FISH & PRODUCE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
Water Right Irrigation Home Services can assist you with consultation, design, installation and service of your home Aquaponics food production system right here in Melbourne. Systems are available ‘off the shelf’ or you can use low cost materials to make your own. There is truly no more water efficient form of gardening than Aquaponics! So much so that Gordon has been casually studying Aquaculture subjects at Uni.
Never go fishing and leave empty handed again!
“Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, recirculating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste into plant nutrients. This is an environmentally friendly, natural food-growing method that harnesses the best attributes of aquaculture and hydroponics without the need to discard any water or filtrate or add chemical fertilisers.”
-Aquaponic gardening community, November 2010
There is a lot of information online about aquaponics. There are also suppliers of complete ‘kits’ which you can order online. One of the fantastic things about aquaponics is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. It all comes down to your priorities, budget, forward planning and aesthetic requirements. It can become a fantastic and healthy hobby. If well planned and designed it can become a joy. However, it can also become a chore if you fail to research and plan correctly. In Melbourne it might be wise to keep 2 seperate species of fish as the temperature variance can create problems for some species of fish.
A green house is a luxury but not a necessity
Grow bed media has arrived. Low cost choices can be used.
Yes, they are cattle troughs!
Bell syphon shrouds
Jade Perch on the left, Silver Perch on the right.
12V back up water and sir pumps are a necessity!
Fingerlings (baby fish) have arrived. Silver Perch on the left and Jade Perch on the right
Notice the blue automatic top up float valve
Below is a short compilation of the first 10-11 months of 1650 litre aquaponics system. I hope you find this interesting and inspiring. Remember, I don’t consider a system ‘established’ until 12 months of age.
So in a nutshell, how does it work?
Put simply, the media in which you grow your vegetables becomes the biological filtration system for your fish. You're essentially growing bacteria which convert the fish waste into nitrates or plant food which is then taken up by the plants, returning the purified water back to the fish. This means it's the most water efficient form of irrigation on the planet as evaporation is virtually eliminated and no waste water is discharged. Fish are also extremely efficient animals and the convertion rates of food (input) to fish growth (protein) are exceptional. Of course you don't have to eat the fish, you may just want to keep gold fish as pets? It's up to you, whichever way you decide to go, you must remember that you get out what you put in, so you can't use any nasty chemicals and you must research your fish food!
MY AQUAPONICS SET UP
Organic pest control (green lacewing larvae)
Aquaponics little helpers, an important addition to any system
THE RESULTS ARE IN!
So what is aquaponics?