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Planning stages


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Old 02-07-2011, 01:11 AM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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Default Planning stages

So, I'm currently on a military deployment and have been bored out of my mind and started researching hydroponic farming. I had played around with hydro a bit in highschool bio class and thought it was interesting and now, when I get back stateside and settled into my new home in San Diego, I plan to start my own setup.

I'm thinking alon the lines of a pvc pipe ebb and flow, will probably start off with the basics of tomatoes, bell peppers and cukes. Now, where my current project plan is going to get interesting is I have a 100w solar panel that I have been itching to find a use for and think it would be pretty cool to go off the grid with my hydro setup.

So far I think I have everything planned out as far as the hydro setup goes, the tricky part to me will be figuring out the whole wiring of the solar panel to a battery bank to a power inverter. If anybody has any suggestions on power inverters and such I am all ears. Also if anybody has any experience growing outdoors in Southern Cali and is willing to throw out pointers. Being from Michigan I am pretty excited at the possibility of being able to grow outside all year long.

Thanks much, I'll be posting pics and such once I get everything going, although it won't be for a lil while yet.

Kyle

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Old 02-07-2011, 05:55 PM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Hey Kyle,

I'm in San Diego down in Ocean Beach, and I grow outdoors. Bell Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes... all in a drip system using bato buckets. I grow all my leafy greens in 30' of NFT pvc pipe.

Check out this thread to see what it is I run.

http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...ucket-nft.html

I am by no means a pro, but I am rather proficient in what and how I grow. This year I hope to blow last years crop out of the water...

I am more than happy to answer any question I might be able to help you with. If you want to see a system running you are more than welcome to come by and check it out. The drip system should be going in the next 3 weeks I hope...seeds have sprouted...all 100 some odd of em'. Moving outdoors to harden soon!

Todd
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:59 PM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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Todd,
This might seem like a dumb question, but again, I've never lived out in Cali...But it is possible to grow outdoors year round right?
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:09 PM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Not at all Kyle,

My NFT has been running nonstop since last year, great year round producer.

My drip system ran until Late November, I chose to pull the plants when they started not to produce. I had powdery mildew and blossom drop issues as well. What a great learning experience it was! That will not happen again!!

I am coming back with an upgraded system this year. Bigger res. More plants, better support system, monitoring system, R.O res. an much healthier seedlings. Not that last year they where bad, but this year they are great.

So yes, you can...I did not...well half..

Todd
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:00 PM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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Cool, thanks much, I'm sure once I get there and get my housing situated, I will be bouncing more questions and ideas off of you. Especially with you being local to where I'll be. By the way, while browsing Ebay for possible supplies I think I found my nute tank 42 gal Fresh water tank Camper Horse Trailer Concession - eBay (item 290348331494 end time Mar-03-11 09:45:17 PST)
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:28 PM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Nice tank Kyle,

I like the size, I am looking for something around that as well. can you get into it to clean if need be?

Oh, and what part of S.D. are you going to be in?


Todd
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:41 PM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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It's looking like I'll be stationed at Point Loma..So we're going to attempt to live in that general area as well.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:34 PM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Nice...Point Loma area is nice...and only a couple of minutes from me...(just over the hill)....You going to be out of "N.A.S. North Island"?

When are you going to be back stateside?

Todd
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:48 PM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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I'm not entirely sure on the details of where I'll be working as of yet, seems to be a lack of money in the Navy to actually write my orders down on paper, but I should be back from Africa sometime in April, looking at settling into San Diego sometime around June or July timeframe.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:51 PM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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Man oh man, I believe I need to get myself out of the African sun, it along with ample time to surf the web is frying my mind and causing me to rethink my hydro-garden. Not that I am thinking of abandoning the idea, but after reading many many websites, I am trying to think of ways to raise tilapia and run an aquaponic setup instead..I think it would be cool as heck, but I'm not so sure my wife/the base housing folks will agree with me. My wife is already pretty hesitant to let me do the regular hydro setup. Anybody have any advice on the aqua setups and/or where to get fairly cheap tilapia near San Diego?
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:52 PM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Hey Kyle,


Hope I'm not the only one replying to you here...

I also want to try my hand at raising Tilapia, and running an Aquaponics system. But I think that one needs to have more than a basic understanding of running a hydroponic system before delving into Aquaponics. I also believe that one needs an advanced understanding of nutrients, and the ability to accurately diagnose deficiencies quickly.

At this point in time I do not have either. I've been mixing my own individual nutrients and testing water column nutrient for non-hydroponic systems for 3 years. hydro, only one year/season.

My recommendation is that you try your hand at hydroponics with a commercially available Organic or Non-Organic nutrient mix before trying to recreate it in an Aquaponics way.

That way you will have learned the basics of Hydro first. Once you become more comfortable, then you can branch out and experiment with other methods.

Just my 2 cent.


