Cold Weather Aquaponics

Commercial Aquaponics - The Current State and a Little History

134 posts in this topic

Anybody have a sense for Friendly Aquaponics?  


Do you know anyone who's taken their classes, or bought a system from them?


How do they compare to Nelson & Pade?


Their system designs look impressive, though their website isn't all that professional.  I'm curious about their reputation.


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They are  legitimate outfit that has a system that performs reasonable well in a niche market. They are in Hawaii and there model can break your bank in heating costs if you try to copy it in Wisconsin.  There focus is more on produce than fish rearing.  Member  Damon worked there for a time and can give you more detailed information. 

 

I purchased the book from nelson and pade and I felt it was a waste of money, but that's my opinion and you know how opinion goes.  I found better information here on this site than any commercial guide I found.  Earthan groups site is awesome as well and he gives detailed information.   There do it yourself kits are nice at nelson and pade, but way overpriced compared to do it yourself options.  I do not know how much more durable there systems are vs lower price do it yourself alternatives.. 

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Hi Jeremiah,

 

You can read more about Friendly Aquaponics here......and here.

 

I have no axe to grind with Tim and Susanne.....I think they try hard and they are pretty forthcoming with information (even if I don't agree with some of it).  I'm less enamoured with the notion of low density aquaponics as promoted by Friendly Aquaponics.

 

While I have no need of their commercial courses, I would rather attend their courses than those offered by some others. See the Magick of Aquaponics.

 

Gary

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I have no experience with Friendly other than sticker shock at their prices.  Rebecca Nelson has always been very forthcoming with information when I ask.  They have also been really helpful with some friends of mine running a big system at an orphanage in Haiti. On the other hand, their 'clear flow' systems are way out of my price range.  I build my own systems, despite not being handy, because I just can't afford a kit. 

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Wow Gary - what an education!  I had no idea there was so much political history in the aquaponics world.  I so appreciate your clear-headed and helpful commentary on all this.   

 

Here's what I hear you (and others) saying:

 

Commercial Systems

UVI - > Nelson Pade - > Their Customers (sworn to secrecy and non-competitiveness)

      - > Friendly AP - > Green Acre*

                               - > AP Source*

                               - > Practical AP*

                               - > NorCal AP

 

* In Cahoots at the Aquaponics Association

 

Backyard Systems

New Alchemists / North Carolina State / UVI / Tom Speraneo - > BYAP - > Dozens upon dozens of others

 

Is that about right?

 

I got the impression from the posts you linked to that FAP is somewhat difficult to deal with personally, not especially clear or articulate in writing, and more open to sharing information than NP. That led to all the splinter groups branching off and working together.

 

From what I read about the latest with the Aquaponics Association dust-up, I would guess that Meg Stout has something to do with FAP.  Is that right?

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I also hear you saying (in these posts and elsewhere) that you doubt the profitability of any commercial aquaponics system anywhere.  FAP might have something that works for them in their very favorable niche, but it's not transferrable.  Fair enough?

 

My situation is that I've developed some things that work really well in a system in cold weather.  Since I don't sell my produce or fish, and me and my customers are just displacing our own organic/local food bills (we're foodies) it's highly profitable for me to grow in this way.

 

That and the fact that I write well has gotten me some attention.  

 

But people keep asking "What should I do if I want to get into commercial growing?"  So I'd like to make some kind of partnership with someone who builds commercial systems, so I can promote their systems, perhaps integrating some products I'm developing and/or take a cut when I make a sale.  

 

I've tried to get in touch with NP but they're too worried about their secrets getting out to be open to any kind of real partnership.  FAP seems like they're working on some sophisticated greenhouse designs and wants to break into the cold climate market, so they seem a natural fit.  But I don't want to poke the hive, so to speak.  

 

Is there a group that would be better to work with / promote than others?

 

Or is it best for me to say, in effect, "You might want to wait ten years before trying getting into aquaponics."

 

Any thoughts?

