Mobile Short Term Systems?
I am writing in hopes for some on-line brainstorming to advance aquaponics miniatures in schools and churches, with specific focus on Alexandra’s question:
We are currently negotiating for an abandoned lot next to our garden space/ their tabernacle. It is about 120×50 and we were hoping to put a greenhouse on the land to do some hydroponic growing and start a business to fund the rest of the CDC. At this time we are negotiating the terms of the lease with the city, and I have not mentioned to my partners that I think we should instead try to do AQUAPONICS - this is because if we get the land on a temporary lease of 1 year I do not know if it would be worth our efforts to use the space for that purpose.
I was wondering if you could give me a bit of advice at this juncture. What is the shortest lease you think we could have for it to be worth our building an aquaponic greenhouse, one which was semi-permanent? Any other concerns you think we should address in the terms with the city? I am only asking because I am not sure what pitfalls to look out for which you may have encountered in your experience.
My name is Dave Mangin. I’m one of the education coordinators at the Sweetwater Foundation. I, like many on our team, am somewhat new to aquaponics, but am gaining experience rather quickly with a variety of systems. We have built several variations of Travis Hughey’s Barrel-Ponics miniature system at our facility, with good results. Thing is, in order to raise fish to be marketed at a profitable price, you would probably want your fish tank to be at least 150–200 gallons, and probably more (which would require a large amount of vegetation for proper nutrient uptake). A series of barrel-beds could be linked together to create enough biomass for the nitrogen conversion, but you may find other designs, such as vertical growing systems, to be more suitable for your space.
The system itself will take some time to get established (3–4 months for nutrient levels to really settle in). This, along with the initial investment required, might render aquaponics as a difficult sell if there is a possibility of the lease ending after a year. Hydroponics may be a good route to go, but with a system that could be converted easily to aquaponics in the future.
I am interested in the idea of setting up aquaponic greenhouses in different areas around Milwaukee, so please keep us posted on the route you choose and how things unfold. This is certainly an exciting time to be getting into this sort of thing!