Our aquaponics system has been up and running for about 9 months now and it continues to improve. The fish are getting bigger so the manure output is enlarging, which then makes the vegetables grow better and quicker.
Our broccoli seedlings are booming ahead and the picture below shows them in early June.
Below is a picture of them now so you can see how they have grown and there are heaps of them. We actually have one head forming already.The cauliflower seedlings haven’t been as prolific in germination or growth, but they do take longer to get to harvest than broccoli seedlings. These are still going well though.The silverbeet seedlings continue to produce and I pick the leaves off these at least weekly and they continue to thrive.
The pat choi seedlings are growing well, although there is some yellowing of the leaves. This maybe shows they are getting quite enough nutrients at the moment.Our tomato seedling is still growing and is now flowering, although some of the bottom leaves are dying off. Hopefully it will continue to thrive as the fish grow bigger and we can harvest some lovely ripe tomatoes. This coming season we will grow our bulk tomatoes in a hot house in the dirt but we hope to grow our heirloom ones in the aquaponic system.Our english spinach continues to grow although it is very slow. I suppose this is better than it not growing at all. These seedlings look really healthy too. I grew some celery from the bottom of one in a bowl of water until it had some shoots on top and then I planted it in the gravel. It has really taken off and I have another one on my window sill that I will plant this coming weekend. I usually just pick off the stalks I want to use and I never harvest a whole plant, this keeps the whole system working better.I sprinkled some carrot seed over half a bed and it is coming up well, it will be interesting to see how this goes. If you look closely you can see the fish at the bottom of the tank.The sweet potatoes didn’t work and I did a bit more reading up about them and it says that they don’t like a lot of water, so that is probably why they aren’t growing properly. We will put some in straw beds either in this hothouse or the other one in a month or so.
Okay that’s it for our update now, I will keep you posted.
Blessings to you all.
You will find me linked up at some of these great blogs.
Hi there all and welcome back to another Good Morning Mondays.
What a week it has been and I hope and pray that you all experienced God’s blessings in your life.
We had a quiet start to the week which was good. We had our Revelation Study on Tuesday night and that continues to be so very interesting.
Thursday our children attended another Eisteddfod, this time in Warrnambool. We had such a great time and were able to catch up with some of our friends there.
The children played really well and No 2 daughter got 2 first placings and a Honourable Mention, No 2 son got 1 first and 1 third placing. Their sister and her husband and their children managed to come this time which was wonderful and quite an effort considering the 3 hour drive for them.
Our children also received an Encouragement Award each which goes towards their music tuition. This was such a blessing as we were behind with their fees this year.
Here they are at the piano they performed on.
After the Eisteddfod we went and visited with friends of ours who homeschool as well, some of their children also competed in the Eisteddfod, so we saw them there as well.
We have known this family for a long time and it is wonderful to see how the older children have grown and all the little ones as well. They have 10 children so with ours and our daughters family it sure was a house full at tea time.
Of course we stayed late because we were having such a good time and I only got to bed at 3 am because I kept talking to our daughter and son-in-law once we got home.
Our daughters family stayed on Friday as well and the men went cutting fire wood and our daughter and I took the children to their music lessons (their teacher was really pleased with them) and then tried to stay awake all day 🙂
Saturday was a catch up day and we slept in and did some jobs around the place and some of our other friends stopped in around afternoon tea time for a cuppa, which was lovely, they even brought afternoon tea.
It is such a blessing to have like minded Christian friends and we are blessed to call both of these families good friends.
We sold another 4 piglets which is wonderful and now we only have 4 little ones left
And now because we had our grandchildren here I have to share some photos. There was lots of kissing and cuddling with them.
These couple of days were pretty full on but wonderful and will live as memories for quite a while.
Now onto our link up. Thank you to everyone who took the time to link up this past week. I have decided that if I am behind the eight ball with reading I will read at least one post that you have linked up, so that is why I haven’t commented on them all, and I did have some issues with the computer as well which meant that some comments I left didn’t actually work.
Please keep linking up as I enjoy reading the posts that you all share and feel so blessed with the community of friends I have here. You are all such a blessing.
This post has wonderful news that Jakob Cooper is at home now. Also in this post is a prayer request for baby Daxton. Please if you haven’t read this pop over and join us in praying for Jakobs’ continuing healing and baby Daxton and his family.
