We'd like to share one of our valued customer's experience at our store...
Gary Busciglio is a wealth of information, hydro-gardening supplies, and entertainment!
I had been monkeying around doing this sort-of-hydro thing for a few years when Gary said to me, half-kidding, "So. When are you going to stop screwing around?" I was tickled--and I realized he had a point. I expressed interest in aquaponics, and he hooked me up with Doug, "The Fish Guy." Between the two of them and the internet, I’ve since gleaned the information and materials to set up the system, tweaked to my liking, pictured below.
Especially after the initial set-up, it isn't hard work. I can spend as little or as much time on it as I want. I have a constant-flow raft system, with rafts soon to be transferred to the top of the fish tanks, a media bed system installed to accommodate larger and varied favorite veggies. Lettuce doesn't like heat so I’ve set up that grow-bed inside the house, temperature at 80 degrees or less during the summer. You can see how the lettuce reacts! It’s a good thing we love salads.
Doug’s knowledge and generosity are a great help. He gives me ongoing information and advice. He also supplies me with fish. My four tanks, with space for 30-50 mercury-free tilapia, hold approximately 35 gallons; my waterfall/drip system and air pump provide them with plenty of O2. Water also flows into a sump pump in which I placed sand for some Golden Asian Clams. These further clean the water, and when they’re large enough, we’ll eat them. I might also experiment later with catfish and Aussie red-claw prawns (mini-lobsters). I’m currently looking into how to best smoke the meat.
I must say that this type of not-on-your-knees-in-the-heat gardening is wonderful. Because I can't physically handle honeybees any more, as I used to, it’s perfect for me. Beyond that, it’s stimulating to learn about eco-systems and how to raise food that goes straight to the table.
I owe Gary and Doug a huge thank you for getting me started with this. With their help, I avoid reinventing the wheel. These are very good people. I count myself lucky to know them both.