Introduction: Aquaponics in a Changing World – Introducing the Aqua-Pod:
Google “aquaponics” and one will find some 1.2(+) million hits. Though I’ve sampled fewer than 500 sites the vast majority want to sell the visitor some item or another. Many don’t really have much to sell that one cannot make or contrive one’s self and many have not – in truth – realized the successes they claim. That is not to suggest there are not many powerful resources available to those interested in this fascinating discipline of aquaculture and food production. The material you are about to visit herein has nothing, and has never had anything, to do with making money. The information contained in this text has been solely developed, designed, implemented & researched at the “Cyrson Ranch Aquaponic Research & Development” center in Tampa Bay Florida. Pricing of this book is set at the lowest cost available that covers production and publishing costs. It remains my intention that anyone anywhere can obtain this book and work with it. It has taken close to six years to arrive at the point where we, at Cyrson Aquaponics Ranch R&D, are confident of the design and success of the Aqua-pod and related aquaculture techniques and garden/farm. If one is interested in the construction and operation of an NFT aquaponics farm/garden this text provides a road-map and is a valuable tool to achieve success.
With this book the reader will be able to construct and operate a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) aquaponics system – the Aqua-Pod - successfully and incorporate this system into a productive garden/farm operation.
All of the items used in construction of the Aqua-Pod are “off the shelf” components and those “modified” component requirements are carefully discussed & illustrated for the reader so s/he can make these modifications themselves.
I will discuss the operational “Mechanical Plant” and the installation of peripherals such as fluid transfer piping and pumps, water storage and conditioning and hydroponic soil based crops installations and how they fit into a well rounded operation. I’ll discuss farm lay-out techniques and time saving tips.
I will discuss the husbandry of animals (fish) and the balance between these creatures’ requirements and the successful growth of crops & vegetation. I will discuss analysis techniques and corrections required. I will also discuss and guide the reader in the most important aspect of successful aquaponics – the creation and maintenance of the Bio-filter. The reader will be guided by our initial – and continuing – commitment of zero tolerance for reckless destruction of the aquaculture.
I include, in this text, our original Mission Statement that was developed in 2008 and continues to guide all that we at Cyrson Ranch Aquaponics R&D have accomplished and continue to accomplish. As titled this text addresses Aquaponics in a Changing World. We simply must develop food sources that reduce reliance on fossil fuels, excessive water consumption and harmful pesticides and herbicides. We must create food streams that mitigate destructive industrial big-Ag techniques and expand local sourcing & control of our community’s food. With this in mind I point out, throughout this text, numerous instances where our environment and our food sources are being manipulated, compromised and destroyed to financially enrich a very small number of people. Aquaponics cannot be discussed without the addition of this very important, and often contentious, analysis.
Jim Gibson, Chief Engineer & Designer – Cyrson Ranch Aquaponics Research & Development
January 20, 2014