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Urban Aquaponics in Fort Worth, TX

  This past Saturday, Green Phoenix Farms was happy to host a “Soft” Opening for a collaborative project with a local non-profit ministry, Feed By Grace. This project is a 2000 square foot Aquaponic Greenhouse that contains a 1500 gallon fish tank, 108 square feet of Media-based Grow Beds, 504 square feet of Deep-Water Culture (DWC or “Raft”) Troughs and 48 square feet of aquaponic Wicking Beds. The fish tank will ultimately house 200-300 pounds of Hybrid Striped Bass, the…

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Aqua-ponderings: January 2014 (pt6)

The January 2014 issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine will have my latest “Aqua-ponderings” column. This month I am going to discuss what I think are some of the most common “Newbie” mistakes made in Aquaponics.   #6.    Pesticides and Herbicides. I think that a number of people dive into Aquaponics without realizing exactly how different this is from traditional gardening. I field questions in my classes all the time regarding the use of traditional herbicides and pesticides on plants…

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Aqua-ponderings: January 2014 (pt5)

The January 2014 issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine will have my latest “Aqua-ponderings” column. This month I am going to discuss what I think are some of the most common “Newbie” mistakes made in Aquaponics.   #5.    Fish choice. In order for your system to operate correctly, you have to have a species of fish that works well in your climate. I am still amazed at the number of people who want to raise a tropical climate fish (like…

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Aqua-ponderings: January 2014 (pt4b)

The January 2014 issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine will have my latest “Aqua-ponderings” column. This month I am going to discuss what I think are some of the most common “Newbie” mistakes made in Aquaponics.   #4b.    Adding Iron to the system. This is one that I had to add in here. I have heard for years, “if you have a lack of iron in your system, you can simply add a few rusty nails to your system.” The…

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Aqua-ponderings: January 2014 (pt4)

The January 2014 issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine will have my latest “Aqua-ponderings” column. This month I am going to discuss what I think are some of the most common “Newbie” mistakes made in Aquaponics.   #4.    Nutrient Issues / Deficiencies. Many people seem to think that they can simply give their fish a cheap fish feed and that will be enough to keep the plants growing amazingly. The truth is that if you do this, (most often) everything…

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Optimizing a Backyard Aquaponic System report

The Baird’s Village Aquaponics project is one that I first heard about several years ago, and I was immediately intrigued by it. The project was the implementation of backyard scale aquaponic systems on the island of Barbados (in the Caribbean). As I remember the report, the goals were to produce food for local consumption and to use minimal energy and construction resources. Though it has been a while since I read the report, I do remember that the goals, design…

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Aqua-ponderings: January 2014 (pt3)

The January 2014 issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine will have my latest “Aqua-ponderings” column. This month I am going to discuss what I think are some of the most common “Newbie” mistakes made in Aquaponics.   #3.    More design problems – understanding the biological load of the system. In every class I tell the story of one my early students who understood that the system would handle 25 pound of fish. This student managed to cycle the system properly,…

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Aqua-ponderings: January 2014 (pt2)

The January 2014 issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine will have my latest “Aqua-ponderings” column. This month I am going to discuss what I think are some of the most common “Newbie” mistakes made in Aquaponics.   #2.      Poor design of system. When there is a lack of understanding regarding proper sizing of mechanical components (pumps, piping, aeration, tanks), the result is commonly improperly powered devices and/or dead zones in their tanks/grow beds. It is true that designing a system…

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Presentation on the operation and function of the UVI Aquaponic System

There are so many great resources available on the internet, I thought that I would begin to compile them together here on our website. To that end, here is a great presentation on the operation and production capabilities of the UVI Aquaponic system. This is the system that has spawned most of the commercial facilities here in the United States, and I don’t think that it would be much of a stretch to say that this particular system design has…

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Aqua-ponderings: January 2014 (pt1)

The January 2014 issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine will have my latest “Aqua-ponderings” column. This month I am going to discuss what I think are some of the most common “Newbie” mistakes made in Aquaponics. #1. Not enough patience to wait for the system to cycle properly. I personally think that this is the root cause of the vast majority of issues that people have with Aquaponics. Simply not having enough patience. The truth is that getting the system up…

