Home Aquaponics Systems – Introduction To Aquaponics Lecture


Urban Farming Aquaponics – Connecting Schools In Milwaukee hi I’m Anthony welcome to subscribe to
my youtube channel and the notification bell for video updates and click the
links in the description thank you very much friends so this presentation has
been revised three times today already because I could have swore Jonah told me
I had 90 minutes so we’re running our training session and then I revised it
again and then I revised it again and then I heard what was going on in the
room over there after lunch and I revised it again talked a little bit
positive stuff so what you’re going to see today we’re gonna talk about our
Sarah grant a little bit and then I’m going to talk to you about some of the
systems that we built I’m gonna show you some different examples of what you
could possibly do we’ve convinced this the condense this thing to about 45
minutes so there’s a lot of information be happy to answer questions afterwards
as well if you have questions as we go along but there’s a lot to this and I
will tell you right away if you’ve been looking at aquaponics or aquaculture
online there are 10,000 different ways to do this okay
so if anybody tells you there’s only one way to do it then they’re lying to you
right because you’re gonna see some different examples of how to do it so
they’re many ways to do it I’m gonna show you a way that we did it with our
sare grant and what our kiddos do in the classrooms I’m gonna show you ways that
work and then some options and then I’m gonna show you what its gonna look like
in the future it’s good all right so let’s go
so whispering roots 501c3 nonprofit I also run Midwest freshwater farms which
is aquaponics aquaculture we do consulting work we do training work as
well in the community we work with a lot of community colleges as well we teach
there and we teach different classes in the community as part of like do space
in Omaha that’s our web address with rooster org
that’s my personal phone number that is my email address so if you have
questions or anything drop me an email okay I can’t say that I’ll answer your
the next day or the next day or the next day but I will answer it to have carts I
do have cards as well okay all right so whispering routes
what was our sare grant viability of small-scale aquaponics in urban and
rural underserved that is our number just gives you a
couple quick shots of what we do these are live systems these are systems
growing healthy food using fish poop right you know if you say fish poop to a
third grader you’re a hero so if you’re ever in classes and you have a problem
just say fish poop the kids will love you but these are systems growing some
nice healthy food this is actually in Auburn Nebraska that’s some of our kids
in the element or the high school putting together one of their aquaponic
systems so you can already see different sizes different shapes right so we use
that to engage kids we use it to teach stem science technology engineering and
math we could say steam now science technology engineering and math or
science technology engineering art and math whichever all you want to say it we
use AG to teach all these different principles a little bit about my
background she did cover that you know my degree is in management information
systems I’m a computer guy you know I just love growing food and helping
people in a brand talent acquisition I built my first aquaponic system in 1999
we’re doing aquaponics and people weren’t even thinking about aquaponics I
had fish growing in my basement I had plants growing in my living room I had I
grew or built a little greenhouse inside my garage and had fish and plants out
there so you think it’s 1999 right it’s Nebraska it’s January it’s
snowing outside I opened my garage door and people see a little greenhouse in
there do you think everybody thought I was going lettuce yeah in 1999 right
yeah so I’ve been doing this for a while some of the different training
University of Arizona greenhouse crop production design engineering course we
did some work we still do work with Cornell University for aquaculture
engineering design I’ll show you why that’s important soon I also sit on the
board of directors for the Center for Rural Affairs a chair of the farming
community committee so it’s been a lot of time in rural areas urban AG planning
and then you know oh there’s that again for a Center for Rural Affairs some of
our friends are out there they have a table out there so let’s get right to it
so what is aquaponics basically with aquaponics we have some fish better
swimming we feed those fish they produce waste in the form of ammonia that
ammonia gets pumped up into a grow bed of some kind biofilter and there we have
beneficial bacteria eats the ammonia converts it first into nitrite then into
nitrate which is food for our plants roots from our plants them suck that
nitrate out of the water which cleans the water for our fish we dumped that
water back into our tank nice and clean right so basically tell people think
about a lake you have all those fish women in that lake you have all that
nice green growth that’s around the lake that’s helping filter the water for the
fish we take that process we bring it inside we put it into a tank with some
plants and we let nature do what nature does best right we didn’t create this
the Aztecs we’re doing this the Aztecs were doing this it took us
this long to figure out that the Aztecs know what they’re doing right so we’re
basically we’ve taken what the Aztecs we’re doing and now we’re using it to
grow food and feed hungry people and you know when my other presentation I talked
about where we operate you know where not only do we operate here in urban in
rural areas but we’re also up in Native American tribes or doing a lot of work
on reservations now we’re also over in Haiti in Madagascar I’ll be in Haiti in
a couple weeks but we’re showing people how to grow
food sustainably and feed their communities and do it in an education
piece you know I walked away from a really good job to do this work that’s
how important I think it is you know my background in the military and things
like that but I walked away from good job in July of 2010 because this stuff’s
important and how we feed ourselves in the future is very very important I told
my wife don’t worry it’ll be okay when I walked away so it’ll be fine we’ll
