Well it’s finally happening, the aquaponics system is up and running. My husband and father-in-law have been working hard this week, to get it ready as the fish will be here by the end of next week.
We already have a few fish in the tank and we have started planting a few vegetables and strawberries to see how everything goes.
Now is the trouble shooting stage, waiting to see what goes wrong so it can be fixed before we really get going with it.
We have had a few problems, like the stainless steel vat we had for fish had cracks in it. We had to replace it with a plastic pod.
We had a couple of these vats but now only have the one left, with some fish in it, and the pods below (covered with builders wall insulation paper) is for the fish coming next week.
Here is the layout of the system. The tanks on the right are for the fish with the grow beds on the left. The lower pod on the left is the sump tank that catches all the water that is cycling through the beds. That is where the pump is situated and the pump then pumps the water back into the fish tanks. This water has then been filtered through the gravel as well as the roots of the plants and is getting returned back to the fish tanks with the manures taken out. The fish tanks also have bubblers in them to oxygenate the water.
Here is the grow bed where we placed 3 mature tomato plants, 4 capsicums and 1 eggplant.
Here is the strawberry bed. You can see in the photo that the grow beds are filled with 25 mm screened scoria sourced from our local quarry. The area in which we live is very volcanic and the local mountains are extinct volcanoes and are surrounded by massive lava flows and the local quarry is on the side of these extinct volcanoes.
You can also see in the photo the pipe running across the top of the bed. In this pipe is a tap which allows you to vary the flow of water into the bed. This water comes from the base of the fish tank where the waste from the fish collects, this waste then feeds the plant roots.
At the end of this area against the wall we will eventually have strawberry beds built. Not sure yet whether they will be vertical or horizontal or a bit of both.
In the photo you can just see the frames that hoop over the top of the area. As summer ends we will put hot house plastic film over these hoops and turn the area into a hot house.
If you are interested in aquaponics just go to you tube to find out heaps more information.
I am looking forward to sharing more of this with you as it gets bigger and better.
The writer of this post (me) would like to thank her husband for his technical contribution.