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Learn the answers to ALL YOUR QUESTIONS about aquaponics.


One Portable Farms® Kit provides you with the technology to build one Portable Farms® Module which feeds 8 people FOREVER. One Portable Farms® Module requires less than 10 minutes of care per day to plant, harvest and feed the fish.


Phyllis Davis, Co-Inventor. Phyllis is President of PFAS LLC and is also the Dean of Aquaponics University. To see Phyllis Davis and get to know her and see her knowledge and passion for aquaponics, view her 8-minute YouTube Video (viewed 28,831 times) of her award winning presentation (Second Prize) at an inventors contest in Southern California.

Would you like to learn more about aquaponics? Learn from us . . .

There is a lot more to learn about this important subject, and we want to tell you more about Portable Farms® Aquaponics System and we can teach you about this topic and what you want to know about owning and operating your own successful aquaponics system so you can become more self-sustaining: CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE to enroll in the Aquaponics Course.

Shipping and postage are included to addresses in the US only, BUT for all order outside the US there is a US$140 shipping and handling charge. The entire Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© Sections A-Z, must be satisfactorily completed within 12 months from the date of enrollment in order to qualify for graduation or the Portable Farms® Kit.

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Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course©

Below is an outline of the 26 sections (A-Z) included in the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© designed for training people to assemble, operate and raise healthy organic vegetables and aquatic animals (fish) in the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems (patent pending) through Aquaponics University, a wholly-owned training division of PFAS LLC.

Section A: Preface to coursework and overview with images for main components of the aquaponics system

  • Easy formulation for sizing needs based on number of people the aquaponics system will feed.
  • Calculation for determining the size required for the fish tank.
  • Grow lights for structures, locations or areas with limited available sunlight.
  • Overview for an acclimatized greenhouse structure for year-round growing in an aquaponics system.

Section B: Overview and images of the interior of aquaponics system

  • Explanation of the components that are incorporated into the aquaponics system for easy care.
  • Ratios for grow space vs gallons of water required for an efficient aquaponics system.
  • Recommendations for sunscreen protection for interior of structure (greenhouse).
  • Determination for required feet ‘head room’ above grow trays for maximum plant production.

Section C: Terms and definition regarding the aquaponics system

  • Terms and their definition that are used in the coursework, assembly and operations.

Section D: Site requirements for the aquaponics system

  • Considerations prior to the installation of the structure (greenhouse).
  • Suggestions for basic requirements regarding installation of grow trays, air flow within the structure and alternative energy.

Section E: Materials lists and cost estimates for assembly of the aquaponics system

  • Materials lists and US prices (approximate) for lumber, fish tank, fish and other pertinent supplies and materials.
  • Suggestions regarding the purchase of a breeding colony for aquaponics.

Section F: Assembly of clarifier (settling tank) as component of the aquaponics system

  • Explanation and basic operation of clarifier.
  • Location, requirements, drum, PVC fittings, and proper plumbing of clarifier.

Section G – Fish tanks and introducing the fish into the fish tank in the aquaponics system

  • The formula for the volume (size) of the fish tank.
  • Fish recommendation.
  • Recommended maximum loading capacity of the fish in relation to the size of the grow tray.
  • Water temperature maintenance and insulation designs for maintaining recommended narrow temperature range for maximum fish health.
  • Building a tank to protect the fish and maintain temperature range.

Section H: Assembly of grow tray tables in the aquaponics system

  • Directions for building and waterproofing methods for grow tray.
  • Examples for assembly of sturdy legs to support the weight of the grow tray.
  • Plumbing the grow tray for effective water flow to feed and water plants.
  • Effectively installing medium into grow tray.

Section I: Explanation of required necessary electrical components in the aquaponics system

  • List of electrical components, their function and installation

Section J: Calibrated Air Displacement (CAD) pump in the aquaponics system

  • Explanation, images and installation of the CAD pump.

Section K: Plumbing the aquaponics system for water flow in the aquaponics system

  • Instructions for connecting all the basic elements of the system together with PVC pipe.

Section L: Conclusion to assembly section for the aquaponics system

Section M: Basic operations of the aquaponics system

  • Information overview regarding the yields, care of plants and fish and the water in their tanks.

Section N: The fish and the support of their health and growth in the aquaponics system

  • Reasons for use of a variety of all-male fish in aquaponics.
  • Feeding and care of the fish in the tanks.
  • Restocking fish after harvest.
  • Discussion for use of duck weed and suggestions and resources for raising duck weed for feeding fish.

Section O: Pumps in the aquaponics system

  • Overview and installation of pumps for moving water through the system.

Section P: Climate and weather specific operations and emergency solutions (due to power failure) in the aquaponics system.

  • Operating the system during normal weather conditions, hot conditions, cool or cold conditions and during emergency situations (power outages).

Section Q: The operations and cleaning of the clarifier in the aquaponics system

  • Directions for routine cleaning and disposal of the fish waste.
  • Maintenance of the clarifier for keeping the fish healthy and the plants happy and well fed.

Section R: The grow tray table and your plants in the aquaponics system

  • Vertical growing and trellis design features in the grow tray for maximum support of the growth of tall green plants or blooming plants.
  • Safety and hygiene issues for aquaponics that are vital to health of fish and plants.
  • Plant and harvest suggestions for maintaining optimal growth in the grow tray.
  • Care and cleaning of the areas around the grow trays to maintain as clean an interior structure as possible for maximum healthy, safety and productivity of both plants and fish.

Section S: Seed planting and harvesting in the aquaponics system

  • Use of mineral rock dust when planting and growing all plants to support maximum growth.
  • Suggestions for organic growing mediums for planting seeds.
  • Seed and variety suggestions for growing greens and blooming plants.
  • Planting and caring for plants in the grow tray.
  • Indoor pollination suggestions.

Section T: The physical structure for the aquaponics system

  • Recommendation for a greenhouse cover that offers 83% diffusion for scattering light within interior of structure.
  • Sun shade for interior of structure.
  • Advantages for greenhouse structure
  • What NOT to do regarding physical structure.

Section U: Fish harvesting and restocking methods in the aquaponics system

  • Recommendations for harvesting only the fish in the tank that are harvest size.
  • Suggestions for creating minimal stress on the smaller fish that remain in the fish tank that were not harvested.

Section V: Fish processing and cooking freshly harvested fish in the aquaponics system

  • Humane way to fill fish.
  • Easy way to gut fish.
  • Simple way to fillet fish.

Section W: Ongoing operations of the aquaponics system

  • Recommended daily ‘chores’ for raising plants and fish.
  • Normal maintenance issues related to the gravel, fish tanks, clarifier for maximum production.
  • Routine cleanliness-related topics for healthy food and fish.
  • Methods for monitoring plants to assure no insects impact food within the structure.

Section X:Food safety and technology on-farm food safety in the aquaponics system

  • Good food practices on aquaponics farm offered by a major US university related to the following basic sanitation procedures to significantly minimize risks.
  • Key areas of food safety considerations in aquaponics include human sanitation, harvesting produce safely, managing warm-blooded animal feces, water sources for fish and produce, zoonoses prevention and disposing of the system’s waste water.

Section Y:Guidelines for growing health plants and fish in the aquaponics system

  • Worm casting tea as a foliage spray for enhanced plant health
  • Smoking prohibited due to Tobacco Mosaic Virus
  • Monitoring and adjusting pH balance to assure plant health and productivity as well as fish health and safety.

Section Z: Recognizing pests (bugs/insects) within the aquaponics system

  • Simple organic solutions for ridding pests from the structure.
  • Recommendations for protecting structure from pests.

Aquaponics University (AU) offers an easy-to-understand home-study course that teaches individuals how to grow chemical-free food and fish in a closed-loop system.

Aquaponics University (AU) offers our own Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© that teaches individuals how to grow chemical-free food and fish in a closed-loop system.