 

If you'd be open to a phone call I'd love it.  

 

Thanks again for your ever-helpful advice!

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Wow Gary - what an education!  I had no idea there was so much political history in the aquaponics world.  I so appreciate your clear-headed and helpful commentary on all this.   

 

Here's what I hear you (and others) saying:

 

Commercial Systems

UVI - > Nelson Pade - > Their Customers (sworn to secrecy and non-competitiveness)

      - > Friendly AP - > Green Acre*

                               - > AP Source*

                               - > Practical AP*

                               - > NorCal AP

 

* In Cahoots at the Aquaponics Association

 

Let me flesh that out a bit more for you

 

Only for about a year... then it became

 

 > Green Acre*

     - > AP Source*

     - > Colorado Aquaponics*

 

  > Practical AP** +

     - > Ouroboros Farms**

     - > Agroponicos Cosecha de PR

     - > The Planet Stewards**

     - > Imagine Aquaponics**

     - > Various other bit players**

 

*   In Cahoots at the (now splintered) Aquaponics Association (a purely US body)

**  In Cahoots at the splintered Aquaponics Institute

 

Which then became.. again about a year later

 

> Green Acre*

     - > AP Source*

     - > Colorado Aquaponics*

     - > Ouroboros Farms*

 

  > Practical AP+

     - > Agroponicos Cosecha de PR

     - > Australian Aquaponics Association (formulated, but never active)+

     - > Perth Aquaponics

 

  > The Planet Stewards

  > Imagine Aquaponics

  > Various other bit players

 

*   In Cahoots at the (now restructured) Aquaponics Association (a purely US body)

**  In Cahoots at the splintered Aquaponics Institute (currently seemingly inactive)

+  Australian Aquaponics Association (formulated, but never active)

 

Which over the last year has become...

 

> Green Acre

     - > Colorado Aquaponics

     - > Ouroboros Farms

 

> The Aquaponics Source++

 

  > Practical AP+

     - > Agroponicos Cosecha de PR (possibly)

     - > Australian Aquaponics Association (formulated, but never active)+

     - > Perth Aquaponics

 

  > The Planet Stewards

  > Imagine Aquaponics

  > Various other bit players

 

*     In Cahoots at the (now restructured) Aquaponics Association (a purely US body)

**   Still associated with, but currently seemingly inactive Aquaponics Institute

+   Australian Aquaponics Association (formulated, but never active)

++ AquaponicsFest

 

To round it out....

 

The by-laws of the Aquaponics Association required founding members to surrender their positions after two years, however they remained on the "advisory" board

 

The Aquaponics Source severed ties with the Aquaponics Association a while back, as have more recently, and completely, Green Acre

 

https://www.facebook.com/TheAquaponicSource/posts/10152245863986633

 

https://www.facebook.com/greenacreaquaponics/posts/887120381305343?fref=nf

 

The reasons (ignoring what may be written in the links above) seem related to the new executive boards concerns as to a conflict of interest between the Associations aims and promotion of individual businesses and trainings

 

And in the former case because the executive board refused to sanction the Aquaponic Source's foray into "aquaponic pot" training

 

At one stage, both the Aquaponics Source and Green Acre separated (to the point of not talking to one another), and were offering separate and competing training workshops, but there appears to be some more recent collaboration, although both still run their own training offerings and facilities

 

Ouroboros and Colarado Aquaponics remain aligned with Green Acre

 

The Aquaponics Source basically stands alone (with some collaboration with Green Acre, Bright AgriTech and others)

 

The Aquaponics Association is no longer really aligned with any of the above

 

The Aquaponics Institute appears to be either inactive, or defunct in all but name

 

The Australian Aquaponics Asociation continues to exist in name only

 

Agroponicos Cosecha de PR may still have some affiliation with Practical Aquaponics

 

The common denominator of all the above.. is they incorporate media grow beds

 

 

UVI , Nelson & Pade, and FAP remain running their own courses... and do not incorporate media grow beds

 

 

There are a plethora of ex real estate, construction industry, hydroponic retailers, and IT managers, associated wannabees, has beens and every permaculturalist and their straw hats offering commercial training or consultancy.. (most of them also incorporationg media grow beds... and lighting, heating.. and usually in old abandoned warehouses, or in/on old shipping containers)

 

Monty Python couldn't have written the script for the last 5 years of the "commercial aquaponics industry"... they would have been on the floor laughing so much...

 

A few of us have sadly either predicted, or at least have not been surprised at all with what has unfolded... and spent just as much time rolling on the floor laughing... :D

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)
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And just as an aside, another much vaunted "worlds biggest indoor" operation... Viridis... is reportly on the brink of closure

 

With the partners split. Reportedly ( from a "recently poop-canned" employee) ... one of the partners was running (and wanting to continue running) chemical nutrients and passing it of as organic - perhaps not the whole farm, but at least some of it.

 

Also, there's a lot of pictures where the plants were started and transplanted in rockwool plugs, which can't be certified organic in the U.S., so I'm wondering how they even got certified.

 

My source also reports that discussions with the marketing director revealed that they've been "circling the drain financially despite all the positive hype".

 

They opened their AP greenhouse in 'lettuce country' and nobody's taking them seriously as far as a 'premium product' goes, and regardless they reportedly haven't been able to produce either the quality, or the quantity that wholesalers were interested in.

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)

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Thanks RupertOfOz,

 

All of this drama makes me think that it's too difficult to make money growing aquaponics, so everyone turns to teaching classes, selling products, misleading their buyers (the whole organic debacle), growing marijuana, etc...  

 

Should I call that one vote for none of the above?

 

There are a plethora of ex real estate, construction industry, hydroponic retailers, and IT managers, associated wannabees, has beens and every permaculturalist and their straw hats offering commercial training or consultancy

 

This seems reasonable to me.  It's a big world and a growing industry.  I would think having a large number of locally-focused suppliers and trainers would be a good thing.

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Thanks RupertOfOz,

 

All of this drama makes me think that it's too difficult to make money growing aquaponics, so everyone turns to teaching classes, selling products, misleading their buyers (the whole organic debacle), growing marijuana, etc...  

 

Should I call that one vote for none of the above?

 

This seems reasonable to me.  It's a big world and a growing industry.  I would think having a large number of locally-focused suppliers and trainers would be a good thing.

 

Put the two points together.. and you have your answer... nearly all of them have no experience in aquaculture, hydroponics, or commercial farming... and virtually no idea of the design principles, methodologies, or scale (particularly) involved in any of the aspects...

 

UVI stands alone in as much as their model is firmly grounded on actual research data... but that doesn't necessarily translate to other climatic locations.. there are however successful (some long running) implementations of the UVI model ...

 

The rest have basically been making it up as they went along, marketing the "concept", and making their money from training

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)
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Oh right.  Sorry.  I was thinking that most of the locally-focused people are supplying backyard hobbyists, not commercial growers.  Profitability is way easier in backyard, since there's no "labor" cost.

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There are certainly many people offering to supply to the backyard hobbyists.. but probably not overly "profitably".. despite at times outrageous pricing

 

But most backyard hobbyists just build their own systems.. it's not hard to do.. and all the information necessary is available online... free... ;)

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)

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Hi Jeremiah,

 

I also hear you saying (in these posts and elsewhere) that you doubt the profitability of any commercial aquaponics system anywhere.  FAP might have something that works for them in their very favorable niche, but it's not transferrable.  Fair enough?

 

Probably a more accurate portrayal would be that I don't think that (generally speaking) low density aquaponics is viable......and that the jury's still out on the rest of it. 

 

Those who do succeed don't seem all that interested in describing what they do as aquaponics......and, from a marketing perspective, I think they're right.  The fish and plants story is confusing.....and probably not all that appealing to some people.......even once they understand it.  (Wot......you feed the plants fish sh*t?).

 

These are the people who understand that any integration of aquaculture and hydroponics has to accommodate the knowledge and skills that applies to each discipline.   By contrast, the basic flood and drain/low density aquaponics folks would have use believe that it all happens by magic!

 

The only way that I think it can work at the micro-farming level is to broaden the fish/plants thing to include other organisms.....what I describe (at the backyard scale) as Microponics.

 

Underlying Rupert's very comprehensive recent history of aquaponics is a tale of treachery and intrigue....somewhat reminiscent of the Borgias.  

 

My situation is that I've developed some things that work really well in a system in cold weather.  Since I don't sell my produce or fish, and me and my customers are just displacing our own organic/local food bills (we're foodies) it's highly profitable for me to grow in this way.

 

And this is where small-scale aquaponics probably works best....and where Microponics shines.  A cooperative gathering of like-minded "foodies" producing to meet their own needs.

 

Gary

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yep, lived with them, worked with them, and our history is more than well documented on the interwebs.

 

when it comes to the "are they worth it" question... well, when compared to the other options i'm going to say yes. if you're looking for a package deal you're always going to look for the bells and whistles right? well their shine brighter than the competition. it's kind of a life time membership that you're buying... tech support, they field every question asked of them if youtake a training, and this takes time due to volumes these days... i remember tim taking a week straight to catch up on the emails while i was there and that was a few years back, but he always answers in time... plus, going to future trainings and having access to future materials is bundled in there... it used to be free for any subsequent trainings and materials, but again, that was a few years back... should still be about the same though.

 

as for are their plans any better than the others... that's up for debate, such as everything in life.

 

when it comes to a system there is rarely a one size fits all system that's going to meet all of the needs of all of the people... aquaponics best works in the same way an agnostics looks at religion.. take the best from everything and toss the nonsense. a system i would design for west africa would differ greatly from one i would design for inner city detroit. you really have to look at what's going to work best for you, and head in that direction as far as blue prints and plans go.

 

when it comes to commercialization... you have to be in the right place at the right time with the right economic factors... plain and simple and there's no way around it. flat out point blank end of story... the good news is these situations exist... the bad news is it's generally in places most first worlders want to go to. bummer huh?

 

yes, there are plenty of politics in aquaponics... which is why i tend to stay away these days when it comes to interacting. granted, i do have the privilege of being on good terms with generally everyone in the community, even though i've ruffled a few feathers along the way, but gary's always been a good sport about it. lol. you have no need to fear the politics really. yes, people have taken sides and drawn their own lines in the sand, but really everyone has the same goal in mind and that's fish and food, even if we don't all agree on the best ways to go about it. but it's that diversity and adversity that drives aquaponics to be better, so it's a necessary evil.

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Thanks everyone for filling me in on where all these things stand and how they've evolved.  Probably I won't ever need to worry about it but it's good to know just in case.

when it comes to commercialization... you have to be in the right place at the right time with the right economic factors... plain and simple and there's no way around it. flat out point blank end of story... the good news is these situations exist... the bad news is it's generally in places most first worlders want to go to. bummer huh?
I presume you mean "places first worlders don't want to go."  Is that right?  I'm thinking of Paul Van Der Werf.
 
Nobody mentioned Meg Stout.  It would seem like she plays a role in all this since Green Acres left the AA after she became president.  Or is that a coincidence? Here's a link to her response to Gina and others leaving.

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Nobody mentioned Meg Stout.  It would seem like she plays a role in all this since Green Acres left the AA after she became president.  Or is that a coincidence? Here's a link to her response to Gina and others leaving.

 

The Aquaponics Association was founded in such bizarre circumstances that I'm surprised that it lasted as long as it did without imploding on itself.   There was lots of squealing and grunting as all of the little piggies sought to get their respective snouts into the trough.  

 

Sylvia Bernstein's reaction to our observations about her "interesting" behaviour led to several of us being banned from her Aquaponics Gardening forum.  Seems we asked too many (im)pertinent questions.

 

My impressions of Meg Stout are essentially positive.....but she's probably a minnow in a shark tank.

 

Gary

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yes, thank you for the correction. the places where aquaponics stands the best chances of working are less than desirable places to go to... that and you have to have a twisted sense of morality... it's some pretty murky waters to tread...

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Damon, that is an interesting observation.  Are you saying I have twisted morals and swimming in murky water or is my understanding of that statement a little twisted?

 

In terms of commercializing, it is really about investment.  If you don't have the required CAPEX and OPEX to see you through the first two years, chances are you will not make any money from farming with aquaponics alone.  This is evident from my own experience and witnessing the other farms relying heavily on other sources of income.

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don't get me wrong and i mean no offense to anyone that is actually pulling money from aquaponics. but to achieve the profit margins that i've seen boasted from many of these aquaponic clinicals and classes you'd need a labor force working for peanuts and a market the demands top dollar. in most first world nations this isnt going to happen. unless you're in america and make less than a certain amount of money as a company per year and can get away with not having the pay the federal minimum wage.

 

having talked to a man at great length about a sizable project half a world away from myself i slowly realized that the only way to strike it rich with aquaponics, as most of seminar holders would want you to think is possible anywhere, is to exploit the poor peoples of second and third world nations and then sell the produce to the capital cities of said nations. after seeing the numbers of what an ap system could do in places like these, where electricity is consistent, the labor force is cheep, and the market value high for things like lettuce and tomatoes and poppers, i was ready to pack my bags and work on a farm with a rifle on my shoulder and side arm on my hip.

 

the people selling aquaponics are selling the big dream. they arent selling the," work for yourself to barely break even after the mortgage" dream. they're selling the, "if you build it they will come en mass" dream.

 

what i found morally questionable is selling the produce at near fist wold prices while paying the labor force a 2nd world wage and shipping the produce the 60 miles to the cities.. the biggest problem i've seen in the commercialization of aquaponics is how hands on and labor intensive the process is. if you choose to do a value added product like a lettuce mix or even wash your produce before selling it to a distributer you're just adding more labor into the mix., and in first world nations labor is expensive if you're going after the big dream.

 

i've seen a system pay for itself to run. hell i wrote the work schedules. but there were many times i worked off the book to keep the labor down, like when there was an aphid infestation and a harvest took 4 hours longer than usual with a crew of 9 people basically crashing the frail labor budget with an extra 36 hours of cost. 36 hours of cost for 1 harvest basically made that whole day a wash when if came to the profit, and if the business is on that tight of a shoe string budget, too many mishaps in a year will burn the place to the ground. and we wern't paying these people an exuberant amount of money. hell, they could have made more money per hour working at mcdonalds actually, yet still the labor cost cut that deeply into the profit margins.

 

mainly the twisted morals comment comes from the idea of paying people to grow food that they couldn't afford to eat themselves just to sell it to rich people a stones throw away. think civilized nations in africa and south america where there is no federal minimum wage. even if you still payed these people more money that the already existing jobs, it's still less than you'd pay someone in the states or AU, and yet you'd still be selling the produce to the business men and lawyers of those nations to have a salad over lunch.

 

the man i was talking to lived in a place in africa where electricity is consistent,  as well as cable television and plumbing, and yet 60 miles down the road you can literally be killed over $10. if you want to make millions with aquaponics you have to look for the drastically economically divided countries to cover for the labor costs. and that's what i feel is the twisted part. if you can manage to make a living and pay a few bills with AP in the first world nations, you deserve a medal and all the credit in the world for doing so, but to reach the dream that most of the commercial aquaponics classes are selling, someone needs to be exploited to reach it.

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.....and I recall it took a fair bit of effort for some of us to convince you that commercial aquaponics......as you had practised it.....was species and climate specific.....and dependent on cheap labour.

 

Nothing much has happened that changes my mind about all of that.

