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PostPosted: May 26th, '18, 05:18 
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...to have an impact on a small family's grocery bill? Is it enough to have a pound or two of veggies each week?

TIA!


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PostPosted: May 26th, '18, 08:15 
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Not really.. Perhaps.. Aquaponics is as productive as you make you. If you have ideal growing conditions, a well designed system, lots of fish, really good fish feed and you spent time on the system pushing it, then yes. But you need to be more vigilant in monitoring the system.

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PostPosted: May 26th, '18, 10:53 
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I have a GB about 8 sq ft, and two NTF pipes with I think 10 or so holes and My wife and i have not bough any leafy greens since jan. Also basil and Cilantro. I figured that We were harvesting about $20 to $25 a week (CAN) and It is growing better now than then.

But the freshness... Priceless!!!!


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PostPosted: May 26th, '18, 21:06 
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14sqft as 5'x3' or thereabouts = 2m x 1m = unlikely.
That is basically a 2 grow bed IBC system.

To get to higher levels of production you would need
(a) a larger fish tank size [you don't mention]
(b) around 50-100 sq ft or so of grow area - more likely as combinations of grow bed, DWC and tubes/buckets.

then for 95% it would mostly be as supplemental seasonal food.
Your best return would be in green leaf vegies (cos lettuce, kale etc) and Asian greens, maybe tomatoes, maybe beans.
Unlikely to win with strawberries or fruiting veg etc as you would need turnover.
If it were me I would look to having some wicking beds to expand options.

A good example of a high level producing system is Fayes system...
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1622&hilit=fayes+system
her grow beds are around 2m x 1m (2m2) ~6' x 3' and she has 5 of them (5 x 18 sqFt).

another example Mel redcap is quite productive > viewtopic.php?f=18&t=26865 (page 21 onwards)

grow beds are the first hurdle, manging the system and keeping on top of deficiencies and bugs etc would be an ongoing task in many locations.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '18, 02:18 
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Thanks all!

Yeah, I was realizing after I posted this: I guess it depends a lot on what a person plants. I was thinking that maybe I'm going about figuring it wrong - maybe I should consider what I want to eat and what it's maturity cycle is like, and then see if there's room for it all.

I'm thinking *maybe* I could cram 100 leafy green plants in there (of staggered ages to harvest throughout the year) plus a handful of herb plants, a tomato, sweet pea, and cucumber plant, and then some carrots and sweet potatoes in a wicking bed nearby. It wouldn't divide my grocery bill in half, but it might keep me in a more steady supply of veggies.

If I have a 100-ish gallon system with 14 fish in it, does that all sound sort of plausible? This is all indoor, by the way.

I'm also kind of new to gardening in general, so I'm also trying to learn what to expect form the plants themselves. I gather that, once mature, the tomato plant will continue to fruit for as long as it has nutrients. I'm still a little hazy on whether the same is true for cucumbers and peas. I'm also curious about soybeans.

Thanks so much for your help you guys!


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PostPosted: May 27th, '18, 07:31 
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Hi ChelseaB,

unless you live miles away from the grocery store you might also want to consider what sorts of veggies grow locally and are cheap to buy. For example I thought I would try to grow some cabbages but by the time they were nearly ready to pick the bugs and rodents had made them inedible, to add insult to injury they were just $1.50 in the supermarket. If an Aper has a lot of space and good protection sure the taste and convenience may outweigh the cost a the market.
Some veggies here are expensive and we use a lot in the warmer half of the year like beans, tomatoes, zuccinis, cucumbers, pumpkins etc. So yes the progressive picking, taste, convenience and relative savings are advantageous.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '18, 21:07 
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ChelseaB wrote:
...to have an impact on a small family's grocery bill? Is it enough to have a pound or two of veggies each week?

TIA!

Maybe another way to look at it.

Herbs like thyme, basil, mint, etc. sell for several dollars per ounce, maybe even fraction of an ounce. So if you're buying those, growing them instead will multiply the effect of your bed on the grocery bill. On the other hand, parsley and cilantro sell in the grocery store for about 50¢ a bunch; not much opportunity for a return on investment.

I started about four months ago with two tiny goldfish and about a three square feet grow bed made from a repurposed restaurant bus tub. The goldfish, Sara and Maybelle, have grown and it's probably time to add a second bed. Next will come a tomato bucket and a pepper bucket. I don't expect to get my money out of such a small system but I hope the fish outlive me and I think of them and their whole little ecosystem as pets.


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PostPosted: May 28th, '18, 01:46 
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Awesome, ok, thanks so much!


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PostPosted: Jun 13th, '18, 01:59 
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I have only 8 sq feet of grow bed and 125 gallons of water.

While I still buy veggies at the market I find I buy at lot less with a dirt and AP gardens.


I'm close to 19.99 per pound of tilapia and 9.99 head's of lettuce 8)


I agree with the wicking bed idea, I think that may really be the way to go for high production without the fish drama.


Good luck!

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