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Monday, December 30, 2013

What’s Happening in the Aquaponics Survival Community Today?

ASC Community Sharing

With over 15,000 fans sharing their knowledge and skills it’s hard not to learn something new every day. The ASC community distributes information on every conceivable way to save money in a world where consumerism has taken over.

In one of today’s posts our community learned that it is possible to integrate soil grown plants into an aquaponics system.This is quite ingenious and hasn't been done before. People who have an aquaponics system have had problems growing plants that require higher levels of acidity. This problem has been solved and gives growers even greater flexibility. http://www.instructables.com/id/Hybrid-Aquaponic-soil-indoor-winter-garden/

There are so many interesting stories, articles and real life experiences from people all over the world. We invite you to Join our community http://aquaponicssurvivalcommunities.com/ and share your knowledge and skills too.

In our community we cultivate an atmosphere of friendship by respecting each other talents and giving credit to those who contribute. Our community grows daily and we are so grateful to have so many smart and helpful people here. 

Many of our community members are also readers of our ASC magazine. Every month we get great reviews from our readers who like to have the information they need in one place. You can check out the magazine at http://aquaponics-how-to-guide.info/aquanewsletter/ We look forward to connecting with you soon.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Growing Food Through Beautiful Sounds

Chooka Parker And His Contribution To Our Community

I have the great privledge in knowing an amazing young mind. Chooka Parker was only 17 years old when he became a finalist in Australia's Got Talent. You see Chooka has never had any formal training in playing the piano and creates the music as he goes. He won an award (The People's Choice Awards) as a pianist and composer in 2012 for his beautiful music. This is his website: http://chookaparkermusic.com/



He sounds like a combination of Mozart and Beethoven mixed up with some Jazz. Chooka has those amazing qualities that leave us with our mouths open and wondering how this actually happens. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a prodigy. The first time I listened to his music it bought tears to my eyes because it touched my soul. The sounds have this healing effect when you close your eyes and just listen. The judge on the show had the same effect when she heard him play in front of the audience too. He was 16 when he played this piece of music, watch and be amazed... 




A few months ago I asked Chooka if he would consider creating a piece of music for the ASC Community. He said "Yes" and it was one of those moments you never forget. Did he just agree to create some music for us?

Chooka's mother Kerry asked me "Victoria what do you want him to think of as he plays?" 
I replied "Think of water, fish, food growing and the sun shining." 



The music is almost 10 minutes long but worth the listen. I am still amazed and proud to share this amazing creation of sound with people. If you have some stress today, close your eyes and just listen. Let the sounds wash over you. Hear the fish swimming, the water moving and the food growing. 

The Vision

The vision we now have is to educate children and adults worldwide about sustainability and growing their own food. The Educators site will be up and running in 2014 with a twist on education regarding farming and all kinds of sustainability. Adam Cohen will be the director for education materials that come into the site. Adam has a degree in Marine Biology and runs his owns aquaponics business (Green Phoenix Farms) so we know he will do a great job with the site.

What we want to encourage other people to get involved. 
If you have a business or know something about farming with aquaponics, permaculture, DIY, and other forms of sustainability let us know. We want to involve regular people in the education process too. This is an opportunity for the educator / business owner to earn some extra money while promoting their own business in the process.

It is a way to enhance teaching in a school like environment while being in the comfort of your own home. The student will be able to benefit from your experience and knowledge too. Whether the student is 10 or 70 years old there is room for everyone.

We also believe our kids desperately need to know more about how food grows and everything involved with science, biology, Eco-Systems and where it all fits into their future. Teaching more education like this to schools globally can change our world. We need more farmers for the future and our kids are the key.

Interested? 

Let us know if you are interested in becoming a part of the educators site. We are looking for educators, business owners, farmers, gardeners, DIY, experience in solar, wind, aquaponics systems, thermal mass heating systems, etc. You can drop us an E-Mail at:  venusrizing@gmail.com

Have a great day everyone!
Tune in to the magical sounds of Chooka Parker today :-)


Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY Aquaponics Systems For People

Learn To Do It Yourself

Yesterday in the ASC Community we proposed a question to people because we like to guage where the average thinking is. Many people come to the page because we post all kinds of information on sustainability and DIY projects. I think some of the info we post will become more valable as the days and months go by in the USA. 


This is the question we asked: 

"Can we ask how many people here would purchase an Aquaponics Set-Up off a distributor from $4000.00 to $10,000 if you could buy all the parts and do it yourself for about $500.00? Do you think the DIY Skills you would learn from doing it yourself would be far more valuble?"

We got an outstanding Do It Yourself and learn from the beginning. 

Here is a great comment from one of our community members: 
Chris said:  $500? I built my first system for a little under $200. and that included $120 for the 1000L tank. Since then I've expanded and rebuilt (bigger or more efficient or both) about 3-4 times, and I still dont think I've hit $500.

The trick is looking at what you have and being a little creative. 
I have a stand alone solar power system that generates more power than I can use so I brought 12v pumps from a boating shop, so my bilge pumps run about 750 Gal/hr, and I used 20L plastic containers from a local honey and health food outlet (Saved them from going into land fill) as my planter pots and a time clock to control when my pumps run and for how long.

Depending on your DIY skills and your creativity and initiative when sourcing materials you can build a system for anything from a few $$ for a really basic system up to as much as you want to spend.

Eg. a 'micro system' would only need a 20L bucket(or aquarium), an aquarium air pump and fittings, and a plant tray on top. You setup the bucket like an aquarium, and install the air pump so that is used ventury effect to drag water above the top of the bucket and into the plant tray. The water is filtered by the plant tray and drips back into the fish tank - bucket. Now feed the fish and let them feed you!


DIY For A Cheaper Aquaponics System 


You will need at least 3 IBC containers: 

One IBC for the fish tank, and the other 2 cut into grow beds and a sump tank. Buy FOOD GRADE tanks, second hand ones are obviously cheaper. You might want a 4th IBC for extra grow beds as the system matures. 

One big roll of HDPE piping 1.5 inches wide, along with some connectors and elbows, a good pump and some clay, gravel or other type of  growing media. 



IBC containers can be bought from anywhere $60.00 to $100.00 a piece. We got ours for $60.00 each.
Our pump cost us about $100.00 and we actually bought a bigger size than needed, so we had more water flowing to help create oxygen content back into the water. 

Our roll of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) or (PEHD - Polyethylene High-Density)  piping cost us about $45.00 and we still have a ton of it left. 

The joints, elbows and extra's needed cost up to $50.00 for all kinds of things
We got a small load of gravel delivered which cost us about $100.00
So we actually spent close to $500.00 for a 1 tank, 1 sump and a 3 grow bed system.

There are a couple of other things you will need like: cinder blocks, old bricks or thick wood beams to sit the grow beds on. These can be free if you are smart and hunt around, maybe they are already in the backyard! Become a scrounger because junk yards, garage sales, habitat for humanity stores and other similar places can become great resources for building materials.


Free DIY Instructions

For those of you wanting some instructions on how to build your own system we have these plans you can try: This is the barrelponics system and the structure is a little different than IBC containers but still worth the effort of putting it all together and learning from scratch. 

So now I have to ask why does it cost $4000.00 and up to buy a similar system from a distributor? That's a pretty hefty markup!

Sure, anyone can go and buy a ritsy system with a nice set up and all you have to do is plug it in BUT many of our community felt that in the long run a person wouldn't learn that much. What will you do if there is a problem with the system, how will you know what to fix and of course the added COSTS. In this day and age when prices are becoming more difficult to live with, who can afford to invest $4000.00 plus dollars in a system that can be done for less than $500.00 at home?  

It seems to me that anyone who wants to learn how to grow with aquaponics will gain much more benefit by starting from scratch. If you still have two good hands, a brain and want to learn something, then YOU are the best teacher you will ever get to know. 

I know of a company who has a top range of $10,000.00 for an aquaponics system. Eeekk...run away people, thats just way too much money. For that hefty price I would expect the greenhouse, fish, food, start up nutrients and plants too. 

The problem we have is, Americans have become a nation of consumers. Many of the distributor aquaponics systems are specifically built on the premise that you will not want to build one for yourself. Building your own system is an opportunity to save some money for other things you may want to become sustainable.

Solar panels can create energy and help run the pump in the tank. You can make your own greenhouse for a couple of hundred dollars, so there's a nice home for your aquaponics system. Save your money for these kinds of items.

So why not build your own aquaponics system for 1/8 th of the cost?

As things become financially harder for many Americans, I can forsee huge numbers of people going back to DIY anything. I think this is great because it means the self taught experts, will soon become very valuable people to their community once again. 








Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Educators For Aquaponics Coming In 2014

Education Tempered With Ecology And Growing The Future

Over the past few months the ASC magazine has been contacted by a few different groups wanting to work with us in the Aquaponics industry. The ASCommunity really loves the idea of being able to contribute to the further education of people worldwide and helping them to grow their own food. 

Many of our experiences have led us to believe that if you want to really move ahead with something beneficial, then you just have to do it. No big debates, voting, waiting on others to come around, procrastination, ums and ahhs, just get it done! That's how the ASC Magazine came to be and it's turning out to be hugely successful because we just moved ahead with it. 



The Educators For Aquaponics Site would like to educate people the way most of us use the internet these days. You Tube Videos are fabulous but they still lack that classroom atmosphere that many people need to focus and learn from. We propose a virtual online school where someone who wants to teach aquaponics can do so through slide show presentations, online graphics, information packets that can easily be downloaded, one on one conversations, audience interaction and teaching videos. 
Join us here for updates: http://educatorsforaquaponics.com/

A business owner can also gain benefit by presenting his aquaponics or other type of sustainable business in a way that educates and inspires other people. This business owner would then become an authority in their local or state area which is always good for any business. People will continually to come back to a business if they see that what you are doing can help them too. 



A school educator can teach classes that will inspire and change the curriculum for many other schools worldwide. The ASC Magazine has been investigating aquaponics and farming being re-introduced into schools. From what we have seen with articles contributed from educators, this kind of learning is very beneficial to children and students alike. 

Online classes can be easily accessed by school students as many of the classrooms these days have computers in each room. We want to encourage more education programs within different USA states to help children use a great teaching program. This can benefit kids in a way where they have a better understanding of  biology, ecology, science, sustainability, technology and economics all rolled neatly into each other through the Educators for Aquaponics site. 



Learn at home in your pajamas if you wish. While travelling to conferences is a great resource for learning, the truth is that for many people the cost alone is no longer feasible. We have actually heard this complaint from many others in the community. People do not have the monies available for expensive hotel accomodations, extra food expenses, plane trips, fuel costs and time away from home. However with a virtual learning facility as close as your keyboard or other mobile device, you can learn in your home, in the park, at the beach or in the backyard.

The cost is minimal and therefore the learning experience is more effective to most people. We will also keep people up on upcoming classes and who will be hosting them.
You can sign up here: http://educatorsforaquaponics.com/

Educators for Aquaponics is a new way to teach and educate all people back into farming and sustainability.
Hope to see you in 2014... 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Joel Salatin in the ASC Magazine for November

Joel Salatin and Educating Our Kids

This November the ASC Magazine will be highlighting an article written by Joel Salatin. Joel is a best selling author, international speaker and owner of Polyface Farms.

