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Friendly Aquaponics
Special Newsletter
Number 23
August 29th,  2013
Images from our farmily aquaponics farm
Or, as our title today should read: 

Amistoso Acuaponia Boletín Especial nº23

Hola amigos!!

We are happy to announce the first translation into Spanish of one of our manuals, and to introduce you to our translators, newlyweds Emily Irizarry and Juan Izquierdo, of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We first learned of Juan and Emily when the contacted us in April of this year, when they emailed us about doing a Personal Intensive, here on our farm. We were deeply moved when we learned that Juan and Emily had very recently been married, and had decided to use the money they'd received as wedding gifts to come to Hawaii and take our course. This made quite an impression on us, as this was a high honor - but meeting Emily and Juan made a much greater impression.

They are young, and full of life, and deeply in love. In addition to their deep commitment to each other, they share an equally strong commitment to bringing sustainable food production to Puerto Rico, where, according to US Commonwealth Agriculture Secretary Javier Rivera, 85% of the food is shipped in from great distances, and had reduced its agricultural production by 20% since 2003 - there are fewer than 2000 farms in all of Puerto Rico. But than number has recently increased, by one.

 Juan and Emily
    On their wedding day, 23 March, 2013.

After spending two full days with Juan and Emily, we fell completely in love with them. It is such a great blessing for us to be able to connect with such wonderful people, and to be in a position to extend partnership opportunities. When the two of them asked if we had a Spanish translation of any of our manuals, and indicated that they would be interested in doing that work, we became very excited. However, we've had people tell us in the past that they were going to do a translation, and when confronted with how much work it is, backed away. Not these two, however.

In addition to having built their first aquaponics system and harvested their first vegetables (see below), Emily and Juan have completed a translation of the entire Friendly Aquaponics MicroSystem DIY Manual.

Emily Harvest


Here's their story, in Juan's words:

"We found out about Aquaponics through a sustainability course locally in Puerto Rico. 

Furthermore, being anxious to know more about Aquaponics and its wonders, I searched on the internet and came across the personal intensive in Hawaii. 

I told my wonderful future wife about the course and its benefits and we just kept on talking about how important sustainable agriculture is. 

Fast forward, we get married in beautiful Old San Juan. A couple of days later of getting married, Emily says: “Let’s go to the course!” She gets all excited jumping and smiling uncontrollably and starts to look for flight information. At this point, I am in shock and in utter disbelief thinking to myself: “this is another reason why I married her”.

Two weeks later, and we are in Hawaii! Emily was excited and I was anxious because I knew that this was it. Aquaponics would let me become an entrepreneur or I would have to come back home and work for someone else.

Moreover, we took the course and got all of our questions answered throughly and we had to come back home. Fast forward again and today I have a aquaponics system setup in the middle of the city in our apartment balcony on a fourth floor. It works!

At least once in your life, you will need an architect, a lawyer and a doctor. Just remember, you need a farmer three times a day, every day.

Un Abrazo Grande,

Juan y Emily"


Juan says they're researching flowers, as 99% of all flowers are imported into Puerto Rico. He sent me this photo, taken today:

Emily Juan Flower

So, that's it! We've got a Spanish version of the MicroSystem! Please spread the word, and for those of you with friends and family in Spanish-speaking countries, please let them know!

Click here, to purchase.

For smaller home backyard and apartment systems, please read on:
Purchase Construction Plans and Operating Info for 4 Different Sizes of Table Top Aquaponics Systems $49.95

Our TableTop System package includes easy-to-understand building instructions and operating information for 4 different sizes of small aquaponic systems based on our years of experience. Anyone can build a system out of plastic barrels or IBC totes, but operating one successfully without good and easily-understood information can be frustrating. You simply use the "Daily Operations Checklist" in the manual and follow the step-by-step instructions on your way to success. We also cover how to make aquaponics systems out of weird things like old refrigerators and door frames; this makes aquaponics much more economical to get started in, and fun too!