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Ten Guidelines for Aquaponic Systems by Dr. Jim Rakocy

While this is admittedly an older article, it was originally published in the Aquaponics Journal (by Nelson and Pade) in the 3rd quarter of 2007, that by no means diminishes the importance of the information contained within. These ten guidelines are absolutely useful when designing and operating an Aquaponic system. Dr. Rakocy wrote this article to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the journal and though it is a “Top Ten” list, he does state specifically that his guidelines are…

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“Aqua-ponderings…” a Monthly Aquaponics Column

In October of 2013, I began writing a monthly column for the Aquaponics Survival Communities monthly magazine. The last four months of 2013, saw a series of articles discussing the importance of selecting the correct species of fish for your Aquaponic system. Beginning in 2014, I decided to shift the focus of the monthly article to more of a Q&A type of column where I plan to answer Aquaponics related questions that are sent in. I hope to provide some insight and…

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Aquaponics Education for 2014

    Welcome to the exciting world of Aquaponics. Our goal is to provide you with a series of seminars and workshops that will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to enter into this hobby with confidence and ease. Our workshops are perfect for individuals of any background or skill level. We work very hard to make sure that all questions are answered and that every person is 100% satisfied with their experience.     For 2014, we have…

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Educators for Aquaponics — Coming in 2014!

Much more will be posted about this in the coming weeks, but here is a short, tantalizing teaser…. A new location for Aquaponics Education will be launched in 2014. This will redefine how individuals can access information on a wide variety of subjects related to Aquaponics. For more information, refer to the upcoming December issue of the Aquaponics Survival Communities magazine. Adam Cohen currently writes for our magazine as the Aquaponics contributor and is now the NEW director of education for…

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Custom Aquaponic System Tour

Hello all, we have been working around the clock with a variety of different projects, but we just got this short video back from our friends at Karmakaze Productions and wanted to share it with you as quickly as we could. This video is a tour through a large residential system that Green Phoenix Farms recently designed and built in Austin, Texas. This system will hopefully prove to people that it is possible to have an aquaponic system that is…

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  IBC Totes and Blue Barrels can be used for  many purposes related to Aquaponics, Sustainability, Gardening, Water Catchment, and so many more that I could go on for quite a while. The truth is that you will be hard pressed to find any container that can be used for such a wide variety of tasks, and yet cost as little as these. BUT, there is one caveat that you need to keep in mind — MAKE SURE that any…

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My Seed Saving Adventure Has Begun.

So I am new at this whole concept. I will be honest, I have been a “lazy man’s gardener” for the past six years – meaning I have mostly bought pre-started seedlings from the local nurseries. Though, about three years ago, I started going to the Farmer’s Market to buy some special starts called “Heirlooms.” (I know, that is crazy, huh?) From there, the whole thing just snowballed. I got sent a catalog from Baker Creek Seeds, and in those wonderful…

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Classes and Workshop dates have been set for the remainder of 2013.

The new class schedule has been made and to make things easy for everyone, we have actually integrated a Google Calendar into our website to make scheduling classes easier for everyone. We have added detailed descriptions for each of the classes to this calendar and we recommend that you link (or share) the Calendar so you can remain current with the things we will have going on in coming months. To that end, we plan to include all of the…

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Growth Update for GPF: Concho System: 8/31/2013

This is our “Concho” system. This system is one of our early systems, actually it was cobbled together originally from pieces that we obtained from another Aquaponic enthusiast in the DFW area. We currently have 2 media beds that are each roughly 4’x8′ and they are fed through a constant overflow from a 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank. The plans are to soon add on a DWC (raft) bed as a sump (likely 4′ x 16′.) Hope you like the…

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Seven Characteristics For Selecting The Right (Aquatic Animal) Crop:

With Aquaponics, most beginners are often confused with the idea of “choosing” an aquatic animal crop for their systems. Personally, I think this is because, there are a number of people out there who make it sound like a system “Must” have Tilapia in order to work…. The truth is that absolutely any animal that live in (or near) an aquatic environment will produce waste that can be used in an Aquaponic system. That being said, I would never recommend…

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What is a Food Conversion Rate?

