Jim Fisk
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  • Shady Valley, TN
  • United States
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Jim Fisk's Discussions

Smoky Mountain Aquaponics System Up and Running

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jim Fisk Apr 30, 2013. 13 Replies

Now that we are actually "fished" I guess we are officially a system. So here is an "as built" plan as opposed to the original plan that evolved as we were building.…Continue

Tags: Mtns., Smoky, system, ap, Aquaponics

Calling all AP gurus. Here's a hoot.

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jim Fisk Aug 12, 2013. 6 Replies

Anyone else ever notice a voltage potential between your ibc fish tanks. I kept noticing a cactus like feeling when I leaned on my tanks. One forearm on one , etc. You get the idea. So, I got out the…Continue

Blue Gill Fin Fungus?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Brent Wheeler Oct 1, 2012. 18 Replies

We picked up our first bluegills 4 days ago and 2 days in we noticed what appear to be white fungus on the dorsal fins. Water quality is right on and clear. Me thinks it was on them from the fish…Continue

Tags: fins, fungus, Bluegill


Jim Fisk's Page

Latest Activity

David Gallentine commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Hello there, need tilapia? www.tilapiastore.com"
David Gallentine joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
StevedNETN commented on Jim Fisk's video

Aquaponics Greenhouse Woodstove Build Slideshow

"Hi jim,  great build.  I live in kingsport ten not far from you.  Wondered if you would share how much you keep the heater going.  I am looking to heat my system through the winter but can't man it round the clock.  Do…"
Nov 12
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Hey Jeff, it might be the species of fish. Some will dine on algae and some don't. Our trout don't seem all that interested while our cats and BGs are more prone to eat it. That's over 3 yrs of buildup as I try never to outguess…"
Oct 19
Mike Beckman commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"I believe overfeeding was in the mix but whatever caused the bubbles on top of the water I think was the issue.  I dont use any chemicals anywhere except to adjust PH from time to time so not sure what happened.  I overflowed the tank…"
Oct 18
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Jim, I was noticing your tank in the pic. The only "unclean" area in my tank is a slight algae line just above the water line. Couldn't clean it better myself. Probably because I have so many fish. They actually clean the walls up to…"
Oct 18
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Arthur, don't over clean your tank of course. That is healthy bacteria in most cases. Just remove any solids buildup on the bottom."
Oct 18
Arthur King, Jr. commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Mike,  Do you have a media guard around your drain in the GB?  Do you use any chemicals on the plants?  I agree with Jim that your water looks dirtier than I would expect.  I have a similar set-up (GB over FT using siphon and…"
Oct 17
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Here are a couple of pics: "
Oct 16
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Mike, I made a bottom suction tool with some 3/4" pvc attached to a 25' hose and I just use it as a siphon to suck thre crud off the bottom, especially in the IBC corners where solids will collect. Works like a charm but due to my SLO I…"
Oct 16
Mike Beckman commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Jim, I remember you telling me about smell in a prior communication and to stop using the add on water conditioning chemicals that I was using which I did.  Since then I have always been sensitive to the smell of the tank and honestly, even now…"
Oct 16
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Hey Mike, looking at your system water I see a few things that would bother me. First the suds bubbles on the surface. Something in the water chemistry is causing that. Might be a clue. Probably a slow concentration that has snuck up on you. Also,…"
Oct 16
Mike Beckman commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Arthur,  Thanks for the reply and yes it is one GB and one FT from an IBC and I have never taken out more than 25%, not sure if that is too much at one time.  Over the past year have gone months with no fish loss and just not sure what I…"
Oct 16
Arthur King, Jr. commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Hi Mike.  When you sat standard IBC set-up, you one GB and one FT made from one IBC?  I ask because I have only lost fish (Koi and Goldfish) when I had a combination of low pH (~6) and low tank water volume.  Too much stress for the…"
Oct 16
Mike Beckman commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"And I am using a flood and drain system, running 15 minutes every hour, compost worms in the GB.  Was aerating on the timer but changed to 24 hours last week to see if that would help.  Originally, couldnt get the bell siphon I had to work…"
Oct 16
Mike Beckman commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Okay, really appreciate the responses.  My system is a "standard" IBC tote system with expanded clay media, white plastic piping, no brass or copper anywhere except the hose connection to the outside water pipe and you are correct,…"
Oct 16

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Are you an aquaponic gardener already?
If so, what type of system? (pick all that apply)
flood and drain media
How old is your system?
2 yrs or more
What type of fish do you grow with? (select all that apply)
Trout, Catfish, Other
How big is your fish tank?
2500 gal (5 x @250 gal ibc's and 10 ibc grow beds for starters)
Name a part of a fish (spam blocking question)
Please tell us something else about yourself.
Homesteading in the Smoky Mtns of NE TN. Setting up 5 ibc fish tanks and 10+ ibc grow beds in a 20 x 24 pole building greenhouse with an insulating wall between the "hot house" and the "fish room".