We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and built our first commercial aquaponics systems with FAR less information than this manual contains. We included all the information learned from that experience in this manual so you don't need to make any of the same mistakes we did.

Learn about our TableTop Systems!


Friendly September 2013 Commercial Aquaponics Training Schedule: Tennessee:

These Tennessee trainings are $1,495 per person for five days of the most comprehensive and profitable Commercial Aquaponics and energy efficient Solar Greenhouse technology on the planet. If you can't wait until September to learn about profitable commercial aquaponics, check out our Personal Intensive trainings in Hawaii.

SPECIAL OFFER: First 25 registrations will receive 50 tilapia fingerlings, a $100 value (shipping not included). Register before September 1st and you are automatically entered in a drawing to win a COMPLETE 64 square foot backyard Micro System. This includes everything you need to get started (just add fish, media and seeds; shipping not included). This is an $1,800 value, and the course only costs $1,495.

(Below) Tim drinking water from one of Randy and Katie's aquaponics systems at a previous Tennessee training. "I've been drinking this for six years; it's the reason I absolutely know the food from these systems is safe and healthy" (Tim).  TimWaterDrinkingNugget

First 5-day  training: September 23rd-27th (register here for first Tennessee training). Second 5-day training: September 30th-October 4th (register here for Tennessee second training).

(Click here for more information on Tennessee trainings).

These five-day trainings allow you to travel during the weekend so that you only need to take a week off your busy life to attend.

Both of these five-day trainings include our $999 DIY Commercial Aquaponics package, $998 DIY Farmer's Market Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse package, and new $295 DIY Commercial Tilapia Hatchery manual as course materials, plus our Plywood/Epoxy/ Tank manual, CAD construction drawings for all greenhouses and aquaponics systems, and much more!

(Below) Randy and Tim showing attendees at the Tennessee training how easy it is to use a DO (dissolved oxygen) meter to measure oxygen levels in the vegetable troughs.


If you're located near Tennessee, Randy and Katie give regular free farm tours of their aquaponics systems and greenhouses to introduce the public to the benefits of aquaponics and energy-efficient greenhouse growing. Call Randy and Katie at 256-679-9488 or email Randy to find out when the next farm tour is scheduled.

Our Affiliate Program:

For those of you who aren't yet aware of our Affiliate programs, here's the deal: we're the ONLY aquaponics professionals who teach our students how to teach aquaponics, AND let them use our manuals (under license) to teach others with. In fact, there are two Micro System trainings being given by our affiliates right now (see sidebar). If you read below the turquoise box in the middle of the newsletter, you'll see that we also encourage and work with "Commercial" level affiliates to teach our Commercial Aquaponics and Solar Greenhouse Trainings. No other aquaponics teachers offer this, but you can partner with us to do so if you wish!

More details of the Aquaponics Technology course here.

More details of the Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse course here.

More details of the Commercial Aquaponics course here.

(Below) Randy and Katie's Chinese-style Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse in Tennessee in the February snow, 2013. 70 degrees inside and you had to take your coat off when working with the vegetables!

GreenhouseSnow3Small 2

(Below) Our Farmily with our product in a "Big Box" store; the first time ever that a little mom and pop (Aquaponics!) farm took an account away from a multimillion dollar agribusiness. You'll see more of this, because you as consumers will demand it!

Costco cold room small 2

The Friendly  Aquaponics Way Video!

To order our  Spanish Edition MicroSystem Manual,



Trough Liner Distributors:
West Coast USA
East Coast USA


Free Farm Tours

Aquaponics tour at the Friendly farm!

We hold a free Farm Tour on our farm the FIRST Saturday of every month at 10:00, showcasing how growing food with aquaponics and permaculture.  Click here for information. See you there!

If you are a school, a non-profit organization, an organization working with the poor, Native Hawaiians, or ex-inmates, or if you are a church, we will hold a free farm tour for you anytime. You DO need to email us first to schedule, or we might be out on errands!



