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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Aquaponic Gardening (Idiot's Guides) Paperback – April 2, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
I had been looking forward to getting this book ever since I read that it was coming out and I finally got my copy. I have already done a fair bit of reading on aquaponics but I am the sort that wants to make sure I know all that I can before I start a new project. So, it is with this idea that I began reading this book.
I am sorry to report that I stopped my detailed reading after the third chapter because I just found too many things in the book that contradict what I am now certain are true. For example, on page 9 the author states that you cannot grow cool weather plants and tilapia together. This is certainly false. In fact, Dr. James Rakocy spent most of his thirty year career at the University of the Virgin Islands developing aquaponics using lettuce and tilapia.
Beyond errors, I did not expect to discover that I already know more than what the book offers on key subjects. For example, on page 11 the author covers sump tanks, but does not explain that their primary function is to expand the water capacity in an aquaponics system so that you can go beyond a one to one ratio of fish tank to grow bed volume. In fact, in the first three chapters she seems to be assuming that all systems are restricted to a one to one ratio. This is a big surprise to anyone using the very common CHiFT PiST or CHOP designs that expand all the way up to a three to one ratio.Read more ›
1. Building the framework system, including possibly indoors (this book is one of the few that extensively covers indoor water and lighting).
2. Cost saving alternatives so the entire system is under $200.
3. Picking the right fish/vegetable combination.
4. Figuring out how to prime and recycle (which most of the books either don't cover or cover too little, which can destroy your system).
5. Longer term maintenance, reseeding and multiple harvests.
A lot of the online hype about feeding a family of four full time with a small 10 foot square (even high vertical) system is, well, hype! The combination of hydroponics and fish farming and the claims that this is better than both is NOT hype-- the sybiosis involved does make these types of systems much easier and more efficient. I taught a class in this at a local college, and the campus built several demo systems that are still, 5 years later, producing extensive harvests year round.
Most of the online buzz on this is about surviving food shortages, but some also say that you can grow food in these for far less than you can buy it at the supermarket. That is just a plain lie! IF food prices really do go through the roof, or per pack quantities do continue to shrink, this might be borderline true, but to be very honest, these really are a lot of work and do produce $2 tomatoes when you look at all your costs, especially if you go with indoor heating and lighting.Read more ›
For a beginner's guide, this book provides the reader with an abundance of options. This guide is also particularly helpful in helping you determine what you should plant and how to plant it, along with the pros and cons of different techniques, plants, tanks, and settings. Unlike other beginner guides, Stout stresses the importance of long-term maintenance, and she explains techniques of how to elicit seeds for the next harvest, safely control different types of pests, use fish waste as fertilizer, and extend growing the season. Stout does not assume that all growers are alike and thus provides a wide variety of options to meet any new grower's needs. For instance, she addresses a variety of untypical situations, such as what growers should do when public electricity and water are unavailable.
Below are the chapter topics (I wrote this up before seeing it is available by clicking the cover photo). I hope you find it helpful:
Ch. 1. - What Is Your Vision?
Ch. 2. - Giving Your Plants the Right Light
Ch. 3. - Water: Vital to All Forms of Life
Ch. 4. - Fish Tanks, Grow Beds, and Plumbing
Ch. 5. - Making Water Move: Pumps and Standpipes
Ch. 6. - Growing in Gravel: Using Media Beds
Ch. 7. - Flooding and Draining a Media Bed
Ch. 8. - Taking Advantage of Vertical Space
Ch. 9. - Growing in Water
Ch. 10.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to believe this book was brand new its in excellent condition.I will of course be using this company again.Published 2 months ago by Lives in garden
Still reading, many helpful tips, and suggestions. Well written.Published 3 months ago by Donald C.
This book was great but i'm having second thoughts about aquaponic gardening.Published 7 months ago by Susan D. Alden
I read this book cover to cover. It reads well and covers a lot of useful material. Some coverage was pretty superficial and a couple descriptions were pretty confusing (like how... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Daniel Chiras
Bought this and found you can learn ALOT more on utube than going thru reading this. You can even make your garden cheaper and more efficient than what she talks about it the book.Published 9 months ago by ron barnes