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Anyone into Aquaponics?

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woodwormm

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I'm a keen gardener, but as with my brewing it's often the projects, gadgets and technology that gets me super keen.

All of our veggie beds are no-dig, a system I love... but i'm getting the need for a new project and looking around at aquaponics.

Just wondering, as AHB'ers are a wide and varied group.. .if anyone on here has got an aquaponics system up and running?
 

bigandhairy

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I remember seeing a fairly indepth thread on here quite a while ago about it. At the risk of sounding like a search asshole I reckon you might find it with a search. I'm on phone at moment and cant be arsed looking for it myself. Think it might have had aquaculture or some such in the title but memory is a bit hazy on that.

Cheers
bah
 

Bribie G

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Is that the same as hydroponics?
 

Crusty

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printed forms section said:
I'm a keen gardener, but as with my brewing it's often the projects, gadgets and technology that gets me super keen.

All of our veggie beds are no-dig, a system I love... but i'm getting the need for a new project and looking around at aquaponics.

Just wondering, as AHB'ers are a wide and varied group.. .if anyone on here has got an aquaponics system up and running?
I did it for a little while.
To be honest, balancing the fish waste with the plant requirements is really tricky & nutrient deficiencies are quite common. A 1000lt garden bed requires a 1000lt fish tank for optimum results.Unlike hydroponics, you can grow everything together & low nutrient requiring plants like lettuce do go well. To set something up as DIY may work, but most fail. If you can afford the ridiculous prices that Murray Halam sells his kits for, Practical Hydroponics, you are better off with their 1000lt system. Don't get caught up with the awesome photos on the site thinking that all I need is this & then that & I can have a system like theirs. There's a lot about Aquaponics they don't tell you about until you have a system in your back yard.
IMHO, it's just too costly for the return but good luck if you go ahead.
 

Nick JD

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Bribie G said:
Is that the same as hydroponics?
It's a closed system where you feed the cats to the rats, and the rats to the cats ... and get the catskins for nothing.

Nah - doesn't break the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It's essentially using fish shit water as the nutrient solution for the plants. You feed the fish, they poop out nitrogenous compounds and you circulate this through the hydroponic media which in turn provides the plants with all they need and cleans the water. Water is returned to the fish tank.

Win win, except for the fish food you have to buy and which comes from an unsustainable oceanic source. But hippies are wont to forget the stuff under the rug.

I have an aquaponics system - two goldfish in a tank with some elodea weed. Same thing, smaller scale.
 

DUANNE

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i set up a small ibc system over christmas and the growth rate of the veg is quite stunning. imstill a newbie myself but i am really enjoying it so far. atm im very close to harvesting my first watermelon an zuchinis out of the system and my first strawberries are also close. it is the same in principil to hydropnics but instead of using chemicals for the plants nutrients you use the fish as the main nutrient source. my fish tank is running some cichlids i caught out of hazelwood pondage for now to get the cycle up and running and when the weather cools off enough to kill them it will be time to put in some trout that will hopefully be a good eating size by december when i plan to put in some silver perch wich will be slower growing but should be able to withstand the temp fluctuations in melbourne over the course of the year better. this forum is a good place to start reading and get a handle on the process http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/ .
 
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I have been doing aquaponics for about 4 years I currently have about 6 24" trout and a couple of small silver perch in my other system. I have a 1000L IBC for the tank and 3 gro-beds for a growing area of about 4.5 m.

After a while the system balances out and will grow most things, I have grown, lettuce :rolleyes:, beetroot, cerleriac, celery, basil, carrots, tomatoes, silverbeet, cabbage, broccoli, beans, parsnip, swede, watercress, snow peas, peas, cucumber, I even grew sweet corn once, there is probably more but I forget.

To balance the system and prevent many deficiency problems I add an occasional dose of seasol, I also make sure I have worms in the grow-beds as they help chelate the minerals and provide a better balanced system.

Over time the beds can tend to become a bit acidic but this can be adjusted by putting shell-grit in the system.

Be prepared to sometimes lose some fish, disease and system failure will occasionally happen, and you have to have backup systems to keep the pumps going and the oxygen to the fish during power outs.

The power company is shutting our power down for maintenance work on Tuesday for 8 hrs :angry:. If I did not have a generator I would lose all the fish.

It's interesting and if you want the fish probably worth doing, if you only want veggies I would look at wicking beds they provide many of the benefits of aquaponics especially in water efficiency.

Some people have also experimented with flood and drain worm fed systems where you put vegetable food scraps in with worms for the nutrients and spread them via flood and drain. I am not sure how well it worked.
 

Dave70

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I just cut to the chase and use Charlie Carp on my produce.
Fish, in my experience, require an inordinate amount of time and money to keep them healthy and clean in return for basically swimming back and fourth whilst filling their tanks with shit and dying unexpectedly.

Although I once had an axolotl, named Jones, who would ambush guppyies. He was awesome. They never new what hit em.
 

punkin

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Dave70 said:
I just cut to the chase and use Charlie Carp on my produce.
Fish, in my experience, require an inordinate amount of time and money to keep them healthy and clean in return for basically swimming back and fourth whilst filling their tanks with shit and dying unexpectedly.

Although I once had an axolotl, named Jones, who would ambush guppyies. He was awesome. They never newt what hit em.
Amazing the puns people can miss when they type too fast. :D
 

komodo

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mfeighan

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The whole point of aquaponics imo is to eat both produce not just the vegies. Barra in the summer and trout in the winter. Fingerlings cost about $2 each
 

Bribie G

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If you watch "Wild China" there's a whole scene devoted to the practice of farming carp in the rice paddies. Trust the Chinese to come up with things thousands of years before anybody else. Mind they had gunpowder but never made the connection to produce the gun.

Imagine a Chinese army with AK 47s up against the Roman Empire.

We wouldn't have a Pope and would all be driving Great Walls and Cherries.
 

Dave70

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Bribie G said:
If you watch "Wild China" there's a whole scene devoted to the practice of farming carp in the rice paddies. Trust the Chinese to come up with things thousands of years before anybody else. Mind they had gunpowder but never made the connection to produce the gun.

Imagine a Chinese army with AK 47s up against the Roman Empire.

We wouldn't have a Pope and would all be driving Great Walls and Cherries.
Yep. Gotta hand it to the Chinese.
They were also printing plays on silk with woodblocks around 220 AD.

Allways puzzled me that one. What was God thinking all those years ago?

'Lets see, reveal myself to one of the most advanced civilizations on earth, or some illiterate goat herder in a filthy cave near Mecca..
 

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