Aloha Friends,

We would like to tell you about our revolutionary new growing system that we playfully call “Aqua-Poo-Nics” 

 Yes, that’s right, not “Aquaponics” – “Aqua-Poo-Nics!”    *Poo = Animal Waste,  for the purposes of this story.

Here we simplify the story of our explorations into greenhouse growing- specifically how we investigated hydroponics and aquaponics, and created a system that is simpler and way less expensive to implement while still growing plants wonderfully!



Some time ago, we fell in love with the idea of growing food in greenhouses instead of outdoors – it feels great to be in a  greenhouse, the plants have a safe pest-free place to live.

Of course, greenhouses are expensive, unless they can pay for themselves somehow.  We considered hydroponics, and so we got certified in hydroponics.  Soon we learned about aquaponics, and thought that was even better, so we became certified in aquaponics.

Next we had to move to a place where we could put together a system…   and we came to Aloha Farms, and it was time.

Since greenhouse growing operations require a whole lot of effort, money, time, and devotion to create, we started with a small aquaponic growing system.


Aquaponic System
View of the aquaponic system setup in portable greenhouse. The idea is to use the fish waste to feed the plants, and use the plant roots to filter the fish water. So fish and plants can grow together in a closed-loop system.


Growbed filled with Hydroton baked clay balls.
Initial set-up: Growbed filled with Hydroton baked clay balls. The flexible tubing you see coming into the re-purposed bathtub/ growbed, is conducting water from the fish tank into the grow bed. In this picture we have placed some filters under the water to filter sediment from the fish tank.

Aqua-poo-nic system water tank

Feed trough used as fish tank with rocks on the bottom for passive heat
Feed trough used as fish tank with rocks on the bottom (for passive heat), and ABS pipe with holes returning water into the fish tank from the growbed. After 6 weeks of daily testing the water for the correct pH, temperature, and nitrate/nitrite levels, and filtering out chlorine, our water was ready for use.
Aquaponic Growbed with Corn and Tomatoes
Corn & tomatoes grew well in aquaponic system and had great color and fruit
Aquaponic Strawberries in Winter
Aquaponic Strawberries in Winter

Now to the revolutionary part of our story!!!

By the end of 2015 we had gained 2 1/2 years of perspective about using the  aquaponic system.   Keeping the fish alive proved to be very stressful and difficult because our city water is too alkaline and has too much chlorine.  For the fish to thrive the pH and the water temperature had to be monitored and adjusted continually.  One time, we lost all of the fish in the tank at once because the air-bubbler stopped working in the middle of the night due to an electricity failure. There’s only a certain amount of electricity from the solar power system and it isn’t enough for winter-time, with all the darkness.  We replaced the fish and tried again several times.  We worked on adjusting the pH, filtering the chlorine, adding ice in the summer and adding warm water in the winter, and covering the tank to insulate it, but in spite of all efforts, every fish eventually died!

Every time a fish died, we felt frustration, failure, loss, guilt, and shame.

Successful aquaponic systems grow edible fish, like tilapia or catfish, but for us that would require a lot more attention and investment.  During this  time we began to give more focus to covering the land with raw organic material and less focus to greenhouse growing.  So, not wanting to kill any more fishes, we ran the system with no fish just to keep the plants growing.

We began to consider the underwater snails who live happily in the tank regardless of the pH, chlorine, or water temperature. Surely they would provide some waste to feed the plants. 

Then inspiration hit  –  we have an unlimited supply of our own farm grown turkey poo – the fertilizer that works great on our land!  Wouldn’t it work great as a fertilizer in the greenhouse growing system too?  Of course it would!   

Beginning in 2016, we tried out our theory. The turkey waste didn’t harm the snails at all, and it was easy to collect and add to the water tank as needed.  Voila! As it decomposed in the water tank, it created plant nutrients for the plants in the growbed. We’ve been using this very method all this year, and it works better for us because it’s simple and less demanding of our attention.  We just add more “poo” if the plants start getting less green, just as you would with any fertilizer.  We still use the system for plant cuttings and seed starting and as a nursery for plants whose roots have been partially damaged by gophers! Also lettuce and tomato have grown to be over 2 years old in this bed and are still alive.

Our system is tiny, but it works for growing plants.  The concept of Aqua-Poo-Nics could be used on much larger systems just as well.

Welcome to aquaponics without the stress – it’s Aqua-Poo-Nics!

Papaya plants recovering from gopher damage in Aquapoonic growbed
Lettuce going to seed, Papaya recovering from gopher damage, Fennel and elephant food in background.

Hanging over the water tank is a 1 1/2 year-old tomato vine that continues to produce tomatoes today – updated as of 04/04/2016.  That is a long-lived tomato…. After having tried both aqua-culture and food-forest growing, we absolutely say food-forest is so much more successful and requires so much less effort.  We have tomatoes growing all over the food forest as well, and sometimes they even survive the winter.  The growbed still grows many different cuttings and seedlings that change over the seasons.

This tomato vine has been living in the aquaponic greenhouse for a couple years. It’s scraggly, but still hanging on!


