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

Jason pickett 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 Anne Phillip's discussion building a small bell siphon in the group Aquaponics For Beginners
"Hey Jeff, yes these little guys are a bit more of a challenge due to surface tension showing it's ugly head. I built this one for a customer and have sold a few now on eBay so I wanted it to be as easy as possible to tune in over as broad a…"
Feb 19
Jim Fisk replied to Anne Phillip's discussion building a small bell siphon in the group Aquaponics For Beginners
"It occurred to me that I have not shown the group our newest bell siphon for a small kitchen garden. In this small size (3-4" media) you run into things like "surface tension" which has next to no effect in the larger sizes. Anyway…"
Feb 17
Jim Fisk commented on Chi Ma's group Aquaponics For Beginners
"@ David: Naaah, just run with it Best addiction around especially in this day of so many addictions. 3 yrs. + in and I just wish I had more time to finish up "the plan" but always making improvements which brings up my best advice: just…"
Feb 17
Jim Fisk replied to R.K. Castillo's discussion Dealing with Pests
"For slugs and cut worms that like to hide in the media during the day I simply flood the GB about 1-2" above the media and wait for them to come up for air. Works great but limit it to about 15 minutes so you don't drown the composting…"
Feb 16
Jim Fisk commented on Chi Ma's group Aquaponics For Beginners
"And that's why we love our local granite at 18.00 per ton graded and washed. That's enough to fill 2 IBC 12" depth GBs. I happened to get a few bags of the very expensive Hydroton (along with a bunch of other pot growing stuff after a…"
Feb 16
Converse commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"That was supposed to say "their exoskeleton are made of chitin "......"
Feb 13
Converse commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"To bayy. Quest: you might want to be careful about loading your grow beds or filter with worms, simply because worms give off an enzyme in their castings called chitinase. The exoskeleton (Shell) of your crawfish is made up of Chilton. Since AP is a…"
Feb 13
Converse joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
Feb 13
Leo White Bear commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Just a crayfish tank, you then will need some kind of filter.  As Jeff stated, check out YouTube and the videos on swirl filters.  There are many great videos there for you to choose from to fit your budget"
Feb 12
Bayy Quest commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"This just a full time crawfish tank, not hooked up to a grow bed yet "
Feb 12
Leo White Bear commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Michael- Worms do work.  But, depending on the amount of fish you have and the depth of the GB media, overwhelming the GB with solids can happen.  You Definitely need a filter if you are doing NFT, but this is not the case here I…"
Feb 12
Michael Osman commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"I know this may be a "newbe" response... I thought we put worms in the grow bed to eliminate the need for a filter...?"
Feb 12
Leo White Bear commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Pat-   I agree with Jeff although Lava rock has the tendance yo be rough on the hands, it is volcanic glass so-to-speak.  With the pea gravel be sure it doesn't contain limestone.  This has a buffering effect on your water and…"
Feb 12
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Bayy, there are numerous filter plans on YouTube. Just look for radial flow filter and swirl filters. Pat, You'll need to consider weight in your equation and if you use lava rock I would get as small as possible, even sorting through and…"
Feb 12
Bayy Quest commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"I need to build a filter for my 175 ibc tote. I need plans or ideas for it? I was quoted $200 for a 55 gal drum filter by someone that can build one, but no pump so trying to see what I can do for the same range plus a good pump? Thanks"
Feb 12

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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?
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

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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