In animal biology, there are a number of terms and phrases that are thrown around wildly. For the average individual though, some of these are never really clearly explained or defined. In our Aquaponics classes, we have found that one of the most confusing is the importance of a Feed Conversion Rate for efficient animal production. The simplest explanation is that a food-conversion rate is really a ratio that helps to determine the efficiency at which an animal converts food into body mass.   For…

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The Current Tilapia Situation in Texas…

OK, so you have done the research,you know that you want to build an Aquaponic system and be able to produce your own vegetables and maybe even some fish from your backyard, right? The biggest question on your mind currently is, “What type of fish would be BEST for me?” Well, here in Texas, I have to admit we do have a large number of species that we can choose from. No matter what we suggest though, it seems like…

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Aquaponic Training Workshops Available

So did you know that we are now offering Aquaponic Trainings at our new workshop in Garland, TX? So far we have had 60+ people attend our trainings and the best part — we are indoors, with heat and a/c, catered lunches, hard-copy manuals for every class and best of all a 100% Money Back Guarantee! If you think that our training was not worth the money you paid, we will refund it in full. Why don’t you check out…

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Siphons 101

  REGISTRATION LINK Siphon 101: Everything that you want to know and more!   This is a 3-hour HANDS-ON CLASS / WORKSHOP on SATURDAY MAY 18th. This HALF DAY class (Lunch NOT Provided), will explain the theory and practice that controls how Siphons work. We will discuss several different types of siphons by looking at their individual operation and construction. Each of these methods could be used to drain water out of your grow bed, or other similar structure. There will be a…

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Building a FOUR-TOTE Backyard System in Irving, TX

REGISTRATION LINK Come join Green Phoenix Farms for an On-Site Workshop to build a good sized “backyard” aquaponic system at a residential home in Irving, TX. This system is a custom design using four IBC totes. One tote will be used as the Fish Tank and a second will be the Sump tank. The remaining two totes will be sectioned into Grow-Beds. One very unique feature of this system will be the drainage system for the Grow-Beds. The beds will…

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System Design Mechanics and Custom System Construction – March 23, 2013

REGISTRATION LINK Have you ever thought that Aquaponics might be something that you would like to try, but you thought that you would like to try to design your own system? Even if you already know a bit about Aquaponics, this workshop will give you a much more solid grasp on the specific mechanics of how to appropriately design systems and make them run as efficiently as possible. In this workshop, we will have over SEVEN HOURS of instruction where…

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Aquaponics 101 and IBC Tote System Construction – 1st Saturday EVERY MONTH

REGISTRATION LINK Now is the time to start thinking about all the great things that you can do in your garden this year! So, if you have ever thought that Aquaponics might be something that you would like to try, but didn’t know where to start this would be the perfect thing for you to begin with. Even if you know a little about Aquaponics, this workshop will give you a much greater grasp on the mechanics of the systems…

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“Sunrose” System Growth Update (April 30)

OK, so I guess that I need to significantly work on my follow through when it comes to pictures and system growth updates. I know that April is a busy month for everyone, but I have to say — this was VERY busy for us. We installed three systems in three weeks, participated in five different shows, and numerous other things. Anyway, enough prattling on about my issues. Just like last time, I am sure that y’all  want to to…

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Want to grow something NEW??????

Here is another great set of links from Urban Farmer online. They have put together a great series of Crop Profiles of all sorts of vegetables and herbs that can be grown in the home garden to make it easy for a farmer of any skill level to be successful! Take a look HERE to look at the huge compilation of information that they have put together. Or take the quicklinks below to the specific information your are interested in:…

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Potager Gardening — Everyone should do this!