 

And there are people who would have us believe that, if you pay them $1500, you can cobble a system together.....for which the skills needed to operate it can be acquired in three or four days.....from someone who can't prove that they've ever actually done it themselves.

 

The other thing that is noteworthy is how often these seminar-operators create new technology that somehow eluded the scientists and aquaculture engineers.  One such innovation....CHOP2........apparently enables the fish to live in their own sh*t thereby avoiding the expense of all of that filtration.  

 

How is it that people like Rakocy, Savidov, Timmons, and Ebeling missed that one?

 

The only word that explains it, is.......MAGIC....and you have to believe in magic to be able to reconcile such profound art and mystery.

 

By the way, Damon, I'd be very disappointed if the in-depth discussions that you have with people from all around the world about aquaponics lead them to believe anything other than the fact that commercial aquaponics is elusive in terms of its viability.  

 

If you are claiming, based on your personal experience of aquaponics, to be able to guide these people in any commercial venture, you'll be on my list of aqua-shysters to avoid......in a heartbeat!

 

 

Gary

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We have very different views Damon.

 

It reminds me of when I entered the workforce with the government on a traineeship.  The pay before taxes at $3.11 per hour was $124 per week (1690 AED per month).  I remember it distinctly because the people next to me with more experience were on $8 and $12 per hour.  This was in a developed country with minimum wages and all that entails.

 

With that wage, I had to pay my $70 per week for an onsite 1 bed caravan (trailer), feed myself, pay my minimal bills.  It was tough trying to find time for Uni.  I had to get a weekend job picking Ginger and work evenings at a take away shop we fondly called "Chew and Spew". 

 

So he was me, educated and being paid that type of money making my way in the world.

 

Here I am now where the lowest paid worker I employ earns 1150 AED and the highest 4250 AED.  These guys have no skills, some can not write their name in their own language, yet on top of their wages, I pay for their visas, all medical, transportation, housing, electricity, gas, furnishings, clothing and every year their return flights to their home country with 4 weeks holiday.

 

Their only living cost is to feed themselves and we do quite a bit of that too.... and they pay no tax but my business does...

 

Their cost of living is so low, they have the capacity to send money home to support their extended families, where as my rent for a trailer was over 50% of my wages alone. 

 

There are very strict laws here.  Currently we are in the holy month of Ramadan and our guys can only work 6 hours a day (understandable considering they don't eat) and I pay them for a full 8 hour days work.  When there is no work on any day, they get paid for the whole day regardless if they work or not
 

I think you need to look at apples and apples..

 

Putting all that aside, if hydro or aquaculture can be successful in "first world" countries, it makes logical sense that aquaponics can be successful just the same.   As I said before you need a minimum scale to achieve any real results and that requires investment, quite a lot of it.  Really you are going to be pushed to find that kind of investment in "third world" countries....

Edited by Earthan Group (see edit history)
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This might be off topic.  

 

I've noticed that much of the talk so far on this thread and others on this forum is trying to tamp down unrealistic expectations for commercial or media-bed aquaponics.  That seems warranted given that there's a history of over-promising and under-delivering.

 

As a thought experiment, let's just imagine that we've been successful in this effort of tamping down unrealistic expectations.

 

That being done, what do you think are the exciting and interesting angles and opportunities in aquaponics?  The ones worth getting jazzed about and encouraging others to adopt?

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in my area of the united states using it as a way to A. create more jobs and B. lower the price of seasonal vegetables (if an ap system were in a green house on a massive scale) would be great. our yearly average is 1 out of every ten people on the street has no job... so creating work to be done would be the largest benefit.

