The reason that you are thinking about building a system is because of the benefitsyou will get. Fresh fish and vegetables, satisfaction from growing your own food,and even improved indoor air quality are all benefits that people have gotten fromthese systems. Below, I have show the dollar value of fish and vegetable yields thatyou can expect from a well- run system.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The value of the fish and plants that you grow is higher if you eat them yourself.This is because farmers can get paid a lot less for a crop than consumers pay for itin the grocery store. By eating what you grow, or sharing or trading it withneighbors, you will get higher economic benefits.For each dollar that you spend in food, maintenance and utilities, you can expect toharvest $1.75 to $2.00 worth of fish. If you also are growing vegetables in theaquaponic system, then you will harvest $1.25 worth of vegetables as well. Thetotal return per dollar is close to three dollars for the aquaponic system and twodollars for the simple recirculating system.If you operate your system all year round, then you can recover the cost of construction in one to two years. Operating it only in the summer will lengthen this period to 3 or more years. So if you are planning to use one of these systems for more than 2 years, then it is worthwhile economically to build one.If you feel entrepreneurial, you might consider building more or larger systems andselling your produce.Running small businesses and operating large aquaculture tank systems are beyondthe scope of this manual, but there are some references listed in the ResourcesChapter that you could consult if you want to grow fish and vegetables for profit.
HOW TO START
The first thing you should do is read this manual through. This will help you get anoverview of what is involved, what you will have to do, and what you can expect.