The Big Stuff,
Whether you start big or small, enjoy
the process. Do your research. Find the
type of fish that works best for you. Use
plants that grow best in your area and
don’t be afraid to experiment. Failure is
a great teacher. If you’re learning, you’re
really not failing. You’re falling forward.
So, fall for ward into aquaponics.
If you’re interested in learning more
about aquaponics, check out Central
Texas Aquaponics’ website (www.
has many great articles and videos on
how to set up a system, as well as how to
Meredith Duke is the owner
of Sweet Bee Pixels (www.
sweetbeepixels.com), a graphic and web design company.
She’s a native Texan, married to her college
sweetheart, and loves homeschooling her
two teens. The Duke family also shares
many adventures at their homestead, San
Gabriel Farm. You can read about their
homestead at www.sangabrielfarm.com.
Lauren Duke is the author
of The FBI Chronicles (a
fictional trilogy featuring
Scarlet Savine, a red fox
with a nose for adventure and justice).
She loves to write, read, and play with
her dog, Lady. You can read more about
Lauren’s published and upcoming books
Bryan’s Top 3 Do’s and Don’ts
1. START SMALL. Everything you can learn in a small system is
completely applicable to a larger system. A larger system is more
stuff and time, more plumbing, more water, more fish.
2. BE PRESENT. Bryan was taught early on that the “best prevention
for pest control is a farmer’s shadow.” Visually inspect the plants
and systems. You need to touch and see it with your own eyes.
It’s a living system that has to be managed, tweaked, and worked
3. EXPERIMENT. Just because someone says it can’t be done, that
doesn’t mean that’s true. There are aquaponics gardeners who
are successful at growing corn, raspberries, and even pineapples.
“Aquaponics can adapt,” Bryan says. But at the same time, he
says, don’t expect it to “end world hunger.”
1. DON’T ASSUME AQUAPONICS IS A SILVER BULLET. “You cannot grow
everything better than other sources.”
2. DON’T STOP LEARNING AND INNOVATING OR LOOKING FOR A BETTER
WAY. From a commercial perspective, Bryan says, “I’m always
trying to do the exact same thing in a better way in the same
amount of time. How can I experience this failure in a way that
allows me to recover from it?” There is always room for improvement.
3. DON’T TRY THINGS THAT WON’T GROW WELL IN THE DIRT IN YOUR
ENVIRONMENT. Stick to your region. Things grow well in certain
parts of the country and they do well with aquaponics also. As
Bryan said, “If you have a hard time growing tomatoes in the dirt
in Canada, you’ll have the same issues in aquaponics as well.”