How did I get into this?

I got asked a couple of times yesterday how I got into aquaponics.
So I figure it is time to post it so I don’t have to repeat it.

I went Crazy basically. (Bear with me since from the point when I went crazy to when I realized aquaponics was what I wanted to do, took about 2 years.)

Anyway, I’d been out on the road with River Dance. No not dancing, I’m an audio engineer/technician. (Mom loved when I had that job because she could actually explain to acquaintances what her crazy daughter did, She could say, “Oh she works for Riverdance, ya know, taping the microphones to their feet.” And I did, at least to some of them while I was the Wireless microphone tech. And no, Flately was not on the show while I was with them, he had long gone off to do his own show which should not be confused with Riverdance.

So I’d been on the road, struggling to eat healthy while traveling and living in hotels and keeping an almost rock and roll schedule. I was no longer enjoying it. I was reading books about composting and trying to figure out how to grow plants in my road box. When I got home I was trying to grow lettuce hydroponically in our dark apartment and trying to compost on my 9′ by 9′ patio. I told you I went crazy.

This happened to be a couple years after that hurricane summer. Our wall paper started turning a strange pink/orange. I think the building was getting a double whammy there must have been water intrusion into the roof during 2004 which had let moisture get into the walls and I think the plumbing was also experiencing pinhole leaks because it was that old plastic flexible plumbing that came before pex and they hadn’t joined or clamped it properly so moisture under the building was bad too. We were having constant allergy problems from the mold which left us sick with sore throats all the time. So we moved.

We found a house with 1/3rd of an acre and immediately built the compost bins and moved in. Finally, I had a place to plant a garden!!!!!!!! That was early 2007. I was still tinkering at Hydroponics and I’d heard the term aquaponics but I didn’t really think it worked since no one had every really explained it properly to me. Then I discovered the Backyard Aquaponics Forum BYAP forum And it clicked.

They explained Aquaponics in a way I understood and gave handy basic rules of thumb that made designing a system for myself possible. I started out in December of 2007 building a barrel ponics system according to Travis Hughey’s manual.
Before I was even done cycling that up fishless, I was building the big system. I added my first fish (Channel Catfish) to the big system in March 2008. Since then the big system has been constantly changing and I’ve has as many as 5 systems going at once of several sizes.

video

Now 4+ years later, I’m still totally addicted to my aquaponics. I’m also into other gardening, farming and permaculture like activities and taking the next step.

Farm

New Farm


I bought a farm and will try to take the veggie production commercial. Small local commercial to be sure but I will be selling produce, food plants, and eventually fish also I expect.

4 comments to How did I get into this?

  • Steve

    ” Gone Crazy” pretty much describes my intro to Aquaponics as well.
    The BYAP forum was also a great source of inspiration and knowledge, as was Trav’s yahoo barrleponics group.
    Your blog has also been a great help setting up and designing my system in the 12×20′ greenhouse 18′ of flood and drain gravel beds, and 18′ of nft on the opposite side.

  • Dave Donley

    Hey TC, was it polybutylene? We had that in our apt and one fine Saturday morning we had a fountain just outside the front door, all the apts were getting it replaced as needed.

    • TCLynx

      I’m not sure, we moved out before any water was leaking from below in our apartment. The neighbor had a water leak under his floor though.

  • silver price

    I love the idea of aquaponics, and I’ve been talking about it for a couple years now, reading a little here and there, debating about how big or small to go, and whether to use barrels or tubs or a timer or a bell siphon, and trying to create a mental picture of a working system that I could actually make that would allow us to grow more food.

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