This all started about 9 months ago. After using over $1,000 in water for a small rooftop dirt garden in SW Colorado one summer we needed a way to grow a productive garden with limited water.
Still unsure just how the Aquaponics idea emerged but I'm sure it was due in part to the Internet and ideas from a few marijuana growers we know who use hydroponics.
We started with John hand digging a 8x8 hole off the back deck for a "fish room". He labored weekend after weekend with shovel and small jackhammer as we live on the side of a hill in a river valley and there are many rocks and everything is on the side of the hill including our house.
We received a cash gift from Johns mother and proceeded to research and purchase a lean to greenhouse kit that would be suitable for our harsh winters so we could grow year round. With the help of family and friends we finished the fish room and constructed the greenhouse. I found an IBC tote for $100 and we were on our way.
The Master Plumber now found himself thinking about and designing our system only to be told by me that he was over thinking it all. We do have a neatly laid out system and have no "exposed piping" and a very well designed heater in our fish tank. We have begun on a new adventure hobby at the ages of 59 & 57!

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Comment by George on March 12, 2013 at 2:58am

A lot of us can't say that, so, congratulations.

 All 7 survived their first 24 hours in our AP system.

Comment by Verna Gross on March 10, 2013 at 10:03am
Day 3 post fish. It appears they grow by the hour. All 6 are now showing up when we peek into the tank. Seems odd to have to climb a small ladder to look inside the tote but we do plus it is elevated on 18 inches of block to get our gravity to the grow beds. Our FT water goes over a 4 inch overflow down the inside of the tank and out to a run order the greenhouse floor and back up to the grow beds from there they dump into 2 sump tanks where the water is then pumped back to the FT by a 1083 gph pump which is adjusted back quite a lot. Probably pumping <500 gph.
Our greenhouse is 20x7 built as a lean to onto the SE end of the house. The FT is in its own 8x8 room with 1 window.
John built a heat exchanger coil out of 100 FT of 1/2 in radiant floor tubing that is a closed loop heated by our house boiler and controlled by a set point controller which we will add solar to later. John is a plumbing/heating contractor so that is a bonus! Photos to follow if anyone wants specifics let us know.
Comment by Jim Troyer on March 10, 2013 at 2:05am

How's it going Verna? 

How big is the green house? 

What did you use for a heater?

Photos?

blessings

Jim ;-)

Comment by Verna Gross on March 8, 2013 at 11:39am
Added 7 living creatures to our "hobby" yesterday. Talk about nervous Nellies (us not them!)-- none of them were very interested in eating yesterday but this morning we were greeted with enthusiastic goldfish waiting for their meal. All 7 survived their first 24 hours in our AP system.
Comment by George on March 4, 2013 at 6:13am

Hey, watch out.  59 and 57 seems to me about the right age to start something new.

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