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Friendly Aquaponics Newsletter
Number 125
June4th,  2013
Images from our farmily aquaponics farm
Aloha Friend,

Today's "Nugget" is Part 1 of the "Water" section of our Commercial Aquaponics manual. It contains
important new information about water treated with chloramines and bromine, which are increasingly being used as treatment methods in our modern water systems.

Our "In The Farmily" column today is about why we share, by Susanne.

Nugget #125: Water To Fill Your Aquaponics; The Game Just Got More Complex:

City Water, Ag Water, and Bad Water:

City water is potable water by definition. It is relatively expensive, but y
ou can safely use it for washing babies and drinking. Even filling up a big commercial aquaponics system for the first time only uses ten or twenty dollars worth of our chlorinated "city" water at current prices.


However, you want to be careful of adding large amounts of this (chlorinated) water to a system that has fish or vegetables or both in it. You may want to put the water in a holding tank for a couple days to burn off the chlorine before putting it in the system. We dribble 50 to 100 gallons a day of chlorinated water into our systems with no ill effect. Measure your chlorine levels to be sure with test strips.

IMPORTANT! This is NEW! You've been checking for chlorine, but you must also measure for chloramines (NH2CL), so get test strips that test for both chlorine and chloramines, and test before you fill up your system. 

NH2CL is commonly used in low concentrations as a disinfectant in some municipal water systems as an alternative to chlorination, and its use is increasing, because it does not dissipate as quickly as chlorine. Water treated with chloramine lacks the distinct chlorine odor, so you will need chloramine test strips to determine whether or not you have chloramines in your water.

This is because whoever you ask at your water department may not have accurate information; a test is the only certain way to know. If your tap water tests positive for both ammonia and chlorine this can be an indication that your water is being treated with chloramines, so you should test for it. To give you an idea how caustic chloramine is, there are lawsuits all over Southern California from builders who had to go back to the hundreds of houses they’d built and replace all the piping because chloramines had eaten pinholes in the copper pipe they’d used.


Chloramine does not out-gas as chlorine will with aeration and sunlight. Some of our students say they have successfully used Kordon AmQuel® Ammonia/Chloramine Remover in their Micro Systems. We can’t offer an opinion either way, because we do not have chloramines in our water and have never had to solve this problem. Proceed carefully, as some water conditioners made for aquarium use (as the Kordon product is) are not safe for use in a food production system. If you are planning to sell organically certified produce from a commercial scale operation, make certain your organic certification agency will allow use of water purified with chloramines before you literally buy the farm.


From “Citizens Concerned About Chloramine (CCAC)” in San Francisco: “Even with a comprehensive filtration system, no filtration system engineer will guarantee complete removal of chloramine. Chlorine is by far easier to remove with inexpensive carbon filtration”.

And: “To remove chloramine, an extensive carbon filter (to remove the chlorine part of the chloramine molecule) followed by a reverse osmosis or cation filter (to remove the ammonia) is necessary. There is NO certified showerhead filter to remove chloramine. The high flow rate and large volume of water passing through a showerhead renders the showerhead filter useless. Sink water filters for chloramine handle low flow, cold water conditions only.

For high flow uses like showering and bathing, a whole house filtration system would be needed to effectively remove chloramine and ammonia. A whole house filtration system could cost between $10,000 to $15,000 with $1,200 maintenance per year.”.


When testing for chloramines, make sure your test kit tests for "total chlorine" or "combined chlorine," not for "free chlorine." A test for "free chlorine" would misleadingly read zero in chloraminated water. You can buy a swimming pool test kit, which is the same but far less expensive than aquarium test kits.

Note: If any of you out there ARE filtration system engineers, and know a cheap way to get chloramines safely out of water before adding it to our systems, please email me and let me know!

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


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


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 2013 Training Schedule:
One-Day Benefit Trainings (We've done two already, more soon!):

One-day New York Benefit Training: Saturday, June 8th: TableTop and Backyard Systems. Registration is open NOW! Click here to go to our "New York Trainings" page to register for this one-day benefit training. Cost: $100

5-Day Commercial Trainings:

Although our normal price for these 5-day trainings is $2,495, we were offering a special discount of $1,000 off, or only $1,495, until our deadline of April 25th. However, we've had so many requests to extend the deadline that we've decided to extend it right up until the courses themselves.

We are happy to give this gift to you. We hope it helps you attend the most advanced comprehensive commercial aquaponics and greenhouse training in the world.

