Our aquaponics system has been up and running for about 2 months now and things are going good, and not so good.
The fish are going really well and the new ones arrived with no problems and are settling in well and seem to be growing. We have placed them into a smaller drum so as to not loose them in the big system. We lost a couple after they went up the outlet pipes and came out onto the garden beds, but that problem has been rectified and they are going well.
Below is a picture of one of our tomato plants that is going well. It has one tomato on it and it is growing but the plant doesn’t seem to have grown too much in the last month. It seems to be putting all of its energy into the growth of the fruit.
The capsicum plants have capsicums on them but the plants are struggling at the moment. We have had a couple of 40 degrees celcius days here and it has been very windy. They seem to be dropping their bottom leaves but the actual fruit is still growing.
We have been told that the system takes about 4 months to really get up and running. The fish have to get bigger so their manure out put is bigger and this will help the vegetables grow better.
Our strawberry plants are struggling also, a lot of the green growth has died off but there are still green shoots so we are hoping that they continue to struggle on and then start growing some more.
We planted a heap of cucumbers but all but one of them has died. This is somewhat disappointing but we have to remind ourselves that it is early days yet and the system is still getting going.
We have some yabbies in the tanks as well and we enjoyed a feed of them at Christmas time. Our neighbour generously let us catch yabbies from his dam to put in our system. We still have quite a few yabbies in the tanks and they are growing well.
My husband just found some with eggs, so they are breeding and this is exciting. He has moved the yabbies with eggs to a separate container so we can keep an eye on how it goes.
We also found a local eel farmer and he gave us some eels to put in as well. We have one left and also enjoyed a meal of smoked eel over New Years. My husband smoked them for 10 hours in his hot smoker.
When we plant vegetable seedlings in the system we need to wash any dirt off the roots and then plant them. We can’t have dirt going through the system.
We hope to go to our local nursery and get some more overgrown vegetables that they can’t sell. These seem to do well in the system because they are bigger and have a few more reserves.
We will cover the area and turn it into a hot house in a month or so when the summer heat is over and Autumn kicks in.
Stay tuned for the next update where I will hopefully be able to show you how everything is starting to grow better.