As many people who have already encountered me online and in person know, I’m fairly quick to try and help out where I can. I also share information quite openly. Please feel free to ask questions of me, I regularly stop by the Aquaponic Gardening Community site as well as the BYAP Forum
I am available for help, consultation, and design services. Services start at $60 an hour for Backyard/hobby systems and commercial systems based on system scale starting at $120 an hour. I am actually a bit resistant to consulting on commercial system unless you already have experience at a backyard or hobby scale since farming is not something to go into without any experience. And aquaponics is farming, it is a lot of work, you can’t do it from your desk and if you ask me how long it takes for the plants to grow and expect a simple single answer, I’m likely to get a bit impatient with you about it.
I just need to warn everyone, if you ask a questions about why your own system is having difficulty, be ready for many questions to come back at you since it is rarely possible to diagnose an aquaponic problem from a sentence like,”why did my fish die?”
Here are some of the likely questions one should be ready to answer when seeking assistance with an aquaponics system.
What do the water tests say? Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH and water temperature all play an important role in aquaponics system functioning by indicating the state of the bio-filter and the toxicity of the water for the fish. The test tube and dropper kits tend to be more accurate than test strips
How old is the system?
Has the system cycled up yet?
What type of system?
How big is the system? fish tank size and often more importantly grow bed or bio-filter size.
How many fish? what type and how big as well.
Location of system and special circumstances?
What is the light? As in sun, shade, indoors under what kind of grow lights and how close are they?
What about the source water? treated, untreated, well water or rain water? If rain water what type of roof and tank?
What type of fish feed?
What type of gravel?
How often are you pumping and at what rate?
Is there supplemental aeration and how much?
And there are probably several other questions that could come up but this is what I’ve got to start. So, when starting a thread looking for assistance troubleshooting a problem with an aquaponics system, be ready to answer these questions up front in order to get the most help quickly.