275 Gallon Aquaculture System


By late spring I had planned to scale my 10 gallon Tilapia project into a 275 gallon solar powered aquaculture system. This aquaculture system will be designed to couple to a hydroponics horticulture system capable of growing carrots, beets, kale, quinoa, tomatoes, and other vegetables by late summer. This post will document the design, construction, science and art of this system.

Browsing Los Angeles Craig’s List I found a olive oil shipping house near the Van Nuys Airport that sold one use 275 gallon food grade shipping totes for $75.00. Food grade tote are great for aquaculture tanks because they are already have plumbing and the galvanized metal and plastic materials does well outside in the elements and sufficiently carries the 1200+ lbs water load. Afte purchasingone and trailering it back to the Nursery, I unscrewed and removed the top bracing bars and cut a rectangular hole 1/3 the size of the top face out of forward  section of the tote. Placing the tote on its side, allowed the residual olive oil to pour out, and then I rinsed the tote with a hose with a bit of pressure.

I placed the modified tote in a shady spot under an ash tree next to an outdoor storage shed that will eventually act a a green house and solar energy collection structure. Running the hose full flow in the empty container with the 2 inch spigot open allow any remaining olive oil residue to sit on the surface of the water and rush out of the tank through the open spigot.

I filled the tank to 275 gallon and will be letting water sit  for a couple weeks to allow for the chlorine to evaporate and the water to stand a bit. I also seeded the tank with a 1 gallon bucket of green algae water from a full sun solar tank. This will hel start the ecosystem while the water sits, and will also indicate by algae growth, when the water in ready to be lived in .

There are two main cycles to be aware of

Nitrogen and Oxygen Cycles

And there are four main systems to be aware of Aqua(Blue), Horti(Green), Compost and Solar powered Plumbing.

The Aquaculture has a few sub systems, the adult tank, the adolescents tank, and the hatchery.

The Horticulture system has  few sub systems including, grow beds, seedling nursery

The Solar system is concerned with photovalic energy capture for heating elements, aerators, research equipment and pumps, as well as passive solar heating arrays to help maintain a warm aquaculture system.

The Microbes and Compost systems is where the aquaculture is a full sun solar powered bio-reactor that takes organic material and grows algae and duck weed, koi and goldfish maintain a healthy system and can be introduced into the . A worm bed also helps break down tank water. This system produces food for the aquaculture system and purifies the water by complete ammonia recomposition.

The rigidity of the totes cage allows for a the stacking of the multiple systems, such as horticulture on top so that bell auto siphons can operature with out any direct power consumption.

Eventually this system will be designed into a chicken coupe. A grain will be grow (corn) to feed the chickens the chickens will lay eggs and will provide fertilizer for solar tanks.

Legumes symbiotic relationship with Rhizobacterialnodes in the roots. Nitrogen Fixation.

The arboretum will

Olive, Grape, Avocado, Orange, Lime, Lemon, Loquat, Cherry, Mango, Pomegranate.


Jacaranda, Arizona Ash

The simple math of a mediterranean breeze settles into currents and currents settle into seas.


Avinguda Gaudi, 6 4, 2 Bis Barcelona, 08025 España


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