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I spent more than I care to tell on aquaponics equipment (and here is what happened)

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.

Paulo Coelho

close up of parsley growing in coco coir wicking bed

Island living

Living on an island means that everything here must be imported by sea and taxed at the port of entry, this means that everything is more expensive here and we have to make do with what is available on island already. Buying equipment is about automating all the nonprofit related task such as cleaning, weeding and feeding. Anything that is not directly related to farming you have to automate to free up your time to harvest. The majority of your time should be harvesting. We tend to buy equipment that we don’t need at the time. It is best to buy equipment as you need it and if you can DIY a solution first try that out to get a feel for the savings.

Large Red tilapia in 55 gallon blue drum

Filtration systems

Filtering in stages means less overall maintenance of fish filters. I have up graded to a 3 stage filter that is cleaned every 15 days. A welcomed upgrade from cleaning a one stage filter every day, this saving on time also improves long term viability as cleaning a filter is not a pleasant task nor is it a profit related task.

Outdoor aquaponics

Buying a green house was out of the question as it cost too much, outdoor equipment will mean that it has to be water proof and not easy to steal, a large part of the equipment cost of my farm has been individual green houses for each grow bed but they are awesome in the since as I don’t have to worry about a lot of the pest that plague other farmers. My pest management routine has been cut from one hour a day to one hour a week and the cost of using chemicals have been removed altogether from $150 a week. The only con is all the equipment designed to be outdoors has to be UV resistant

in Ground DIY fish pond

It’s an attempt at permaculture

Permaculture means that food is produced with limited human and fossil fuel input. With the money I spent on aquaponics equipment (especially solar power generation) I have achieved the limited input levels of permaculture yet coupled with crop output levels similar to that of conventional farming. So in a since I view it as technological based permaculture but Aquaponics is in no way close to its full potential what needs to be done now is to improve upon the work of others.

Effects of companion planting

Soil is a medium too

Most processed media will need to be cleaned out not because of fish waste but because of crop residue this includes leaves falling and roots leftover from harvest. It is much more efficient to use an organic based media to grow with than other manmade media and stones because you can simply compost your crop waste and add that energy straight back to the grow bed.

40 foot shipping container aquaponics

Aquaponics near me

You will be surprised at the amount of people that are doing they own aquaponics that may have solutions that you may not have found so simply. Take a lot online and ask around for people that are doing aquaponics and see if purchasing equipment is absolutely necessary.

green water aquaponics

Aquaponics is high end

To be safe you need wider profit margins than what is giving at conventional prices so you may need to go after the organic market so you will need the right grade equipment to do so like lots of stainless steel that can be wiped clean and kept sanitary.


Equal parts technology enthusiast, carpenter, kitchen designer, farmer, capitalist, domesticated father and tree-hugger, I dissected and negotiated myself into a life that brings me both pleasure and pain upon coming to the realization that I cannot save mother earth from Human nature and my only recourse is to do more good than harm through Aquaponics. All of my work can be found here in these 12 main and the supporting pages I use to valiantly put forth this hypothesis.

Damian HInkson

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