After meeting up with Joel at the Aquaponics Association Conference I asked him if he would be interested to write an article for our magazine.


Joel said "Yes I think I can do that," and wrote us a fantastic article about creating a bio-mimicry food system. He is a very friendly man and some of his E-Mails back and forth, had me laughing really hard. I love that down to earth, keep it real in people...

I have been a longtime fan of Joel's because many of his methods for growing food and raising farm animals I personally agree with. Heck, I grew up with chickens, ducks, horses, cows and sheep. We had a creek filled with Yabbies that we often caught and bought home for dinner. We had an abundance of wild rabbits that helped put food on the table too.

Looking back on my own childhood, I think I can honestly say these were some of the best educational years of my life. That's why in the November ASC Magazine we have asked a couple of schools to show us what they are doing in the way of educating kids about aquaponics and farming.

When you think about it, a child can learn very important lessons in regards to old fashioned farming and aquaponic growing. Below are just a couple of good points in favor of educating children this way:

Biology...learning about physical make-up of fish and animals.

Science...The understanding and importance of microbes, nematodes, oxygen, nitrogen, soil, water, plants, ammonia and how everything works together in nature.

Technology...water pumps, water flow and all kinds of electronic devices for aquaponics and farming equipment.

Mathematics...children learning how many seedlings they may need to plant in a square foot area. How many fish will someone need to grow produce in their aquaponics systems versus fish tank water volume. Sounds like math to me.

English...Learning to write better by keeping a diary of daily events and happenings. Keeping a record of agricultural endeavours can be very fulfilling. This can teach kids to write great stories and even turn out to be authors. Now imagine that...

Our kids can reap the rewards of better education through teaching them about simple things that many of us may have  forgotten. In just one generation most of us have become unaware of how to farm and grow food. What our parents and grandparents once did out of neccessity is now almost unheard of. We absolutely have to bring that back to our children and education is the key...

Full Circle and the Rhythm of Life


Humanity has just about gone full circle with the back to basics for living, eating and educating. There are many people deciding to go back to the land because they see the long term benefits. 


When we are gone who will be there to show children how to grow their own food? I have a beautiful little grandson who is 4 months old and I want him to know how to look after himself when I am no longer here. Aren't our kids worth it?

Most people are waking up to the fact that growing their own food is once again a neccessity for living healthy. So why not join the every growing array of people from every corner of the earth, who are learning, growing and enjoying the magazine every month?

The ASC Writers

We have a great team of writers who do an amazing job regarding their articles. I have been very proud of the different writing styles. These are dedicated people who are trying to make a difference with their own form of educating the public. We write on alternative growing, organic foods, education with aquaponics, permaculture and solar.

The ASC Magazine can now stand on it's own merits for helping to educate and informing a whole new generation of people.

Subscribe Here to the magazine. If you choose not to subscribe but would like to purchase back issues of the magazine you can do so here: Get The ASC Magazine Back Issues


Warm Regards

Victoria





Friday, October 11, 2013

Real Sustainability For The Future

Start Growing Your Own Food Now

As things really start to degrade across the USA, one thing becomes apparent; people need to make sure they have their own healthy food supplies readily available. 


I read somewhere that Monsanto is about to receive this years  Nobel Prize of Agriculture. 

How can this be? The way Monsanto creates seeds makes the very protein inside of the seed toxic to everything, including the human gut. 


If you haven't seen Dr Thierry Vrain's  video on this subject about gene mutation I suggest you watch it. He should know about seeds because he was once a scientist himself who studied nemotodes in the soil and the genetics of seeds.   The video is about an hour long but well worth the eye opening education he teaches. 





The only way people can really make sure their family are eating better foods is to grow their own. No matter what you see labelled in the stores, USDA Organic labels can mean just about anything now. I'm not trying to scare anyone but rather give people the facts. 



Just because you hear something from an official representative, doesn't mean it's true. How many times have we been told something from our local, state and federal representatives only to find out we have been lied to? Think about what is being told to you, do some of your own research and then draw upon a conclusion you feel is right for your family. 





Check out this site directly from the Federal Register about the National Organic Program-Sunset Process: Click Here







So what can a person do to make sure their food is safe? 



Aquaponics is a fantastic method of growing,  where a person can feel safe in knowing they are eating healthy foods. There are some things upfront you should know before spending money. 



I would strongly encourage people to educate themselves first about the biology and technology needed to maintain a succesful system. Too many times people jump in head first and quickly become frustrated with the process of aquaponics. 



It's not hard to manage aquaponics but don't spend wasted money, you  may need later for purchasing kits and fish. You don't need to spend a fortune to have a successful system either. Aquaponics can be interesting and educational for everyone. For the most part you can make the set up process fun for you and the kids. 



Figure out where you are going to be keeping the system first like a greenhouse, basement or garage. Then ask yourself some of these questions before setting up any system:  


  • How many people in the family will you need to feed?
  • How many grow beds and fish tanks will you need to sustain the family?  
  • What are the average temperatures in your area? 
  • Does it get really cold or hot where you live? 
  • What fish species will you be raising?
  • Can you get a healthy supply of local fish? 
  • Do you understand the science, biology and basic health care for fish?
  • What is the right sized water pump needed?  
  • Will you be using PVC or HDPE and what's the difference? 


If you haven't already read the Essential Fish Care In Aquaponics I suggest you take a look. The book gives readers a good understanding of the basic science and biology needed to raise healthy fish. It also goes over subjects like natural feeding, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, water and oxygen which are also important. There are 13 good reviews and many people have found it to be a very useful guide to have around. With about 65 pages it's not a long read but a rather a worthwhile one. 


We also encourage people to sign up to receive the ASC Magazine each month. We will send you a  great online E-Magazine filled with information and stories from people who are growing food in the aquaponics industry. 

