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Friendly Aquaponics Newsletter
Number 130
August 6th,  2013
Images from our farmily aquaponics farm
Aloha Friend

In t
oday's "Nugget",
we continue our series with Part 5, the wrap-up of Wayne Hall's introduction. He's a friend of ours, and an aquaponic producer in the Bahamas; we've featured his experience getting a commercial aquaponics operation started there in the last few newsletters. If you'd like to, you can read Part One , Part Two ,
Part Three , and Part Four of this series to start.

Our "In The Farmily" column today is a sea story about Tim's 37-foot sailboat Spice.

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!

Aquaponics Nugget #130, Part 5: Wayne Hall; Profile Of An Aquaponics Producer

(Here is what Wayne did, in his own words, to  turn an aquaponics operation that was losing money into a profitable one):

I reconfigured the grow out troughs to hold a total of 6,720 units (13 per sq ft), the yield was now at 48 lbs per week.

Income @ $2.50 per unit x 192


Packaging Expense @ .95 per unit x 192


Operating Expenses @ $250 per week


Net Weekly Income


When I started I spent a total of about 20 hours per week working and maintaining the system, over the course of the winter I was able to reduce the total labour required to about 15 hours per week.

Using these same real world numbers as a base at 3,000 sq ft of grow space the yield would be at 140 lbs per week.

Income @ $2.50 per unit x 562


Packaging Expense @ .85 per unit x 562


Operating Expenses @ $500 per week


Net Weekly Income


Using these numbers expenses are at 70% of gross, so 10,000 sq ft of grow space would yield an annual net income of $227,500.

Besides leafy greens I also grow a variety of other items and keep expanding product offerings. I have listed hereunder the current market price for items I currently grow in my aquaponics system.

Premium Culinary Herbs (per lb)


Gourmet Greens/Salad Mix (per lb)


Micro Greens (per lb)


Specialty Greens (per lb)


Edible Flowers (per lb)


Sprouts/Shoots (per lb)



Phase 2 Expansion:

In January 2013 my brother (the one in Maine) sent me several crates of farming equipment and supplies, which he had been slowly accumulating for the past 24 months.

These included the tools to set up the work shop on the farm (saws, drills, nuts and bolts, and any other thing he could think of), remember everything has to be imported.

Trough liners, shade cloth, plastic liners, water pumps, air pumps, bulk head fittings and everything else I could think of that we might need. Along with 10,000 watts of solar cells, 4,000 watts of wind generators, heavy duty batteries, water purifiers, chillers, heaters and a whole lot of other things which I have no idea what they are for.

In February he moved from Maine so we could begin construction out on the farm, so far with his help we have managed to get the water wells in, build the work shop, install the solar system, build the water tower, and build a simple 1,500 sq ft structure to live in.

Of course the most exciting thing for me is that we have now completed the build out of our first 3,000 sq ft system and the first set of breeding tilapia will arrive next week.

I anticipate that by the end of May 2013 we should be able to start harvesting from this new system.

My goal is to have a total of 20,000 sq ft of grow space by the end of this year, it will require a lot of work and sweat equity to get there but the rewards of being able to supply my fellow countrymen with fresh chemical free produce will make it all worthwhile.

Please feel free to contact me at

***Wayne Hall***

(Thanks for listening! We hope Wayne will favor us in the future with ongoing information about his fascinating commercial aquaponics saga in the Bahamas!)

(Below) P
hoto of Wayne Hall's farm location on the island of Abaco, in the Bahamas, from Google maps).


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.

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!
Back Issues Of Newsletters Now Available, Click Here!
Trough Liner Distributors:
West Coast USA
East Coast USA

Click here for Trout fry and fingerlings 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 OFFER: For a FREE MICRO SYSTEM! (yes, the whole SYSTEM, an $1,800 value!):

Sign yourself up for the FIRST

Or sign yourself up for the SECOND

TENNESSEE September 2013 Commercial Aquaponics and Solar Greenhouse Trainings
NOW, and enter the drawing for the FREE $1,800 Micro System. Plus, you ALSO receive a free Micro System DIY package so you can begin studying aquaponics, as soon as you register! ($99.95 value)

Also: Micro System Classes!

