A small-to-medium aquaponic project in California (USA) – Video

I filmed this video during my visit to this facility that took place on the 6th of January, 2015.
Description: Paul Trudeau (owner of the this project) and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)

small to medium aquaponics



The operation is established in a greenhouse with the dimensions of 3.7m x 3m x 2.4m. The fish component consists of a fish tank that has a volume of about 380 liters (100 gallons). The greenhouse is thermally insulated solely by the plastic coverage. However, the video shows a “solar batch heater” located outside the greenhouse which helped to raise the temperature in the fish tank by 3-5 degrees C during the two cold months of the year when ambient temperature turns very low. By the way, this type of heater is made mostly of used and scavenged materials and designed by the owner of the operation. The heat generated in the solar heater was transferred to the fish tank by way of a closed-loop pipe arrangement with a heat exchange coil in the fish tank.

Adding iron to the water is a typical practice in aquaponics in order to maintain healthy plant growth whereas frequency is based on personal experience as well as observations. In iron-deficit water, the plant leaves develop chlorosis – yellowing between the veins. One can see the dates of adding iron is hand written on the cover of iron container.

It may of interest to know that the mound of leaves of about 1m high x 1m wide shown around the circumference of the greenhouse is a way to insulate the greenhouse. In addition to its insulation role, the leaves also serve a source of heat when large quantities of vegetable scraps are mixed into the leaf mounds, turning it into a row of compost. The microbial action in the compost generates a significant amount of heat.

It worth mentioning that blue gill (Lepomis macrochirus) is the fish species in the current system as the introduction of tilapia is banned in Sacramento, California. In regard to plants, Red Russian kale, Mibuna, Swiss chard, arugula, collard green and shiso.

Permanent link to this article: https://fishconsult.org/?p=13850