Greetings! This is the first post in what I hope is a long running record of my brother and I’s aquaponics project located in northern Michigan.
How it all started
I have always wanted to design and build something of my own, preferably a structure of some kind and my brother has always wanted to delve into the realm of diy home automation. At that time, I couldn’t justify just building anything like a barn or something and my brother wasn’t allowed to hack together all the electrical in his house, so we set these interests aside.
In recent years we’ve been dabbling in aquaponics and hydroponics. We’ve built some small grow towers, germinated some seeds, and fantasized about how nice it would be to grow local year around regardless of our cold weather. This interest has only increased with the water shortages around the world and the increased frequency of extreme weather. We need more ways to grow locally in all climates.
Fast forward to the present. We decided to build a geodesic dome greenhouse with a two tiered aquaponics setup. Essentially we grow stuff up in the dome and take care of fish in the basement. All this will be connected to a web app with integrated sensors and controls. This scratches my itch of wanting to design/build something and my brother gets his automation project.
Currently aquaponics isn’t super practical. It requires extensive knowledge in multiple disciplines and high tolerances to keep the plants growing and the fish happy. Our goal is to alleviate a good amount of this knowledge requirement and leverage technology to run the complexities of the system such as water, nutrient quality, lighting needs, and sustainable climate control. With such a system the user’s main responsibility would be planting and harvesting of fish and crops. We have some ideas to help with that as well, but that’s filed away in our pie in the sky ideas for now.
Hopefully we’ve piqued your curiosity and you’ll stay tuned for more to come.