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Jim Fisk's Blog

How We Build Our Solids Lifting Outlet (SLO) At Smoky Mountain Aquaponics

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 1:30pm 16 Comments

There are many ways to skin a cat or in this case get the poop out of your fish tank (FT). Here is how we make ours for our full size IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) FTs. We wanted a true family…


Making A Zero Backpressure Check Valve

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 12:30pm 7 Comments

I have a portion of my bypass water going to the SS heater coil in my woodstove and since it goes high above the rest of the system in order to clear a doorway I ran into some issues. All goes according to plan once I force the water up and over. However if there is a power interruption either by me or the power lines I immediately loose the prime and the coil is emptied and soon overheats and melts the pvc fittings.

So what I needed was a check valve that would not create any back…


Comment Wall (14 comments)

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At 5:21am on November 2, 2014, John Pink said…

Hi do you know what the flow rates for D.W T. system please

At 1:02pm on September 20, 2014, Max Gfx said…

I'd say you're right about things in common...You work on commercial washers, the company I work for operates on them (Ellis brand). However, I work on floor machines in another department of their business.

At 9:55am on August 18, 2014, N.G. said…

Thank you so very much!!!! You are awesome!

At 5:08pm on August 17, 2014, N.G. said…

Hi Jim, I saw on a previous post that you know a lot about bell siphons. I am a newbie and have built my own, but am having difficulty with it. Now I can't get it to work and I'm not sure why. It has a 3/4 " standpipe, 2" bell siphon with 1/2" holes along the bottom all the way around... The bell is an inch taller than the stand pipe... It should work and it did a few times but then stopped, leaving 5 inches of water left in the grow bed. I'm using a 130 gph pump for a 55 gl tank and going up 4ft. Do you think its my pump? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions :) Thanks

At 9:45am on June 19, 2014, Jeremiah Robinson said…

Hey Jim,

If the air is warmer than the water, it's a tossup in my view.  The sweating might help a tiny bit, but very little of the heat absorbed will come from the plastic of your tanks. That's why I was thinking it's not worth the effort, though I'd love to hear the results of an experiment.  If you had metal tanks it might be different.


At 8:54am on June 19, 2014, Jeremiah Robinson said…

Hey Jim,

I wouldn't.  I don't think the sweating would be worth the convective heat gain.  

At 8:05am on June 18, 2014, Jeremiah Robinson said…

Hey Jim,

Thanks for asking.  Yeah I'm a dad now.  Same story as you - long induction and a c-section.  I just about lost it in the hospital.  Really good to be home.  Not much sleep yet but hopefully soon as she gets back up to birth weight.

Here's a link to some pictures.

At 5:11pm on March 4, 2014, samsjoy89 said…

Wow, Jim, looks like you have the perfect setup.  Great property for an awesome AP system!   I'm small scale, sub-division in town.  AP system, a couple raised beds and some young fruit trees.  Thanks for all the posting you do.  Helps us newbies learn.


At 3:48pm on December 11, 2013, Ken McCown said…

Nice. What did you end up covering the hot house side with? The video shows it covered with plastic.

At 3:24pm on December 6, 2013, Shelia Hoyt said…

Hi Jim,

  Thanks for answering my question so promptly. Sorry I took so long to reply but I waited to respond because I wanted to see how the heat exchange my husband built for my yesterday was going to work. It works well. We  had to use cast iron 90's  because that is what he had on hand. I had a mishap shortly after we set the heat exchanger up- I slowed the flow too much and went inside and cooked dinner.  When I came back the pvc had started bending so I pulled it apart and drove quickly to town (13 miles in the freezing rain and sleet) picked up more pvc and when I returned my husband modified the exchanger( to try to prevent me from damaging anything else LOL ) by taking the s.s. across the top also and then connected to the pvc and increased the flow and the temp was 76-78.

  Today  I added some steel on top and in between of the s.s.   then I was reached temps of 87 on the out put and the tank was around 67 or 68 so I increased the flow and until it was a temp of 74 and now both the pond and the fish tank (about 700 gallons) is at 71. the air temp is around 60. So I am pleased with the heater.  Now we will see how well everything does if it gets down between 8 and 0 over the next few days.  Missouri is definitely experiencing winter weather, but thankfully we did not loose power.

Thanks for posting pictures of your heat exchanger. We had been talking about several options and after I heard that your s.s worked well we decided to make this heater.



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