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PostPosted: Feb 14th, '16, 11:57 
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Hello,

I just downloaded the free PDF book "The IBC of Aquaponics" - - a huge thank you to the authors and producers! I'm excited about setting up my system in the backyard and getting to know many of you on the forum.

I am deciding whether I want to start by building an IBC-based hydroponic system, or using the full aquaponics approach. I have concerns regarding the implications of our climate on an open air system (non-sheltered) and raising fish. Though we have mild winters it can be below zero for several weeks.

Best regards, Steve M.

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PostPosted: Feb 15th, '16, 00:21 
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Hi Steve! :wave1:

I'm pretty sure that most, if not all, aquaponics gardens in BC are sheltered. If not for the plants, the fish will surely depend upon it to be productive, and maybe for their very survival. There are a lot of pretty decent looking BC aquaponics resources. Checking out how your neighbors are doing it will tell you a lot about what works in your area.

http://www.greenfinaquaponics.ca/
http://www.vancouveraquaponics.com/
http://www.canadianaquaponics.com/
http://raincoastaquaponics.com/
http://yougrowfood.ca/

And of course, one of my favorites... Brock Hughes -- the Hydroponics Guy on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdCssvccatWGY1wQeLTUgoA
https://plus.google.com/+HydroponicsGuy

It might still work without shelter, but I'd expect the growing season would be limited.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Feb 16th, '16, 08:06 
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Hi Steve,

Welcome, it's good to see another person from the Island.

I currently live in Victoria, but will be moving to Sooke in 2.5 months. I haven't been able to setup my system yet, but I hope to have a system completed this year, but most likely won't have anything until next year. I'll be building a pond which will initially have goldfish but I want to have trout or koi eventually, then build a greenhouse for my plants.

I have a 300 gallon tub that sits on the lawn and houses my goldfish without an airstone, this is the first winter I've done that and they're all fine. The water only froze a few millimeters from the top a few times.

Sam's right you will most likely want some type of covered system. This will help protect the plants from deer, I live near the Jubilee hospital and I've seen them all over my neighborhood, and to protect the fish from heron and mink, I've heard that will find any pond stocked with fish. It will also help lengthen your season.

Since you're planning on an IBC system, I would think about protecting your plants, or you can see how it goes first and see if anything happens. If you use an IBC for your tank, the fish should be protected enough and you should be fine.

There are many people who have ponds in Victoria that keep koi or goldfish out there all year long. If you keep cold water fish (Goldfish, koi, carp and trout) you won't need to do much at all. You may want to use an airstone and cover the tank to help keep the water from freezing too much, depending on the size of your tank.

Keep us posted I'd love to hear how it goes, especially anyone local.

Cheers,
Allan


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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '17, 07:42 
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Hi,

I'm also in Victoria - just finishing my IBC build and wanted to ask if anyone had tried tilapia and,if so, where they sourced them from?

Noa Fisheries (who seem to be the Canadian tilapia people) are not replying to repeated messages :(

Andy


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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '17, 10:15 
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Hi,

I'm in Victoria too...just finishing off an IBC setup and wanted to ask if anyone has tried tilapia and where to get them?

Noa Fisheries, who seem to be the Canadian 'go-to' people for tilapia, are not replying to my messages

Thanks,

Andy


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PostPosted: Mar 15th, '17, 03:49 
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Hi Andy,

Welcome to the forum.

I still don't have my aquaponics system setup yet. We lost a lot of our goldfish this year who were outside.

I've never gotten any Tilapia so I'm not sure where the best place to get from would be. NOA would have been my first suggestion.

There was a guy on UsedNanaimo that sold some back in 2015, but I'm not sure if he still does it.
If I free up a tank, I'd be happy to jump in on an order with you. Not sure if I can do that anytime soon.

What kind of setup do you have? You should post your build, I'd love to check it out.

Cheers,
Allan

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PostPosted: Mar 15th, '17, 19:52 
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I've got a sheltered system in BC, on the sunshine coast. Pretty much the same as the milder parts of saanich that I used to spend some time in. I'm 30m from the ocean, so tempered by that. The following are from my experience/research.

Tilapia are restricted in BC. They require two separate permits, one to perform aquaculture, and one to keep tilapia/named/restricted species. google will find you all those links, including who currently holds permits, if you follow the trail. I don't believe anyone will just sell you some, the penalties are actually pretty stiff. :evil:

I've kept tropicals (convict cichlids) through the winter, for almost two years. They are in an unheated south facing lean-to polyfilm greenhouse attached to my house. I lost them this winter because one of my tank heaters failed. :upset: I will almost guarantee that you will not grow out tilapia outside without significant heating, and not in a greenhouse without a little heat. (little>=500ish watts for ibc, outdoors in kw's) Actually overwintering would be even worse, being able to stop/reduce heating in Dec/jan/feb would save a lot. I plan to run at least 1500w for my soon to come 700+gallon FT system. I'll be using a different ornamental tropical, and attempting to implement some heat exchange/conservation strategies to save energy. Time will tell if i succeed. :dontknow:

I don't mean to sound like debbie downer, but this is my experience. I expect to spend (low) hundreds of dollars this coming winter to keep the tropicals I will have alive. I accept that, but I'd hate to see you struggle with it as a surprise.

Trout would survive with little heating, none in a big/fully buried tank. A trout 'pond permit' is $50 from DFO if i recall. Sadly I really don't like trout. goldfish/koi will both also do well. Channel cats and several different sturgeon would work too, but are both harder than tilapia to get/keep.

