Okay, I got a 55 gallon aquarium my neighbor’s didn’t want. I had to get someone to lift it for me, my neighbor’s had a free sign on it and I got it. He told me to put a few fish in it but that’s not all I want to do. I want to use it for Aquaponics-(using fish to fertilize garden plants) and Aquaculture-(raising fish for food). Barrelponics is the combination of Hydroponics-(growing food with water instead of soil) and Aquaculture-(raising your own fish for food). Some people use gold fish for Aquaponics but most Barrelponic’s people are growing both food and fish for their own food. You don’t need a barrel to achieve it either…What it takes is information. This isn’t a simple thing you can jump into it takes time and it’s gonna take time for me but I got the most important thing, the tank for free so I’m pretty happy.
Aquaponic’s, Hydroponics, Aquaculture and Barrelponic’s can be as small as a small aquarium on up to large structures. But the simpliest combination of Barrelponic’s I’ve ever seen was one that used an Aquarium with a few fish, with a custom piece of wood cut out so that some plastic drink cups, the kind you buy in a stack for a picnic, could fit in it. The cup had a whole cut in the middle and the plant with the root was fitted through it, it was then filled with aquarium stones to hold the plant in place. Then the wooden top with the plants was placed on top. A simple air stone and filter was used in the tank and the fish would defecate which is what the tomatoes or other plants grew on. They ended up having an enormous amount of tomatoes. The barrelponics method would use that same simple method but instead of using gold fish, they would use Tilapia which is the easiest fish to find right now for at home Fish Farming. If you choose to breed your own Tilapia it can be a little complicated though the link below to Tilapia Farming at home.com makes it easy. But I found a source RDA AquaFarms also listed below that sells male Tilapia. You can buy all male Tilapia which you raise for food purposes only and within 9 months you have your own fish to eat and then you can start over).
I have more links and information from a previous post called: Raising Your own Fish, the New Chicken for the homestead: http://singlemomurbanhomestead.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/raising-your-own-fish-the-new-chicken-for-the-homestead/
Here’s more information…I will be reading and investigating this myself but now that I have this free aquarium, I plan to use it and use it for more than just tropical fish.
http://tilapiafarmingathome.com/default.aspx-(Has some of the best information on raising them at home but he focuses mainly on breeding Tilapia vs. all male Tilapia.
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/-(Information on a larger scale for outside fish farming).
http://www.scribd.com/doc/12685513/DIY-Urban-Aquaculture-Manual- (Information on how to make a Aquaponic’s system).
http://rdaquafarms.com/index.html-(Have Male only Tilapia in small enough amounts for the home fish farmer at very reasonable prices).