Aquaponics – Now the big experiment begins

Now that I have my 6 meter by 7 meter greenhouse completed and the Aquaponics system maturing nicely, I planted three sub tropical to tropical trees today.

A red Papaya
Red Papaya

A Rincon Avocado

Along side my Mango Tree

Mango Tree

Bendigo, where I live, has a relatively low rainfall, cold winters and hot summers, which is very much less than ideal for these types of trees.

I am hoping that the greenhouse will give more optimal growing conditions along with the rich nitrated and aerated water fed to the roots every 25 minutes.

The strawberries along with all of the green leaved veggies are growing like topsy.


The photographs below show just how much growth is occurring on a weekly basis. The one on the left was taken 7 days after the one on the right.

Fully Clad Growth

I am now harvesting my Kale on a daily basis for a refreshing and highly nutritious green juice.

Green Juice

Bunch of Kale
4 large carrots
1 Green capsicum
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 Green Apple
2 limes or 1 Lemon (including skin)
Thumb nail sized piece of Ginger

Stay tuned for further updates.

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9 Responses to Aquaponics – Now the big experiment begins

  1. sarasinart says:

    Fantastic results. Grow on!

    • Thanks Nancy. So far the system is working as well as I could ever have expected. If I can get the Mango, Papaya and Avocado to fruit then it will be a major achievement in this part of Australia. I want to show people that with a bit of effort and know how we can all become a lot more sustainable and healthy with it. The kale, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, chives, strawberries are just going ballistic and not only are they looking very healthy but they are organic, clean and pest free. What more could you ask for? Soon I hope to open up to show anyone that wants to come and see for themselves. Now that I have the know how I should be able to show others how to do the same thing from scrap materials. Exciting times. Paul

      Sent from my iPad

      • sarasinart says:

        How long will it take for the fruit trees? You said your area gets cold winter, but how cold are the temps? Continued good luck to you, you’re doing it!

      • Not as cold as your part of the world. We get a few weeks of frost per year (minus 1 or 2 max), but this is too cold for the Mango, Papaya and Avocado. Especially with a relatively low rain fall. I think the Papaya may only take a year to fruit but not sure about the Mango and Avocado.

        Sent from my iPad

  2. uberdish says:

    I will definitely stay tuned for more updates. I look forward to them. My husband and I would love to have a similar greenhouse one day. Papaya, mango and avocado – that’s awesome! All the best….btw, love how minus 1 or 2 is very cold for you guys 😉 It’s late summer here and we woke to a morning temp of 5 degrees Celsius. I froze my hands and toes at the farmers’ market. grrrr and brrrr.

    • Thanks again Angela for your comment. I always look forward to them when I post. I would imagine that you would need heating in any greenhouse that you put up given how cold you winters are. Perhaps as batteries become more and more efficient and affordable a solar cell system may be the best option otherwise it would cost too much. If I can be of any assistance when you do decide to build your own Aquaponics system ten don’t forget to ask, I’d love to help. All the best. Paul


  3. Lorelle says:

    Hiya – I’m in awe of your achievement in creating this oasis of food! Just wondered if you are going to keep the trees in there? Will there be enough stability for them to reach much height, given that they don’t have firm soil to hang onto?
    Thanks so much for your posts – I love them!

    • Thanks for you comments Lorelle, they are very much appreciated. The Papaya grows to 2 meters and the dwarf Avocado to 3 meters which means they shouldn’t outgrow my greenhouse (actually a modified 6 meter by 7 meter car port). The 20mm gravel packs together so tightly that it is sometimes very difficult to dig down to plant the trees and veggies so no worries about them falling over. My main concern has always been whether or not the roots will become so invasive that I wont be able to grow anything else in the grow beds. I am hoping that seeing as they are getting adequate water (flood and drain every 25 minutes), full of oxygen and food, that the root balls will be relatively small. I know that fruit trees can be grown in this way because Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics fame has been successfully growing Papaya trees in the same size grow beds as mine for several years now. His fruited in one year and they are prolific. So you see its not as if I’m starting from scratch. Have you heard the term, “Standing on the shoulders of giants”? Well that’s exactly what I am doing. The only thing I am doing differently is trying to do this in the relatively harsh Bendigo environment. Well certainly harsh for exotic or semi exotic fruits that is. I look forward to sharing more with you as the project progresses. Keep in touch wont you? Paul 


  4. Sophie33 says:

    Great results already, my friend! Everything in your greenhouse is growing bigger & bigger! I will make this yummy looking juice today! Yummm!

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