This is a great article from Urban Farm magazine about the joys of growing your own vegetables for your kitchen. Read Amy Grisak’s article below or click HERE to go to the online article. **************************************************************************************************** Build a potager garden and enjoy fresh, delectable food just steps away from your kitchen. By Amy Grisak Potager gardens show off your beautiful, edible plants. A good cook’s secret is to have the freshest ingredients on hand. So nothing is better than creating a…

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Introduction to Aquaponics Class

Introduction to Aquaponics Training Class: When:     Saturday,  May 5th    9:00 – 11am Where:   “Concho” system in Mansfield, TX Cost:      $30 per person (Classes are limited to 10 people) Information Covered:  This 2-hour class is designed to give a general introduction to Aquaponics and will cover a number of topics. A partial list of subjects covered is: * The advantages of Aquaponics in the Urban Environment. * Different type of Aquaponic systems available. * Basic system operation. * The Nitrogen Cycle…

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Dan Barber – How I Fell In Love With A Fish

So yesterday there was a bit of a lag time between the two workshops. During that time, those in attendance and I struck up a conversation about how Aquaponics is going to be able to alleviate some of the issues that currently exist relating to traditionally farmed fish. In the course of that conversation, I touched on a number of issues from the waste water release problems and the unsustainable nature of the feeds used, to technological issues and even…

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Two Workshop Trainings on 4/22 at Sunrose in Farmers Branch!

Sorry for the late notice on here, but with the FOUR Earth Day-related green events we have done this week — we have been a little behind in our postings. If you are interested in seeing a medium-to-large scale backyard aquaponics system (our “Sunrose” system), and attending one or two short workshops — Tomorrow is the day for you! Please email us if you plan to attend — greenphoenix@ greenphoenixfarms (dot) com. Hope to see you all!   Converting a…

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New Aquaponic Systems To Be Offered

Green Phoenix Farms has been working hard in the past few months to design and refine the operation of a few “ready-made” aquaponic systems for those individuals who are daunted by the prospect of designing and building their own system. We have done everything that we could to make these systems easy to operate and also as inexpensive as possible. We are proud to announce our first three systems to the public: The Phoenix: 1-growbed and the Phoenix: 3-growbed systems…

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First salad of 2012!

So after the torrential rains and the 23 tornadoes (yes Virginie, TWENTY-THREE tornadoes – see article below) that hit the DFW metroplex on April 3rd — we went out to our aquaponic system to find…. That all the plants were actually still there and doing fine. Yeah sure the beets had fallen over a bit and one of the cucumbers had been blown off the trellis, but all in all – there was no real damage. In light of this…

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Introduction to Aquaponics Training Class

Introduction to Aquaponics Training Class: When:     Saturday,  April 7th    10am – 12pm Monday,     April 9th    6pm – 8pm Where:   “Sunrose” system in Farmers Branch Cost:      $30 per person (Classes are limited to 8 people) To register — please send an RSVP email to greenphoenix (@) greenphoenixfarms.com to confirm your space. The location address will be emailed with your confirmation. Information Covered:  This 2-hour class is designed to give a general introduction to Aquaponics and will cover a number of topics.…

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Repurposed Materials for Urban Growing

There are so many great resources out there for individuals who want to start growing things these days. A tour through the gardening section at any major bookstore will yield a large number of books devoted entirely to this practice. You can find traditional gardening, and lately, you can find container gardens and permaculture books galore. In the Urban environment, it is often very hard to find the SPACE to actually grow things… In my experience, most people would like…

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“Sunrose” System Growth Update (March 30th)

OK, so once again I am a few days late in uploading the pictures of this system… I don’t know why it takes me so long to get around to uploading them from my camera… Fine – new resolution. I WILL download my pictures from the camera every day I take them…. Anyway, enough bemoaning of my techno-problems. Y’all  want to to see how things are progressing in the system, right? Well here you go. [portfolio_slideshow id=572] As you can…

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Green Phoenix on BlogTalkRadio Today!

Many things have been happening lately, and today is just one example of that. Adam Cohen from Green Phoenix Farms has been invited as a featured guest of the Aquaponics Survival Community on BlogTalkRadio. This interview was originally aired on Saturday March 31st at 10:30am Central time. Audio File of Interview (30min): Interview with Adam from Green Phoenix Farms by Victoria Kelley Sat, March 31, 2012 10:30AM Adam’s background is marine biology and marine fisheries, which he studied at Texas…

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Short Notice for Food Grade 275 gallon IBC Totes!!!!

