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Thread: Theoretical question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Theoretical question

    How much would the set up cost me (approximate estimation is enough) to produce varied food for 100 people around the year via hydroponics?

    Are there any expenses that I would have on a regular basis after I get the hydroponics up and running?

    I probably would need a whole buildings for the purpose, so how much room would i need in square meters (again approximate estimations are sufficient)?

    Thanks to anyone educated who's venture a guess on my questions. The questions have to do with a bit of research I'm doing on what would we need to make a small island.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    You're going to have to spend the time to educate yourself, there is no pat answer to your questions.

  3. #3
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    Really? No one in this forum has made any kind of a serious project? Even 1 room worth, I can extrapolate from that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singulare View Post
    How much would the set up cost me (approximate estimation is enough) to produce varied food for 100 people around the year via hydroponics?

    Are there any expenses that I would have on a regular basis after I get the hydroponics up and running?

    I probably would need a whole buildings for the purpose, so how much room would i need in square meters (again approximate estimations are sufficient)?

    Thanks to anyone educated who's venture a guess on my questions. The questions have to do with a bit of research I'm doing on what would we need to make a small island.
    Ok, 100 people, so lets say for the sake of guessing they each eat 3lbs of food total per day, so that is 300lbs of food harvested daily. Just guessing at it, lets say it takes 30 square feet to produce 300lbs of food, now take into consideration that you will need at least 300 of these 30 square foot areas to make sure you have enough plants in various stages of growth so that you always have a plant ready to harvest. So that is at least 9000 square feet of space, for Optimum growth i have ready that you need all the way up to 150 watts per square foot. So you would need 1350 light fixtures at 1000 watts each to pump out enough light to properly cover that large of an area, Unless you make the building into a 10,000 square foot Glass Green house, then you let the sun provide the light, and if you live in a cold climate you can have 1000 square feet of compost heating the building(which you can sell to help with costs)

    The next step in the system would be Plant nutrient which in that large of a system you will need a VERY high amount of nutrient to grow all the plants, which can become VERY costly very quickly, the way to work around this is to set up Aquaculture system instead of Hydroponic, where you are also growing food fish in a LARGE concrete "tank" and the water then gets pumped up to a trough that holds the plants that is on an angle with a drain back into the "fish tank".

    So to do it the cheapest way possible, you would set up a 9000 square foot concrete fish pond and build the hydro system above to and pump the water UP into the hydro System and let it run back and drain back into the "fish pond" The advantage to this is now you are growing fruits, veggie AND fish to eat.

    If you do it aquaculture greenhouse style the only expenses you work have would be feeding the fish, which depending on what fish you raise can be done by growing duckweed in the fish pond, it grows like mad and takes up very little nutrient, Plus electricity to run the pumps, and any seedlings you need to rebuy.

    There is my guess at it, if you search on youtube there is a video of a guy who build that exact thing with the tank/greenhouse/hydroponics/compost set up.
    Last edited by vance71975; 03-15-2012 at 11:52 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singulare View Post
    How much would the set up cost me (approximate estimation is enough) to produce varied food for 100 people around the year via hydroponics?

    Are there any expenses that I would have on a regular basis after I get the hydroponics up and running?

    I probably would need a whole buildings for the purpose, so how much room would i need in square meters (again approximate estimations are sufficient)?

    Thanks to anyone educated who's venture a guess on my questions. The questions have to do with a bit of research I'm doing on what would we need to make a small island.


    Your question is just way too broad. What kind of hydroponic system? Aquaponics? Are you growing this indoors where you have to buy special lighting, air conditioning, c02, chillers etc? Ongoing costs would be mainly in electricity if you are doing it indoors. Expect to pay a good thousand a month or more in electricity to have enough plants to feed 100 people year around (assuming they are eating well and not starving).

    If you were doing it in an indoor greenhouse, where the sun can shine on the plants, than you could massively cut out huge amounts of expense by not needing lights or things to ventilate the lights etc. You would still have to spend a shit ton of money on nutrients, growing medium, water, etc. The plants can be grown pretty close to each other depending on what kind you are talking about. 100 people could probably be fed in a relatively small building if you had it set up right. You also have to deal with pest control items.

    Then you need to aerate your water with air-stones, you need to keep the water at the right temperature etc. There is just a lot that goes into this question, we would need a much more detailed explanation of what you are trying to accomplish here, through what methods etc. As another posted mentioned, an aquaponic system would probably work best, because you can have the fish feed the plants and the plants clean the water, plus you get to eat the fish as they reproduce which would be nice when feeding 100 people (gotta have a little meat to live a good life, you know?).


    A complete bullshit number off the top of my head says you are going to spend 10k or more to make this happen, plus recurring costs (which will be counted in thousands of dollars as well).

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