figure out how to make money I wonder what she’s doing these days no I’m just
kidding my wife’s a teacher up in Nebraska okay so what are the advantages
the advantages of aquaponics we use only approximately 10% of the water that’s
required approximately 10% we save 90% of the water it’s a recirculating system
that’s how we do it we don’t dump our water only when we’re flushing
occasionally we don’t have any soil required for growing plants we use no
soil in our systems we’re aquaponics we’re perlite we’re
different types pea gravel depend upon where we are right it doesn’t mean that
we don’t use soil at all ever because we also do raised bed gardening I’m one
there’s no one way to feed everybody right what we look at is what’s the best
way to feed this given customer if it’s in Haiti if it’s in Auburn Nebraska if
it’s in an urban city what’s the best way to do it and then we take those
techniques and we apply the best solution for that group that’s how we do
it year round production we are controlled environment AG as we all know
if you’re growing vegetables and things like that
outside right now we’re not really growing too much outside but our kiddos
in the classroom are still growing no pesticides we can’t use pesticides in
our system because it’ll kill our fish so we can’t have pesticide so we have to
be very clean and how we operate so good agricultural practices IPM you
know we’re dealing with controlling our pests
we have faster high growing high quality vegetables if you have a head of lettuce
let’s say normal to take 42 days 45 days to get to harvest we can get it there in
35 to 42 days so we’re saving multiple days you know some of the state we use
really call really good quality seed we get seed germination in 24 to 48 hours
it’s pretty good stuff with our kiddos we can harvest plants every 7 to 10 days
if we’re doing microgreens anybody ever hear microgreens yeah so we’re gonna
show you what that looks like if we return your microgreens oh we can
harvest our plants 7 to 10 days sooner for using like lettuce and things like
that but if we’re doing microgreens we can harvest microgreens 7 to 12 days and
turn those crops continuously and we’re not talking about needing a lot of space
someone was at our table during lunch and we were talking about growing things
in our basement yeah we my basement was like a big lab it’s a big farm we have
fish growing we have tilapia we have bass down there we have lettuce my wife
sells lettuce in her school that we grow in our basement she gets pulled over by
the police she’s got all these bags of lettuce in there right she’s a lettuce
seller that’s what she does yep so people and they pay a premium for
that by the way we have a waiting list for people who want to buy the lettuce
that we grow in our basement it’s not too bad right so you do whatever size
fits for you plants can be spaced closer together
near the concert nutrient replenishment we’re recirculating that water and it’s
a closed system we don’t discharge in the streams lakes etc and this is
important when we’re in the city because the folks we’re looking at any type of
clearances then we have folks who wonder are you dumping anything into the
municipal system right and we don’t our water is very very clean okay what’s a
basic system look like it’s a basic system we have a tank of some kind we
have fish that swim around in there we have a small water each pump doesn’t
take a big pump pump that water up into a grow bed of some kind and that grow
bed we have some type of grow media river rock pea gravel hydroton which is
expanded clay pellets something like that that’s where becomes our large bio
filter plants grow clean water gets dumped back into our system just like
that closed recirculating system I’ll show you some examples at the end you
don’t have to have a lot of room to do this but that’s it some tanks some
plumbing grow bed some girl medias and plants some fish and light
we do this in schools our kids build from scratch so we’re bringing lumber in
we bring pipes in we bring in tank things like that and the kids have to
cut drill in the symbol we do not let our kindergarteners use circular saws
however though could you imagine that kindergarteners put down your circular
saw it’s nap time right we don’t let the kindergartners you do that but our kids
build from scratch so we start using AG for all this different type of Education
hands-on experience real learning in addition to growing food they’re cutting
their drilling they’re measuring and assembling you’d be surprised some of
our kids don’t know how to use tape measures right that skills gone away
when I say I need four pieces out of 33 and a half kids around 3300 don’t say 33
and a quarter get them going so we teach them how to do all this in the classroom
and you start thinking about that from an agricultural perspective next
generation AG we have kids that are going to be building our systems we have
kids are gonna be writing computer code that are going to control the drones are
going to be flying over the crops to do all the sampling yeah we have to engage
these kids basic system overview so this is a basic system we saw that one but
this is kind of what it looks like you can have a hundred gallon tank small
wattage pump this is very important when we’re in places that don’t have access
to power some of our locations are 100% solar like we’re all being a couple of
weeks the mission that I’m going to in Haiti 100% solar so we have to be very
careful in terms of how much juice we’re pulling off of them so small wattage
pump to move our water pump that water up into a grow bed this is a flood and
drain system the water will flood to the six seven eight inch level depend upon
how tall it is there’s a drain in the middle that causes our water to go back
we put a little PVC bill over the top creates a bell siphon which creates a
siphon effect and sucks all that water back into our tank that’s how we get
away with one pump we pump once and allow gravity do to the rest of the work
for us very important one small water’s pump and we’re not talking about a pump
that pumps 1,500 gallons of water if you’re doing a small system we’re
talking about pumps that do 200 gallons per hour 150 sometimes doesn’t take a
lot and then of course can you do this these are some of our kiddos on the
upper left or on your upper right those are some of our seventh graders see that
system behind them that’s one that they built their growing lots of fresh
lettuce back there lots of healthy crops and they do that consistently and these
kids they’re very good and this is another system that we built and in one
of our community colleges you can see here this is just an agriculture
tank that you could buy at your local AG shop for it doesn’t have to be fancy
some of our kids have glass tanks glass tanks they’re hard Oakridge up to clean
the things keep the glass nice and clean the showpiece but if you’re just growing
for production little AG tank it’s just fine thank you for that and then I can
see some of our kiddos up here these are just standard full-spectrum fluorescent
bulbs nothing fancy straight off the shelf Home Depot Menards Lowe’s wherever
you buy your stuff with standard full-spectrum bulbs full spectrum
fixtures it’s designed this is all construction lumber nothing expensive
okay so that’s how you can do it but you can also be bigger so aquaponics what
does a commercial design look like you have your fish tanks your plumbing your
filtration your grow beds you have these nice large tanks here you know about 800
gallons or so a thousand gallons depend upon how big Scout a little window in it
for the tilapia when they’re swimming I’ll help you get to know you if you
feed them every day just like anything else I’ll recognize you they’ll come to
be fed but that water is getting pumped remember we talked about moving the
water this water gets pumped over into these grow beds this is called floating
raft we’re actually floating these crops on
water here so we use a little styrofoam sheets drill holes in it put little net
pots where we put our seedlings from our crops the roots grow down into the water
they get nice big green and healthy you can get to a rotation put your seedlings
here and then move everything forward as they grow and then if you look outside
of course there’s snow and this is in little greenhouse okay and any have you
ever heard about the NCR s greenhouse hoop house program start thinking about
that because if you’re wondering if you can afford to do this doesn’t have to be
fancy you can get money to put a hoop house on your farm but an aquaponic
system doesn’t even have to be like this I’ll show you some examples doesn’t have
to be this fancy but you can use a hoop house and they’re allowing you to do
different things in those hoop houses now so adding heat and things if you
need to what grows well in the system all these things grow anything that I’m
going to talk you about are things that we personally grown so I know they all
grow well and our kids grow them if our third graders can grow it we can do this
right this all grows well lettuce basil herbs grow really really
well in the system cucumbers tomatoes cabbage peppers in this system we had
cabbage we had different types of lettuce here and over on the side that’s
what you’re starting to see here is a strawberry plant that was growing this
plant or this system also eventually was growing cantaloupe
as well.all grows well in the system right all depends upon how much nutrient
you’re putting into that water the nutrient coming from how many fish are
growing okay and then this is hydrogen expanded clay you can see we were gonna
have the soil and these are PVC this is drip irrigation one of the ways that we
can do it but this all grows well your heavy feeders like your tomatoes your
cucumbers etc they’re gonna require a well-stocked system and if you just turn
your system on for the first day you can’t grow tomatoes and peppers and
cucumbers like that with the system you’re gonna be growing things like
lettuce that don’t require a lot of nutrient into your system it’s yours and
you’re producing more nutrient for your plants so you’d make a mistake if you
think you’re gonna grow tomatoes day one when you turn your system on lycée keep
it easy lettuce basil stuff like that give you an example our basil grows like
bushes we had a basil plant that was probably
from my chest all the way down to my knees in restaurants it’s very very
clean when you grow this way it’s very clean
we had restaurants we went to a restaurant I was had a meeting with one
of our groups of friends we were just talking about the potential to scale up
we had a bucket full of basil growing aquaponically the next thing we know the
manager came out or the owner came out he said that his waiter it said there
was something out there that he needed to see so the owner came out he sat down
we talked to him for about 40 minutes he looked at the basil he said I’d buy
everything from you if you could supply it at scale and he played a premium
because it’s very very clean and when you grow this way also it’s very very
intense the flavors are very very intense so from a chef’s perspective you
don’t need as much when you’re cooking because the quality is so high and then
we had let him take the entire bucket his chef just had a ball with it so and
it works that’s one of the ways that we sell we just show up in places and we
bring the product we let the product so itself works and I’ll show you some
pictures of what our kids grew later to what type of fish the fish doesn’t
really matter unless you are trying to grow the fish for production right we’ve
got tilapia bluegill trout goldfish number kids grow goldfish they just want
the plants here’s a little example you know people want to know what’s a ratio
if you have about an acre of fish tank you can grow about 14 acres of crops off
of that one acre fish tank 14 acres of crops that’s kind of the ratio but you
have to decide what works for you you know we grow a lot of tilapia
because it grows really really fast it’s an excellent converter of feed to flesh
about a pound of feed get you a pound of flesh on a tilapia
so they’re about 1.221 and they can take a beating they
can take poor water conditions you don’t want your wire to be dirty but you can
kill it to loppy and their kids have done it yes I give them feed as well so
and it comes down to we’re going to talk about how quick they grow crap you know
they grow rather rapidly seventy nine months seven to nine months to full
growth depend upon what you’re feeding them and how often you’re feeding them
you know if you just want them to grow to leisure a lose weight and you want to