What IS a Portable Farms® Kit? Please request the price list it includes a list of everything that is IN the Portable Farms® Kit and everything that is NOT in the Portable Farms® Kit. Shipping and postage are included to addresses in the US only, BUT for all order outside the US there is a US$140 shipping and handling charge.

  • Each Portable Farms® Kit provides the user with the technology necessary to build one module measuring up to 5’ x 40’. A 5’ x 40’ One PFAS module feeds eight people their table vegetables and fish, forever.
  • All the materials to build a Portable Farm (except the vital components in the Portable Farms® Kit) can be sourced locally and installed by local workers (which creates local jobs and helps the local economy.)
  • Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are ‘modular’ and can be customized to match the available space in a climatically adapted greenhouse or structure. This new pricing is for PFAS KITS and tuition for the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course©. The PFAS Kits are only sold in conjunction with satisfactory completion of the Portable Farms™ Aquaponics System Course©. We do not sell or build greenhouses or climatically adapted structures.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’  Aquaponics Systems are guaranteed to be operational the moment they are installed. Portable Farms® can begin producing harvestable food in less than 40 days, anywhere in the world.

  • Return on Investment for commercial sized units (10,000 sq ft systems) is three to five years.
  • Portable Farms® use 90 to 95% less water than in-ground growing.
  • For 10,000 sq ft system, the total electrical usage is approximately the same as a three bedroom home and feeds 250 people – FOREVER.
  • Can be solar or wind powdered.
  • Raises organic greens and blooming plants year round – GMO free.
  • Grows healthy fish. Requires only two semi-skilled workers to feed 250 people per year.
  • Quick and easy installation anywhere in the world.
  • Harvest food 30 to 40 days after installation.
  • Fully automated growing operation. No weeding. No watering.
  • No chemicals, pesticides, hormones or antibiotics used in operations.
  • Waist high grow trays for easy planting and harvesting.
  • Operators trained online in easy to follow tutorials.
What Does Offer?
  • Aquaponics University is the school and teaching application designed by the inventors of Portable Farms® Aquaponics systems to teach our clients and customers how to a build a Portable Farms™ Aquaponics System.
  • A Portable Farms® Aquaponics System is a method for growing organic vegetables and fish in a controlled-environment greenhouse.
  • Our clients and students must provide their own acclimatized greenhouses or another structure for their climate and location.
  • We also provide a materials cutting list in Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© for students to pre-purchase materials to build their own Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.
  • The client and student are provided a Portable Farms® Kit after satisfactory completion of the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© that contains the proprietary intellectual property that makes Portable Farms® Aquaponics System the most efficient aquaponics system in the world.
  • The only way we sell backyard or commercial aquaponics systems is after our customers have successfully completed the online course through Aquaponics University.
  • This online course is offered online to residents of the US and Canada and certain select countries only.
  • Backyard Installation: Each participant who successfully completes the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© receives a Portable Farms® Kit with the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’ technology to build one module. The online course includes assembly, operations and lessons on plant and fish care. This kit contains only the technology and the rest of the farm must be built by the owner at their expense (which includes lumber, gravel, PVC, etc.)
  • Most graduates complete the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© in less than two weeks by working on the course only ONE hour per day and then go on to build their own Portable Farm!

Aquaponics (the simplest definition being “the symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a recirculating environment”) has been around in various forms for thousands of years. The skills taught through Aquaponics University (AU) shows users how to produce yields that fall well within established production parameters for existing aquaponics systems, but with a much more stable system requiring less intervention, featuring much greater environmental sustainability as well as the need for far less electrical power, water or labor.

