Aquaponics No Ka 'Oi

Adventures in Aquaponics on Maui, Hawaii.

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Larry Yonashiro

Larry Yonashiro

Larry Yonashiro has not set their biography yet
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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Hi All.  I've finally updated my site and fixed some errors.  I've added the following Maui Sites to the tab on the Home Page:

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Posted by on in Uncategorized


 Rarotonga

On July 9, 2013, I received a call from Tim Mann of Friendly Aquaponics, Inc., regarding a regional aquaponics meeting that was to take place on Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands.   He was invited to give a keynote presentation at that meeting, but due to a scheduling conflict, was unable to attend.  He asked that I take his place, partly because my site was located on a sand dune in a hot, dry, windy place on Maui similar to many of the Pacific island locations, and I accepted.

Later, a copy of the announcement originally sent out by Richard Mann, Deputy Director General of the SPC, was received, the header of which began as follows:
“TO:    Representatives of Governments and Administrations of SPC Member Countries and Territories
SUBJECT:    SPC AQUACULTURE EXPERT CONSULTATION: Aquaponics for the Pacific islands region: review of opportunities and constraints. 23 – 27 September 2013, Rarotonga, Cook Islands…”

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Posted by on in Problems

I have three 300 gallon fish tanks in series in my 512 sqft system.  I've named them F1, F2, and F3, and they are normally filled with tilapia.  About a year ago, I replaced the tilapia in F2 with 19 Chinese Catfish.  Unlike the Channel Catfish, which can grow to over 10 feet in length, the Chinese Catfish will grow to about a foot in length at about 1 to 2 lbs.  They are very popular in Honolulu's Chinatown where I've heard that they command prices from $9-$11 per pound.  On Maui, they might go for $6-$7 per pound, versus $4-$5 per pound for tilapia.

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Posted by on in Problems

I've been using Aquamax 400 for over a year with no problems.  My supplier, Del's Farm and Feed, suddenly stopped carrying that and instead began carrying Aquamax 500.  After feeding my tilapia the Aquamax 500 for a few days, I began to notice more strings of fish poop floating in the tank.  This poop did not break apart between my fingers when I rubbed them together.  Instead, I saw the poop build-up clogging my filters and building up on my cinder bed biofilter.  The water also became more cloudy.  I don't know if it was related, but I also lost some fish with distended bellies.

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Posted by on in Problems

Symptoms
The rafts in the upstream trough were noticeably higher than those in the downstream trough when normally they would float at roughly the same level.  This occurred gradually over a period of time.  Eventually the water level in the upstream trough rose to the point of overflow, while the water level in the downstream trough stayed low.  The system water was not flowing freely from one trough to the next.

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Tagged in: clog pipe sponges

Posted by on in Problems

And it’s not a tilapia this time.  This new problem had been consuming us for the past few months.  It started slowly, almost unnoticeably, but instinctively, you knew something was wrong.  Not all of the plants were affected at first, but eventually the symptoms spread throughout most of the system.  The last time this happened, the problem was pronounced and the solution was quick.  It was fun chasing that rouge tilapia up and down the trough to finally net it and return it to the tank.  This time the problem was more sinister…

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Also called Ebb and Flow.  This was our first functional system, bought as a kit from Nicholas Watson in January of 2011 while we were still waiting for the Nitrogen cycle to establish in our Floating Raft System.

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By popular demand, decided to put this in blog form in Talk Story so I don't have to keep repeating myself.  We'll see if this format works in a blog.  Please ask your questions in the Comment section, and I will do my best to answer them so others can benefit from the information exchange.  Of course, you will need to Create an Account (first time only) and Login before submitting a Comment in Talk Story.

The System Construction Category will contain blog discussions on building aquaponics systems directly from our experiences.  We will try to avoid hearsay as much as possible.  Please let us know if we deviate from this course.  And please ask questions (Comment) if there's anything that isn't explained clearly.  It is our job to explain things as clearly as possible, so we'll depend on your questions to help us do that.

We will also try to avoid divisiveness, which we believe tends to block learning, knowledge accumulation, and progress.  We can always learn something from every type of system, every experience, and every type of person.  Keep an open mind.