Wow what a link up, full of wisdom and good ideas. Thanks to you all.
This coming week is a bit quieter here (yay) not that I don’t love having family around, that is always great.
We are home most of the week, and are having a sewing afternoon on Thursday. We haven’t had one for a couple of weeks due to other activities, so it will be wonderful to spend the afternoon together.
That same night my husband has a church meeting so I might go in and visit with Mrs H and see how she is going and coping with all that is happening with her family.
Friday the children have music lessons (changed due to school holidays) so we get to stay home on Saturday and have 3 weeks before their next lesson and then only 2 weeks after that until their exams.
I still have one more sleep suit to make for our friends and I am definitely hoping to finish that early this week.
School of course is a priority and I am starting on a new schedule that I made up, so hopefully that will keep me on line.
We bought some strawberry plants so I want to plant them in the aquaponics along with some carrot seeds and I need to start pruning our roses.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and I am looking forward to hearing how you are all going and what is happening in your lives.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
The plastic is finally on the hothouse and it is getting to be a nice warm environment in there, which should be good for the fish.
When our son-in-law was down over the Easter period they got into it and put it on. It took the three of them to do it, and the help was much appreciated. Can you see the rectangle behind my husband? This will eventually be a window that we can open in the summer so that it won’t get too hot and I will be able to step into it without my glasses fogging up all the time :-).
Below is the entry to the hothouse. We have butted it against the back wall of our workshop which has a verandah on it. This has given us a nice dry entry and a beautiful yellow rose on the edge.
We have had some pump issues and are trying to get a replacement on the more dearer one that we bought, so hopefully that will be sorted.
We have moved the little fish into a bigger tank and if we counted right we hadn’t lost too many.
Now onto some of the vegetables.
Below are the sweet potato shoots that we grew off our sweet potatoes. I think there is about 13 or 14 or them. If you want to see how we did that go here.
Here they are planted. They look really good.
The lettuces are still going well but growing slowly. They haven’t died off at all and look good.
The beetroot is going great guns and I hope that the growth beneath looks as good as the growth on top.
The silverbeet is going well too and I am going to thin them out shortly.
Our tomatoes that we planted have come and gone and come again. One has a tomato on it and the other is dying off. They have been doing this often, so hopefully it will come back again.
Overall it is going well. It will be good to see how it goes now with the plastic on and the fish growing bigger – and producing more manure. They say it can take 12 months to really get the system working properly.
There is a lot of trial and error involved in this operation and we are learning quite a lot as we go.
Well it’s time for another Aquaponics Update and I have been busy taking photos.
The system seems to be working better now and our little fish are growing well, although it is hard to get photos of them (sorry).
OUR BIG BIG NEWS IS…. OUR YABBIES HAVE HAD BABIES
If you look really closely you can see the babies, there were some in the bottom of their tank but they are so small. If you are interested in more information about yabbies click here.
Below is a photo of some of the lettuces and they are growing and staying healthy. The drum with the small fish in them is feeding directly into this bed which might explain why they look so good.
Here is a beetroot plant, you can just see the new green leaf just beginning to grow at the bottom.
We already have about 10 larger fish that friends caught for us and you can see their outlines below. I am sorry the photo isn’t really great as it’s hard to see them.
In our sump tank we have some yabbies and an eel. The eel normally lives in the pipe but you can see his tail sticking out near the brick.
Here is a close up of the yabbies in with the eel.
We planted some larger tomato plants when we first started and they have just been hanging on. Now the tops have died off but we noticed a new shoot on this one.
This is the Seasol product that we add to the beds, it is a seaweed based mineral and is meant to help until the fish manure output increases. My husband isn’t sure whether it works or not.
Here is my eggplant bravely stuggling on, it is flowering now, but it hasn’t grown much.
The latest addition has been to sow seeds straight into the beds. Below are some squash seeds that have come up and they seem to be growing well.
Here is another one, I think this is a cucumber. It is fascinating to watch the seeds come up and I find this quite amazing and very exciting.
I have just finished sewing two beds with more seeds. I put in a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, rocket, dwarf beans, coriander, silverbeet and capsicum. I am looking forward to seeing how many actually come up and then how many keep growing.
Well that’s about it for this post and I will do another update when the seedlings start coming up.
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.