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

Profile IconGary Parks and Joe Faulks joined Jim Fisk's group

IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.See More
15 hours ago
Jim Fisk replied to Raoul duke's discussion Questions.
"Hey Jeff, good advice. We PU 4 loader buckets of composting horse manure from a neighbor/friend and low and behold it came loaded with about 5 billion red worms. It is alive with them. Been distributing them everywhere. Apparently the advantage to…"
Jim Fisk posted photos
Jim Fisk replied to Raoul duke's discussion Questions.
"As to direct seeding my bell siphon design takes small extender rings that can be used to adjust the GB water level. So when I am direct seeding I raise the water to 1/2" below the surface of the media, etc for seedlings at 1". You can see…"
Jim Fisk replied to Raoul duke's discussion Questions.
"If running winter crops temps can dive to 20F and not hurt a thing as long as water is circulating. In fact your crops will taste sweeter at low temps due to the antifreeze that they produce for themselves which are sweet. Of course I raise trout…"
Jim Fisk replied to Moe's discussion fish tank water is not circulating fast
"Hey Moe, read all the comments and the only advice I have is "Plumbing 101, sh.. Crap runs downhill. This can't be anything that complicated. Think like water and follow the path. Your pipes sound totally adequate for a system your size.…"
Jim Fisk posted a video

Aquaponics Greenhouse System Build In the Smoky Mountains

This is a long time coming one hour long presentation that is intended to be both instructional and simply of general Aquaponics interest. It is the story of...
Michael Garver Jr. commented on Jim Fisk's page How Do You Plumb Your IBC Fish Tank? in the group IBC Aquaponics
"For some reason, this made a lot more since to me. Thank you for the photos and updates."
Apr 2
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
Mar 26
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…"
Mar 24
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,…"
Mar 24
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…"
Mar 24
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…"
Mar 24
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
Mar 23
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

Profile Information

How did you find us?
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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?
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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