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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '18, 22:47 
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Pictures from the 2017 season...

Waiting for the next feeding!


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PostPosted: May 2nd, '18, 00:37 
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I'm definitely happy with our fish as well. I harvested 24 rainbow trout the first winter and 120 blue tilapia the first summer and they are all great. I noticed my tomatoes tasted kind of bad when they first started ripening this spring but I suspect that was probably due to the tomato plant surviving the winter and not being able to expend energy creating the fruits until I warmed it up in february... or the nitrates may have been high due to lack of plants through winter, but once things warmed up enough to start growing the nitrates started getting eaten up and now the tomatoes taste amazing (this is all speculation... I haven't ran a test on my system in a year to check the nitrates... I'm just judging based on what I'm seeing and speculating).

We ate two of our trout last night, I was not a big fan of our trout when we first started eating them last spring/summer because we were cooking them whole then picking at the meat and ended up having a lot of bones still (and I had never had trout before)... the last couple of times I have thawed them out completely so I could filet / debone them and I like it much much better that way being able to eat a chunk of trout without worrying about bones.

The tilapia are great -- I think tilapia is the best fish to feed to someone who claims to not like fish because it's so mild that you can make it taste like whatever seasonings you use... a lot of time we just cook it on lemon slices and it just tastes like lemon.

People who haven't had aquaponic raised food just don't understand it. I saw a post this morning on a market gardening group I'm on where the lady had posted three paragraphs about how she was "educating her customers at the farmer's market last weekend that the other producer that was there selling tomatoes this early in the season was not growing the tomatoes themselves they were re-selling them from somewhere down south"... with a heated greenhouse it's never out of season and taste amazing. I plan to have tomatoes year round now that I have a heater in the greenhouse.

Being in Florida I know it's kind of counter-intuitive to think about hoop houses, but I would think a hoop house may be beneficial to you in the sense that you could use shade cloth in the summer to keep things cooler, then plastic in the winter to keep temps up for the tilapia to not need to worry about your heat with cold spells... whereas in the north we have no option to really keep the tilapia through the winter but to bring them indoors because even with my heaters the greenhouse won't be warm enough for the tilapia in the winter.

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '18, 02:43 
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rininger85 wrote:
I'm definitely happy with our fish as well. I harvested 24 rainbow trout the first winter and 120 blue tilapia the first summer and they are all great. ....

I like trout, unfortunately we don't have the season for them here.

Tilapia are great as a blank slate, we joke that they are the "tofu" of the fish world because you can adjust the flavor profile so much. With that said I would like a fish with stronger flavor in addition to the tilapia.

I very rarely check my water parameters. I did a lot in the beginning, but have found over time I would go longer and longer between testing. I do test when ever I see or smell any change. It's interesting that the nose can detect so much in the water quality. If there is even the slightest hint of "fishiness" in the air, chances are ammonia is present (the stronger the "fishiness" the higher the ammonia). I have given up on PH as it is what it is. If the PH were going to drop due to the nitrification processes, it doesn't due to the top-offs from the well. I water a lot of container plants from the aquaponics water as well and replenish the water I use with well water to help with nitrate build up.

I have been planning some form of enclosure for quite a while. I have a plastic shed that stayed warm all year (garden shed, not a greenhouse), so I am hopeful that a hoop house would supply all that I need for getting through winter. Haven't decided on hoop or frame or some combination of both yet. :?:

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '18, 21:29 
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Going well Michael, best of luck for 2018 as it begins to warm in your part of the world.

>> I very rarely check my water parameters

that is pretty normal, most people simply run their systems and have that 6th sense when something doesn't quite seem right (or fish behavior changes), and only really test then. My test kit doesn't get used that regularly and in fact I only really test for pH with a pH meter as that is usually an indicator for me if something has changed (usually nitrates as my system goes acidic).

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PostPosted: May 9th, '18, 03:03 
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I've had to continuously tweak the plumbing, not only because of changing the grow beds but also to fine tune the pump flow rate and the overflow/drainage ability.


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PostPosted: May 9th, '18, 05:27 
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I decided to try growing in pots (filled with soil) utilizing the aquaponics to provide the watering. So far, the growth has been great. Some of the plants I am trying this out on are: Aji Amarillo, Aronia, Cocona, Cucumbers, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Rocoto, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, and Watermelon.


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 00:43 
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Current filter setup with lid removed for viewing.


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 00:48 
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The DWC tanks converted to F&D for 2018.


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 00:53 
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New larger duckweed tanks for 2018 (there are 2 of them).


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 00:56 
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Spring 2018 dutch buckets.


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 00:59 
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I keep having Tooth-ache plant sprout from last years seeds in the gravel...


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 01:16 
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What do you do with duckweed ?


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 01:16 
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All of my marigolds are from allowing the marigolds to go to seed last year. The seeds dropped into the gravel and grew this spring. Where there was clumping of plants, I pulled them up and distributed throughout the system. I am promoting the marigolds heavily to try and deter pests as much as possible, they also help with excess nutrient uptake. I also utilize marigolds as a supplement for my chicken feed (a lot of benefits to the chickens in addition to providing rich-dense orange yolks).


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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 01:21 
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gnoib wrote:
What do you do with duckweed ?


I use it as a feed supplement for the tilapia, it is supposed to be high in protein and the tilapia seem to enjoy it (they don't attack it like they do when I drop their normal feed in, but they snack on it until it is gone).

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PostPosted: May 16th, '18, 20:03 
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Wow looks fantastic! Might have to go drop some marigold seed in my AP system too... I had planned on planting them around the garden last year but my wife stole all of them I planted to put elsewhere so I didn't even start them this year.

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