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The Aquaponic Farmer


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface: A World Without Weeds Introduction: The State of the World Chapter 1: What Is Aquaponics? A Primer on Aquaponics A Very Brief History of Aquaponics Aquaponic Ecomimicry Aquaponics, Permaculture and Sustainability Aquaponic Plant Systems Deep Water Culture Systems Drip Tower Systems DWC or Drip Towers - Our Recommendation Plant Sites and Light Availability Bacterial Surface Area Available Oxygen Filtration Our Conclusion Backyard vs Commercial Systems Chapter 2: The RCA System The Purpose of This Book Avoiding Our Mistakes A Note on Reading Before Building A Note on Metric vs Imperial A Note on Currency A Note on North Property Considerations Zoning Sun Exposure Characteristics of the Land Access to Power and Water Prevailing Winds Waste Disposal Long-term Land Rights Living On Site The Greenhouse Size New vs Used Types of Covering Recommended Features Heating the Air Cooling the Air Heating and Cooling the Water Heat Pump The Raincoast Aquaponics Greenhouse Greenhouse Layout Troughs Trough Design Principles The RCA Troughs Rafts Fish Tanks Filtration Systems Mechanical Filtration Biological Filtration RCA Filtration Systems Radial Flow Separator (RFS) Combination Filter Box (CFB) Ultraviolet Sterilization Supplemental Lighting Germination Chamber Seedling Area Water: The Lifeblood of the Farm Water Temperature pH Water Quality Management Aeration Pumps Tower System Pumps Effluent The Sump The Drain Down Effect Workbench Cistern Power Consumption Chapter 3: Principles of System Design The Golden Ratio of Cold-water Aquaponics Cold-Water vs Warm-Water Aquaponics Using the Golden Ratio Step 1 Step 2 A Note on Tower Systems A Final Design Note Chapter 4: Constructing the RCA System Site Preparation Greenhouse Construction Foundation Installation Arches Installation Endwall Installation Covering Installation Roll Up Sides Installation Hanging Components Installation Circulation Fans Installation Heater Installation HID Light Installation Electrical and Internet Installation Internet Installation Sump Construction Sump Construction Waste Tank Excavation Trough Construction Ground Preparation Trough Construction Side and Middle Wall Construction Endwall Construction Assembling the Walls Final Placement of the Troughs Trough Liner Installation Trough Plumbing Installation Inlet plumbing Drain plumbing Side to Side Plumbing (U-turn) Estimated Parts List for Trough Construction Raft Construction Painting the Rafts Source Water Installation Aquaculture Subsystem Installation Layout Installing the Main Waste Pipe Installing the Fish Tanks Building the Standpipe Assemblies (SPAs) Installing the Radial Flow Separator Installing the Tank Manifold Connecting the Tank Manifold to the Radial Flow Separator Constructing the Combination Filter Box (CFB) Installing the Moving Bed BioReactor (MBBR) Installing the Filter Screens Installing the Combination Filter Box Installing the Underground Plumbing (Trough Side) Installing the Aeration Pipe Aeration Blowers Installation Air Stone Installation Pump Side Plumbing Installation Installing the UV Sterilizers Installing the UV to Fish Tank Plumbing Calculating the System Head Selecting the Pumps Heat Pump Installation Cistern Installation Seedling Table Construction Workbench Construction Walk-in Cooler Installation Germination Chamber Construction Chapter 5: Tools of the Trade Shade Cloth Backup Oxygen and Power Monitoring System pH Controller Dissolved Oxygen Meter Water Testing Kit Seedling Trays and Domes Substrates Dibbler Plate Net Pots Totes Packaging Salad Dryer Scales Knives and Scissors Fishing Nets and Tank Covers Cleaning Brushes Washing Machine Chest Freezer Hot Water System Stainless Steel Counter/Sink Constructing the Wash Down Sink Feed Storage Chapter 6: Managing the Ecosystem Bacteria Nitrifying Bacteria Mineralizing Bacteria Bacteria and UV Mineral and Nutrient Content Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates Other Plant Nutrients