We also have a regular staff of people who are teaching others about natural products, permaculture, technology and other ways to grow food. 

The ASC Magazine is dedicated to teaching people how to become more sustainable. It is a good deal at $2.97 a month. The cost alone, makes this magazine an awesome price.  It will cost you less than one cup of coffee at Starbucks.  

You can subscribe here: Click this link 


Start growing your own food now. It is the only real way you can be sure of what you are eating. Take a look at some of the information on the community website when you have a free minute. Read some of the other information there we encourage all people to know about GMO and building real sustainable communities. 

Warm Regards

Victoria Kelley 















Monday, September 23, 2013

Lunch With Joel Salatin

A Lunch I Will Never Forget


On Saturday 09-21-2013 my husband and I were sitting at the back table inside of the grand ballroom at the Loews Ventura center. We were waiting to hear the Aquaponics Association speaker Joel Salatin come up to the stage. I knew who he was and I admired his work and passion.

We were in the midst of listening to a speech given by James Hollyer about food safety (which my husband already knew a lot about because of once being in the restaurant industry), a man sat down next to me in the empty chair. No big deal just move your stuff over a bit and let him have some leg room Victoria.

At first I had no clue who he was and asked him "Do you have enough room to sit?" as I moved my notepad over for the man to have some extra space. "Yes I'm fine thanks." The man pulled out his notebook and started to make some notes about the lecture being given.

Once the lecture was over, Casey told the audience, lunch was being served in the foyer and there would be a 30 minute break. I still had no idea who was sitting next to me until the man stood up and I could see his name tag and read Joel Salatin. I then happily introduced myself along with the ASC Magazine and asked him if he would consider writing us an article at some point. I then left the business stuff alone and decided to have a NORMAL conversation with Joel Salatin.

I asked Joel how did he like the Tucson heat? He said he wasn't going outside for that reason (96 degrees on Saturday) and I agreed that was a smart move. Then we moved into conversations about the Australian heat, what part of Australia I was from, how rich the mining was in Australia, the changes in the land with fracking, bad erosion in New Zealand and how much Joel really enjoyed Australia and New Zealand. "I really love that Australian accent, it's so refreshing." he said.  Did I just score some brownie points on the accent? Or maybe we were having a great conversation because I treated Joel Salatin just like a regular guy.

Mike and I went off to get some lunch and came back to the table. Joel came back with his plate and sat down with us and the conversation started up again with Joel, Mike, me and Glen Martinez from Olomana Gardens.

Glen already knew Joel from other conferences and there was some reminiscing and laughs between the two. You know Joel Salatin is a pretty nice and very approachable man.  The lunch conversation started out with farms and the deadly bacteria's that now exist in food like E-Coli and Listeria. There were all kinds of comments back and forth where these bacteria came from and the whole food safety speech.

In chimes the young woman at the table "I just love your work and I have all of your books Mr. Salatin and we are big fans," with the big eyes and tilted head smile, as she ate 2 lettuce leaves and 3 slices of tomato for lunch. (The rest of us were eating a good lunch composed of rolls, meats, salads and cheesecake.)  Joel smiled politely and gave a very quick "Thank you, that's very much appreciated" and moved back to the conversation with myself, Mike and Glen.

Most of the time if you treat famous people like you have known them all your life, you are more likely to have a great conversation with them. Many of them don't want to be ogled over, they just want to be treated like everyone else.

Growing Up and Remembering

I made a few comments about how it was when I was growing up, "I was raised on a sheep farm with over 1500 head of sheep. I used to dislike it when the cattle trucks came in and hauled the sheep away. They used to cram the sheep in with their necks sticking up high and all squashed together. Hauling sheep for hundreds of miles in that condition."

"My mother had a big vegetable patch and we used a lot of dried out sheep poop in the garden. We also had chickens, ducks and horses. I never even knew what bacteria was and no-one ever was sick from eating our vegetables. The farms used to trade and share produce and the chickens would run loose in the garden and no-one ever considered separating one animal area from another. They just all got along" There were heads nodding and comments made about their farms being about the same, as they remembered.

I then said "I never had an allergy until I came to live in America. Up until then I was free of swollen eyes, sensitive skin and sinus issues." Again there was more head nodding and uh-huh noises made as we ate lunch.

When Joel Salatin gave his speech to the Aquaponics Association one of his opening lines was "That some of us grew up on farms, never even knowing what the word bacteria meant." I just smiled because I guess what I said resonated with him.



I was very glad I had the opportunity to meet and have lunch with Joel Salatin. He is just an average, down to earth, easy going man. He has a common sense approach to farming, bacteria and getting back to the land. I totally agree with what he says too.

Our society has become so disconnected that we are afraid of germs, bacteria and we have separated everything that helps the natural cycles of things work the way they are supposed to. I have to say it, official personnel and science don't know everything, as a matter of fact they have got a lot wrong. You only need to see GMO to know it's all screwed up. Joel Salatin lets his pigs go wild in his compost pile to make it better. I am sure food safety people would have a heart attack over this.

You know what? Our bodies are made up of thousands of different bacteria and Joel is right about mixing things up. It is the separation of this animal from the other one that causes the problems. Cows were supposed to go into the corn occasionally, just like my mothers chickens went scratching around in her vegetable garden patch. You are supposed to get dirty and have bacteria on your hands, clothes and body. How can we ever fight infections if our bodies don't know some of these bacteria's?

The Moral of The Story: 

Be real with people. Use a more common sense approach to life. Have good down to earth conversations. You never know how many people you can reach with information about aquaponics, gardening, permaculture farming and living healthy lives.  I learned something wonderful from Joel Salatin...just be yourself. 


Thanks for the memory and I hope we can do it again one day!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Fish Diseases And State Regulations

Why All The Rules Over Raising A Few Fish? 


The last post that we placed on this blog raised a few questions within the community along with a few heated words.  For the most part I understand that most people are fed up with all the "can't do, do you have a permit and get all your ducks in a row first." It's a pain and none of us really like fines or the fact we feel our lives are governed by laws. Seriously, I understand these feelings too.

Pointing out to people that each State have their own rules and regulations about raising and keeping fish is a responsible thing to do, especially when you have a community of nearly 14,000 people on Facebook. (None of the people in our community are paid fans, promotional coupon joins or any other way to get likes on the page. Our community is made up of real people with all organic searches who have genuinely joined the page.)

At this point, I feel I have a responsibility to give people the correct information they need, to make informed decisions about keeping and raising fish in their state. I am certainly not here to tell anyone what they can or cannot do and that's definitely NOT the point with aquaponics fish.

Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites

There are different bacteria's, parasites and infectious diseases, regarding fish and farming. Mentioning these problems to people is also a responsible thing to do. (This month in the ASC Magazine we highlighted the EWS technology from OriginOil, which can help reduce these issues with aquaculture farms.) It is even possible that wild fish can contract diseases from other people flushing their poor dead goldfish down the toilet or releasing a fish into a local lake. If the fish were sick, that toilet flush could eventually cause the native species to become infected with bacterial problems.

No-one says your fish will have any problems but what if you did buy some fingerlings that were sick would you know what to do to treat them? This is why it's a wise decision to check out the breeders credentials first.

NO...we are not trying to frighten you, we are only asking that you consider questioning your fish purchasing sources first. Many breeders have healthy clean fish and these are the people who are usually state board certified, BUT it will only take one under the table seller to make things difficult.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia is a deadly infectious fish disease. It afflicts over 50 species of freshwater and marine fish in several parts of the northern hemisphere. VHS is caused by the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), different strains of which occur in different regions, and affect different species. This link will direct you to a PDF with more information about the infection.


In the end purchasing any fish for aquaponics, comes down to you. 

It is your aquaponics system, your fish and your responsibility. We have provided what we feel was good researched information for you to take the next step and make better informed decisions. 

We wish you many happy years in raising happy, healthy fish!

Warm Regards

Victoria 








Friday, September 13, 2013

Aquaponics Fish and State Regulations

Why It's Important To Know The Regulations

Most of us do not like regulations or paying for licenses and yearly fees. I totally get that because it is a pet peeve for me too. However when it comes to buying, keeping and selling of fish with aquaponics there are good reasons why everyone needs to understand the state laws. 

Because Aquaponics is a fairly new way to grow produce and proteins together there are a lot of regulation loopholes at this time. Some people will take advantage of this to make a quick dollar while jeopardizing the safety of others.


This month the ASC Magazine started a series of articles about raising fish in aquaponics, what types of fish and state regulations. ASC contributing writer Adam Cohen (who is also Vice Chairman and Director of Education of the Aquaponics Association) started the series off, with the state laws in Texas. Click here to read more about the article:  

One of the things the Aquaponics Association does, is to help people with the education process regarding aquaponics. Being a part of the Aquaponics Association also tells other people that you understand these state requirements and will follow the rules. 

There are people on the internet who will tell you that you can raise fish, sell fingerlings and make lots of money in the process. That's not exactly true, especially if the issue of state permits and regulations is never mentioned or just lightly touched upon. What will eventually happen to other breeders who do follow the regulations, is that loosely worded behavior like this, will result in serious clamp downs on everyone else involved in the aquaponics industry.

Before anyone considers buying fish, you need to find out if your state will even allow you to keep certain species at your home or place of business. Find out what the permitting restrictions are first or what species of fish you can keep. The link we are providing,  has the phone numbers and addresses for every state from the US Fish and Wildlife service. CLICK HERE

Tilapia Are Considered An Exotic Species

Many USA states have strict guidelines you have to follow first before you can keep and raise them. In countries like Australia you cannot even handle them. It is against the law.  


Important Information You Should Know First 
Some internet sites like Craiglist and Pennysavers have people openly selling fingerlings to the public. This is perfectly legal if the breeder is State Certified and carries the special permits to do so.

BEFORE YOU BUY ANY FISH you must find out about the breeder and their permits first. The first time YOU are caught transporting live fish from an illegal breeder, the responsibility is placed back on you! Huge fines or even considerable jail time could result. Additional felonies could be imposed, if the fish you are transporting are infected with bacteria. Therefore you will need to know if there are any parasites, bacteria or other infectious problems with the fish you are buying off the breeder.  Check the breeders credentials first with the state or see if there are any complaints filed against the seller.  

The biggest concern which the wildlife services have, is releasing some of these introduced species back into USA lakes and streams. Tilapia are prolific breeders and if released into natural waterways, they could quickly take over some of the native species of the local areas. For Tilapia this applies mostly to the warmer waters in the southern states but Tilapia can reach sexual maturity very quickly, so there is a possibility of the young finding their way around.

I would like to mention that the laws apply for different fish species which can also be used in aquaponics systems and not just Tilapia.

These rules and regulations have already been set up from each state around the USA. We are not here to tell you what to do but rather point out there are laws. Here are just some of the state regulations below:

Indiana Laws:       Click on this link
Texas Law:          Click on this link
Iowa Law:           Click on this link 
Maine Law:         Click on this link
Minnesota Law:   Click on this link
Wisconsin Law:   Click on this link
Tennessee Law:   Click on this link
North Carolina:    Click on this link
Colorado:            Click on this link

The illegal introduction of any fish into any Maine water is a Class E crime, punishable by fines of up to $10,000. That's a lot of money even if you were not aware of doing something wrong. So before you think you are getting a good deal off someone with 100 fingerlings, that good deal could quickly go sour if you end up with fines or even doing time. All of these headaches for transporting and harboring illegal species, can simply be avoided by doing your homework first!

