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  • I have another exciting episode for you and were here in Hawaii, on Oahu actually,

  • and today we have a special episode for you guys all about aquaponics man I’m excited

  • for this episode actually to share with you guys. This place here is actually called Aquaponics

  • Place. This is a store that specializes in aquaponics, all the different parts youll

  • need for aquaponics, the plants, the fish, the different, you know, tubs, bins, totes.

  • Everything you need to do an aquaponics system in your home so that you can start growing

  • your own food today. You know, especially here in the islands it’s very important

  • to, you know, have a backup plan in case the ship doesn’t come in. To be able to grow

  • your own food and as much as I like growing food in the soil and dirt, you know, or the

  • red dirt here, aquaponics systems are great because now instead of just having vegetables

  • you can also grow your own fish. Whether you want to keep fish as pets or whether you want

  • to have them as a food source they can grow a lot of fish and a lot of vegetables to eat,

  • a very well balanced diet. So anyways, what were going to do today is were going

  • to go into the aquaponics place and share with you guys exactly what aquaponics is if

  • you don’t know about it and share with you some of the components of the system and share

  • with you guys some of the fish that they offer here. Share with you guys some of the pre-made

  • and pre-built systems you can actually buy and bring home, anywhere here on Oahu.

  • So were here inside the aquaponics place and if you guys are an aquaponics geek, this

  • is your hang out man. They got all these different valve things and siphon things and screens

  • and they got all kinds of fittings and they got basically everything you need to do aquaponics

  • at home. I mean even on the mainland, a store like this is just unheard of. I’ve never

  • seen a store dedicated to aquaponics. I think there should be a store like this in every

  • city across the nation so that people can actually start growing their own food and

  • it makes it easy for people to get all the supplies and parts, fittings, all this stuff

  • you know because normally you have to go around to five stores, maybe a plumbing store, a

  • hardware store, a swimming pool store and a pond store to get all the different things

  • to get a system together. I like that this is literally a one stop shop to get all your

  • aquaponics needs met. And I’m glad theyre here on Oahu so that everybody on this island

  • can be growing some food today.

  • What were going to be doing next is actually share with you guys how the aquapoincs system

  • works specifically, so that youll be able to know how it works, and then more importantly

  • be able to set one up and grow food for you and your family.

  • So now were going to share with you guys what an aquaponics system is and it’s pretty

  • much right here as you guys can see we got a big tank on the bottom and this is simply

  • a fish tank. It’s holding fish, there’s lots of fish growing in there. The tilapia

  • that you can eat or just keep as pets and then what happens is the fish are living in

  • the fish tank and they are getting fed with the fish food which is the only input in this

  • system. The fish eat the fish food and then guess what, they create waste much like us

  • right. The fish make the pee and poop and then that basically gets in the water and

  • then what they do is they take the water and they pump it up into this top bed. They pump

  • the water up and then the water filters through this rock here, the cinder, and it basically

  • filters down and goes back in and comes back out and strains back into the tank there.

  • You can see where it’s all spraying out. What the plants do is the plants actually

  • filter the fish pee and poop and put it back into the water. So that’s the simplified

  • version were going to talk about in a little while the more complex version and how this

  • system and why this system really works. It’s actually a, there’s one big lynch pin that

  • many people may not be aware about in an aquaponics system that well cover in just a little

  • bit. So next were going to show you guys some of the different edibles that you can

  • grow in an aquaponics system to feed you and your family.

  • Alright so in this system they got a couple cool things. First soybeans, yes you can grow

  • soybeans in an aquaponics system. They got some little Kales right there in addition

  • some mizuna, one of my favorite leafy greens, especially to grow in the winter time. Also

  • the lettuces, of course the lettuces will do well in an aquaponics system but they can’t

  • be in full sun. They like it a little bit shady. Let’s see here, in addition they

  • got some of my favorite, this is the shiso or also known as perilla and this is a purple

  • shiso. I grow this in my garden every year and evidently it will do well under an aquaponics,

  • in the cinder right here, check it out, this basically acts like a bio filter here and

  • this cinder actually unlike other metas that can be used for the aquaponics has a lot of

  • surface area because theyre literally like little sponges. In addition it looks like

  • they got a little tomato over there and a whole bunch of chives growing in this bed.

  • So, this aqauponics system here they got a whole bunch of strawberries that are currently

  • in the greenery or leafing stage. Theyre seasonal so theyre not producing berries

  • at this time. In addition they have a nice large egg plant that’s been there a while

  • and also theyre growing lilikoi or passion fruits that’s growing out of the aquaponics

  • system over and over and over and up the chain link fence. I think it will be great one day

  • when they have all this lilikoi or passion fruit with hanging fruits to eat and also

  • show the massiveness of the plant after it’s been growing a while in the aquaponics system.

