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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

Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Black pipe is the right one. It comes in various gauges but the thicker the longer lasting."
Apr 11
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Jim, Thanks for the info. I am reworking the heater this year. Your system sounds cool but complicated to a simpleton like me. Can I use the black stove pipe and be safe with proper clearance? I built a fireproof closet for the stove but it…"
Apr 11
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Jeff, I would be negligent if I did not point out that that is not a "duct" in your photo but a chimney that WILL load up with very flammable creosote and when (not if) it catches fire you are going to be in big trouble. Even that metal…"
Apr 11
john mark joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
Apr 11
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Hi Jeff, sorry I got no notice of your post. My stove design is capable of a good 100K btus and that chamber on top is more complicated than it looks as it extracts most of the useable heat before it exits the GH. I can get the entire stove glowing…"
Apr 11
Jim Fisk left a comment for George S. Turner
"Hi George, let me know what kind of leaks you are suffering so we can get to the bottom of it."
Apr 10
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Jim, I notice your wood burner exits directly out of the GH. I built a separate closet to accommodate my incinerator and found I was loosing most of the heat. I decided to loop the duct work into the GH with a fan blowing down on it. Works great!…"
Apr 8
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"That's what kept us growing down to 20 below. Winter crops did very well and the trout grew to 18". We love Winter gardening. Should have been doing for years."
Apr 7
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Keith, This was my first winter(not a good one to start) and I built a small GH and kept going. Fish production was good. Veggies grew but didn't produce. I've actually stopped trying to do any breeding. Don't have anywhere to put…"
Apr 7
Keith Langdon commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"1.00 ea they are 1-2"inches in size and he said he had about 600 of them. I found him off Craigslist. I am in the Kalamazoo area. Running 4 grow beds to a sump back up to the fish tank.  Adding thee towers and some bato…"
Apr 7
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Well Keith next time you're in the west Detroit area and need some fish give me a shout or just drop by and say hi. I'm visiting in N.C. this week and did a tour of another guys operation yesterday. First system I've ever seen besides…"
Apr 7
Keith Langdon commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"I purchased 35 from a guy in Grand Haven over the weekend.Also put 6 pacu into the mix for this summer."
Apr 7
Keith Langdon commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Fish have been shipped by the aquarium industry for years. Bagged with oxygen and sent overnight in styro boxes."
Apr 7
Pat James commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Jeff, I found them about 70 miles from me for about $1 each for what was supposed to be 2-3 inchers."
Apr 7
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Thanks for the effort Jim. Guess the next thing to do is figure out how to ship them...alive."
Apr 7
Jim Fisk commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"So here's a screen dump of that ad:"
Apr 7

Profile Information

How did you find us?
Search engine (Google)
If you found us through a search engine, what search words were you using?
If you found us through a referral or a newsletter, which was it?
PCH Search Engine
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?
6 mos - 1 yr
What type of fish do you grow with? (select all that apply)
Goldfish, Trout, Catfish
How big is your fish tank?
1500 gal (5 x @250 gal ibc's and 10 ibc grow bwds 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

Making A Zero Backpressure Check Valve

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 12:30pm 4 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 (7 comments)

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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.


At 12:28pm on April 4, 2013, Brad Moreau said…


hows it going? I'm getting closer the start up system, I was wondering if I could use stainless steel tubing to cool water in freezer, or do I have to use vinyl / pvc 


At 9:45am on March 22, 2013, Nick Scud said…

Thanks Jim, your wealth of knowledge is much appreciated!  I should be receiving my IBC's (and hopefully a plastic 55gal drum, for a sump) this weekend.  I like to have a good game plan before just starting to cut & build..  so I'm sure I'll be in touch to verify some plumbing details, and other stuff, before I just try slapping everything together.  Thanks again for the warm welcome, I look forward to learning and cultivating.

At 5:51pm on November 19, 2012, Bob Campbell said…

Jim I've been telling Silvia about the break down in notifications.  Vlad also noticed it, and I think it is happening to a lot of people but few are saying anything.  Please tell Silvia about the notifications that you are missing.   I started a discussion and thought no one was interested until I checked it.  I had missed 5 replies!

At 11:56pm on August 19, 2012, Sylvia Bernstein said…

Welcome Jim!


Thanks for joining the Aquaponic Gardening community!  I hope you find it a fun place to explore aquaponics.  There is a real blend of experienced and new aquapons in this community, so please don’t hesitate to get in there and start asking questions.  Everyone is quite happy to help out new members--no question is too basic. 


A great place to start is to read the “How to Use This Site” link on the upper right corner, “Start Here” section of the Home page.  You might also find the “Aquaponic Gardening Rules of Thumb” guidelines helpful.


Please participate and check in with us every day!  We are constantly posting news about aquaponics and the good food movement.


Thanks again for joining us, and I look forward to getting to know you.




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