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Dale Miller Abstract Aquaponic food systems have been gaining popularity over the last decade for their ability to simultaneously produce fish and vegetables within the confines of a single standalone system. Throughout the United States and Australia, organizations have implemented aquaponics on a large-scale for community food gardens.
Most studies in this field focus on input requirements, productivity, and economic benefit of commercially-sized aquaponic systems. Little has been done on the opposite end of the spectrum, the personal, home-sized system and its potential to supply a family with low-cost food. This thesis investigates the feasibility of implementing a small-scale aquaponic system of Oreochromis niloticus with 20 in the IBC system and 5 in the barrel-ponic system.
Other factors that were analyzed included the construction process, cost to build and maintain each system, and the cost benefit of grown produce versus store bought produce.
It was found that the IBC system was significantly easier to construct and maintain due it its simple design. At the observed level of productivity, both systems operating year-round would take several years to generate a positive return on investment.
However, production trends were observed after the three-month period to continue to increase suggesting that a high output rate could be achieved and thus increase the rate of return. Small-scale aquaponic system such as these can be constructed relatively easily and maintained so long as there is access to informational documents, construction materials, reliable electrical grid, operational equipment, and adequate climate to support a yearlong grow season.
Further research must be conducted on long term productivity levels for aquaponic systems at this scale as well as prices of materials to better determine the economic feasibility for household use.Business management for small- scale agro-processors iii Preface This booklet addresses micro- and small-scale entrepreneurs who wish to improve their.
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