This is a very basic overview of an old system that I setup in my garage. It’s part of a broader plan that I am developing as part of the aquaponics project. I’m still working on it, but it will help to provide a brief overview of the thinking of the project. I’m still working on this plan, but for now I just want to get back to actually growing things.
The main thrust of aquaponics has always been to grow food in setting where normally food cultivation would not be possible as well as replacing food hydroponics as a more sustainable food system. That is also true for our proposal, but we take it one step further in that we plan to use technology to be able to grow food sustainably in office buildings or warehouses in cities.
Here is an example of one such location that we would like to take advantage of in Detroit, Michigan:
It is essentially an acre of land on a parsel that is just half an acre. It is run down enough to be purchased and rennovated. I would hope to find similar office buildings in other cities in climates that would desire fresh produce in the off season.
Based on electricity demand as far as the pump, lighting, and heating/humidity needed we can grow pretty much anything. Lots of other aquaponics websites provide lists of what can be grown.
We are currently growing:
- Bibb Lettuce
- Snow Peas
- Uh… another lettuce. I’ll update later.
- Spinach (attempting)
The electrical costs are one of the biggest hurdles for this project. Costs per kilowatt hour range from as little as $0.04 an hour to around $0.10 an hour. This is important to note because while normal aquaponics and standard growing typically use the sun for growth, we use light fixtures.
Currenty, I am using a 100 watt Tek-Light T5-4 Four Foot / Two-Tube HO Fluorescent Fixture. It simulates the light that a 600 Watt – 1000 Watt halogen grown light would create in a marijuana grow house.
We were originally using a 45 Watt LED grow light, but was getting very poor growth. We switched the fluorescent and it’s been going much better.