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!

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 course. You can visit David's website here for details of the class and to see all the other cool things he's doing!

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

The Farmily on MONEY:

It was 1976, and I was anchored in my 37-foot SeaRunner cutter "Spice" in a bay on the North side of Nuku Hiva, in the Marquesas Islands, with my friends Chuck and Nancy, who were cruising on their dugout canoe "Tyone", named after Chuck's son.

At least I thought I was anchored in the bay with them: I had come in late at night; there were no anchor lights on any boats to be seen, in fact, there were no visible lights anywhere on shore in the bay either! I had inched my way in using my 30,000 candlepower searchlight and my depth sounder. I had anchored in 35 feet of water about a quarter mile from shore near one side of the bay (it was a big bay!).

I felt really comfortable on the boat: the night was gorgeous, with little pinpricks of fire all over the sky; a gentle breeze coming offshore (the sailor's favorite wind direction!), and I made myself a nice dinner from the ono I had caught earlier in the trip over from the South side of Nuku Hiva, and some rice with onions.

After some tea, some dreaming about tomorrow, I turned in. But first, I untied my dinghy and put it in the water, oars inside, tied to the stern of Spice, so it would be all ready for exploring first thing in the morning. My dinghy had a 30-foot long "painter" or piece of rope, attached to a strong eye in her bow (remember this: 30 feet).

When I woke up to the first light of day, I went up on deck and just about had a heart attack. The wind, which was still quite light, had switched during the night and now was blowing towards the shore; Spice had turned 180 degrees on her anchor and was hanging off it in the opposite direction. The dinghy, which was only 30 feet behind the boat, was bumping up and down on a huge ledge of coral heads that was only a foot underwater!

I'd picked what I thought was a safe spot when I anchored the night before;  a quarter-mile seemed like a safe distance in a quiet, sheltered little tropical bay! Even now, we were still 300-400 yards off shore.

Spice, luckily, was still in 35 feet of water; because the coral heads coming up to the surface just behind us dropped off precipitously into 25-foot deep water, which got deeper right away.It was spooky to say the least.

When I got over my shock, I got out the binocs and "glassed the bay" for Tyone. I found her about a half mile away down the shore. Nancy and Chuck had made it in while it was still light, and had picked a better place to anchor and land. I saw their dinghy on the beach, and rowed in myself, then found them.

They'd made some friends of some local folks, and everyone was busy making banana fritters, which they offered to me. Delicious!! The Marquesans have their priorities straight: they spend a lot  of time gathering, preparing, and eating food, then sit around talking about important things afterwards, and laughing a lot.

We hung out with our new friends all day, then when it was getting close to dark, begged off to row back home. But we'd made a date to go chicken-hunting the next morning at 4:30. They don't have feed and grain stores in the Marquesas, so as a result most of the chickens live in the wild (since people don't feed them).

The chickens all hang out in the jungle, and you can't even catch a glimpse of one during the daytime. But at night, they're essentially blind, and after sleeping all night, they're pretty stupid and slow, too. Chuck had an over and under .410 shotgun with a .22 on top; this was the chicken-hunting firearm.

All I had was an ancient .30-06 with hollow point ammo for hunting large game, and you DON'T want to hit a chicken with a 180-grain hollow-point bullet, it will land as chicken rain somewhere in the next county. We did use this to hunt wild boar there, though; that's another story!

We went ashore as planned, with flashlights, and moving quietly found a tree with some roosting chickens. I pointed the light, clicked it on, saw five chickens on a branch about 20 feet up in the tree, and was immediately deafened when Chuck let off the .410 about two feet away from my head. But he got a chicken!

Unfortunately, only one chicken. All the other chickens on that branch, and in the vicinity (and maybe on the entire island, for we looked for another hour or so) had fled when they heard the gunshot, so we had to be satisfied with our single chicken, which we shared with our new Marquesan friends.

Luckily, I still had some of the ono from the day before, which I had started drying in the rigging to make ono "jerky"; for it hadn't yet gotten so dry it couldn't be fried up again with the onions and rice. We had another good meal.

Damn! This was living; just need to be a little more careful of the reefs!

Aloha, Tim....

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