Aquaponics USA

Aquaponics FGS-20 @ ExplorOcean

About Aquaponics USA

760-671-3053

This is our latest Video and our longest production ever. It’s a TOUR of our Greenhouse, Growroom and newly constructed Fishroom, which together are running a single Recirculating Aquaculture System known as a RAS. We are multi-cropping Tilapia, Vegetables and a few Fruits in this system which is demonstrating our commercial aquaponics system we call a Food Forever™ Farm. This is a Micro Food Forever™ Farm as it is about 1/10th the size of the smallest Food Forever™ Farm we are offering. (Video made August of 2014)

This is our TOUR of our Greenhouse, Growroom and newly constructed Fishroom, which together are running a single Recirculating Aquaculture System known as a RAS. We are multi-cropping Tilapia, Vegetables and a few Fruits in this system which is demonstrating our commercial aquaponics system we call a Food Forever™ Farm. This is a Micro Food Forever™ Farm as it is about 1/10th the size of the smallest Food Forever™ Farm we are offering. (Video made April of 2014)

This Video is Part 1 of a series called “Aquaponics USA Travels to Tucson, Arizona” and it features the building, installation and testing of one of three of our STEM Food Growing Systems, the FFGS-40, that went into the Davis Bilingual Elementary School in the inner city of Tucson, Arizona.

This Video is Part 2 of the new series called “Aquaponics USA Travels to Tucson, Arizona” and it features the building, installation and testing of one of the three of our STEM Food Growing Systems, the FFGS-40, that went into the Manzo Elementary School in the inner city of Tucson, Arizona. We installed three of the same systems in these videos; but each installation took a different configuration and a different aspect of the installation in captured in these videos. If you watch all three installations carefully (Part 3 is coming soon), you will get a real good idea of how these systems were installed.

This Video describes what was growing in our Aquaponics USA Greenhouse, introduces our newly constructed Growroom and our Food Forever™ Growing Systems and debuts our fun new Lead-In and Lead-Out Video Format, which you’ll be seeing in all of our videos. (Video made in October of 2011)

We’ve divided our 2009 Video Greenhouse Tour into 3 parts. The first part focuses on the outside of the greenhouse and talks about the construction and environmental controls. The second part focuses on the inside of the greenhouse and describes the food-growing systems. The third part shows and talks about several of the plants that were growing in the greenhouse. Sit back, relax and enjoy your Tour.

Greenhouse construction and environmental controls. (Video made in October of 2009)

How Aquaponics Systems Work. (Video made in October of 2009) The systems you see here have been replaced by the Family & STEM Food Growing Systems that are now available on this website.)

The amazing growth of the plants. (Video made in October of 2009)

Aquaponics Cartoon teacher
Aquaponics Growroom Lettuce
Aquaponics Keil
Aquaponics Fish Room
Aquaponics AZ Breezeway
Aquaponics Wall of Lettuce
Aquaponics Solar AZ
Aquaponics AZ Vista
Aquaponics Solar Dan

Aquaponics USA Videos (of our Past)

Stay Tuned For Our Future In AZ

This is the original Greenhouse we built in Yucca Valley, CA. At the time, all we knew was we wanted to learn how to grow food, and because we were in the desert, we also knew we were going to have to be creative because the CA desert has a challenging climate that's real hot in the summer and real cold in the winter at 3,500 ft. up. So we went on-line to discover how to do Hydroponics.

Instead, we found Oliver's Mentor, Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics, and we also found our mission. Little did we know that day Aquaponics was going to become a business for us and take over their lives.

Because Oliver was an Aerospace Engineer, after studying Aquaponics on the web and spending a lot of time on Forums, he felt confident that he could build his own system.

He was still thinking it was a personal system for him and me (Grace). The system in the cartoon image on the left was the original System Design that he came up with.

It has the Fish Tank underneath the Grow Bed and is sitting on a stand made out of 92 pieces of PVC pipe.  It wasn't until we were installing four of these systems in the new Greenhouse that it dawned on us that we could turn Aquaponics into a business, and Aquaponics USA was born. It wasn't long before we discovered that stand had way too many pieces.

As the Founders, we gravitated to where our talents led us, and Oliver became the System Designer while Grace became the Marketing Director.

At some point, we realized many of our customers were from the East Coast where it was even colder than in Yucca Valley, and they wanted to grow their food indoors. We decided to build an enclosed Growroom so we could demonstrate indoor growing to them and to Teachers who needed Classroom Systems.

The newly designed systems no longer had the Fish Tanks under the Grow Beds so we decided to build a Fishroom for all of the fish. The processed Fishtank water was plumbed under the ground about 100 ft. to the redesigned Greenhouse.

We installed a WET System in the Fishroom. WET is an acronym for Water Enhancement Technology. Together, the WET System and the Solids Separation BioConversion System kept the water in the Fish Tanks crystal clear.

Due to the crystal clear water we were able to design a Demo vertical growing system in the Greenhouse, which is a proprietary design.


NFT stands for Nutrient Film Technique. It entails water running threw a trough that has been designed for optimum grow out and harvesting of leafy greens. Below is what we were able to grow in our proprietary NFT Vertical System. There are 3 different kinds of lettuce growing on this wall.

After five years of successful operation, the original systems were torn out, the fish were moved to the fishroom and our Vertical Aquaponics System was installed with the help of our System Designer & Installer, Keil Plotczyk (seen below).

The picture here is not of the original Vertical system, which was a 60 degree Vertical System. The pictured system is a 75 degree Vertical System, which was installed six months later. As we already pointed out, this was an R&D Aquaponics Lab and a lot of R&D was going on.

As orders started rolling in for our Family & STEM Food Growing Systems, we decided we needed some help and hired Keil Plotczyk, IC, to be our Lead System Builder and Installer.

As it's turned out, Keil is a hard working and talented tradesman with many skills, and he has handled a variety of jobs for us right down to this Spring when he played a key role in helping us move out of CA.

That's right, Aquaponics USA is now located in the White Mountains of Arizona. Keil comes and goes as needed, and still keeps a home base in Yucca Valley.

The fish were given to an Aquaponics farmer in Joshua Tree, CA. Our system was dismantled, and it was time to start over.

This 75 ft. x 15 ft. porch became the new combination Fishroom and Greenhouse. The second fish tank will be placed in the foreground under the roof, and the Greenhouse was built in the sunlit area in the background of this photo.

This was a covered porch so the first thing that had to go was about 10 foot of the 15 foot roof. The ladder leads up to the garage roof where the Solar Panels, which we took off of the Yucca Valley roof, are installed.

We chose this home precisely because it had this already cemented porch area that we knew would make a great Greenhouse.



So here is Dan Hall, another multi-talented and hard working tradesman, taking down the solar panels he had put up a couple of years previously in Yucca Valley.

So why the move? We fell in love with a small town in the White Mountains of AZ, Show Low, where we found our perfect home. We now have 10 acres of land with a well, which sits on the best aquifer in the U.S., Coconino. Being able to make this move with a VA Loan was a dream come true. Dan installed these Solar Panels on our new garage roof.

We also love a challenge and growing vegetables year round at a whopping 6,000 ft. up. In the cold of winter, it is going to be just that. It snows up here, but the locals say that it dissipates quickly and there isn't a big build up. We'll let you know with Videos and pictures soon.

We plan to add more panels to this 6,000 watt array as money and time permits.

We are in love with our new home and our convenient Greenhouse right off the kitchen.

We couldn't close this story about Aquaponics USA without showing you our land. Us city slickers have gone all rural to the max now, and we're loving it. Two herds of deer visit often. Yes, you heard right, "herds". One herd had 16 deer, but one young buck was kicked out. He now has his own herd of four.

Stay tuned as this entire operation has re-constituted itself in the new Greenhouse and the new Shop where we build our STEM & Family Food Growing Systems. We plan to bring in a storage container so we can enlarge our Shop to meet the demand soon.

We will also be making a series of Videos for Teachers who have purchased our AUSA STEM Teaching & Food Growing Systems. We're calling it "The First 30 Days", and it will consist of 30 Consecutive Days of running a Classroom STEM System.

All of the Videos below tell the history of Aquaponics USA. We'll announce the new Videos as soon as the first one is posted on YouTube and it will also come onto this About Page.  

Thank You for visiting the Aquaponics USA website. Our AUSA Team is working diligently to get to the next evolution of our company, which offers lots of exciting innovations and products (including Classes) from our new location in Arizona.

Aquaponics Greenhouse Yucca Valley

So Oliver redesigned the AUSA Food Growing Systems turning them into durable, attractive and highly functioning Aquaponics Family & STEM Food Growing Systems for homes and schools.

The one on the left was located at the ExplorOcean Learning Center in Newport Beach, CA  where students from all over the U.S. could learn how STEM Food Growing Systems work.

Aquaponics USA is Your One Stop Shop For Everything Aquaponics. Our company was established in 2009, and is one of the best known Aquaponics companies on the web with a reputation for being an Aquaponics Informaton site that is honest, friendly and big on Timely, Efficient Customer Service.

Aquaponics USA sells everything you need to become more Food Independent with Aquaponics, and we add new products often. Click up to our AP Products Drop Down Menu for the List of everything we sell.

We are also known for our STEM & Family Food Growing Systems that are economical, efficient and durable. Teachers love dealing with us because we've made the purchasing process as easy as possible with a bundled STEM Package that includes everything a Teacher needs to turn a classroom into a hands-on learning environment and a STEM Teacher's dream.

We are Grace Sylke and Oliver Duffy, the Co-Founders of Aquaponics USA. We started our Aquaponics company in 2009 right after the collapse of Lehman Bros., which we interpreted as a warning that things were not right on the economic front in the U.S.

Neither of us had ever planted a thing in our lives. We were both what you would call city slickers, but it just so happened that we had made a move together to a much more rural environment in late 2006 prior to the 2008 collapse and we had 1/3 of an acre of land in the high desert of California. That's the most land either of us had ever had.

When that collapse happened, we came to the biggest decision of our life times. We decided to learn how to grow food.

Here's our completed Greenhouse in full Bloom. We built 6 Custom Deep Media Grow Beds that are 4' x 8' and are growing way more than our smaller Yucca Valley Greenhouse, which is also keeping us way busier.

In the foreground are Oliver's proprietary Vertical & Horizontal Systems that are capable of pumping out a vast amount of Lettuce and other Leafy Greens.

Aquaponics Systems grow Peppers like crazy and we have learned to Love Peppers just not the Hot ones.

These are Sweet Green Bells, and they are great for putting into all kinds of dishes. There is so much food coming out of this Greenhouse, I (Grace) had to learn how to Pressure Can.

We'll be doing Videos of Food Preparation and Canning in the near future. One of our favorite dishes is Swiss Chard with Peppers and Tomatoes. It all gets Stir-fried in a Wok!

Tomatoes also grow like weeds in an Aquaponics System, but you have to be willing to trim them often to get rid of the sucker branches that will otherwise keep the plant from producing the numbers of tomatoes that are possible.

This is our Big Red. It is about two years old and still producing the most delicious and sweet Tomatoes you have ever tasted.

In the front of the Greenhouse, we also have a row of 3 Cherry Tomatoes. Those plants are about the same age and still putting out big numbers of Cherry Tomaotes. The thing about Tomato Plants is they will take over a bed if you're not careful.

These plantss have a lot to teach us about survival because they keep growing no matter what.  Bent or even almost severed branches just keep growing and producing fruit.

You don't really know what Tomatoes taste like until you've tasted the ones fresh off the vine.

The VISION:  HOW & WHY IT ALL HAPPENED

Thank you for visitng our About page. We're so honored to be able to share our AUSA Story with you. If you want to watch us on YouTube, just Click on our Logo below:

You may have noticed this website does not use one of those spacious, open, modern, minimalist formatting designs. It's jammed full of important information about Aquaponics and our Systems, how it all works and what you have to know to make it work and keep it working.

This is a Work Horse Website designed in chunks of important information, named and tagged with strip banners so you know where you are with important pdf's dropped into recognizable color-coded repeating Boxes so you don't miss them, and our Teaching-the-Teacher Guide, Jan, who lets Teachers know they are on an important Teaching page.

So if you're ready to learn everything you possibly can about Aquaponics you've come to the right place. Your next 3 stops after this About Page are under the Aquaponics Info (AP) Drop Down Menu where you'll find the Aquaponics Fish, Vegetables, Water and Grow Beds Pages.

TEACHERS, the Education Pull Down Menu is just for you! Let's Learn Aquaponics today!

Here I am (Grace) as my Cartoon Self. I'm here to introduce our Aquaponics USA Videos, which are below. I am the face of Aquaponics USA in these Videos. Please Click over to our YouTube Channel and Subscribe.

Aquaponics USA has been absent from the YouTube scene for quite awhile, but we are announcing our come back here, and are soon to be getting very busy posting videos of the Training of our Resident Intern, Dakota Del Castillo, who is also my Grandson.