give them something like duck weed sunflower cake stuff like that if you’re
just growing them and you’re not trying to get them to harvest very quickly you
can do that or you can go with a commercial feed and try and get them to
harvest in seven to nine months you know some places that we go they don’t have
access to commercial feed so they’ll do duck weed sunflower moranga which is a
really good crop if you don’t know about Marengo you should take a look at that
but we’ll feed them that and then we’ll get them you know to harvest so they’re
very tolerant of poor water conditions feed weight good good filets in a
excellent protein source you need get chefs that like tilapia because they can
take pretty much any flavor on right so then you start to think what type of
fish am I going to grow depends upon your market you know who’s gonna buy it
if there’s a lot of tilapia out there that’s being sold very cheaply you might
want to think about growing something different maybe growing a perch or
something like that you know what for us we do a lot sloppier but I’ll show you
what we’re growing in our main facility when we’re done here but if you’re just
if you’re focusing on growing the crops then the fish don’t really matter right
the fish are just providing the nutrient for you so you can grow anything in here
bluegill whatever because it’s just the nutrient that’s going to the plants if
you don’t care about the fish we want to harvest both fishing and crops we want
to sell both so you know how much can you grow depends upon the size of the
system and the type of plants are growing I’m going to show you a model of
what you could grow typically and grow 10 to 15% more plants then what grows in
the same size traditional plot right but you can get up to about 30% more
production with an intensive system if you’re really good once you master it
like anything you have to be a farmer you have to figure out how everything
works but once you get it going our folks that are really good at it they
get about 30% more production but you’re not gonna do that day one right some
people think they’re gonna do that day one put like a thousand fish and a
hundred gallon tank and then they call and tell me that their systems out of
balance you got like a thousand fish and on a gallon tank that’s not going to
work so but in a standard four by four grow bed
hold about 30 to 40 head of lettuce about 30 to 45 days to maturity longer
maturity dates if it’s in winter low-light conditions if you’re not if
you’re inside and not using grow lights then of course they’re not gonna grow
very fast but that kind of gives you an idea 4×4 30 to 40 heads of lettuce 3045
days of maturity how do I know because we do it every day we do it consistently
and it does work different types of systems you got a flood and drain system
this is this just shows you that if you’re trying if you want to try this
you don’t have to get really complicated to start okay if you just want to test
it out and you’ve got a flood and drain system
where the water sledding in that’s what we showed you that 4×4 doesn’t take a
lot you just put a little PVC drain in the middle and I’ll show you how we make
our drain systems but then some gravel peat gravel whatever you’re gonna do
this is called floating raft where I showed you where we’re floating the
crops on top of the water it’s a little tube and where you can do that and this
is called nutrient film technique where we’re running a thin film of water
underneath our crops so you can learn how to do that but nutrient film
technique that’s basically rain gutter you get rain gutter turning on its side
we drill holes in it we put a little net Cup in there that we buy in mash you can
buy those online and then you can practice the nutrient film technique
because a dangerous nutrient film technique is if your water stops running
you have no residual moisture in your system and your crops start dying right
so I wouldn’t suggest starting with that I’d suggest starting with something like
a flood and drain system a little more forgiving okay but as you can see then
have to be big to test it so those are the basic techniques and so you know
floating raft deep water culture they call that as well so here’s your
floating raft system on a little larger scale I talked about the styrofoam this
is a floating raft system being run off of about 4 foot 3 foot 4 foot wide you
know you want to stick with standard sizes so you don’t have to cut as much
as possible but then you can see that run that’s a good 40 foot run they look
at all these crops that’s growing off of fish water they have their aquaponics
systems it’s a larger system they have their tanks back here and they’re
pumping their water into their deep water culture system and they’re
floating those rafts look how clean those roots are now the technique behind
that much more detailed when we’re training but this gives you an idea
what’s possible and let’s say you’re running a floating raft system you’re
running tilapia with a nice warm water you know what you can throw underneath
your crops there you can throw underneath some freshwater shrimp
they’ll live under there they love it maybe some crawdad something like that
yeah let’s try your red claw Lobster throw those in there they’ll eat all the
stuff that goes to the bottom to live underneath your plants and they won’t
eat your roots so you could do that as well you can get a couple crops out of
there so now you’re growing your fish in one tank you got your crops that are
floating on the water and then you got some freshwater shrimp that are swimming
around underneath harvests those guys out if that’s not
your main crop just throw them in there and let them grow ok cuz sometimes they
can be a little cannibalistic right you can throw in 500 little ones and get one
big one out at the end yeah okay yeah that happens but so this is
these are things that you can do you can be very creative with the system now
remember this is a sare grant that we ran we got twenty nine hundred dollars
to do this we built 4×4 grow beds 150 gallon tanks and they were very
successful we were a lot of food with that need about 10 to 12 inches so
nutrient film technique this is what we talked a little bit about where we’re
running that thin film of water underneath you could do something like
this you have room on your farm you know get creative you get a tank of some kind