EDIT: September 1, 2013 — I now have a supplier for quality IBC Totes again! From now on we should be able to supply totes as needed. These are 275 gallon totes, they have already been cleaned and are exceptionally high quality. The price per tote is $125 for the 275gallon totes and $150 for the 330gallon totes. Pick up at the Green Phoenix Farms location in Mansfield, TX, or delivery can be negotiated.   So this is a quick…

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“Sunrose” System Growth Update (March 26th)

Time for another growth update to the current happenings in the “Sunrose” system! Our newly remodeled system is working like a champ and we have not had a single problem with the revised auto-siphons and the new drain line. Even though there is a surplus of nutrients in the system from the Tilapia we raised last year, we decided to add  some small feeder goldfish into the IBC tank about 4 days ago. Mainly we just wanted to have something…

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New System Components Available

Well as Spring is visibly on its way into North Texas, I thought that I would give everyone an update on how things are developing with Green Phoenix Farms. We have been working hard in the background trying to line up suppliers and sources for all of the important components and such that make aquaponic systems work. We are going to be expanding our product lines significantly in the next few months, but right now we wanted to let everyone…

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Growth Update for Farmers Branch backyard system – “Sunrose”

Today was a VERY good day! After working on a few different projects and meeting some very good contacts for expanding our business, I was already in a great mood…. But, something happened when I went to view our newly-returned to operation backyard system in Farmers Branch, TX. [For those just tuning in, this system was built as a hands-on workshop in June of 2011. We shut it down in December 2011 due to cold temps and the transfer of…

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Green Phoenix Farms vendor

Southlake Green Fest on March 24th

Green Fest is Southlake’s point of connection to learn about the many ways to be better stewards of the earth’s resources. The event will feature various ways residents can invest in a sustainable future, improve daily living and save money by Going Green!     Green Phoenix Farms would like to invite everyone to come out to Southlake Town Square from 10am to 4pm on Saturday March 24th. We are proud to be exhibitors at the annual Green Fest in Southlake. Please…

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The Good Food Revolution

I don’t know about you, but I have had several life events in the past few years that have made me reconsider what I felt was important and the direction that I was heading in. While all were important, the single greatest catalyst for change in my life has been the birth of my son. It was this event, that more than any other, that guided my decision to become a farmer. But where did this decision come from? I…

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Green Phoenix Farms - Under Construction

Upcoming Class on How to Build a Vortex Filter (3/11/12)

Greeting all, on Sunday March 11th at 3pm (RSVP here!) we will be gathering at the Farmers Branch locale for Green Phoenix Farms. We will be gathering to go over the construction of a Vortex (or Swirl) filter from a common 5-gallon bucket from Home Depot or Lowe’s and a few other pieces.   Basically, we are going to take this, and using some PVC  pipe, a few fittings, a ball valve, and two Uniseals we will turn it into…

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Green Phoenix Farms - Under Construction

How a Bell Siphon actually works.

Here is a pretty good explanation of the theory behind how a Bell Siphon actually works. While his sizes are a bit hard to fully discern from his sketches, the theory is spot on and I especially like how he mentions the need to have the air space inside the Bell within a certain range (between 0.5 and 1″) in order to make everything work. It is little information like that, that you cannot get from reading most literature on…

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Green Phoenix Farms - Under Construction

Green Phoenix Farms featured in March/April Issue of Texas Gardener

Today I was able to pick up the new issue of Texas Gardener magazine (March/April) and I am very happy to announce that in this issue is a four page article about Aquaponics and specifically the things that I am doing in the DFW area through Green Phoenix Farms and DFWaquaponics. On the Texas Gardener website you can read an excerpt of the article, and have to say that I think it is a pretty good article. If you have…

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New Hatchery Program for Dallas-Fort Worth

The brand new hatchery system for Green Phoenix Farms has been installed and is now operating great! Within weeks, we plan to begin production of Tilapia fingerlings with the local DFW area market in mind. Our goal is to have fingerlings ready for stocking into local aquaponic systems by the middle of the summer. In addition to the commonly available Mozambique Tilapia (Oreochromis  mossambicus) that have the traditional dark coloration patterns, we are hoping to breed our own line of…

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Learn how to Design an Aquaponics System

This is the first of a series on how to design an aquaponic system literally from the ground up. Now, the truth is that there is a wealth of information available on the internet that can help you in this process, I have endeavored to trim this massive amount down to the bare bones of what is needed to design (and later build) a small scale balanced system on your own. As a teaching tool for this class, I have…

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