Pomegranate Cutting Growing in Aqua-Poo-Nic System
We still grow cuttings in the grow bed, like this pomegranate tree cutting that has taken root and is growing in the growbed, Summer 2016.


Aqua-Poo-Nic Growbed with Lavendar and Rosemary Cuttings
Aqua-Poo-Nic Growbed with Lavendar and Rosemary Cuttings Winter 2017

Aqua-Poo-Nic Water Tank with Duckweed Growing
Aqua-Poo-Nic Water Tank with Duckweed Growing, Winter 2017

After all this, in May 2016, we discovered one single fish living in the fish tank!  It’s fins are turquoise with a  red dorsal fin and tail, and a gray body with a dark gray stripe down the sides.  We could hardly believe it when we saw this fish swimming around in the tank, and we figure it must have hatched from an egg laid long ago, although it doesn’t look like any fish we ever had!  We gave it some store-bought fish food, which it didn’t eat, so now we don’t feed the fish or do anything for it, yet it continues to swim around in the tank.  As of February 2017, it’s still swimming around in the tank!

We hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to dream big and try new things 🙂

Aloha 🙂

159 thoughts on ““Aqua-Poo-Nics””

  1. If some one needswantsdesireswishes to be updated with latestnewestmost recentmost up-to-datehottest technologies thenafter thatafterwardtherefore he must be visitgo to seepay a visitpay a quick visit this websiteweb sitesiteweb page and be up to date everydaydailyevery dayall the time.

  2. Right here is the right webpage for anybody who really wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need laugh out loud). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just great!

  3. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. But think about if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this website could definitely be one of the greatest in its niche. Excellent blog!

  4. Everything is very open with a very clearclearprecisereally clear explanationdescriptionclarification of the issueschallenges. It was trulyreallydefinitely informative. Your website isYour site is very usefulvery helpfulextremely helpfuluseful. Thanks forThank you forMany thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you so much for giving everyone a very terrific chance to discover important secrets from here. It’s always very useful plus full of fun for me personally and my office fellow workers to visit the blog the equivalent of three times in one week to learn the fresh guidance you have. And definitely, I am at all times amazed with all the eye-popping secrets you serve. Selected two ideas on this page are definitely the most impressive we’ve had.

  6. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  7. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  8. Great work! That is the kind of information that are meant to be
    shared across the web. Shame on the seek engines for no longer positioning this put up higher!
    Come on over and talk over with my site . Thanks =)

  9. Heya excellent website! Does running a blog like this take a large amount of work?
    I have virtually no expertise in coding however I
    had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyways, if you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off subject but I just wanted to ask. Thanks!

  10. Attractive element of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog
    and in accession capital to claim that I
    get in fact loved account your blog posts. Anyway I will be
    subscribing in your feeds and even I fulfillment you access
    consistently rapidly.

  11. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp so much approximately this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I feel that you just can do with some to drive the message home a little bit, however instead of that, that is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  12. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and
    would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  13. Hello there, There’s no doubt that your website may be having internet browser compatibility problems.

    Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E.,
    it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to
    provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent blog!

  14. Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no backup.
    Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

    1. Aloha!

      Sorry to hear about the hack. This is also a wordpress blog, and we have Jetpack plugin to protect it from malicious log-in attempts, Akismet filters spam comments, and WP backup performs weekly backups on the site. In order to make this site secure with SSL, we used CloudFlare, which we heard about on YouTube when searching for SSL. Hopefully this answers your question. If not, try researching your questions online. It feels like a struggle when you’re trying to figure it all out, but keep trying and you will eventually get your desired results! Best Wishes to You!

  15. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog
    that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve
    been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe
    you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly
    enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  16. Hi I am so grateful I found your blog page, I really found you by accident,
    while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I
    am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all
    round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I
    don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have saved
    it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
    back to read a great deal more, Please do keep
    up the excellent b.

  17. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours today, yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It’s pretty price sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made just
    right content as you did, the web will likely be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  18. I just want to mention I’m beginner to weblog and definitely loved this blog. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have fabulous stories. Thanks for sharing your webpage.

  19. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements
    would really make my blog shine. Please let me
    know where you got your design. With thanks

  20. Howdy very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing ..
    I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m glad to find so many helpful info right here within the put up,
    we need work out extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  21. With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it
    looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the
    internet without my authorization. Do you know any ways to help stop content from
    being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.

  22. When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the thought
    of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.
    Therefore that’s why this post is perfect. Thanks!

  23. I got this web page from my pal who shared with me regarding this
    web page and now this time I am browsing this web site and reading very
    informative posts at this place.

  24. Hello I am so excited I found your web site, I
    really found you by mistake, while I was researching on Aol for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for
    a incredible post and a all round entertaining blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I
    have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so
    when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up
    the superb jo.

    1. Aloha, and thanks for the encouraging note! This is a free wordpress theme (optimizer). Edit the fonts by changing color and boldness from the editing buttons. Best wishes, and have a wonderful time blogging 🙂

  25. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto
    a co-worker who has been conducting a little research on this.
    And he actually ordered me dinner simply because
    I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this issue
    here on your web site.