In the winter, our short grey days also practically stop all plant growth, even in a greenhouse. I suspect that I will have to either run more like RAS without plants, or provide supplemental lighting (read: more money!) to keep the plants growing. I have not successfully grown anything through the winter yet that would justify or offset the cost of lighting, and I did run two 250w MH lights last year to try to keep tomatoes, peppers and strawberries producing into the winter. No fruiting after Dec, even with the lights. Perhaps brassicas? Not a very high value crop though. I could see a market for local strawberries in January, but I could not grow them. :(

I hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '17, 10:55 
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Thanks for the details, I didn't know Tilapia was restricted in BC. Good to know.
If I were to do tropical, it would be indoor for sure. Hard to think of keeping them outside, especially with what happened this winter. I lost goldfish due to weather.

I knew about the Trout permit and that amount sounds about right. I believe it's a yearly permit at that. I may try it if I get a good sized pond going.

I wouldn't be doing this commercially, just to supplement. Not sure about the others.

How long have you had your system up and running?
What kind of grow beds are you using? Grow media?

Thanks again for letting us know what you've learned. Extremely helpful.

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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '17, 13:32 
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angeles wrote:
Thanks for the details, I didn't know Tilapia was restricted in BC. Good to know.
If I were to do tropical, it would be indoor for sure. Hard to think of keeping them outside, especially with what happened this winter. I lost goldfish due to weather.
I knew about the Trout permit and that amount sounds about right. I believe it's a yearly permit at that. I may try it if I get a good sized pond going.
I wouldn't be doing this commercially, just to supplement. Not sure about the others.
How long have you had your system up and running?
What kind of grow beds are you using? Grow media?
Thanks again for letting us know what you've learned. Extremely helpful.
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See the trial system thread linked in my signature for details about my current system.
A new thread will join it momentarily for my new full size system. No fish or plants there for a few weeks yet though, I think.

I am not commercial, but would love to find enough of an income to offset the heating and lighting costs. If I were to try commercial, I would have to go somewhere with more winter sun. Passive solar works, as proven by markb and others, but only with reliable sun. 8 or ten grey days in a row freezes everything. I kind of knew that about my location, but there is a thread on this site from Romania (maybe? I am not sure) which brilliantly documents a great job of building a passive solar AP system, and the pain of watching it fail one winter in a climate similar to ours. It really made me aware of the limits of that approach here, which was what led me to accept heating as an evil that I would tolerate to maintain the system I want. This fall perhaps, I will experiment with some wood fired heat in the greenhouse proper. I lost my Papayas and most of my peppers to fungus last year, due to warm water, cool air, and inadequate ventilation because I could not let all the warm air out and freeze the plants. :evil: :cry:
I also hope to install two layer polycarb panels to replace the PE plastic film which I currently have covering the greenhouse, and some heat storage barrels to do what I can to save what sunlight I get. My FT will be in an insulated room, with some heat recovery in the growing loop.
Please note that I want to grow subtropical plants and tropical fish, no matter how unrealistic that seems. My experience does not reflect what your system will require for trout or koi/goldfish.
I am told that an IBC can and has been given a BC pond permit, so don't feel that you couldn't do trout in a system just like the aussies do. Even without partial burial, you should be able to get enough season just wrapped with insulation (and low flow to growbeds in the early spring nights) to grow out before winter sets in. My local hatchery has their stock of fry (gerard rainbow supposedly! Google if you don't know them) coming in this week I think. He'd let me pick up fingerlings in about 6 weeks at 100mm-ish, i think. I don't remember exactly, because I decided not to do trout. :-P

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PostPosted: Mar 18th, '17, 05:20 
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Nice to see some Canadians here. Interesting to see what you guys on the coast do. Unfortunately you have a lot milder climate than what I have.

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PostPosted: Mar 18th, '17, 22:58 
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crackenfish wrote:
Nice to see some Canadians here. Interesting to see what you guys on the coast do. Unfortunately you have a lot milder climate than what I have.

Crackenfish, southern Saskatchewan is high on my list of options for (Canadian) places to build a system. A full fledged passive solar greenhouse build (like markb'sor jwnova's) should work. As Ive said above, my experience suggests that if the sunlight is reliable, then the heat is available. in the coldest months, it may pay to have a roll down blanket as the chinese style solar greenhouses use to stop the heat loss at night.
If you are up north, you may not have adequate winter sun for heat or plant growth. The short day length inhibits growth in the winter.

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PostPosted: Mar 19th, '17, 00:33 
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I am located in Southern Sask. But I think you would need to have additional heating for a passive greenhouse. We tend to have a fair bit of sun during winter but we can also have long spells of cloudy weather. The thing though is the temps. It can get down to -40 without windchill. And it blows all the time. I am fortunate to live in the corner of the province that gets chinooks, so I do get warm days in winter at times.

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PostPosted: Apr 25th, '17, 09:07 
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Hi,

Does anyone know where to get trout fingerlings for Vancouver Island?...I've tried Miracle Springs but only want 30 or so for a 150 gallon tank.

I've built my system but having real trouble sourcing 'the engine'

Any help really appreciated!

Andy


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PostPosted: May 5th, '17, 00:35 
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Hi Andy,

I was going to go Mountain Valley Trout Farm in Sooke. Not sure if they're still in business though. I believe there's a place in Nanaimo, but I forget the name.

What's the minimum amount Miracle Springs wants you to buy?
I'd be happy to split, but I'm not ready yet. I recently moved and my pond isn't built yet.

Cheers,
Allan

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '20, 06:44 
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Hello,

Just wondering if anyone can give me a hint as to who we can buy tilapia fingerlings or fry from, I'm located in the Okanagan, and finding it basically impossible to find someone to buy from.

Thanks!!


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