Yearly Production From Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

A 100′ x 100′ ( 30m x 30m) unit produces 80,000 vegetables and 23,000 pounds (10,400 kg) of fish

A 24′ x 46′ (7.3m x 14m) unit produces 8,600 vegetables and 1,156 pounds (524 kg) of fish

A 10′ x 20 ( 3m x 6m) unit produces 1,100 vegetables and 400 pounds (180 kg) of fish

Aquaponics is at the cutting edge of technology for the future of food to feed the world’s ever-increasing population. Aquaponics University was created in direct response to the global demand for training for:

– Families to build and own their own backyard aquaponics systems to increase their abilities to become self-sustaining by growing a large portion of their own fresh, organic food near their kitchens

– An environmentally safe and productive alternative to over-harvesting fish from oceans, rivers and streams

– Plus, the limited nature of in-ground-agricultural growing due to drought and flooding, food distribution to those who need it most, and the high cost of soil preparation, irrigation, harvesting methods and technology.

Paying clients for Aquaponics University may ask for and receive a full refund of their tuition up until they receive one or more of the sections of the Aquaponics University Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© . Once any of the Course Materials have been provided by email to the customer, no refund of any amount will be refunded because the user has received protected intellectual property and gained benefits from the Course Materials.

The instructions contained in the Aquaponics University Course are designed to be presented to create a working Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems that operates correctly and successfully as stated in our literature as soon as it is completed and turned on. Any deviations regarding design layout, size of Grow Table or Fish Tank, height of grow tray, depth of Grow Tables or Fish Tank, fish-stocking rate, PVC diameter and connections, placement within a structure with recommendations for air flow, protection from weather elements and insects, recommendation for size of air pumps and siphon pump, timing for the pumping systems or any other nonstandard installation changes will void any and all guarantees and warranties. If there are any deviations to these and other specifications covered in the Aquaponics University course, there will be no follow up support forthcoming.

If any problems that arise with a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System that has been built to the specifications in the Aquaponics University course, when you contact PFAS LLC, please include .jpg images* and complete written descriptions of the ‘problem’ so we can contact you with help in solving any issues you may have for moving your project forward.

*.jpg format: Minimum size image of 7″ wide x 5.75 wide – resolution 300 – or 2100 pix wide and 1575 height
Please note. You may ask for and receive a full refund of your tuition up until you receive one or more of the sections of the Aquaponics University Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© . At the point you open the email containing the Course Material there will be no refund due because you have received the intellectual Property and have received benefits of the Course.


Skip to comment form

    • George McKee on 2016-06-05 at 8:57 pm
    • Reply


    I live in southern Oregon. Summer days can get above 100 degrees and in winter it snows for several days. I’ve read that Tilapia need a warmer environment to thrive. Would a different fish species work better where we live?

    Another way to ask my question in deciding what fish to stock is if it’s less expensive to keep the tank water warm in the winter or cooler in the summer?


    1. George,

      Thank you for your inquiry. In the Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems it is the Fish Tank temperature that is regulated. With the design and construction of the installation the Fish Tank is kept at a near constant temperature with two small aquarium heaters. Even in the coldest climates the climatically adapted structures keep the plants and fish very happy. The summer temperatures are addressed in a different and equally inexpensive manner.

      We trust this information helps and we look forward to having you as a student.


    • Angel on 2015-11-24 at 7:56 pm
    • Reply

    Can I use the GI Bill or Veteran Vocational Rehab/training for your course?

    1. Angel,

      We have had one person so far have the VA Rehab pay for the AU Course. We are not an accredited institution, but the approval is up to each office. That’s the best we can do for you. Give it a try.


    • Richard rotich on 2015-11-01 at 8:34 am
    • Reply

    Am preparing to enrol in your course&am based in kenya.we are in tropics and never experiance winter(snow),is there a difference in heating \cooling in our type of weather.also is there a local substitute for Rock minerals instead of importing?I have 2greenhouses(8m by 51m)which I want to modify

    1. Richard,

      The conditions inside the greenhouse or warehouse must keep the temperature between 10 and 40 degrees C. This is true no matter where the system is located. In the tropics you will need SCREENED roof vents and SCREENED side vents to remove the heat. You will also need shade cloth over the entire interior as you can see in many of the pictures on our website. On the Mineral Rock Dust, make sure the product is a very fine powder and does not contain any nitrogen or aluminum. The aluminum will retard root growth and the fish waste provides more nitrogen than the plants need already. Those are nice size greenhouses.

      We look forward to having you as a student.


    • William on 2015-10-03 at 2:04 pm
    • Reply

    How do you pollinate the plants in a totally enclosed greenhouse structure? We plan on building an underground green house using your system. We are in north central Wisconsin and want to grow year round.

    1. William,

      Most fruiting vegetables today are self or wind pollinated. There needs to be a circulating fan(s) in the space anyway so the pollination will happen. You can also hand pollinate, type that in the SEARCH box on any page and see how it is done.

      Good luck on your project.


    • Deb on 2015-01-12 at 12:01 pm
    • Reply

    Hi, I’m curious if the fish ever develop diseases / parasites / bacterial growths / e.coli issues? If so, how does the common homeowner test for these things to keep their families safe?

    1. Deb,

      The e.coli is a warm animal problem that the fish neither are affected by nor do they transmit the disease. The other ‘problems’ are mostly alleviated by two factors: 1) fish die occasionally, usually from human error or for no apparent reason and it does not impact the food and you would not eat a dead fish. 2) the water is cleaned twice a day through an incredibly efficient sewage treatment plant, the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

      We had the former head vet for Sea World work with us for two years and he stated that we had the healthiest fish he had ever seen because the system water was so clean and had the nutrients stripped out before returning it to the Fish Tank.

      We do occasionally lose fish and feel terrible that that happens. There is no testing that is necessary or required to protect you and your family.

      We trust this helps is some way to address your concerns.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Ed Gutierrez on 2014-10-21 at 6:16 pm
    • Reply

    After purchasing your initial fish, are you able to make them reproduce and raise them at different stages so as to not have to purchase fish from fish farms?


    1. Ed,

      The easiest way to always have fish available is to purchase a breeding colony. This way you have plenty of stock and in most cases you have surplus fingerlings to sell to other growers. Letting them reproduce in the Fish Tank slows down their growth, but you certainly have that option.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Steve on 2014-10-12 at 8:41 am
    • Reply

    I have poked around your website as well as other aquaponics sites but can’t find the answer to my question: with a bug-proofed enclosure how does pollination occur?

    1. Steve,

      It appears that you did not poke deep enough on our website. The SEARCH BOX, top right, would have taken you to several articles on pollination. Nearly all garden plants today are wind or self pollinated. This means a bit of breeze or some gentle shaking or perhaps as we suggest several place an inexpensive electric tooth brush works well. We sometimes put on Barry Manilow to enhance the mood for tomato sex.

      Bottom line, you don’t need or want insects in your aquaponics systems that are inside a structure.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Ted on 2014-04-22 at 8:23 pm
    • Reply

    do you have to have a greenhouse.

    Could a small setup be put in one side of a two car garage?

    I’m sure you would have to use grow lights

    1. Ted,

      As long as the space can be screened and kept between 45 and 104 F degrees (5 and 40 C) and sufficient light is provided, the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems can be place almost anywhere. There are installations in basements, garages, attics, warehouses and root cellars in addition to the many greenhouses.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • stephen Denlinger on 2014-02-11 at 12:43 pm
    • Reply

    Colle –

    Ball park, what does it cost per year to feed the fish in your medium (10′ x 20′) farm that produces 1,100 vegetables and 400 pounds of fish per year?

    In the past two years, I have become a serious juicer/blender. My favorite veggies are: cucumber, kale, spinach, lettuce, cress, peppers, bok choy, zucchini, cilantro… basically, anything green. My daughter can’t believe it. She spent most of her adult life beating up on me: “Dad, you have to eat something green.” As I look at the vegetables your system grows, it is PERFECT for people who are juicers (including blending, as in the Nutri-Bullet system). Juicing/blending is a dramatically rising trend in the US. It may make sense to market home-based PFAS system for the juicing/blending aficionados. Food for thot.

