Aquaponics – Finally we have lift off

I’m sorry for not posting for quite a while but I’ve spent most of my waking hours for the past month setting up my Aquaponic’s System and this is a report on my progress to date.

CHOP 2

The grow beds and fish tank are now all piped up, the grow beds filled with gravel, the electrics connected and the rain water tank connected.

When I switched the system on last week I found that I had leaks in the pipes and some of the grow beds. So after totally re-plumbing and fixing all of the grow bed leaks I switched the system on again 4 days ago only to find that the auto siphons in each grow bed wouldn’t switch off. After much fiddling and a great deal of thinking I found the problem to be that the drain pipes from the siphons to the sumps were running slightly up hill. After adjusting, the siphons have worked perfectly ever since.

Pipe outlet modification

Today I spent time adjusting the flow rates to the beds and the fish tank and planted my first veggies (whoopee) as part of the cycling process in preparation for the introduction of the fish to the fish tank in two weeks’ time.

First planting

I have ordered 150 Silver Perch fingerlings from a fish hatchery only a few kilometers away.

First planting 2

If all goes to plan, and it hasn’t always done so to date, my system should become quite stable in about 3 months’ time and then fresh organic vegetables all year long.

This is certainly a labour of love, for me, my friends and the world. Hopefully it will inspire others to look at ways they can become more sustainable, healthy and self fulfilled.

I will publish further updates as the system matures, so stay tuned.

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7 Responses to Aquaponics – Finally we have lift off

  1. sarasinart says:

    There are bound to be glitches in a complicated system, but you’re getting them worked out. It will be good to see your pictures of veggies growing. I think you eat only plant based foods, but will somebody be eating the perch eventually? Continued good luck to you!

    • Thanks for your comments Nancy. You are right that I will not be eating the fish so I have two options, I can sell them when they get to plate size or I can keep them for as long as they live to continually fertilize my plants. I’m not sure which way I will go at this stage. Who knows they may become my pets and I won’t want them eaten. 🙂
      I’ll certainly post on a regular basis showing the growth of the plants. Though it will take some time for the whole system to mature for optimal growth.

  2. sarasinart says:

    It’s fascinating and I’ll be looking for more pictures as things move along.

  3. Fiona Silver says:

    Well done Paul—can,t wait to see the Dubbo show seeds flourishing

    Cheers Fiona

    • Thanks Fiona. I am propagating some of the seeds at the moment in my seedling tray and will be planting them in the Aquaponic’s system in a few weeks time. I’ll post a photograph as soon as I do so.

  4. Absolutely amazing Paul. I’m really looking forward to retirement so I can set up a sustainable, permaculture system to grow my own organic fruit and veggies. Not as elaborate as aquaponics but still an exciting prospect for me. 😃

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