Aquaponics – Greenhouse nearing completion and system maturing well

It has taken some time but I’m now nearing the completion of my Aquaponic’s setup.


Since my last post 7 weeks ago when I introduced my first fish, the following has occurred;

1. The water, which was extremely muddy due to the clay that was mixed in with the gravel when I bought it, has now totally cleared with a combination of self filtering through the grow beds and the addition of small quantities of Alum. The Alum binds the dissolved particles and causes them to settle as sediment on the bottom of the fish tank and sumps without any distress to the fish or plants.

2. The PH, which started at 7.8 has gradually reduced to a more ideal figure of 6.8 with a combination of the occasional introduction of small quantities of vinegar and the natural tendency for it to reduce as the system matures.

3. Even though the winter temperatures have been low (max between 10 and 16 and minimum between -1 and 8) during the cycling of the system (i.e. development of the good bacteria in the grow beds), the whole process has only taken 8 weeks. Now the fish waste (mainly Ammonia) is now being converted to Nitrites and the Nitrites to Nitrates which feed the plants, as born out by the levels of Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates in the water samples I take on a daily basis.


4. The plants (3 types of Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce and Strawberries) are all looking very healthy and growing well, albeit it slowly due to the fact that the greenhouse has been open to our cold winter weather.


5. The greenhouse (carport structure) has now been fitted in recent days with a corrugated iron south facing wall and polycarbonate double glazed panelling on the East and West facing walls. The north is still to be clad (hopefully within the week). When complete it will have 8 self opening and closing windows and two rotating air vents in the ceiling. The self opening windows will open and close by a piston which is filled with foam that expands when the temperature rises and contracts when it declines. No electrical connection required.

6. I have introduced compost worms into each of the grow beds and these should proliferate rapidly once the temperature rises, adding worm castings that will aid in the health and growth of the plants.


7. I have also introduced another 40 colourless goldfish, bringing the total to 106, having lost 4 of my previous brood.

Once the greenhouse is complete, both the air and water temperatures should rise to a level that will be conducive to a much increased growth in both the fish and plants.

After 8 weeks, the whole system is working like a charm and performing at the highest level of my expectations.

In December I plan to introduce Silver Perch and native Australian Catfish, which should grow from fingerling to plate size within the year.

Much to look forward to.

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14 Responses to Aquaponics – Greenhouse nearing completion and system maturing well

  1. sarasinart says:

    You do have much to look forward to, and much to look at as already accomplished. And the best of it is, it is now working as it was expected to. Congratulations on work well researched and well done.

    • Thanks Nancy. Always good to receive your encouraging words.
      Hope you are well and living life to the full.

      • sarasinart says:

        I am and it will get fuller with more time, since I’ve decided to retire from work at the end of this year! I am so excited that I’ll be able to have more time to do the things I really want to do. My garden is doing great this year, and will be better yet next year, plus time for a non-regimented life with more relaxation and more fun. I’m still young enough to enjoy it and I will!

      • Yes I know what you mean Nancy. After 9 months in retirement I was asked to do a 10 week Locum to cover for staff on long service leave. I am now into my seventh week and have come to appreciate retirement even more with a greater understanding of just how much work dominates your life. I realise now that I have been on a treadmill all of my life. Each working day getting up early, travelling to work, doing a full 8 hours, travelling home, walking the dog, preparing the evening meal, some housework, rest and then sleep. Repeating this 5 days in a row with the reward of two days to cram in everything else. In my 9 months of retirement I was able to be far more creative and become involved in things that I really enjoyed doing. The only down side being the dearth of human companionship compared to that obtained from constantly rubbing shoulders with work colleagues and clients.


      • sarasinart says:

        That’s just the way I feel; regimented is the only good word. But I’ll be keeping busy with fun stuff and stuff that’s productive in another way, but no real schedule like the one I have now. You only have a short while to go yet to get back to your retirement!

      • Partial retirement. They’ve asked if I’ll stay on till February doing two days per week. I’ve agreed as it will mean I’ll have a five day weekend in effect. Perhaps the best of both worlds. 🙂

        Sent from my iPhone

      • sarasinart says:

        Yes it would be. Good deal!

      • Also nice to know I’m appreciated. Keep me informed about your exciting and fun activities won’t you? Maybe an Aquaponics system? 🙂

        Sent from my iPhone

      • sarasinart says:

        No, we have some real winters here. Nothing grows in our winters. Will do tho.

  2. Fantastic work, Paul!

  3. In case you don’t know, vegoutsundays is me: Zerin

  4. Mikio says:

    Im doing something similar- what are these foam-filled window opening pistoms you write about? i would love something like that too

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