  • Other plants that can be grown in aquaponics are something like this, the basil, looks

  • like it’s doing quite well. They also have some parsley here and besides the parsley

  • they got the red Russian kale, one of my favorite, the kales right here. In addition they got

  • the green malabar spinach. I like the purple Malabar spinach but they got the green Malabar

  • spinach so it’s planted maybe about a month ago. It’s doing really excellent, this is

  • definitely one of my picks for what I would grow in the aquaponics system because the

  • Malabar spinach is what’s called a perennial, edible vegetable. You know some vegetables

  • and some plants actually go through their life cycle like the lettuce or like the kales

  • but with this guy, this will continue to grow and keep putting on food for you so you can

  • eat day after day, year after year without having to continually replant like you do

  • with the lettuce. Over next door here we got things like more basil, and look at this,

  • this basil’s been growing here a while and this basil straight up has like woody stems

  • on it. It’s quite old, doing quite well, although it looks like it does have some still

  • (06:44?) on there that they may want to do something with but doing quite well and it’s

  • nice and tall there. In addition theyve got the Calo or the Taro here which is also

  • grown in the aquaponics system in addition they got a few beets over there and some rosemary.

  • I know one of my favorite things to grow in Hawaii for sure is this guy right here, this

  • is the okra, look at those little babies man, fresh okra, fresh okra is absolutely delicious

  • and I love eating them, especially when theyre young babies.

  • So over to this bed a few more things they are growing, things like celery right here.

  • Definitely looking really nice and vibrant here. Also they got this plant, look at this

  • guy, this guy’s a nice woody stock, really thick, it’s going to seed and these seeds

  • are actually high in Omega 3 fatty acids as are the leafy greens that you can eat. This

  • is also the shiso or the perilla. This the green variety, definitely would encourage

  • you guys to grow the shiso green and the purple as well as basil as like an herb bed but also

  • don’t forget to grow your leafy greens. So here’s some collard greens here, I would

  • probably choose the Georgia southern collards here in Hawaii if I was growing them and let’s

  • see here, here’s a nice large parsley plant, looks super delicious, looks like it’s growing

  • quite well.

  • So you guys just saw some of the different leafy greens and edibles that you can grow

  • in an aquaponics system and I always want to encourage you guys to try and grow different

  • things and experiment because that’s what this is all about. See what you can get away

  • with, of course some plants are going to do better than others and of course that depends

  • on how big your system is, how well it’s draining or not draining which well talk

  • about in a little bit. Also how much sun youre getting or how much sun youre not getting.

  • Very important factors are considered when selecting different vegetables and herbs to

  • grow in your system. Now besides just the leafy greens and you guys know that I’m

  • all about my leafy greens, my show is called growing your greens and I want to encourage

  • you guys to eat two pounds of leafy greens a day. You know they are one of the healthiest

  • foods on the planet. The most nutrition with the least amount of calories. As you guys

  • know, standard American food, fast food, junk food, is very high in calories but low in

  • nutrition the greens are very high in nutrition. Another thing that’s actually pretty good

  • in nutrition for the calories specifically and for the protein are the fish here. So

  • whether you want to grow your fish and eat them or you want to have them as pets, you

  • can definitely do that in the aquaponics system. In just about 10 months, on average, and it

  • depends on the size of your tank and how much youre feeding them and what not. Your fish,

  • the tilapia will grow into full size and you can catch them and eat them. I think theyre

  • fun were going to go ahead and go fishing, see if we can catch a fish here. Think you

  • got to be pretty quick to get one of these suckers. Not that quick. Alright, I’ll try

  • number 2 let’s see if we can do it. I got a strategy this time. I’m going to corner

  • them against the wall. Alright! Check it out, I caught a fish! But I’m going to be nice

  • and let him go. I think if I had the aquaponics here. I would mostly grow the fish for my

  • pets instead of eating them. I got enough greens to get enough protein a lot of other

  • nutrients in my garden besides the fish personally.

  • Alright, so now that you guys saw what you could potentially grow, the plants and the

  • fish. Were going to kind of dive more in and explain how exactly an aquaponics system

  • works and the different methods of growing. We have two different kinds of set ups here.

  • They have like, basically a system that has just like a flood and drain, kind of floods

  • it and then it drains it maybe some of you have the system where theyre just constantly

  • feeding it water and the system that you choose to have is going to have is going to be dependent

  • on the plants youre growing so for example some crops can be grown in a system where

  • the roots are constantly in water such as the lettuce or such as water crest. Whereas

  • most plants are not going to like that level of water and have the roots wet all the time.

  • They need to get proper aeration. So there needs to be a flood and drain system where

  • the roots aren’t constantly staying wet. So now were going to go ahead and show

  • you guys both those different systems and how they do it here at the Aquaponics Place.

  • So this is the first system that were going to show you guys and this is the easiest system

  • to make. If you think of your bathtub, if you fill up your bathtub with water and it

  • gets too high it has that overfill valve right so you can never overflow your bathtub and

  • it won’t like leak on your bathroom floor. Well, this system, growing the lettuce in

  • constant water works pretty much the same way. So what many systems use is they may

  • use like some kind of raft system and they generally put this on like some kind of Styrofoam

  • but they choose not to use the Styrofoam here because the Styrofoam beads will break off,

  • get into the water and contaminate your system. So they actually have a nice piece of plastic

  • here and let’s go ahead and lift this guy up. So what’s happening is water is getting

  • pumped in over here on this side and if you look on the backside, I don’t know if you

  • can see that there but there’s basically like that overfill drain on your bathtub that’s

  • sucking the water in so water never overflows but always stay a constant height. The water

  • is kind of being a little bit aerated due to the flow of the water in and out and you

  • can see in these little net pockets they have here these little lettuces are growing these

  • little root hairs out and in these net pods the plants are just set in the cinder and

  • that’s actually just to hold the soil and also another reason that well talk about

  • in a little bit but these lettuces will grow really well like this and another thing that

  • will grow well like this also is the water crest that likes to have it’s roots wet.

  • So now were going to show you the 2nd kind of system they have here. This is a system

  • that actually drains out the water and actually drains it fairly fast so that the roots are

  • not staying wet because most plants do not like their roots wet. They will succumb to

  • root rot, possibly other diseases if you that and that’s all made possible with this guy

  • right here. It’s actually called a bell siphon and how this works is simple. So were

  • going to go ahead and give you guys a close up to show you exactly how this works.

  • Alright, so how this system works is we got a grow bed with all the little cinders in

  • here and then they got this little, kind of mesh thing that does not allow the cinders

  • to go in and they have their overflow tube, much like the other overflow tube in the lettuce

  • bed. So when the water level that gets pumped into this bed gets high enough, which is almost

  • there now, what’s going to happen is the water levels going up and if we look, pull

  • these rocks back here, you can see the water level right here is getting higher and higher

  • and higher and if we just let it get this high and go into the overflow tube which it’s

  • almost going to reach in a minute, it’s always going to stay at that level. Now, this

  • is what happens exactly in the lettuce bed, the water always stays at a certain level

  • and it’s almost overflowing now. And it’s just about overflowing now so can check it

  • out so you can see the water running over the top into the tube there which then returns

  • the water to the fish tank down below and now you have the water always at this constant

  • level. So what this guy does which is the bell siphon valve, it basically creates a

  • vacuum or a suction to pull the water faster than it would just normally drain out. So,

  • for example the water’s draining out here but it’s never going to go below this exact

  • level that youre seeing. Now this is the standard bell siphon that they offer here.

  • Just looks like that it’s basically just some pvc with a cap on the top. They put some

  • little holes on the bottom, you know, in a nice shape but actually they have a cool one

  • which is for display purposes only which actually has a clear top on it. So I don’t know if

  • youll be able to see this on the camera but what were going to do is were going

  • to go ahead and put this guy over the drain tube and once again it has cut outs on the

  • bottom. Were going to put that over the top and I don’t know if you guys can look

  • in there but what’s happening is this is creating a massive suction. Look at this water

  • draining out very quickly right. This water’s draining out very quickly so now the roots

  • are not sitting in a constant water supply so that they will not get the root rot and

  • it’s a special siphon that siphons the water out until it’s all siphoned out and then

  • basically it will slowly fill up again until it’s full. When it gets full again then

  • it siphons all the water out fast again. So this way youre getting a drain and flow

  • without any additional appliances or electricity or anything. It’s all happening on suction.

  • This is definitely an ingenious way to make this happen and then it’s just kind of cool

  • to look at the water as it’s working in there and see if it’s sucking or if it’s

  • filling or if there’s air bubbles or if it’s sucking air or what man. Definitely

  • so cool. Let’s go ahead and fill this guy back up so this can continue to work how it

  • should.

  • So you guys just learned what you can grow. Then you learned how to do it are the 2 ways

  • you can accomplish this. Next I want to get into the Nitti gritty the bare bones of how

  • the aquaponics system works. It’s actually fairly simple but yet complex on some levels

  • so pay attention to this part. It’s probably the most important part of this video in my

  • opinion.

  • So as you guys know what happens is you feed the fish, the fish poop and then the poop

  • is pumped up through and then put into the top here so that it can filter down and there’s

  • a few components to this system. Number 1 is they got a very simple screen here. So

  • this screen catches all the solid waste you know cause we don’t want that solid waste

  • going into the gravel bed and get all funky and stuff like that right. You can then take

  • the solid waste and this is solid fish poo. (Joking) But this is solid fish waste you

  • can probably wash this out. I’d probably put it in your garden and use it as a fertilizer.

  • So this is going to catch all that stuff. Now the non-solids then are going into the

  • cinder bed and what happens is the plants just don’t absorb those nutrients directly.

  • There’s a middle man involved you know, when buying things I like to cut out the middle

  • man whenever possible but in this system I’m afraid you cannot cut out the middle man or

  • the system will not work and it will crash. So the thing that youll need to know for

  • this system to work is, and the middle men, what they are, are in this bottle here. It

  • jumps starts the system. Now the middle man will occur naturally but by jump starting

  • the system, youre guaranteed a system that’s going to work more effectively and work right

  • the first time. This is actually simply called organic digesture. So this product reduces

  • the ammonia, phosphate, nitrites and nitrates actually in there and they do this by a very

  • special way using beneficial microbes, bacteria and enzymes will break down the bad stuff

  • in the fish poop and make it bio available for the plants to absorb. So without this

  • critical component, that will also occur naturally if you don’t want an add it like this. Your