How big of a system are you planning on building?
How about 3 50gal Rubbermaid buckets sitting under 3 tables. With 3 grow bed on the table.
Bucket 50 gal (2ft x 4ft) http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?Prod_ID=RP091415
Cold Hardy edible plants
Cold Hardy fish
Cold Hardy fish plant
Take a look at this setup.
I will soon (fingers crossed) start a slightly larger operation in the basement with tomatoes, peppers and strawberries.
Growing Power in Milwaukee heat their fish tanks and that mostly heats the greenhouses. Maybe solar hot water to heat the tanks?
You would have enough over the winter. I really cant think of a fast growing algae eating cold water fish.
But there is carp, salmon, lake trout, and a few tiny algae eater who could be feed for your crop fish.
I would just build it, throw any fish in it and just focus on the plant side of it till March.
Then hopefully you will learn more as you go along.
If you install solar heating you could have year round tilapia seeing as how your in zone 9
H Warner wrote:I live in northern New Mexico where winters are very cold and brutal. I'm off grid also and heating our 30x30 greenhouse with wood (very costly) just to maintain it above freezing. Our aquaponics system is on hold until the weather lets up or we can get a rocket stove made. We have so far a 250 gallon tank with 20 of the blue 55 gallon barrels cut in 1/2. solar power will work for the water and air pumps. We are a small homestead with prepper like attitudes but none of the big bucks. We cant import talapia into NM (trust me, I've looked into it) and that leaves trout/catfish. Not many people will deal with NM for "pond fish" and the local fisheries only release fish to state/federal owned lakes/streams, etc. Because time is so short and we need something now, I'm looking at koi. Not edible, really, but they get big after a while and are cheap and legal. Once spring hits, we can look at trout fingerlings or something else. duckweed will be grown and fed and I hear rabbits love the stuff also!
Ahh time, money and better climate. In just 6 months of this new life we've started here in Oregon, these are the three things I find I can never have enough of, even more so to accomplish the goals I'd like to reach for my place. Speaking of greenhouses, cold weather etc are there any plans out there for the Solaroof bubble insulated greenhouses, and/or any price estimates (solaroof.org)? Seems this has worked for others in cold climates. here's a link to a completed design http://www.tdc.ca/bubblegreenhouse.htm
Sounds like using the koi is a good start, at least you will be growing. I may have to take the same route... at least they're nice to look at and hey, they might do in a pinch if one *has* to eat them
Now you can also dig a hole inside your greenhouse to put your FT into and add polystyrene insulation before backfilling or if you have room put your compost pile around two or more sides of your FT so its not only heating the air but the FT as well.
Note that if you are using a air pump you could even cover 1/2 to 3/4 of the surface area with pool cover or foam and still keep the o2 levels needed to help hold heat in from a dirrect contact compost pile but if you do this warm air temps in the greenhouse will not help heat the water much because 1/2 to 3/4 of the surface area is covered.
Yes Tilapia is not the type of fish that is the best for you but if want/need a fast grower they are the top choice, I would love to set my system up for Trout and I might still do that at some point but I can't get the numbers I will with Tilapia.
The redclaws have a lot of advantages-
-they can be stocked denser than American crayfish which turn cannibalistic,
-they grow fast
-females can hatch broods 3 times a year with each hatch of 500 fry each.....one problem was keeping enough tanks going
-they taste awesome!
I raised them as a hobby, but wrote this book with a commercial grower:
H Warner wrote: ... We cant import talapia into NM (trust me, I've looked into it) and that leaves trout/catfish. Not many people will deal with NM for "pond fish" and the local fisheries only release fish to state/federal owned lakes/streams, etc. Because time is so short and we need something now, I'm looking at koi. Not edible, really, but they get big after a while and are cheap and legal. Once spring hits, we can look at trout fingerlings or something else. duckweed will be grown and fed and I hear rabbits love the stuff also!
Did you look into importing tilapia as aquarium fish? If you are putting them into tanks and there is no way they can escape, this is okay in many or most states.
Koi are an ornamental strain of common carp, which are the most widely farmed food fish, worldwide. They are not usually considered suitable for food in the US, but I am not sure why. I know some people really love carp. I remember, as a child, coming across an angler walking on the bank of a river, who showed off his catch to me and exclaimed, "Them's carp! Them's good eatin'!"
Trout require a lot of food and are dependent on animal protein. I have not raised them, and am putting off trying because of this. They also require cold water.
Catfish, on the other hand, seem to eat just about anything. I have not seen them wild about duckweed, but they do eat it.
Goldfish, koi, and a lot of others eat duckweed as well. In some parts of the world, duckweed is raised for human consumption. I would not raise it for myself to eat in a fishtank.
You might also try azola, which is a little slower growing than duckweed, but seems to persist in cold better. The fish I have very much prefer duckweed, but some species might like it better. I have not tried it yet, but I intend to. It is also used for human consumption, and has a nice scent. Like duckweed, I would raise it in its own tank for myself.
Watercress can be grown in floating rafts, and fish nibble at the roots. If you want to raise watercress for your own food, do it separately, because the fish prevent it from growing fast. A large number of other plants will also put roots into the water, and I expect fish would eat many of them. Mint is one. Celery is another, but I have not yet seen fish eating the roots.
An auto-fed pellet rocket stove design. Heats greenhouse and aquaponics pools
There are so many ways to keep your aquaponics warm in winter!
All of the following can help:
Probably the best first steps are to build your tanks out of old freezers. Then, make your grow beds entirely out of insulation and pond liner with the plants planted directly through the top layer of insulation with net pots. That'll cut your heat loss down to about 10% of what you'd have otherwise. They you can get creative cutting down that last 10% with solar hot water and what-not.
Here's an example:
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