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

Michael Garver Jr. joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
Jim Fisk replied to Mathew Slattery's discussion Huge Deficiencies in Large AP system
"Having tried dwc twice, the most recent still on going for over a year, I find no advantage and many disadvantages for a BY system so my question is "if you are having great luck with media F&D why not do as I am about to do for the second…"
Jim Fisk replied to Michael Euteneier's discussion traveling roots
"Jonathan, not sure what needs to be designed in regards to bell siphons. Just make a GG with slots that will cut off the roots. Mine are 4" pipe on my 3" bells and in 3+ years they have worked perfectly. I rotate the GG every few months,…"
Jim Fisk replied to Michael Euteneier's discussion traveling roots
"And one more reason that we will be changing our one dwc 3' x 13'  bed over to bell siphon flood and drain. I ran into the same problem. With our bell siphons a quick rotation every few months cuts any roots right off and they float…"
Jim Fisk replied to Stacey King's discussion Some plants grow better in my raft, others in my flood and drain? in the group Fish-less Systems
"Personally I am planning on turning our 3' x 13' x 10" dwc into media (granite) flood and drain any day now. I find no advantage to raft in a home food factory system other than it has next to no effect on the 275g buried sump (no ebb…"
Jim Vanderveen joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
Jim Fisk replied to Brendan Van Epps's discussion Greenhouse system
"Here is a free publication with lots of info on GH design"
Mar 13
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Welcome aboard Nikki (Artus). IBCs are a great way to go. Let us know if we can help in any way. Arthur, Aquaman, and Jeff: Thrilled to help. The more I think about it I may stick to the thinwall because as long as it is painted it should last…"
Mar 12
Nikki Artus joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
Mar 11
Jim Fisk replied to Brendan Van Epps's discussion Greenhouse system
"I repair commercial gas dryers and washers all the time and between the open electrical boxes and live devices hanging out and the often very scary gas pipes and connections I know exactly what you mean. Just yesterday I was on a call to a motel and…"
Mar 11
Jim Fisk commented on Rob Nash's photo


"Big fan of granite here as well. $18 per ton PU at crusher just 1/2hr away, washed and graded. You can't beat it. Looks great, stays looking great, handles nicely, and adds valuable trace minerals."
Mar 11
Jim Fisk replied to Deborah M Espie's discussion Adjusting water flow into grow beds and bell siphons
"There really should never be any "pressure" in the bell. Up until "make" the stand pipe is open to free air as the water rises if you plumbed it right. The bell goes into suction tho once the siphon makes. Sounds to me like you…"
Mar 10
Jim Fisk replied to Deborah M Espie's discussion Adjusting water flow into grow beds and bell siphons
"Paul, with our GGs all you do is rotate them back and forth every month or so and the roots are cut right off by the razor sharp ends of the chop saw slots. Then you just lift the bell and remove the roots. Not much more to say on the granite. I…"
Mar 10
Jim Fisk replied to Dana Choate's discussion greenhouse cover? in the group Greenhouses
"Hey Jeff. The first year I used Lowes 6 mil on part and TSC 4mil on another part and the TSC outlasted the Lowes by quite a bit as thin as it was. I was very impressed by the difference. So I can vouch for TSC's. "
Mar 10
Jim Fisk replied to Deborah M Espie's discussion Eagle Nest AP
"We are located in The Great Smoky Mountains of NE TN. Highs in the 80's and lows to -20F. System water ranges from 45F to 75F and at those extremes I add well water (Artesian well from 300' down and pretty stable between 47 and 50F and NO…"
Mar 10
Jim Fisk replied to Deborah M Espie's discussion Adjusting water flow into grow beds and bell siphons
"Wow, never experienced that. "
Mar 10

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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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