Thousands of inch-long "fifty-cent" baby tilapia from our "backyard" hatchery


What they turn into about a year later: a beautiful 2-pound white tilapia grown in the fish tanks of our aquaponics systems.


SPECIAL OFFER: For a FREE MICRO SYSTEM! (yes, a complete, fully-built SYSTEM, an $1,800 value!):

SPECIAL OFFER: Register in either the first or the second Tennessee training before September 1st and you are automatically entered in a drawing to win a COMPLETE 64 square foot backyard Micro System. This includes everything you need to get started (just add fish, media and seeds; shipping is not included). This is an $1,800 value, and the course only costs $1,495!

Sign yourself up for the FIRST


Or sign yourself up for the SECOND



MicroSystem Classes!


Join David Lindemann in Melbourne, Florida, in one of his Micro System classes: Call David directly at 321-604-6684, or email him to sign up for this courseYou can visit David's website here for details of the class and to see all the other cool things he's doing! 


Join Ben and Alicia Godfrey at Sand Creek Farm in Cameron, Texas for a Micro System training! Call Ben or Alicia directly at 254-697-2927, or email them to sign up for this course. You can visit their website here to see a list of all the other cool classes they offer!

These Texas and Florida one-day live trainings use our $100 Micro System DIY manual as the class coursebook, and are a a great deal!

Also, for a two-day Basic Aquaponics Course, attend Sahib Punjab's Backyard and Small Urban Farming class in Orlando, FL, on the 7th and 8th of September. Sahib's goal in his workshop is to empower you to grow your own food naturally, right in your own backyard.

Go to Sahib's website, here, for more information.


The Farmily of Fish:

Working with the farmily harvesting today, I realized that it was time to feed the fish. So, bucket of Rangen 1/8" floating catfish food in hand, I went around to the various tanks and fed everyone.

This involves calling out "Hello, delicious fishes", and banging on the side of the tank with the scoop can. The fish actually start feeding behavior as soon as they hear the can, and sometimes even at "that time of day" when they hear a person's footsteps on the ground outside the tank.

There are seventeen different fish tanks on the farm, holding inhabitants from 1" long up to 7 pounds in weight. The smallest biomass is in one of the nursery tanks, where we have a tank with about 2,000 1 to 1-1/2" long tilapia that hatched in June. This tank, of course, gets the smallest scoop of fish food.

The tank with the largest amount of biomass has about 700 fish with an average weight of 2-1/2 to 3 pounds. This is where the seven-pounder lives! This tank gets 2/3 of a five-gallon bucket of fish food. And the other 15 tanks get everything in between.

I don't know them all by name, but once I tried to show one of the interns how much to feed each tank so he could take over the job of feeding the fish, and it was a total mess.

Even with a "feeding map" of all the tanks, and measurements of how much to feed each tank, it's difficult, because some days it's a little colder, or the fish were just moved from another tank, and you know they won't be eating much for a day or two.

So this is very much a case of "the farmer's shadow". If you're out there with your aquaponics system every day, you will become intimate with its moods, its ins and outs, and come to understand its workings on a very sophisticated level.

Now, you could be wondering, "why is he going on about fish when this is supposed to be the "Farmily" column?". OK, think about that for a second: how well would the farm work if you removed the fish? And where would our Farmily be then? Good think, huh?

I was walking down the street the other day, feeling sorry for myself about some insignificant thing that had occurred that day, when I walked past a man with no legs getting out of a car into his wheelchair. This put it all into perspective.

I was WALKING, and my whole day changed. I had forgotten to be appreciative of everything I have, and to remember and appreciate the simple fact that I have legs.

This is why it's not hard for me to think about the fish as members of the Farmily. They are the foundation for everything else we do at the farm, and the whole Farmily. Maybe we should give them names, and get to know them better (all 11,234 of them!).

Aloha, Tim....

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This email, our manuals and construction plans are all copyrighted by  Friendly Aquaponics, Inc, Susanne Friend and Tim Mann, 2008-2013

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PO Box 1196
Honoka'a, Hawaii 96727

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