I'm trying to move as close to off grid as possible and I'm considering aquaponics as a way to provide fish for us since I don't have a good place for a pond. Since I'm mainly interested in the fish as I have other areas of my property for growing, all the plants the fish help grow could be fed to the fish in return. If there was surplus leftover for us, that would be great, but not necessary.
My main questions:
1. How viable is aquaponics as a closed loop system? I've heard of growing insects, plants etc. for the fish, but is this truly enough to account for 100% of the food the fish would require? Is it sustainable year around? Can I raise some fish as food for other fish?
2. I'd like as least input as possible, so heating the water would be off the table for me. I live near the Dallas area, so I'm curious what fish I could consider using in my area?
3. If done on small scale, could pumps be avoided? I mean once or twice a day go manually scoop out the water from the fish tank and feed the plants. Or any other idea to avoid electric pumps?
4. I'm interested in how many fish could be raised in a certain sized area, sustainably. I'm also interested in learning about how many fish can be produced for meat by a said number of fish. I have no idea about how many babies a fish has and how many times per year etc. and if that is effected by keeping fish in this rather unnatural condition. Can someone explain to me or point me in the right direction of getting such information.
Thanks in advance