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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 Chi Ma's group Aquaponics For Beginners
"Jeff, you may run into problems where the siphons will not break and your GBs will stay empty. Better to slow the fill time but that may result in slow starts. It is a balancing act as I am sure you are aware. I really see no advantage to slow…"
Dec 1
Jim Fisk commented on Terry Clark's group OFF GRID
"Hey Jon, still waiting for that info on your gasifier. You're not really asking us to fly to the west coast to find out more are you?? Been 2 yrs since you promised pics and a diagram My latest gasifier wood "boiler" (not) will be…"
Nov 25
Todd Johnson commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Check your water hardness. Sounds like you have soft water. If you get your water harder it will be easier to raise and maintain pH"
Nov 23
Phil Slaton commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Come on over and join West Coast Tilapia.  We look forward to your input!"
Nov 23
Alan replied to Jim Fisk's discussion Automatic Fish Feeder Went Online Today in the group Automation and Remote Monitoring
"IS thsi still all going well? You mentioned an upgrade. Any developments?"
Nov 20
John Pink left a comment for Jim Fisk
"Hi do you know what the flow rates for D.W T. system please"
Nov 2
Jim Fisk commented on Chi Ma's group Aquaponics For Beginners
"For those wondering where the "H" I went I had an emergency appendectomy at 2am 10 days ago and live to tell about it. Got to my goal weight of 165 from 175 in 5 days but I don't recommend it:-) My wife took over the AP GH and all…"
Oct 18
Paul Anguiano joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
Oct 8
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"I've had egg shells in my system for a couple of months and still have the pH going down. I add calcium carbonate to one 45 gallon system and potassium hydroxide & hydrated lime to the other to raise the pH. My IBC never goes below 7.2 and…"
Oct 6
Leo White Bear commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"The seaweed extract here in the states is called "Maxi-crop".  Murry Hallum in Australia says it is called Seasol, I found my in a plant nursery, I don't think just any nursery has it but the bigger ones do.  You can also…"
Oct 6
Arthur King, Jr. commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Butch, I have heard a lot of people use Seaweed extract to provide trace minerals to growing environment.  Also, you will find that the fish food will have some of these in as well.  The only thing I see at lot of people needing to add is…"
Oct 6
Leo White Bear commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"Butch-   It may have some trace minerals but remember it is volcanic GLASS.  Sand is basically sterile so no trace minerals, scoria is made of melted sand.  It also is very dirty and all that bits of glass and dirt gets into your pump…"
Oct 6
Butch Pornebo commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"@ jeff ... very nice @ Leo and Arthur King ... noted .... yeah to think about it mother nature did not evolve plants to expect light from under. river rock in my area is about $40 per yard. I like the lava rock a lot. porous and lightweight too.…"
Oct 5
Arthur King, Jr. commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"I use pea gravel (3/4" river rock) that I checked for limestone before getting  it at $45 a yard.  Seems like a lot of media prices vary depending on what is available in your area. I would not recommend the white gravel top for two…"
Oct 5
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
Oct 5
Jeff S commented on Jim Fisk's group IBC Aquaponics
"I sow my seeds in my grow media. I even built a small bed over a 45gallon aquarium just to germinate seedlings. If you are trying to produce as fast as possible it saves a few weeks of growing time in your GB if you have a separate germinating…"
Oct 5

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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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