 

also, living a short shipping distance to ohio's 3 largest cities, being able to talk to the professional chefs and getting a go idea of fresh water fish that is universally wanted and breeding these fish within the system would not only generate repeat customers, it would also help close the loop on the food industry. with this idea i imagine a system like the friendly aquaponics' 2nd system that has 8 tanks feeding water into 5 troughs.... it's set up in 2 groups of 4 tanks that just over flow one into the other. they are used as grow out tanks for their tilapia, which explains the overly complicated set up, but while it's regulated you end up with a group of fish ready to be eaten on a semi regular basis... to set this up for commercialism you just order fish in time out incraments, use them while they're living to power the system, and then when they are fully grow and about to die anyway, you sell them to the local spots. things fish like trout, lake perch, and walleye are high value items up here year round, so in using them you'd be all but guaranteed a buyer.

 

to make money i would gear a system to what the middle and high end restaurants wanted. micro greens and specialty items that would be costly to order in or have a high turnover rate. inch for inch within a system the best money to be made are the micro greens. they are grown and harvested in weeks and take up 2sq inches per plant... a local green house does this using the standard growing methods with dirt and water, so why not aquaponics the darn thing (yes i used aquaponics as a verb) and raise specialty fish to go with their specialty produce? and then use the natural fertilizer of the effluent water on their crops? it's like winning while you're winning.

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Hi Jeremiah,

 

That seems warranted given that there's a history of over-promising and under-delivering.

 

Not to mention the growing list of spectacular business failures.

 

As a thought experiment, let's just imagine that we've been successful in this effort of tamping down unrealistic expectations.

 

That being done, what do you think are the exciting and interesting angles and opportunities in aquaponics?  The ones worth getting jazzed about and encouraging others to adopt?

 

Aquaponics is aquaculture.......integrated aquaculture.  Anybody who runs a system without adequate filtration should be prosecuted under animal welfare laws.

 

We may need to return to that name to rid ourselves of the taint that the basic flood and drain and low density aquaponics crowd have wrought upon the name.

 

Once we understand that it's really integrated aquaculture let's get into it properly......and fully utilise all of the feedstocks available to us......and then gradually introduce new ones.

 

 ....things fish like trout, lake perch, and walleye are high value items up here year round, so in using them you'd be all but guaranteed a buyer.

 

You're not going to grow sustainable quantities of those species without appropriate filtration.  The first thing we have to do is convince the world that keeping fish in sh*t is not OK.  Because tilapia can live in sub-optimal conditions doesn't mean that they should have to.

 

Gary

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Still not able to use the quote or copy and paste.........

 

Using aquaponics as a job offering, while might encourage gov. investment that is a path to disaster.  You will get very unskilled labor that more than likely don't care if the business succeeds or not.  Damon, you mentioned previously about moral compass and exploitation in third world countries.  How is employing low skilled, unemployed, be it desperate people, not a slippery slop to murky waters in a first world country?

 

Seems to turned into a technical conversation...

 

Damon you note the friendlies use two set of 4 tanks each tank running into the next.  I have seen this before from other "commercial aquaponic" folks which may have attended friendlies training.  To transfer used water from one fish tank to the next and the next and the next, has to be worse than the slop 2 rubbish.  You will not grow saleable volumes of fish with that set up.

 

Your last statement  Damon on growing fish until old and nearly dead, is in support of low density systems.  Your fish care costs will be more than organic fertilizers.  The simple fact being avoided  in low density systems is, recirculating systems and all the infrastructure costs to build and run them, require a minimum density to profitable.  Low density systems growing fish for food are not profitable.

Edited by Earthan Group (see edit history)

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Hi Paul,

 

Still not able to use the quote or copy and paste.........

 

I've had an Internet Explorer/forum software conflict that prevented me from doing the same thing.  I changed to Chrome and it fixed the problem.  It was specific to my PC - our Mac is not affected.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Using aquaponics as a job offering, while might encourage gov. investment that is a path to disaster.  You will get very unskilled labor that more than likely don't care if the business succeeds or not

 

I agree.  Using the trades as an unemployment program has certainly not done the trades any favours.   In some areas, over 50% of all new starts fail to complete their apprenticeships/traineeships.  It would be even worse here in Australia where Murray Hallam is the subject expert (and course owner) for the development of the Certificate III in Aquaponics Organic Food Production.

 

Gary

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