  26. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering problems with
    your website. It looks like some of the written text
    in your content are running off the screen. Can someone
    else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This may be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had this
    happen before. Thank you

  27. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this.
    And he actually ordered me dinner simply because I stumbled upon it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this topic here
    on your site.

  28. Having read this I believed it was very enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  29. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise a few technical points using this web site, as I experienced to
    reload the website many times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times
    will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality
    score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS
    to my email and could look out for a lot more
    of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  30. First of all I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.

    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.

    I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations
    or hints? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rob,

      Most writers have experienced the same problem, so you are not alone 🙂
      Some suggestions:
      Pray for wisdom and listen to your heart for answers.
      Take photographs and/or notes pertaining to what you want to say in your next post. Look at the photographs and notes to guide your writing, and remind you of everything you intend to include.
      Once you’re clear on what you want to say, sit down in your quiet space and type it all out in rough form.
      Once the thoughts are written down, take a break and come back to it later.
      When you are refreshed, read the post again and edit by selecting meaningful words (use the dictionary and thesaurus for guidance), and trying to pack each sentence with ideas that are expressed clearly and concisely. Repeat, and repeat again, until you feel it clearly expresses what you want to say.
      Wait one more day, read it again, and if you still love it – publish 🙂

      Best Wishes to you!

  31. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance.
    I must say you have done a awesome job with this.
    Additionally, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Chrome.
    Outstanding Blog!

  32. Hello! This post could not bee written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my
    old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
    I will firward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  33. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you
    really understand what you’re speaking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly also seek advice from my site =). We will have a link change agreement
    among us

  34. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The
    sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this

  35. We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome web site!

  36. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all
    is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks

  37. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Opera.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post
    to let you know. The style and design look great though!
    Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Many thanks

  38. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find many of
    your post’s to be just what I’m looking for.
    can you offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a few
    of the subjects you write in relation to here.
    Again, awesome weblog!

  39. Right here is the perfect site for everyone who would like to understand this topic.

    You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has
    been discussed for a long time. Wonderful stuff,
    just excellent!

  40. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable info
    to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  41. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of
    your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got
    to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two
    pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  42. After checking out a handful of the blog posts on your web page, I honestly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and let me know what you think.|

  43. I think that everything published made a ton of sense.
    However, what about this? what if you typed a catchier title?
    I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, however
    what if you added something that grabbed folk’s attention? I mean “Aqua-Poo-Nics” |
    is kinda plain. You ought to look at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create post titles to
    grab viewers interested. You might try adding a video or
    a pic or two to grab people excited about what you’ve got to say.
    Just my opinion, it might bring your posts a little livelier.

  44. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the page layout of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    1. Thank you!

      First, you must have something that you want to say to the world!
      Then you can start with a free WordPress blog site so you can get a feel for blogging and see if you enjoy it. Learn how things work by searching google with every question that comes up because you will find many answers there! To make your dream come true, think about it a lot, talk about it to your closest friends and take baby action steps in the direction of your dream. Soon you will look back with surprise at how far you have come! Aloha!

  45. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.|

  46. magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  47. Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look.
    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Exceptional blog and excellent style and design.

  48. A person necessarily help to make severely posts I’d state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far?
    I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular submit amazing.
    Excellent job!

  49. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you
    happen to be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and may come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great work,
    have a nice evening!

  50. Hello there, I discovered your site by means of Google whilst
    looking for a related subject, your website came up, it appears great.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, simply changed into aware of your weblog
    via Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I am gonna be careful for brussels. I will appreciate when you continue this in future.
    Lots of folks will likely be benefited from your writing.


  51. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  52. Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your put up is just cool and i could think you’re knowledgeable in this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to seize your feed to keep up to date with coming near near post. Thank you a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  53. Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and in depth information you present. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  54. I was just seeking this information for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative sites in top of the list. Usually the top websites are full of garbage.

  55. Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you

  56. Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at proper
    place and other person will also do similar for you.

  57. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s
    time and energy to be at liberty. I’ve learn this submit and
    if I could I want to suggest you some fascinating issues or tips.
    Maybe you can write subsequent articles regarding this post.
    I would like to learn more things about it!

  58. An appealing discussion is certainly worth comment.
    There’s certainly that that you should write more on this material,
    it might not become a taboo matter but generally people don’t discuss these issues.
    To another! Every one of the best!!

  59. Howdy I am so glad I found your website, I really found you
    by accident, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Nonetheless
    I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a
    incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I dont
    have time to read it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and
    also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a
    lot more, Please do keep up the excellent jo.

  60. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a tremendous site.|

  61. Thanks for any marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading
    it, you are a fantastic author.I am going to ensure to bookmark your site and may
    even come back down the road. I wish to encourage that you continue your great job, use a nice

  62. Good day! I really could have sworn I’ve visited this amazing site before but after going through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m definitely delighted I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  63. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours these days,
    but I never found any fascinating article like yours.
    It is beautiful value enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made
    excellent content as you probably did, the net will
    probably be much more helpful than ever before.

  64. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *