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I have another exciting episode for you and we’re 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 you’ll
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 we’re going to do today is we’re 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 we’re 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 they’re here on Oahu so that everybody on this island
can be growing some food today.
What we’re going to be doing next is actually share with you guys how the aquapoincs system
works specifically, so that you’ll 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 we’re 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 we’re 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 we’ll cover in just a little
bit. So next we’re 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 they’re 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. They’re seasonal so they’re not producing berries
at this time. In addition they have a nice large egg plant that’s been there a while
and also they’re 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 they’ve 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 they’re 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 we’ll talk
about in a little bit. Also how much sun you’re getting or how much sun you’re 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 you’re feeding them and what not. Your fish,
the tilapia will grow into full size and you can catch them and eat them. I think they’re
fun we’re 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. We’re 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 they’re 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 you’re 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 we’re 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 we’re 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 we’ll 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 we’re 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 we’re
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 you’re 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
you’ll be able to see this on the camera but what we’re going to do is we’re going
to go ahead and put this guy over the drain tube and once again it has cut outs on the
bottom. We’re 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 you’re 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 you’ll 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, you’re 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
aquaponics system can work properly and flourish.
The other thing that’s very important is the medium so they got this cinder here and
you know the cinder if you look at that closely, kind of looks like a sponge. There’s all
different cracks and crevices, so this gives the bacteria and the mirobes a place to live
in this system so that they can flourish and break down the solids from the fish to make
it plant absorbable. So yeah, as you guys know that have been watching me for a while,
I’m really into microbes and beneficial fungi and bacteria and that is truly what
makes the aquaponics possible but if you’re also a home gardener in the ground it also
makes a standard garden in your ground possible and will thrive as well.
So now that you guys learned how this system works, let’s talk about the inputs required
to grow the fish and all your plants. Basically what you need to do is you need to feed the
fish so that they can create their bio solids or their poop to feed your plants plus you
need to have the bacteria so all these things are pretty much a one-time investment. Once
you got all those guys going, you’re only going to need to buy 3 additional things to
keep your system going. Number 1 (00:19:00) you’re going to need the fish food of course,
so you know, the fish pellets. They’re maybe $33.00 for about 40 pounds of food at this
time in bulk and I always encourage you guys to buy it in bulk for the best price. And
you’re literally just going to take some and you’re going to feed the fish. We’re
going to throw a little bit of it out there and check it out, they’re eating back there.
But you know the fish food’s all you’re going to need to keep the fish happy so that
they create their poop and their pee because they are living in water so you’re not going
to need to provide that but the few other things you will need are Number 1
you’re going to need what’s in this little bag here and what’s in this bag is some
special stuff and let’s go ahead and put the bag back in there for you guys but what’s
in the bag is this stuff right here. This is actually oyster shells so it’s often
used, oyster shell, for like (00:19:44?) and gardening but what this is, this is a PH balancer.
So you can use the oyster shells which acts as a PH balancer so that the fish have the
right PH to live in properly. Another thing you may need depending on where you live are
heaters. The tilapia like to grow and live in the temperature that Hawaii is naturally
so you do not need additional heating in Hawaii but in other places in the country, you may
need to actually use heaters to keep your water warm enough or your fish are not going
to do well, they’re not going to grow fast and they’re not going to make it at all.
Another thing you will probably need here and what they recommend at this aquaponics
place is the iron chelate so the iron chelate helps keep your foliage green. It’s a nutrient
that is not provided by the fish food that will encourage and ensure your plants ae healthy.
Now the other thing that I would personally experiment with that they’re not yet doing
here, and hopefully one day they will, is the rock dust minerals. I would experiment
with the aquaponics and adding rock dust minerals, which will add 70 plus different trace minerals
into the water which will also give nutrition and provide nutrition for your fish but also
more importantly for the plants, you know and for them and so the plants and the fish
will have more minerals and be more healthy. When their more healthy they’re going to
grow bigger, grow larger their also going to be more bug resistant in the case of the
plants. Probably disease resistant and have a stronger immune system in the case of the
fish. So I don’t know exactly how much of that stuff to add but it can be done cause
I have heard about people doing it before and I would highly encourage you guys to look
into that and add some rock dust, even in small amounts to add some of those trace minerals
back into your system so that you can grow some of the most nutritious food ever.
So now that you guys know how this system works, we’re going to explain the anatomy
of the system or the parts that you need to do it and you know here at the Aquaponics
Place they’ll supply you with everything you need including the plants, the fish the
containers and the pumps and everything to do that and as you guys can see behind me,
there’s a standard system behind me. Now the system prices can range from a couple
hundred dollars to a thousand or more dollars depending on how large you want your system.
Of course I would always encourage you guys to buy the biggest system possible because
the biggest system that you can buy will produce more fish and more greens for you to eat faster
just in case you need to eat out of your garden exclusively and not the grocery store. So
it’s really simple how these systems work. You got 2 big tanks, you got the bottom tank
which is where the fish live and then you basically got some concrete blocks that they
stack up to make legs like a table. Then they have basically a 2x4 wooden frame that’s
of course the grow bed up top. They have the bed up top they fill it with the cinder and
you plant your plants, I mean really aquaponics is really that simple. Now whether you buy
a constructed set up like this which is all looking nice and professional or whether you
get a standard, what’s called an IBC tote on Craigslist for $100 dollars, $200 dollars
depending on where you live, and cut it down, it’s really that easy to do an aquaponics
system. Even if you’re renting, have a condo or you know, don’t have land or in ground
space, aquaponics system is an excellent way to use some of the extra space that you have
and you don’t necessarily need a nice full sun spot if you want to grow tomatoes yes,
you will need a nice full sun spot but even in the shade here in Hawaii something like
the lettuce and the herbs are going to do quite well so that you can start providing
food for you and your family instead of being dependent on the grocery store.
So did I tell you that the Aquaponics Place will sell you everything you need including
your kit, your fish and yes even your plants. They got starter plants here for sale and
what I’m going to show you guys next is actually how they start their starter plants
actually in an aquaponics system. This is actually unique cause I’ve never seen this
being done anywhere I visited with all the different aquaponics systems I’ve seen.
I’ve never seen anybody do it like this. So it’s really cool so pay attention to
this section if you’re going into aquaponics and you want to start your own plants from
seed. Aquaponics makes it really easy.
Alright so this is how they start their seeds in the aquaponics system. Really cool so you
don’t have to use any space, use any kind of soil. What they got is they got standard
seed slot here, standard slat and what they’ve done is they’ve filled it with Rockwell
which is a poplar hydroponics growing medium that they also do sell here and in the poplar
they basically just put the seeds in the little holes and because this is a flood and drain
table, the, you know, this gets wet and then it drains out so it’s not constantly sitting
in water which then you could get, you know, seed rot but in this way this will get just
enough water so that the little seeds can germinate into little baby plants. Once they
germinate, get a little big then they’re going to transplant them into little individual
containers that are next door. So let me go ahead and show you those guys next.
So once they got those little baby plants started from seeds or actually you can do
cuttings like this you’re going to basically put plants in the little containers here,
right, check it out, little containers and these containers once again have the little
holes at the bottom and it’s just growing in the cinder there and then you just basically
bury this down in the aquaponics bed here just deep enough so that it gets enough water.
Enough plants will get fed and once again they got that bell siphon valve here that’s
flooding and draining this so like the roots aren’t staying constantly drenched in water,
it’s getting enough water and this is literally an automatic watering system for all the baby
starts. This is super ingenious. So it looks like they got, they got here water crest probably
my top pick for growing in an aquaponics system. Water crest is one of the most nutrient dense
vegetables on the planet. In addition they got the kale another yet nutrient dense vegetable.
I believe you guys should be eating at least several times a week. They got the shiso,
I love the shiso especially the purple one. You guys can’t see that, oh there it is.
They got a green shiso, they got the chives, they got some corn growing under the aquaponics.
Now probably my favorite crop to grow if I was here in Hawaii. I’d the water spinach
or the Ung Choy. It’s actually, classified as, from the USDA, as an evasive obnoxious
weed so you’re probably not or supposed to grow it anywhere else in the United States
cause it could get in the waterway, all this kind of stuff but you can grow it here in
Hawaii and it will grow fabulously under an aquaponics system like this and you can literally
just take cuttings and replant it. You’ll have a whole mass of food that will continue
to grow day after day, year after year and the great thing about the Ung Choy is that
it will have the nice mild flavor it’s not strong or bitter, you know, like kale. Some
people might not like and it grows real simple and real easy. I’m all about like sharing
with you guys and the best of what I know to make gardening and make growing food at
home really easy.
So hopefully after watching this episode, you now know what aquaponics is, what you
can grow, how to grow it and why it works. I think these are very important fundamental
pieces of knowledge that everybody should know how to grow their own food in this day
and age. Whether you live in Hawaii and food might stop coming in or whether you want to
have a backup plan in case trucks stop running, there’s a financial collapse or whether
you just want to eat the healthiest food possible. Based on the current agriculture system, in
my opinion, they’re not growing the healthiest food possible. To do that you must do it yourself
at home, pick it and eat it fresh for higher levels of nutrition, plus you can add things
in like the trace minerals that are not in foods today. If you are here in Oahu and are
interested in getting your own aqauponics system, I would highly recommend the aquaponics
place and you can check them out and learn more about them on the aquaponicsplace.com.
Hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode coming at you from Oahu, Hawaii. Once again my name
is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com. We’ll see you next time, and remember keep
on growing.
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What is Aquaponics? How it Works & Why an Aquaponic Setup Can Fail

2140 タグ追加 保存
鄭志鋒 2016 年 3 月 21 日 に公開
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