Chemical Testing Sample Water Location Plant Observation Nutrient Recycling Water Quality and Management pH Two pH Management Methods: Buffering vs Hydroxides pH Management Water Temperature Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Optimum Water Quality Parameters Chapter 7: Cycling the System Filling the System with Water Cycling the System The Importance of Calcium in Cycling The First Cohort of Fish The First Year of Operation Full Capacity Chapter 8: Raising Fish Fish Species Feed Conversion Ratio Fish Sourcing Record Keeping Fish Transport Fish Tempering and Quarantine Tempering Quarantine Fish Feed Feeding Your Fish Sampling Feeding Technique Fish Tank Rotation Tank Cleaning and Sterilizing Fish Health Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment Salt Bath Treatment Lab Analysis Purging Before Harvest Harvesting Fish Chapter 9: Plant Production Plant Selection The Plants We Produce at RCA Seeds The Growth Cycle Direct Seeding Multi-stage Production Planting Seeds Germination Seedlings Transplanting into the Troughs Raft Placement and Rotation Transplant Schedule Thinning and Spacing Plants Maturing Plants Plant Inspection Watering in the Greenhouse Harvest, Packaging and Storage Harvesting Methods Washing Plants Salad Mixes Portioning Packaging Harvest Clean Up The Production Cycle Nutrient Deficiencies Nitrogen Calcium and Potassium Iron High Ammonia Chapter 10: Plant Diseases and Pests Pythium Powdery Mildew Fungus Gnats Aphids Cabbage Loopers Earwigs Pill Bugs Slugs Birds Rats Mink and Marten Bears Plant Disease and Pest Management Cultural Controls Environmental Controls Heating/Ventilation Cycle Sticky Traps Predatory Insects Using Pesticide and Fungicide Sprays Lethal Concentration Calculation Re-entry Interval Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Foggers Chapter 11: Standard Operating Procedures and Protocols Daily Log Weekly Tasks Notes for Phase 3 Weekly Seeding Chart Crop Log Fish Sample Log Cohort Log Monthly and Seasonal Tasks Replacing UV Bulbs Logs and Protocols Chapter 12: Marketing and Sales Aquaponic Advantages Year Round Production Ethical Plants Ethical Fish Aquaponics is Sexy Potential Markets Farmers Markets Restaurants and Retail Stores Wholesale Distributors Farm Gate Sales Market Comparison The RCA Sales Model Promoting Your Farm Chapter 13: Creating a Business Plan Construction Costs Property Acquisition Labor Costs Site Preparation Greenhouse Power List of Initial Costs Ongoing Operational Costs List of Ongoing Operation Costs Income Estimates Income Estimate Table Final Thoughts Resources Sources Glossary Acronyms Index About the Authors A Note About the Publisher

Promotional Information

Features offered to: Small Farm Canada, Mother Earth News, Aquaponics Magazine Excerpts offered to: Make, Mother Earth News, GRIT, Permaculture Design, Hobby Farm, Small Farm Canada Advertising in: Mother Earth News, Hobby Farms, Small Farm Canada Promotions to Aquaponics Association, American Community Garden Assoc. Academic promotion to horticulture, agroecology, aquaponics courses Galley available on Edelweiss Publicity and promotion in conjunction with the authors' speaking engagements Simultaneous ebook release and promotion Promotion on New Society Publishers social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, our blog, Pinterest and Instagram

About the Author

Adrian Southern is an aquaponic farmer and entrepreneur from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. After founding and operating an intensive urban farm and managing a local farmers market, he is currently steeped in all things aquaponics. After years of system perfection, he founded Raincoast Aquaponics and raises trout and vegetables for a living. Whelm King is a business manager, project manager, and entrepreneur. He has worked and consulted in a wide variety of fields including the arts, agriculture, publishing, media, and law. His pursues his passions of food sustainability, ethics, and rock climbing in Nanaimo, BC.

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