alright and then we just put a little filtration system this is that flood and
drain system we can little put a little one on top which acts like our bio
filter and then we take that water we push it over here to our nutrient film
technique which is nothing more than ranga rain gutter sitting on top of some
construction lumber and you can practice all those different techniques in one
small system then you can do this if you have a shed you can do it in your shed
or if you have a greenhouse do it in the corner of your greenhouse ok don’t spend
$400,000 do something like this and if we’re handy you can create this by
buying materials right from your local lumberyard construction site someone
will give you free stuff maybe you have something left over we use like I said
construction great doesn’t have to be fancy but you know things about nutrient
film technique requires additional filtration that’s why you have this
because remember we talked about converting the ammonia to nitrate you
have to have a bio filter in there somewhere so this is your flood and
drain system just set it up on top of your tank and then what can you do with
this you can put tomato plants in there pepper plants and they’ll grow and they
grow very nicely in a system like that no we talked about all this fancy stuff
but what about this your designs are based upon your available funds so let’s
say you don’t want to spend a bunch money maybe you have horse trough of
some like that some PVC pipe this is actually hydroton and hydroton the
expanded clay that’s a little more expensive we like it because it has a
lot of surface area which means we can grow more bacteria which means we can
handle more waste coming out of our fish tanks but you don’t have to do that it’s
more expensive you can do a river rock or a pea gravel it’s heavier you know
and you don’t have as much surface area but it works just fine okay
our kiddos use hydrogen you use a lot of expanded clay but then if you look like
up here this is there’s nothing fancy here this is can
struction lumber this is a liner that’s not in the system and what they’re doing
they dug a hole so their fish tank is actually down here they pump up to the
top and then they let the water gravity feed back to their tanks which are down
there so you can do something like this and you don’t have a huge investment in
there okay if it doesn’t work for you then you
haven’t spent a lot of money you haven’t lost a lot because people have PVC pipe
around that’s not expensive construction grade lumber so you can try it or an old
horse trough these crops look like they’re hurting I don’t think so right
you remember what I said this is this is only one way to do it right I’m not
pretending that we’re gonna tell everybody they have to grow this way
we’re gonna take everybody feeding and growing food to take care of all the
people that are gonna be on this planet in the next 50 to 100 years and then
there’s something like this where you can have solar there grants out there
now for solar especially if you’re on farm and people say oh Greg you know
what you’re talking about about grants I’m gonna show you something at the end
that’s gonna say yes I do floating raft wood things like that
styrofoam these are actually IBC totes I’ll show you what those look like here
in a couple slides okay but you could do something like this if you’re handy get
some grants from putting it on solar run your water grow some crops in a
greenhouse that you got with the NRCS funds yep okay so but people always want
to know what are your expectations and I look at this system this is these are
all I mean these are high quality vegetables okay so you’re saying so
what’s the rub how do I differentiate myself this is all very clean so when
you’re talking to your suppliers you’re talking to the restaurants you start
bringing in this crop that’s so clean that literally if they didn’t want to
they wouldn’t have to watch lease always say wash your stuff but there’s no soil
there’s nothing on it we keep our bug count down so the restaurants love it
because it’s very fresh it’s very clean our shelf life that’s very good so we’re
talking crops here we used to do a trick when we were working with the community
college before we took we moved on to the community college site we’d have
them come to my house we got our systems down in the basement we’d have one group
that would harvest the lettuce and we’d put it in a Tupperware and stick it in
the refrigerator we’d wait for the next class that was going to come through in
about three weeks or so then we pull out that same lettuce and we’d feed it to
them and then we tell them it’s like three four weeks old used to freak them
out and so what they’re saying she knows a lot of scientists are
starting to try and figure out why is the shelf life so good you know why does
it last so long there’s something that’s going on it’s nature doing what nature
does we don’t manipulate this at all it’s just nature doing what it does but
we’re getting an excellent shelf life off of that as well
so what type of expectations 1,500 square feet of gross space gives us
1,500 gallons of fish tank 11,000 gallons of total water volume
approximately 500 pounds of fish remember you don’t need as much fish
40,000 heads of lettuce per year that’s what you can do once you master the
technique you’re not gonna do this day one and you might even decide that you
don’t want to do it but the results don’t lie right doesn’t lie system works
okay thank you so flood drain system looks like this
with a flood and drain system it’s a large system here these are our kids
that are growing some of the tomatoes that they were growing in their
aquaponic system right we talked about the bell siphon that’s how we drain our
water out kind of looks like this with PVC this is how the system works water
floods in bell siphon in the middle kicks in gravity sucks it all the way
water out lets air in breaks the siphon effect how do you do it you do it like
this this is just straightforward stuff PVC pipes
these are little uni seals that you can buy online so you drill your hole
through your plywood you put in a little stopper put your standpipe in to control
your water and then you can use pea gravel River rock clay balls this is
what we talked about before this is what a little 4×4 looks like little drip
irrigation system full of hydrogen and you’re growing things like cucumbers
peppers all in that system all works well that’s a flood drain system some
the liner’s that we use in the system for ours we use EPDM liners don’t use
roofing materials all right they’re treated they’re treated to stop fungus
and things like that so EPDM these are basically pond liners
you don’t spend a fortune buy them in bulk online cut them up make your own
okay be careful with use tarps some people use tarps chemicals it’s a
food system different types of air pumps don’t have to be expensive buy them
online buy my Petco pet smart whatever you have so you get oxygen in your
system water pumps doesn’t have to be expensive
small pumps buy them online okay amazon.com you know I say these things
just because you can go and buy them during Black Friday or whatever get them
cheap so pumps your cycle your total tank water once every hour if your pump
is on for 15 minutes 15 minutes timer should move your tank volume in 15
minutes their calculations for this just so you know make sure that you’re moving
the water in your tank that’s what you have to do filtration you can use
different types of filtration with us if you buy these different types of filters
you buy all this stuff online you can build your own little filtration system
or you can just take a little sponge and stick it on the outflow from your tank
into your grow bed put a little sponge underneath there and it’ll get all those
solids that are coming out of your tank about 25% of what you put into your tank
comes back as solids so if you’re feeding them your feed feces you’re
gonna get about 25% back of solids put a little filtration thing on there on the
front end capture that if you put compost worms anybody familiar with
compost worms put compost worms in your hydroponic or in your aquaponic system
the compost worms will come up and they’ll eat the solids that are in your
filter pad that’s what they do they love it and then of course now you have
compost tea what types of light if you’re growing outside if you’re we say
sunlight is best right sunlight is best and it’s free so if you can grow outside
if you have some type of greenhouse to do it if you don’t have that option to
use sunlight like we’re indoors with our kids we use standard fluorescent
fixtures full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs work well all the what you see here
these are standard full-spectrum bulbs off-the-shelf they’re growing peppers
they’re growing basil we had cucumbers and lettuce all in this
system or you can spend more money you don’t have to do it but you can spend
more money and buy expensive girl lights if you need to but you don’t have to
timers as well you know once again it’s just to show you the stuff doesn’t have
to be expensive they don’t spend a thousand dollars on a timer go to your
local hardware store and buy them on sale so basic system design you want to
determine the type of system assume media base for this example you
determine the square footage of your grow bed use your ratio of one pound of
fish per square foot of grow bed space with the grow bed being one foot deep
this is just for an example you calculate your fish tank volume using
roughly five to seven gallons of water per pound of fish that’s what we do
that’s what we teach the kids so here’s your example four
for grow bed 16 square feet 16 square feet of grow bed 16 pounds of fish 16
pounds of fish requires about 80 gallons of water that’s your calculation if you
just want to estimate okay so cycling your system you know
this is what I’m teaching but we don’t have time to go through all of that you
know we start with what’s the process of growing enough bacteria just know you
can’t turn your system on day one and if you want to know more about it let me
know we’ll talk to you about it but you have to grow the bacteria first before
you can start really growing your fish and you go to the bacteria by adding a
little ammonia to the water nature will do the rest and that’s where that
beneficial bacteria will move in and start colonizing your system you can’t
stop it you know unless you’re adding chlorinated water to your system yes I sure can and I’m gonna show you what
that looks like here in just a minute and if you have a pond on your property
no reason why you shouldn’t be doing it all right it’s a great we don’t need to
worry about cycling diagram when I’m teaching this shows you how the bacteria
grows you know we talk about pH as well this is one I thought we were gonna have
more time but if you’re growing you know about pH and the nutrient uptake we have
to balance that with fish we’ve run about six eight seven two in our system
because we want our bacteria to continue to grow we want to give it enough for
our plants uptake the nutrient volume we want our fish to be happy so we’re
typically 6-8 to 72 mph since we don’t have soil we use things like coconut
husk rockwool rapid Rooter cubes it’s the stuff that we used in our sare grant
when we were growing our crops we started everything in like pretty much
coconut husk or Rockwall okay so when you’re growing seedlings once again you
don’t have to get fancy you can make your own seed in starters construction
lumber you know this is a three tier system here looks very similar to this
this is a commercial type one or you can make it yourself out of wood if you’re
very handy or you can buy online or you can just do a small one like this or a
small one like that doesn’t have to be expensive and this is what we do in our
classrooms our kids build them that’s what I do in my basement
okay feeding your fish 1.5 percent of their body weight daily 50 pounds of
fish 50 pounds times 1.5 percent gives you point seven five pounds of fish feed
daily if you’re buying commercial feed it also tells you based upon the type of
fish that you’re growing how much you should be feeding them so you can get
that right off the bag if you’re not familiar with growing fish okay poor
duck wheat sunflower cake you can do that as well so considerations location
the type of materials you know liners pipe frames or your indoors or outdoors
we’re in the Midwest winter you want to be able to control that environment
types of fish foodist plants receive nutrients the access to electricity
access to water sunlight time available to take care of the system right and
then your budget budget for a small system less than twelve hundred dollars
you can do it cheaper if you have the materials around the house or if you’re
buying from your Walmart or wherever medium systems you’re about twelve
hundred to ten thousand dollars you can be as much Smit as much or as little as
you want alright you can buy expensive materials or you can buy construction
lumber large systems ten thousand plus you know this is growing basil and a
four by four basil and lettuce in that system and we can get really good we get
really good prices for a basil okay things to watch with this what we found
out chlorine and chloramines if you’re on municipal water if you’re on well
water pretty much good water quality dissolved oxygen solid pest management
we talked about the feed you have to remove your solids before they enter the
hydroponic portion especially if you’re gonna be doing drip irrigation you want
to get your solids out of there and oh by the way your solids that fish poop is
really good natural fertilizer for your crops if you’re doing gardening or
raised beds okay and then decomposing solids consume oxygen you don’t need to
worry about all that today but then you say where can you rest where do you
market your stuff so restaurants grocery stores microgreens you can sell all
these this is called the grey plume this is an Omaha this is one of the most
highly rated restaurants in the country it’s a green restaurant we had our
kiddos growing salads we had them growing microgreens and we had Clayton
Chapman the owner test them in his restaurant fantastic results and the
kids were turning their microgreens in every seven to fifteen seven to twelve
or fifteen days depends upon what you’re growing and this is proven this is not
something we say we’re going to do our kids we had Clayton proved it in one of
the best rated restaurants in the country that’s what you can do in your
basement in your garage in your living room if you’re me and the quality is
very high so you don’t have to start very big you can do small microgreens
and you have to see what your market wants salad greens various sprouts and
then your specialty crops figure out what works for you of that or you can do
something like this it doesn’t have to be really expensive
this is only about 22 to 25 minutes from here this is called green fin Gardens
they’re about 25 minutes from this location if I had more time I’d stopped
in to say hi to them but this is what they do they dug holes and this is kind
of a model the model that they’re following is the same model that we’re
gonna be using in Haiti okay and then look at this isn’t expensive PVC you
just got plastic over the top and they’re doing things like figs and
bananas as well in addition to growing tilapia so you can do this right and
then if you look back here they’re trying to grow like corn and vegetables
and things taking the water out of this pond and pushing it back to their growth
section greenhouses are sunk down into the
ground yeah like three or four feet below ground so you know and I just
whenever I’m going to present I like to see what they’re doing locally this is
local okay and then there’s also something that’s called greenhouse in
the snow that’s out in alliance Nebraska guy by the name of Russ Finch he has
been growing citrus in like sunken greenhouses and he just you’ve been
doing it for like 28 years right so take a look at that – that’s what’s possible
and the thing is notice it you fit it to your needs and this is just this is just
a barrel 55-gallon barrel recycle barrel that he’s using as a swirl filter we do
that too we teach the kids how to do this okay or you can do this this is
Wagner South Dakota this is one of our Native American tribes this is what
they’re doing we started with a four by four grow bed in a 50 gallon tank and
all this farmer Rancher stuff that we were doing with our kiddos those kiddos
took it and they ended up building this geodesic dome greenhouse with these four
by four four by eight crow beds four of those off of a 3,300 gallon tank and now
they want another greenhouse next to this one and I hear now they’re building
like a mini lake on their on their campus as well I know what’s wrong with
these kids but you know you’re only limited by your imagination and your
budget your funding but this is what our kids did these are high school kids
middle and high school kids did this they had some help with us they didn’t
build that by themselves IBC totes you can get one of these cut off the top
flip that make this your grow bed this becomes your fish tank right you can get
those yes ma’am well you’d mentioned several times about growing indoors and
thinking what about humidity is that a problem or do you control that somehow
yes you can control humidity by moving air by using a dehumidifier or by
growing a fish that doesn’t require warm water but if you’re growing a warm water
tilapia like in my basement that you want to move that air because you can
run into humidity issues especially if you have a lot you can also cover your
tanks to keep the humidity down yep good question or you can do this with barrels
barrel ponics right we can find these 55-gallon recycle barrels this one
becomes your fish tank this one becomes your grow bed just like this you can do
this or you can get really creative and do this like this right food grade
recycled or if you can’t do it you’re afraid of it just do this anybody right
you can practice on that anybody can put one of these little goldfish or whatever
these little guys are in there okay all right so what’s possible I talked about
all this stuff we got our twenty nine one hundred and fifty dollar sare grant
I think that’s what it was but this is what’s possible we took that we started
in July of 2010 that’s when I started this organization we got our sare grant
2012 something like that but now we’re building this this is an 1,800 square
foot facility with a 5,000 square foot greenhouse classes on on the mid floor
and an aquaculture facility on the bottom looks like this this is going to
be an Omaha that’s under construction right now and you remember I said I
changed up my presentation a little bit based upon what I was hearing there we
took our sare grant and our idea and what we were doing with the kids and we
turned it in to this thing and we just got a $315,000 EDA grant $150,000 Farm
Credit Services of America grant to start building this facility which is
bigger more education this is going to be growing steelhead trout 4,500 square
feet of aquaculture facility this is our educational floor that looks down into
the into our aquaculture facility this is all around education and this is all
commercial scale right and it’s all gonna be for the Midwest for the breach
as a regional training center so we can get more people into this since we’re
getting so many questions and you might be saying to yourself does anybody else
care yeah this is Whole Foods they’re starting to put greenhouses on tops of
their grocery stores notice it’s snowing they want fresh produce
you’re wondering if anybody wants to buy their building greenhouses on top of
their stores now because they can’t get the quality that they want Whole Foods
is also a supporter of ours as well I mean they have grant programs for people
are interested in doing these types of things so you got to talk to Whole Foods
or like this on top of apartment buildings I get lots of calls this is
actually one that’s up in Chicago I think one of the largest rooftop
greenhouses in the world but I get lots of calls from rural areas people wanting
to do small greenhouses things of that nature
there is there’s room right and if you don’t realize this from an aquaculture
side the majority of our seafood it’s gonna come from recirculating
aquaculture systems that’s a fact we’ve reached a tipping point in the oceans
there aren’t enough people in the pipeline to know how to grow I didn’t
put it in this presentation but there’s a small farm of you know single family
farm version of an aquaculture facility that we’re trying to bring into the
Midwest to start teaching people how to run it so they can grow things like
salmon stuff like that we’re working with some
really good people on that but it provides options for you as a small
farmer we talk about small farms family farms things that can be run by a family
or about one or two people so you can get that extra income that extra revenue
perhaps save the farm continue farming make a living so that’s what we focus on
trying to bring in and so everything that I’ve showed you stuff that we’ve
already done okay I didn’t put all the different numbers in there because I
wanted to show you what’s possible and show you options so very successful sare
grant we’re about out of time any questions if you’re wanting to use standard
sunlight in the winter time when the the the angle dips low can you put
reflective material on the north side of the plants and make it bounce a little
additional sunlight down to them yes you can if if you’re not growing for
production right if you’re just growing for fun then yep you can put in
reflectors things like that and that helps any way for us if we’re growing
commercially which we will be will be running lights during the winter as well
to make sure that we can keep those crops growing but if you can settle for
slower grow times through the lack of light then go ahead and do that with us
in our system will be running grow lights because we need to keep pumping
those crops out because remember we’re urban and rural underserved communities
so we’re providing fresh crops to the community we’re selling okay but yes you
can do that so our you know other problems as far as quality of the
produce do you run into yeah our pest counts actually very low because we try
and keep everything very very clean we’d like to do biosecurity so but what
you’ll see with some people you see just the little typical naps and things like
that we don’t have anything that’s very heavy so but integrated pest management
if you’re open to anything that’s coming in then you’ve run into some issues that
you run into traditionally but remember you don’t have soil right so in your
soil-borne pests aren’t going to be occupying your system here because
there’s no soil in your system and they typically don’t like to hang out in our
hydrogen or expanded clay or perlite or anything like that so that also helps
keep your pest management down so it’s it’s surprisingly this is what’s that
you know we hope we don’t see a lot of that either and then you can be very
smart about that if you have it close if you’re on a farm and you have other
crops that are growing then you can start thinking about different types of
planting around your greenhouse or wherever else that might attract those
types of critters so we we talk about that you know the holistic approach to
manage and keeping the bugs off of your crops here because you can’t use
pesticides so if you get anything in there then you’re looking at natural
pest management as well ladybugs and things like that which are kids love
ladybug day in the school okay that’s a great question I know you’ve been
talking mostly about fast-paced growing greens and things like that was anyone
never tried using one of their more systems to grow like fruits or perineum
hole yes flowers or cantaloupe strawberries yep flowers we even do
edible flowers do edible flowers and sell those to the restaurants you can do
unlike raspberries for example we haven’t personally done raspberries but
people have done raspberries but we’ve done any of your big things your
Tomatoes your cucumbers all that stuff and it grows it grows surprisingly well
in the system we have one of our kids they did one of their systems tomato
plants that were eight or nine feet tall we use ladders to climb to the top of
them just like they do in the commercial system yeah typically eat your own fish
and that kind of thing I mean uh how many yeah they’re not pets
I mean like yeah you like 85% homegrown and fish eater now or what if we wanted
to we could be 100 percent right because we grow but we grow enough fish to do
that and we don’t buy like lettuce and stuff from the store we eat our own and
then we sell our excess to my wife’s friends and people and things like that
so it comes down to how much room you have and how much you need to grow if
you just want to grow for yourself you can easily put in a four by four grow
bed and have tilapia and greens and things like that and be perfectly fine
you know as long as you’re turning the crops the way that you should you can do
it okay other questions thank you very much I appreciate you being attentive
audience that’s us if you have any questions cool right click the link in the
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Author Since: Mar 11, 2019