Todd
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:58 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello ksm2002,
I basically agree with Freshwater, If I were you I would start with a few hydroponic systems first. Growing a few different types of plants, in different systems using conventionally manufactured hydroponic nutrients first. That way you can learn from first hand experiences of growing hydroponically before taking on aquaponics. That would cut down the "learning curve" when you decide to step up to aquaponics. The nutrient management in aquaponics is no ware near as easy as it is in hydroponics.

That will also allow you time to show your wife the benefits of growing hydroponically first hand. And when she sees that you can grow as much as you want, of what you want, and she doesn't need to pay high prices for mediocre produce at the grocery store, it will be much easier to convince here to allow you to expand your setups. She will probably even ask you to grow specific things she likes, that will get her interested and suck her into hydroponics too. But if you start out full throttle, and don't achieve good results on the first try, you will hear a lot of "I told you so". Then convincing her will be be much, much harder, if not imposable.

The one thing that I would additionally suggest, is to build a setup to grow the fish also if you wanted, but separately from the plants. That will help cut down on the learning curve of learning how to care for the fish as well. There is no doubt that you will want to make improvements as you gain experience in both hydroponic, as well as fish farming (we all do). So cutting down on the learning curve before combining both would be beneficial to your overall success, as well as your "return on investment" (that your wife will no doubt be keeping track of).

If you have not already seen it, I have posted some aquaponics resources in this thread:
http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for....html#post6490

P.S.
Thank you for serving our country, and I hope you make it home soon and well.
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Home Hydroponic Systems
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2011, 01:28 PM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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Todd, GPS-
You guys make great points, I am going to blame my over ambition on too much time in the sun out here. I think I am going to have my hands full enough getting a basic hydro system up and running and figuring out my solar panel power setup. After I get that sorted I may go with GPS' idea of getting a seperate tank to raise fish seperately from the veggies to help resolve some learning curve issues before combining the two projects.

I can almost feel the awesomeness of San Diego already though, a couple more months and I can trade 100 degrees in the shade for 75 degrees yr round..Woot
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:35 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Hey Kyle,

You still around? Hope your assignment didn't get changed with all the craziness in the world right now.

I came across something, and thought you might dig it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ksm2002 View Post
after reading many many websites, I am trying to think of ways to raise tilapia and run an aquaponic setup instead..

Anybody have any advice on the aqua setups and/or where to get fairly cheap tilapia near San Diego?

Tilapia Mama's (here in San Diego) Welcome to Tilapia Mama's

According to their website -

Quote:
Tilapia Mama is one of the foremost experts on raising and breeding tilapia in Southern California.

Tilapia Mama has been breeding and raising tilapia for eight years and is dedicated to providing a source of tilapia fingerlings for people who want to raise their own food fish. Tilapia Mama is a Naturalist with the San Diego Natural History Museum and is a health and science educator.

Now here is the strange part, it's 11 minutes from my house over by Balboa park. I can never find anything that close...lol

They also hold workshops -

Quote:
TILAPIA 101: Saturday Workshop ($5)
Held monthly on the first Saturday of the month

3PM - 4:30PM

$5 Donation requested in support of our education and research efforts.
WORKSHOP: RAISING TILAPIA IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD--GETTING STARTED!
I am going to try and get there this weekend.

The Saturday workshops are below...

Quote:
2011 Workshop Schedule for Tilapia 101 Workshop:
Saturday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5
Saturday, April 2
Saturday, May 7
Saturday, June 4
Saturday, July 2
Saturday, August 6
Saturday, September 3
Saturday, October 1
Saturday, November 5
Saturday, December 3
Workshops will continue on the first Saturdays in 2012...
Saturday, January 7, 2012
You in town for any of those dates?

They also have more in-depth courses for 100 bucks. Might be something to look into.

Hope all is well.

Todd
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:36 AM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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Todd,
I'm still around, been lurking in the shadows mostly. I am still supposed to be coming out there to San Diego, but due to money constraints and the lack of a national budget this yr, I'm stuck in Norfolk until further notice. I had skimmed over tilapia mama's site a couple of months back, they seem to do some good stuff and I hope to get into thier courses when I do finally get out there. As of right now the soonest I may get there will be around July.

Kyle
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:32 PM
ksm2002 ksm2002 is offline
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Todd,
Good news, got my orders and should be moving into the new place in San Diego around the first week of July, once we get all settled in, it's gonna be on like donkey kong in getting a hydro setup put together. I can see the local home depot loving me.
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  #17  
Old 04-19-2011, 12:52 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksm2002 View Post
Todd,
once we get all settled in, it's gonna be on like donkey kong in getting a hydro setup put together. I can see the local home depot loving me.

Lol...I will introduce you ;-)

Sweet Kyle,

I can drop some seeds into some A-ok rockwool cubes if you want me too, a few weeks before you get out here. Almost impossible to find hydro ready seedlings around here...almost.

Oh, and I checked out that Talapia chic....boring...Of the 12-14 people in attendance, most knew more than what she was talking about. Though I was able to buy hydro ready seedlings from her for a dollar a piece. Salad anyone...dropped right into my NFT.

I have interest in checking out your plans for the solar panel setup. Maybe we can help each other out with what we know.


Todd

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