Organic Food For All

By John Stivers

How many fish to run a balanced Aquaponic system?

Posted by offa on March 29, 2009

How can I figure how many fish I need to run a balanced system, if the planting bed is 16 feet long, 4 feet wide what will be the fish tank size and how many fish will be needed to supply the needed nitrates for the plants?

This was a question posted to me and I think that it makes for a good topic.  Here is the way to go about solving this problem.

Looking at the dimensions, 16′ x 4′ ( I’m guessing about 6″-8″ deep of grow medium) we solve to find the area of your grow bed.  So, we take 16′ x 4′ = 64 Sq Ft x (6″).  6″ is really 6 divided by 12 to get .5 or 1/2 of one foot.  So, 64 x .5 is 32 Cubic Ft.  If you have 8″ of grow media you would multiply 64 x (8″ divided by 12″ = .67) = 42.67 cubic ft. 
The rule of thumb is for every cubic ft of water you need 2 cubic ft of grow media.  With that in mind we take 32 cubic ft. divided by 2 to get 16 cubic ft of water and for the other measurement 42.67 we would need 21.34 cubic ft of water.
There are 7.5 gallons of water in a cubic ft.  So, 7.5 x 16 = 120 gallons.  (for the other measurement 21.34 x 7.5 = 160 gallons)
Therefore you would need a 120 to 160 gallon fish tank to support this size grow bed.
The other rule of thumb is ruffly 1″ of fish per gallon of water.  Example, might be having a 120 fish, 1″ in length or 60 fish 2″ in length.  You get the idea. 
I hope that has helped.  If you have any other questions please feel free to e-mail any time.
Thanks and have a wonderful day. 


Posted in Aquaponic Systems, Aquaponics, Fish, Food, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

How To Build A Basic Aquaponics System

Posted by offa on February 6, 2008

A Basic guide on how to build your own Aquaponic System. This system is based on the Barrel Ponics and the S&S setup and was built by me in the summer of 07′.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod

John Stivers

Posted in Aquaponics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

What is Aquaponics?

Posted by offa on January 14, 2008

Aquaponics is made up of three main parts:


First, there are fish. Second, there are plants and third, there are bacteria. Bacteria are very important to the balance of the whole system. They live with the plants and the fish. Fish are what help the plants grow and the plants work with the bacteria to keep the fish happy.


Best Regards,

John Stivers

Posted in Aquaponics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Welcome to my blog!

Posted by offa on January 1, 2008

My name is John Stivers. In my blog, I am sharing my experience and learnings in Aquaponics. I am a hobbyist at the moment aiming to build a complete organic system in the purest possible aquaponic environment. And from that, create a fully self-sufficient system and then share its produce and learnings with everyone; hence my slogan: OFFA, which stands for: ”Organic Food For All”. Please feel free to add comments to my articles and give  feedback. I would really appreciate your input so I can continue to improve my knowledge and creations.


John Stivers

Posted in Aquaponics | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »