Saturday, June 29, 2013

Self Sustainable Living

Urban farming is growing rapidly.  Aquaponics is an amazing way to do that. Watch this video and see their story and learn from what they're doing that you can implement at your home and share with your community. It's like homesteading in a sense that the goal is to be off the grid and produce your own food sustainable but stay in the city rather than off in the woods some where.  This uses less water, it's organic, it's character building and there are so many ways to benefit from running a system like this.


Garden Pool in Mesa, Arizona

Garden Pool is a non profit organization in the McClung's family backyard.  They bought a house and the pool was empty and they did not want to fix it so they decided to turn it into a large green house with a pond in the deep end. They give classes on many different topics such as: what to grow, how to grow it, how to harvest, what works, what doesn't.  They are also making efforts to teach community members how to grow their own food! Here are some pictures of my duckweed and string algae production.

                                Trying to get some string algae to grow to feed the Tilapia
                                I propped the shade cloth up to get some breeze flowing through
                                and to shade the walls from the sun.  The're acting like a furnace
                                radiating heat.

                                My grow media cubic feet bio filter to gallons of water is: 10 cubic
                                feet of grow media to about 85 gallons of water(25-30 gallon
                                sump/grow bed plus 55 gallon fish tank)
                                7.48 gallons = 1 cubic foot
                                85 gallons needs to have a minimum of 11.36 cubic feet. This is a 1:1 ratio.
                                If we say that I only need to filter the fish tank water of 55 gallons then,
                                55 gal to 7.35 cubic feet

Five Tilapia, Duckweed and String Algae

Today I was searching for aquaponic groups in Mesa and I found Garden Pool. They were featured on the news a while back because they turned an empty pool into a green house with a pond in the deep end.  I got to check it out today when I bought the Tilapia and plants from them.  I got them at 5:00 pm and have had them in a five gallon bucket this whole time letting the water temp slowly rise and periodically adding some of my aquaponic water to their water.  It's been 7 hours, the fish have been snacking on duckweed and having a bubble bath.  The 27 feeder fish that I was trying to put in my system all died in three days.  I put the bag of fish into my fish tank to let the water temp match up and it changed too quickly killing all of them rather quickly.  So hopefully these fish are as resilient to changes in temperature and water quality as they're supposed to be. 

My camera battery is died and I cannot find the charger... I really wanted to show you the changes I've made to grow the string algae and duckweed.  

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blog Day 2

Last night I decided to bring the two survivors in. I had two 5 gallon buckets that were all ready to go with a nice water temperature of 75 degrees. They seemed pretty happy to be in an ice bath after boiling for a day and seeing all their buddies die. I used to have lids covering both my fish tank and sump I took the lid off of the fish tank this morning before I went to work, and came home to the water at 96 degrees. I noticed that my sump air temp was pretty high while I was taking some pictures of the system, so I decided to take that lid off too.

My two minnows are still kickin' it; I'm worried that they are starving because I have not seen them eat anything.  I tried feeding them fish flakes but they had no interest. 

Here are the pictures I captured this afternoon:

 Grow bed is 6'x2'x10", 55 Gallon fish tank and 30 gallon sump.
 I used all 1" PVC piping. 
 My lava rock media growing some moss.
 My siphon would not work without this elbow.
94 degrees!  Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Welcome to My Aquaponics in the Phoenix Area

Let me introduce myself a bit.  My name is Ryan and I live in Mesa, Arizona.  I married my beautiful wife Caitlin about 9 months ago. We both go to work full-time, I work at a manufacturing company in Tempe and Caitlin just started working at an automotive care center, today was her first day.
 I planted an Oregano, Red Bell, Tomato, Green Onion and Greek Basil  about two weeks ago and yesterday I put twenty-seven feeder minnows in. I currently have five plants and two fish, yes two fish from the original twenty-seven. For those of you that do not live in a HOT climate, I envy you. I went to my local aquarium store today to test my water for the fish, for free btw, the test results showed that the water was perfectly fine.  I bought a floating thermometer and dropped it in the fish tank when i got home.  The water was at 98 degrees. Now, that is a little bit too much on the warm side for any fish. I spent this afternoon searching for ideas on how to cool the water down.  I could buy a water cooler for $300, ha, someone else suggested on yahoo answers to freeze water in bottles and float them in the water, I decided to give that a try.  The water melted pretty quickly and the water temp came down to about 96 degrees, yippie!  My observation is the temperature dropped because it was getting later in the day. Tomorrow I'll see if the little minnows are still swimming right side up.
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Red Bell (Was planted too deep and all the leafs popped off)
Tomato (Got a little crispy, now I think it just needs more nutrients)
Onion pulled from my in-laws dried up garden.
Oregano dried up (Tastes amazing though)