Northwest Aquaponics

To discuss regional issues with those in the Northwest

Location: Washington
Members: 141
Latest Activity: Jan 5

Discussion Forum


Started by Phil Slaton. Last reply by Phil Slaton Dec 26, 2014. 8 Replies

Due to demand for fry/fingerlings we moved up the temperature in the breeding colony tanks this Winter and have both Blue and Hornorum/Mossambicus (all male offspring) breeding again. Mr. Stork was a…Continue


Started by Phil Slaton Dec 3, 2014. 0 Replies

From the video on YouTube.  A DIY tank heater in one of my sumps along with an airstone and 1,000gph pump.Continue


Started by Phil Slaton Nov 21, 2014. 0 Replies

Group is devoted to Commercial and Aquaponics growers that grow Tilapia. Please post your information and questions. Have equipment or fish to give away or sale, post it here.Continue

Introducing Fish

Started by Joseph Michael Martino. Last reply by Maureen Hope Wall Nov 4, 2014. 1 Reply

Hey all,The nitrates have appeared, Ive got plants started, ive got a working loop siphon and a working auto siphon, Ive done a fair amount of research on stocking density: now Ive got one last…Continue

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Comment by Phil Slaton on December 3, 2014 at 6:19pm

If you use it, and who doesn't, support Wikipedia with your donation today!

Comment by Phil Slaton on November 30, 2014 at 8:10pm

Snowed up here in NW Washington. Temps down to 20 degrees. Power, of course, went out. Glad we have a 37KW Kohler stand by generator set. Fish are fine. Will have fingerlings after Christmas for sale.

Comment by Phil Slaton on November 23, 2014 at 3:10pm

Come on over and join West Coast Tilapia. We look forward to your input!

Comment by Linda Logan on August 13, 2014 at 2:28pm

If it's any consolation, I do both (flood and drain and bell siphon).  I have heard that it is easier on a pump to run continuously rather than on/off.  Saying that, I haven't had any problems with my pumps in either system.  The flood and drain has been running two years.  The bell siphon, about 6 months.

Many people make their own bell siphons which would make the cost nominal.  So if this one quits, that's an option.  Lots of DYI stuff on it.

Comment by Chris Keaton on August 13, 2014 at 1:09pm

Howdy all,

I have a 200 gal fish tank and 2-60 gal beds.  I put bell siphons in the beds, mostly because I liked the idea of siphons over flood and drain.  In retrospect I wish I had gone with the straight flood and drain.  The bell siphons work great and I really like the whoosh of water and the aeration, but the flood and drain would have been so much cheaper in both the short and long term.  Short term as the cost of the drain pipe is hardly anything compared to the cost of building/purchasing a bell siphon.  Long term because I could be running my pump 15 min every 2 hours instead of always on.  I have aerators in the fish tank so I don't need the extra aeration from the siphons.  Those are my thoughts on what I did and what I now think would have been a better way.


Comment by Joseph Michael Martino on August 13, 2014 at 11:06am

Also just to follow up, I am following the University of Hawaii's autosiphon guide ( and am thinking of going ahead and going with the specs they provide for a 24 cubic foot bed that holds 180 gallons, and potentially adding a second siphon (table at bottom of page 2).  Anyways, hope all is well with everyone!


Comment by Joseph Michael Martino on August 13, 2014 at 11:03am

Hey All,

I have a quick question; I am building a new aquaponics system with a friend in his greenhouse.  The size and shape of the greenhouse are a constraint we are working with.  We have built the bed and it is now time to actually do the aquaponics part!  

In any case, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestion as to how to size an auto siphon; what I mean is, I have a 27.56 cubic foot bed (2.59' x 10.64' x 1') that (according to the Google calculator) can hold 206 gallons of water.  Is there a way to figure out how many or what size pipes would be good to use to ensure that this is drained adequately?

Thanks for your time, looking forward to hearing back!


Comment by Joseph Michael Martino on July 16, 2014 at 2:35pm

Hey Maureen,

Not a bad suggestion: it would appear that there is already a bell siphon topic here.  I will post to that.  

Comment by Maureen Hope Wall on July 11, 2014 at 6:48pm
I think it would be really great if one started a new thread or topic for new topics. That way someone who doesn't use a bell siphon wouldn't have to look at the comment. Or if I was interested in kickstarter campaigns I could check out the post and see one continuos thread. Just a suggestions ....
Comment by Lloyd Booth on July 11, 2014 at 3:47pm

Good afternoon Michael,  This Is A Lengthy Post

>.. I have looked at your linked site. I like it. It is ambitious and do-able.

>.. I think you could discuss a bit about how you can develop income to the Farm as it grows into a more commercial project. For example, what would you develop the first year, while planting which soil-based plants for sale?

>.. Do you have a clearly defined market at present? How would this market suffer or succeed as YOU grow. For example: say you have a local grocery store and a stall at the local farmer's market as your current outputs. What happens to them as you expand? Can the local store take more of your produce? Have you discussed this with the grocery manager? Can the local FM handle you adding say 3 - 8 more stalls? (to have one stall for several products, and yet diversify across your product line) Do you have the staff to open more stalls? Or would you try to handle say 20 product lines with your current staff at the current stall?

>.. Do you have a sales team identified and capable of sending your crops to various markets beyond local shares and what the FM will sell? Do you have refrigerated transport? The weather gets warm in the summer and crops that are not refrigerated during transport look terrible on arrival and generally won't sell.

>.. On a different aspect, look at your premiums carefully. On the lower end you want most of the money to come to you not go out again in premiums. I would add "choice of 1" and the list. Then later "choice of 2". If that was your intent, that was not how it reads.

>.. Keeping the name plates as "a choice" would be better than having it as an "also." I like the color progress as you go. Perhaps at each level, changing the colors to include 'pearl' [white], 'emerald' [green], 'sapphire' [blue], 'topaz' [yellow], 'ruby' [red], etc. Keeping black, brown for lower values, and 'silver' [chrome] and 'gold' [not plated, surely] as the top ends.

>.. By separating the premiums, you can allow multiple purchases at each level to allow people to buy a nameplate and a mug, if they desire that choice.

>.. For the very lowest premiums I would only offer a coupon for a discount at purchase, The $5 and $10 and maybe the $20 as well. The coupons multiply as a multiple of $5. Example: a $5 offer nets a $1 off coupon [one coupon per product], $10 gets 2 coupons, etc. YOU print only one coupon type [4 year expiration] but can send multiples of these as the value of the donation increases. [Also drives people to get their coupons redeemed.]

>.. Consider giving out the same coupons for the first 3 years of sales [they expire after the 4th year] at your personal outlets. Granted it is a 20% return to the customer, but for the next 4 years it can drive up local sales. Make a place on the back of the coupon for name, snail mail address, and email and do NOT honor them without that data.

>.. Keep a complete list of donors with addresses as you can, in multiple formats [paper, card file, electronic lists and databases. Secure copies of these lists in multiple locations and update as they move.

>.. This is not an exhaustive review, I have little experience with Kickstarter, but I have donated on several occasions.



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