    Stephen Denlinger

    1. Stephen,

      Ball park – $140 maybe a little more. If you start feeding the fish very young on duckweed or vegetable scraps chopped very fine the cost will be significantly less.

      Sometimes it takes people longer to see the light than their family can imagine.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Mark on 2014-01-05 at 8:32 am
    • Reply

    I have not found information about if the fish are profitably to raise, or not. Little emphasis has been placed on the subject compared to vegetables.

    1. Mark,

      Five years ago the fish were a profit center then the price of the fish dropped so much that they were a breakeven situation and we still needed their waste. Now tilapia that is locally grown, fresh and grown without hormones or chemicals is worth more than in was 5 years ago. The fish are necessary for the proper functioning of the PFAS, the ROI is becoming better each year as the fish becomes a higher value item along with the produce that is locally grown without any pesticides.

      Good luck in all of your endeavors.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Wes on 2013-04-27 at 7:23 am
    • Reply

    Is there any reason fish other than tilapia can’t be grown in your system?

    1. Wes,

      Any warm water, fresh water, herbivorous or omnivorous fish can be used. We would have preferred to use catfish but we can only obtain the fingerlings three months each year which means we have to batch raise them. Tilapia are available year round.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Chris on 2013-04-10 at 3:05 am
    • Reply

    Do I need to regulate pH in this system?

    • John on 2013-04-03 at 8:45 pm
    • Reply

    What state are you located in? Are you accepting interns/hiring? I’m a career professional in NYC but aquaponics/hydroponics are my passion. I would love the opportunity to work with you in what you’re doing.

    It’s great to see the recent continuing upward trend of rooftop gardens here in Manhattan. It’s a shame that they don’t usually produce anything. They’re peaceful, great to look at and insulate the building. However, they could be pumpin’ out produce! I really wish I was part of the industry or could afford one of the aquaponics systems you offer. I know if I set up one and show people that it would catch on quickly. A person could even base a restaurant around it.

    I’ve been gardening hydroponically for ten years now. I don’t have much for a resume other than computer science, entertainment production, audio engineering, business etc. Nothing industry related, although highly qualified. I’m really willing to drop everything and move in order to take part in this. I also would like to help people. There are so many that are hungry and suffering and just don’t deserve it.

    Maybe you need east coast representation. Especially with the constant and ever increasing rooftop boom.

    1. John,

      The company headquarters are in San Diego County, CA. We never have any opening of any kind because we farm out all of our labor/technical tasks that we cannot accomplish. We receive a dozen or so requests similar to yours each month and appreciate your enthusiasm, but our business model excludes this type of position.

      You need to spend a great deal more time on the website which has over three hundred pages to learn about what is available and feasible. Providing a permanent full time job is the basis for pulling people out of poverty and reducing hunger. If they have a good paying, steady job, they can figure the rest out for themselves.

      We do not use reps either. We do license territories and countries, but the tariff is very steep.

      Good luck to you in all of your endeavors.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Mike on 2012-04-06 at 10:09 am
    • Reply

    Can I get some clarification on the power usage of your medium system?

    You mention that it uses 14 kw/day. Did you mean to say 14 Kwh/day? At our enjoyable rate of $0.44/kwh that would equate to $6.16/day… but our gas runs $8.50/gallon and bread is $6/loaf.

    A totally “off grid” solution with solar makes sense for us.


    1. Mike,

      Yes, that about right. A full size PFAS Unit (10,000 sf) requires about US$10.00 day. The exhaust fans, wet walls, swamp coolers, misters and circulating fans add significantly to the load. In many cases in warm weather doubling or more the electrical consumption. The best part about using solar power is that it is used when in it most needed, during daylight hours.

      Where are you? Those gas prices are staggering. We live in Mexico and pay US$2.89 a gallon. For US$6 you could barely carry that amount of bread out of the store.

      Portable Farms LTD is working with several solar system providers and are planning on announcing the availability of solar electrical and solar thermal later this year. We’ll post the news in our newsletter.

      Colle Davis, Inventor

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