Finally, be aware that we are attempting to emulate what occurs naturally in our environment using man-made materials.  There are so many variables involved in nature that are still unknown to us that we are only scratching the surface of what we understand.  But that is also what makes this journey so exciting.  As with farmers of old, we are truly at the mercy of nature.  When nature knocks us down, we pick ourselves up, learn from it, adapt, and continue on our journey.  We adapt by making positive changes to our system to be more in line with nature.  Do not be afraid of change, embrace it, for it is the only constant.

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Tagged in: system construction

Posted by on in 2010

Please be patient while the pictures load...

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Tagged in: 2010 history

Posted by on in apnko

Beautiful and functional.  This will be used to pound poi from taro grown aquaponically.  Created by Malcolm Wong, artist, glass blower, graphic novelist, and aquaponics enthusiast.  See Malcolm's website at http://dogeaters-manga.com/

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Tagged in: glass poi pounder

Posted by on in Chickens

It's been a while since I posted an update on the status of our chickens.  Pavel gave us 5 chickens, about 5 weeks old, on March 6th.  Looks like 3 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 black ones.  Not sure what breed the black ones are.  Initially kept them in a 100 gallon fish tank until I finished the chicken coop.  Here's a picture of them in the fish tank.  The net over the top is to keep them from jumping out.  Back link Chicken Pictures.

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Tagged in: chicken coop

Posted by on in Trough Critters

As these rosenbergii grow, they periodically moult their exoskeleton, leaving their shell behind.  See link Some Prawns Growing Orange Claws.

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The males of the rosenbergii are larger than the females and have longer claws.  Smaller males have white claws.  As they grow larger, the claws will turn color to orange, and eventually to blue in its full grown stage.  Previous link Prawns!

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Posted by on in Trough Critters

Patty and I were cleaning the bottom of trough #1, or T1, the other day, and came across an interesting critter.  T1 is the oldest of our troughs installed in January of 2011.  I scooped out the bottom of the trough and smelled the sludge.  It smelled like a sewer which meant that it was anaerobic.  So we started scooping out the bottom.  We came across these freshwater sponges, and have no idea about how it got into our system.  Our Extension office does not know what species it is.

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Tagged in: sponge trough

Posted by on in Ke Kahua

Kassie at Ke Kahua recently had to go through a rescue mission to save her aquaponics plants when the system was shutdown due to unfortunate circumstances.  Note that this is a case of transferring plants with water roots to land-based growing media, which can be quite challenging.  Also note that Kassie comes from a strong horticultural background.  Here is her report...

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Posted by on in First Year

This happened in September of 2011 when I had only two growing troughs named T1 and T2.  I planted both at the same time,  but if you'll notice in the picture, the plants in T1 are a lot smaller than T2.  T1 and T2 are connected in series with the fish tank, which then feeds T1 first.  T1 is on the right.

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Posted by on in Vegetables

Kalo in Hawaiian.  This was at the Maui Agricultural Festival last Saturday.  I've never seen kalo that huge!

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Tagged in: corm huli kalo poi taro

Posted by on in Trough Critters

Machrobrachium Rosenbergii first obtained as PLs (Post Larvae), 1/4" long, on 11/16/2011.  Also known as the Giant Malaysian River Prawn, these can grow up to 12" in length.  These are now about 3-4" long, and are not growing as fast as other sites report.  This could be because I am growing some in two 10 gallon aquariums, and probably am not feeding them as much as I should.  I initially had about 600 PLs, and have already distributed about 500 in my aquaponics troughs T1-4 in the past 2 months to see how they grow out.  The remaining 100 are spit between two 10 gallon aquariums for observation and to try and have them breed.  Once berried females are observed, the water will need to be salinated from hatch to the larvae stage.  Once at the PL stage, they can be put in fresh water again.  Keep separate from the tilapia in the tanks, as the tilapia will eat them up!

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Posted by on in Vegetables

Also called Bitter melon.  An Okinawan delicacy.  I fell in love with this when we lived on Okinawa.  I have never seen it this big!   It can be very bitter if you don't know how to prepare it, but you learn to love and crave it.

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