I have also mentioned these legal requirements in the back of my book the "Essential Fish Care In Aquaponics" because I believe this is very important information for people to know first.

Lesson: Buyer beware!   (Caveat emptor) 

Warm Regards

Victoria



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Aquaponics Conference In Tucson Draws Near

Will YOU Be There?

For those of you who live locally in Tucson, AZ you are very fortunate this year as the aquaponics conference will only be a short trip away to attend. September 20th to 22nd will kick off the weekend events.

The beautiful Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is the setting for what is yet to be the biggest conference of the year for aquaponics. Address: 7000 N Resort Dr, Tucson, AZ 85750 Phone: 1 (800) 992 2694

Even if you are not a commercial aquaponics grower there are still plenty of good reasons to attend the conference. By joining the Aquaponics Association you have the guidance and the knowledge base of a whole community at large. The association can help people with small grants  and allow you the opportunity to network with others connected in the aquaponics industry.

There are now over 50,000 searches a month on Google for the keyword "aquaponics." That should tell anyone that there is a lot of interest in this amazing technique of growing healthy foods. 

The conference is about teaching and educating people with the latest ideas and ways to help the industry grow. As more people become involved with aquaponics there will be a greater need for the Association to help others.

Special guest speakers includes Joel Salatin and Max Meyers. Joel is a well known author and owner of Polyface farms. For More information about the events related to the conference or joining the Association please click on the link provided. CLICK HERE:




See you all in Tucson!

Warm Regards

Victoria kelley






Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ASC Magazine and OriginOil

The EWS Technology From OriginOil

This month in the ASC Magazine we are highlighting an amazing story from OriginOil. 

Sometimes in the world, there are incredible inventions which can change lives for the better and increase business production. OriginOil wrote an amazing article for the ASC Magazine about their EWS technology. 

Nicholas Eckleberry is the inventor of the EWS technology along with being co-founder of OriginOil. Nicholas has authored or co-authored thirteen patent applications in the field of algae production and commercialization.


So exactly how what does this technology work? 


It takes filthy ammonia, bacteria ridden water and turns it into usable clean water. The water from pictures in the article went from green to clear, which is great news if you want to have healthy fish. We received a photograph from the company showing a man drinking the water after it had been cleaned. 

For the aquaculture industry this can easily revolutionize how they keep their ponds clean. The majority of our fish now comes from aquaculture farms. The problem that many farmers face are serious problems with ammonia, bacteria and other nasty things in the water. Many fish die and it can create a huge problem for the industry. The EWS technology can eliminate these issues. 

OriginOil are already showing the world that we can use algae as a form of oil and now they are showing the aquaculture industry, they have a solution to the problems with keeping fish ponds clean. The technology is quite remarkable. 


If you would like to read more about September's cover article please click on the link within the cover picture or you can go here

I could also see how this type of technology could help third world countries have clean drinking water. It can take out bacteria and parasite problems that countries like India have with their water. I can see all kinds of great uses for the EWS technology. 

As a matter of fact I was contacted by a man from India who wanted to know more about this type of system for his town. He had seen a highlight of the article and he was very interested to know more. Most of us will never know how precious a clean drink of water is in the western world, but yet it is still a huge problem in places like India. 


Warm Regards

Victoria 



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Aquaponics Survival Communities

Who are we? 

Everybody, someone, people, experts, beginners, hobbyists, children and human beings. That's a whole lot right there!

The ASCommunity is a combination of experts, beginners, hobbyists, moms, dads, grandparents and commercial growers. I think most of us are aware that the food we are now eating can no longer be regarded as real food.  Join the community  :-)

Our community continues to grow everyday because more than ever before people are now starting to realize they need to grow their own food sources if they want healthy safe produce.

Once upon a time humans put their hands in the dirt and never gave a second thought to toxic or contaminated soils. Every year we grew vegetables that kept our bodies strong and healthy. We helped our neighbors and shared vegetables with each other. No-one ever grumbled about Peggy's tomatoes or Jimmy's fresh eggs. It was just expected that people were kind enough to share what they had with each other. After all isn't that what communities are supposed to do?

We once happily fished in the ocean and bought home clean, healthy fish for the family to eat. We never gave a second thought to any contamination, bacteria or radiation. If our neighbors went fishing, you could be assured that Bob would swap you out a few fish for some eggs or fruits. These types of neighbors sound like wonderful people to me. Raise your hand if you think so too!

Sustainability is also a huge part of our community. Growing your own food is only part of what we need to do now. Living in homes that sustain us and not the other way around is also necessary. We need to relearn techniques that we have forgotten. Knowing how to find wild edibles, which grow in abundance all the time is important (these plants contain no GMO either). If there was nothing to eat would you know how to forage? Do you know how to make water clean enough to drink?

What are we doing to the soil, oceans and ourselves? 


We are now at the crossroads folks. Deny it if you will and there are still people who believe that it's not as bad as others make it out to be. OK if you say so, I will leave it at that. I sincerely hope you are right.

All I can say is, why would a scientist come out of retirement after ten years, to speak out against things like GMO. He was quite happy in his garden growing his own food. Maybe he wanted us to hear the real truth? I don't know why Dr Thierry Vrain would do such a thing unless he was concerned for the future.

I am no scientist but I have been listening a lot lately to those who specialized in biology & agriculture. They have way more experience than me...and even they cannot guarantee complete safety anymore. So what it boils down to; there is no escaping the fact that we have no real choice but to grow our own food now. Only YOU can know exactly what you are growing. Only YOU will know the food you are feeding your children is safe and healthy.

Our Children's Future

My daughter had a baby in June and she asked me yesterday "Mom what do I say to Kace in 15 years from now about the food he is expected to eat?"

I told her that you teach him to grow his own food. You grow aquaponics food and teach him the same. You teach him about seed saving and you show him how to grow worms. You teach him because you are the best teacher he will ever have! A parents love will teach him the earth bound roots he so desperately needs now.

This is what the Aquaponics Survival Communities is about....teaching the next generation and getting back to basics. We have a magazine that everyone can be involved with. I have thoroughly enjoyed the articles that everyone has contributed so far.

I cannot do all of this by myself and I need your help too. I do not claim to be a worldwide authority but rather I am also a mother and grandmother just like millions of other women are.  I want something better to pass onto the future and I am sure you feel the same way too.

Help me teach the children and lets help each other in the process. We can become like the bough of an old oak tree; strong and live long, when we stand together, demand good foods and a healthy future for everyone.


Warm Regards

Victoria Kelley

Monday, August 26, 2013

Essential Companion Guide To Organic Gardening

Companion Guide To Gardening?

I recently wrote a book which I felt could benefit many people about growing from the ground. "The Essential Companion Guide To Organic Gardening," is designed for the earth bound gardener. The book has only been on Amazon Kindle in the last few days.

Many of us still prefer the old fashioned way of putting our hands in the soil to garden and I get that because I thoroughly enjoy watching produce grow in the earth too. Unfortunately some of us are not aware of what is happening to our soil from incorrect ways of gardening. Using pesticides, chemicals and other products can eventually harm your health and vegetables.

Some beginners may not be aware of all the wonderful unseen things that happen inside of the earth. There are amazing little creatures that exist especially to help the earth stay fertile and healthy. Humans have become so used to using sprays and weed killers that many just don't know about the more natural methods that work even better.

To pick up your copy today off Amazon Kindle Click on this link  or click on the book below.



This book is designed to help people understand soil, organic gardening and more natural ways to grow produce better. It shows people different ideas into changing pH and using more natural methods rather than reaching for the hardened chemicals. These are simple suggestions which can further enhance the growing in just about any soil condition.

I don't know about you, but it's time humans realized that chemicals and pesticides are poisoning the ground, the earth and ourselves. We cannot keep putting these toxins into the ground and water, without repercussion from nature. 


The Mayan and Mesopotamian people ruined their soil because they didn't understand the balance needed to maintain good growing conditions.

The microbes and bacteria that live in the soil are crucial to human survival. Most people are not even aware of the balance these microscopic creatures play in our lives. If they cease to exist then so do we. Without them, we cannot grow food properly or even draw essential nutrients from the ground that we need to survive.

I will show you how to increase the bacteria in your soil. I will teach you alternative and natural methods from turning sandy soil into productive and beautiful healthy growing land. What about thick clay soils?..I will show you how to change the texture into a more productive and usable earth.

It's not to late to turn back the hands of time....we all can do it together!
It will require, sweat, shovels, rakes and dedication.

Join Our Facebook Community Here

Happy gardening everyone!

Victoria

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Healthy Produce Versus Modern Technology

Produce In The 21st Century

Lately I have been watching the world from the position of, we need to get moving faster with the contamination in our food! 

I seriously applaud all the urban farmers and teachers who are out there showing people how to get back to basics. We seriously need to know how to do this for ourselves and our families. I cannot stress enough, how important it is, to teach your children how to grow food. They are the future and we cannot leave them to rely on a system of food, which has a very dubious track record. 

I personally no longer trust the agricultural industry has my families best interest at heart. I am going to stick with the Urban Farmers and small farms that grow food with the old fashioned hands on method. At least they know how to grow potatoes out of an old sack, or combine fish and produce together to feed the family. They use homegrown methods without all the fancy hype and cell splicing. 


From My Prospective 

I see noses growing every time I have to hear the speech about "in the best interests of the future." The only interests I see are profits and lavish lifestyles from the people who give the speeches. Who decided for my family what their best interests are, when companies no longer have to label GMO? What happen to my rights to have a say and choose?  

Big agriculture have given us Terminator Seeds, GMO, Round-Up and other wonderful chemicals which can cause eventual death on wildlife, insects and humans. Let's name a few poisons that agricultural companies (Monsanto) have played a part in inventing shall we: Agent Orange, DDT, Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), Dioxins, Atomic Bombs, Nuclear Weapons and Poisonous Gases. 

Engineered proteins and bacteria can be manipulated inside of the cell of a plant anyway the biologist wants. The gene will be manipulated to introduce bacteria.  Please do not give me the lecture about any of these being safe either, because there are flaws in this technology. The magic does not always work and science knows this but will pretend to convince humanity of something else. There are NO increases in yield and Monsanto knows it. Watch the video below and learn from someone who is educating us all on GMO. This video is VERY EYE OPENING!

"The trans-genes from GMO can spread from crops to soil organisms and into the bacteria in the soil. It can also spread to the bacteria in your gut. There are several studies that show if you eat engineered crops, the bacteria from them will find their way into your gut. Toxic proteins are a lot more than we know. In a nutshell, we don't know what we are doing." -Dr. Thierry Vrain

"Most of the major crops have been created." -Dr. Thierry Vrain

GMO's Explained: Dr. Thierry Vrain "The Gene Revolution"


 “A nation dominating the world by its technology will soon become a tyranny that will be hated by those who are tyrannized." -Oliver Stone

Where is the future of food is going? 

If our water is poisoned, our soil is depleted and our seas are radiated what are we supposed to eat? Only one thing I can see that will be able to help bring food to nations in a safe and productive way...Aquaponics. 

So what actually can aquaponics do in the way of feeding people? I personally believe if you allow every small community to grow their own food supply by using aquaponics, it can change lives, feed communities and the education will be worldwide. I get so passionate about people having enough to eat. It is one of my greatest driving forces in this world and I believe aquaponics can do that for all of us. 

We are in trouble folks and we have to start doing things differently, without toxins, without protein crystals and without growth hormones.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What's The Difference Between PVC And HDPE Pipes In Aquaponics?

One is white and the other is black...right? 

One of the most important things I can tell anyone about plastics is to know the plastic codes. Not all plastics are the same. I researched and wrote a guide on PVC pipe a couple of years ago. Some of things I found still led me to believe that people should really research their pipes first.

Before running out and buying piping for the aquaponics system, know about the pipes ingredients and the way they are manufactured. I don't tell anyone what to do because ultimately this is your system. You will make the best decision concerning the products you want to use. 
Over the years PVC has been researched and studied. Some of the research was not positive. There were all kinds of problems in the past. There have been quite a few upgrades performed on PVC but it is still graded a 3 in plastic coding.

HDPE piping has a coding of 2 and is recommended for water

Watch this video dated March 2013 on PVC. My concern with PVC is as it ages or prolonged exposure to the sun. There is a possibility of chemicals leeching over time even with the newer piping. The research is not conclusive and the jury is still out on the long terms affects on human health as we age. It is even mentioned in this video... 



People should know that HDPE pipe is also an alternative to PVC and there are all kinds of fittings, sizes and pipes you can use. I originally started out with PVC pipe in the very first system my family put together. When we moved to our new location we switched over to HDPE. The below picture will show you all the options you have using HDPE pipe. 

If you decide to continue using PVC then the best suggestion I can give is for people is to wrap or paint the pipes, especially if the system is outside.  Having the pipes constantly exposed to sunlight may eventually cause some of these chemicals to leech into the water. 



These are the kinds of subjects we discuss in our magazine. If you would like to subscribe you can do so with the provided link. Subscribe Here

Warm Regards

Victoria 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Building Aquaponics Systems On The Cheap

DIY Project For Everyone

People in the community have asked me if I sell aquaponics systems. The answer is no. I suppose if I wanted to I could. I figure there is already so much information on the internet and everyone selling systems that I really don't need to. I am more about bringing information and educational things to people like the ASC Magazine.

I am a DIY girl and I love scrounging. Where we live, is a fairly a small community surrounded by mountains so it has been a challenge finding what I need to build and put things together. I have a small aquaponics system in my greenhouse and like everyone else, I had to figure out where the leak was coming from and what the heck is wrong with the bell siphon. But I did it!



No hair pulling, I just had a few light-bulb moments, then tried again.  When all else failed I went and got my husband (ha ha ha). A cute smile always works when you've had enough. The most important thing I can say to people is to just do it! It doesn't matter if you have never owned a power tool before in your life. The fact that you are trying to figure out how to set up an aquaponics system, is a huge step. GOOD FOR YOU!

Putting a DIY system together doesn't have to cost you a lot of money either. The blue or white barrels can be found fairly cheaply.  IBC containers shouldn't have to cost an arm or leg either. 

Here are a couple for suggestions for finding usable ones. Remember you are always looking for FOOD GRADE SAFE CONTAINERS. You cannot use anything that contained contaminates, grease and oil, round-up or any other type of chemicals that will kill your fish. 

So what does food grade safe mean? It means anything that had juice, milk, water, cooking oil and things that we would normally consume. I am sure you get the picture. If you wouldn't put it into your own body, then maybe your fish won't like it either.

Where you can pick up barrels and IBC containers up from:
  • Craiglist
  • Pennysavers and dime newspapers
  • E-Bay
  • Local distributors of food ( back of warehouses)
  • Small companies who recycle, clean them out and resell
  • You might be able to find one from a larger restaurant
So how do you clean the containers out? 
I would only use a couple of different methods. Remember that fish are sensitive to chemicals and certain cleaners can leave a residue and kill your fish. My suggestion for cleaning is (and we did this with our IBC containers), a good power wash with water, let them sit for a day or two in the sun and then wipe them out with a little ammonia. Make up a water and ammonia solution. (I mean a little bit of ammonia. I am big on WHOA on the chemicals.)

Fish excrete ammonia from their gills and poop. You will need some ammonia for cycling your system when starting up, so it just made sense to me to use ammonia to finish the cleaning process.  I actually tell people what is the best ammonia to use in their aquaponics system in my book.

Even if the barrels are food grade safe you are just making extra sure the tanks and beds will be clean for the fish. You can also use a little white vinegar as an alternative to wash out the tanks.

I personally wouldn't use dish-washing soap as I have heard from so many others that have cleaned their tanks out. Here is a clue about anything you are not sure about in the way of chemicals DON'T USE IT. That is my best recommendation.

Use your own best judgement in the case of chemicals. These are your fish and it's your system. Common sense says you should  listen to that little voice inside and pay attention.

I wrote about chemicals in my book "Essential Fish Care In Aquaponics." Our fish rely on us to be smart enough to make good decisions on their behalf. They live their lives in our tanks, the least we can do is make sure they are happy and healthy. Seriously though folks, don't we already have enough questionable chemicals on the market now? Can't we try more moderate and safer solutions?

You can purchase a copy of the book off Amazon Kindle and you do not need a Kindle to read the book. There is a lot of good info and tips to help people. Download the best application for your device here to read Kindle books. 


If you would like to subscribe to our magazine and learn more tips from other writers and contributors, you can click on this link. We have both professionals, business owners and backyard aquapons writing for us. Everyone gets involved! That's the way we are supposed to do it.

Happy growing!

Cheers

Victoria