Originally Posted by H-ost
A fresh fish garden?!?!?!?! That sounds incredible!
Aquaponics in a nutshell works like this: Feed fish in tank, Fish make poo and ammonia, bacteria convert amonia into nitrogen. Pump nitrogen rich water over plant roots, plants remove nitrogen and clean the water, water is returned to the tank.
You can use any fish but Talapia are the way of the walk. I will have 15-20 fish in my tank and may be able to add more than that. They will grow to the size of a large crappie or small bass plus they taste good.
Long term I will eventually build a 4 season green house that has a pool (large tank) for massive talapia production. I will also grow duckweed to provide shade and cover for the fish. Talapia go from fry to breading size in 6-8 weeks so the population will adjust itself according to available size/room. The duck weed has more protein than soy and can be eaten by the fish and other animals. But why stop at just fish? I will build a chicken coop against the north wall of my greenhouse and add a "run" over the tank. The chicken droppings will be eaten by the duckweed and provide a more complex nutrient rich water. I also found out that pheasants eat nearly the same thing as chickens so there will be a 2nd run over the tank. Pest control will be lady bugs and preying mantis. (manti?)
This will mean that I will have the ability to grow an exponential amount of: fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish and poultry. I estimate I will be able to generate 98% of all my needed food on my property. NOTE: not all plants grow well in a hydro/aqua setting. But that is pretty easily solved by using a good old fashioned dirt garden.
To clean the pond of fish waste I will collect the droppings that are left over and use them in an earthworm/nightcrawler compost bin. The chickens can also eat vegy scraps and anything left after that goes to the worms. I bet you are smart enough to guess that the fish love worms and the compost will be better than any miracle grow for the fore mentioned dirt garden.
It floors me that this is not being done everywhere.
If I have my way I will also be raising angora rabbits (my lawn care specialists) and bees but those are much longer term goals.
If everything works out I will be having a 100% grown by me and the wife meal this fall.