New York Commercial
Aquaponics and Energy Efficient Greenhouse Training; 5-day training from June 10-14 (Monday thru Friday), $1,495 per person.
Click here to register for the New York Training!

Click here to find out more about the New York Training!

Commercial Aquaponics and Energy Efficient Greenhouse Training, $1,495 per person. First 5-day  training: June 17-21st (register here for first Tennessee training). . Second 5-day training: June 24-28th (register here for Tennessee second training).

(Click here for more information on Tennessee trainings).

This five-day training is designed to allow you to travel during the weekend so you only need to take a week off your busy life to attend.

These five-day trainings all include our $999 DIY Commercial Aquaponics package, $998 DIY Farmer's Market Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse package, $1,998 DIY Commercial 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!

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.

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.

(Part 2 of "Water" in next week's newsletter. Thanks for reading!)

Costco cold room small 2

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!

Watch The Friendly  Aquaponics Philosophy Video!
Back Issues Of Newsletters Now Available, Click Here!
Purchase Trough Liner Directly From Manufacturer!

New Source! Trout Fry/Fingerlings Shipped Directly From the Hatchery To You!

Free Farm Tours
Aquaponics tour at the Friendly farm!

We hold a free workshop on our farm the FIRST Saturday of every month at 10:00,  focused on 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 Offers!

Sign yourself up

for the New York June 10-14th, 2013 Commercial Aquaponics and Solar Greenhouse Training
NOW, and get a $1,000 discount, plus you receive a free Micro System DIY package so you can begin studying aquaponics! ($99.95 value)


Sign yourself up for the FIRST

Or sign yourself up for the SECOND

TENNESSEE June 2013 Commercial Aquaponics and Solar Greenhouse Trainings
NOW, and get a $1,000 discount, plus you receive a free Micro System DIY package so you can begin studying aquaponics! ($99.95 value)

Why We Share:

One of the biggest reasons we share EVERYTHING we learn as freely as we do is that we believe time is short. Metaphorically, we believe our species is in what we call “the 45th Minute”, due to the stresses our vast human population is putting on the planet.


Exponential is a hard concept for us to grasp, so we love the Stadium example, modified a bit from Chris Martenson's Crash Course, which is highly recommended reading!
“Imagine that you’re in a massive stadium, in a seat right at the top, at the back. For some reason, you are handcuffed to the seat you are in, and cannot escape. There’s also a whole group of other people in the top row, all chained to the seats, with nowhere else to go.
A drop of water appears on the pitcher's mound, and it's magical. It’s going to grow exponentially and will double every minute. This means that at the end of the first minute, there’s one drop of water, at the end of the second, two drops, at the end of the third, four drops and the end of the fourth minute, there will be eight drops of water. You get the picture.
The question is: how long do you have before the stadium is full and you drown?


Do you have hours, days, weeks, or months to get free?
Our human brains tend to be linear and therefore wildly over-estimate the time we have. We intuitively conclude that the answer is many hours or possibly days or even weeks.

Actually, it’s just 49 minutes.
But the real surprise is that at 45 minutes, the stadium is still 93% empty. That’s right, with just four minutes to go, you will look down, notice there's only two feet of water on the infield, and you might see a dangerous situation developing. But you'd look around you, and because no one else seemed too concerned, you'd probably still fail to do anything to save yourself”. 


Human population doubled between 1960 (3 billion) and 1999 (six billion). That's only 39 years. Even if you do not agree that the human population is putting incredible stress on our environment, how long do you think our population can keep doubling before you would agree that there are too many - 12 billion? 24 billion? 48 billion? 96 billion?

At some point, everyone agrees that the human population must stop its exponential growth.


The wonderful example above completely hits the nail on the head for us. We believe Humanity is in the 45th minute.

To a large degree, things still seem fairly normal. There's food on the grocery store shelves, gasoline to be purchased at the gas stations, and anything we could possibly want to buy at the wonderful Wal-Mart nearby (LOL!).

However, if you are willing to look deeper, you might find that there are real problems developing - droughts, food shortages, crop failures, resource depletion in many areas, and in the face of all this, our population keeps growing - exponentially.

We see aquaponics as a wonderful solution - no matter what the future holds. And because we believe that time is short, we're not "holding on to our aces", as the saying goes.

We're not patenting anything, we're not proprietary, and we're completely willing to share everything we've learned in six amazing years of being Primary Food Producers.

Thanks for reading

Aloha, Susanne....

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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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