mercury or radiation riddled fish. I'm not selling anything thing.

Globally we all should be

Globally, my concern with water is the pollition from Fukashima, spent WMD, pharmecuetical.. and I believe part of the cost of war is cleaning it up, IWOs he who cleans it us is who should use it, and if someone or a corporation refuses to clean up the land, they shou;ld lose the land, and I'm talking about the military bases and prisons globally.

I moved to aqn area where I knew I would have abundant water. I live in NorCal, where the state takes water for SoCal..

Besides whatever I can do politically for the globe, it is what I can do by action locally, and I'm very imvoved.. not for what is called sustainable.. why would anyone want to sustain what is broken? But rather, to thrive.. and I don't have much faith in technology like aquaponics, except for living on Mars.

I'm not accusing you of selling anything. Anyone who teaches, whether they realize it or not is selling something.

Granger writes: "I don't have

Granger writes:
"I don't have much faith in technology like aquaponics, except for living on Mars."

That's because you are completely ignorant of it otherwise you would not be making such completely stupid statements like that. And you say you are willing to learn ha thanks for the laugh! However you keep making ignorant statements on how bad aquaponics is gee so much for willing learn...

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70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

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Say what you want

Thanks for educating me about the avatar, and good luck with your classes.

Geeze you're perfect for the

Geeze you're perfect for the GOP you have to be spoon fed everything and then you still don't get it... Sigh! Click on my forum handle genius...

End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

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I'm not claiming to be a genius by a long shot

As for being perfect for the GOP, I never gave4 much thought if I would be perfect for the GOP. All I could really think, as stupid as I am, Is I want Ron Paul for president. Ron Paul is still a republican, and he refuses to leave the republican party (I bet you think Ron Paul is stupid too?) The harder I pushed for Ron Paul to join me as an Indy, or to compromise and we could both re-join the LP.. he refused. Ron Paul absolutely insisted that he was going to run for president in the GOP, and if I wanted RP to be president, I would have to support him in the GOP. Two years ago, I joined. It has not felt prefect. It has been a dirty fight, but it's been a good fight, because Ron Paul, to me, is a genius, and he is correct about the GOP, losing their way, and that it's a perfect opportunity to get in, which we did. It's much better now with so many liberty republicans. So, yeah.. maybe I am a perfect fit with speakers like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Justin Raimondo (spoke at the CAGOP convention) and more locally we have John Dennis.. so yeah, it's a good group to be with politically.

So I clicked on your forum handle and found a thread:

Reminded me of "another life" when I had too much confidense and lax on safety.. didn't always wear safety goggles or mask when repairing surf boards.. and I made one.. which looked great, but wasn't that great a board by comparison to others I bought or inherited or was gifted.. ine reason I moved North Coast was I didn't want to be tempted to surf.. it's the one thing I was really good at. It's all I ever wanted to do.. and I did.. and then I was beached from a sinus operation..

So anyways,, reading your comments and looking at your pictures.. now I get why you're insulting me.. you are really frustrated with your project.. looks like you have way more than $90 invested. You claimed several times that you're cheap, and fishy and a few others seems to be telling you that cheap is not the solution..of course, no one has a working aquaponic system. Everyone is building one..

The picture on your forum handle looks like raised beds with kale.


I wish you continued good luck with your project.

LOL! You just can't educate

LOL! You just can't educate the unwilling... (Shakes head) But thanks for helping me relearn that lesson. Good luck waiting for Rand etc. to deliver you liberty.

In the mean time instead of being distracted by the dog and pony show a few of us will be working to render politicians obsolete because one thing is for sure they have never brought liberty to the people only theft force and coercion to one degree or another.

As they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. What most people do not know is this is speaking of politicians with all their false promises and the people with good intentions but lack of knowledge who vote for them. And as we can see they have certainly landed us in hell or at least at the front door of it. Results are damn hard to argue with but most people prefer to day dream of feel good fantasies of freedom and justice over taking a good hard look at what the actual results of their actions are and think just the right tweak or two and we will soon have our freedom... Sigh! Yeah lets compromise our way into freedom and liberty... Been there done that...

If we look at history the only the only thing that has ever brought liberty to any people for any amount of time is unfortunately the sword or gun. Maybe just maybe for the first time in history we can regain liberty peacefully through freedom technologies such as 3D printing and aquaponics, Bitcoin, hugelkultur/permaculture, ethanol & bi-diesel, solar and wind, and new emerging energy technology etc. etc. by implementing them and starving the politicians and banksters out by attrition by simply ceasing to use the things that give them their control and power over nations.

Hope you find what you're looking for.

Here's to building the future now instead of hoping some politician will bring it to us!

End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

You must think insulting people makes you appear smarter

I'll bump your thread here Hawkeye, hoping more people see how brilliant you are and everyone does what you are doing. I made quite a huge investment why I have my fish tanks, pumps.. cost me hundreds of dollars and to me, it wasn't worth it.. I sure hope yours is.. fortunately for me, there are other alternatives to aquaponics that does work for me and my farm. My tank is not under the eves of my house on my property.. It's funny to me because 5 years ago, I would have been right there with you.. today, I can say I hope to see what you have to say about aquaponics in 5 years from now.

I don't know how or where you get the idea that I expect, hope, think, or even pray that Rand is going to deliver me, or anyone, liberty. I have never suggested that because I don't believe Rand is going to deliver me liberty at all. That's not why I support Rand or remain in the GOP. I figure the only person who is going to deliver me liberty is me. Now that my committee is a Liberty committee (and we all farm, and no one gives a crap about aquaponios but maybe some pot growers who already have a hydorponic system).

So you are telling me that YOU are here to render politicians obsolete?

You say you've "been there done that"? What did you do? Wave a sign?

I have found exactly what I was looking for, and I hope my efforts working with Rand, helps others to achieve what I have achieved, and enjoy it as much as I do.

Here's to Ron and Rand Paul, the rEVOLution in the GOP, and Restoring the Republic!