It’s all starting to come together here on the hill overlooking the Knysna lagoon. With only a week to go now before I go and fetch the fish in Grahamstown, the aquaponic site has been a hive of activity. The 3 tons of gravel for the grow beds arrived last week, and I was so impressed with it that I ordered another load the next day and will be using it on all of my surrounds and pathways as you can see by the attached images. Many thanks to Travis Hughey for his Barrel Aquaponics manual. I’ve used some basic grow bed construction plans from this handy guide. Right, here is what I’ve been up to.
I have been fine-tuning my bricklaying skills. What could all of these little walls be for?
I have also been hard at work with the old circular saw. Benches maybe?
We will be needing lots of these little things as…………..
…spacers to hold…………….
…the grow beds !!!
I have found a brilliant design for an auto-siphon from the Backyard Aquaponics website, and will be using this in my system. It merely consists of a loop of hose. You fill the gravel grow bed with water, and as it reaches the point at the top of the loop a siphon effect is started and the bed drains automatically, only to fill up again and repeat over and over again. No electricity, no valves, just physics. Brilliant !! Here is what it looks like.
I also collected the pump (750W Spec pump) and plumbed into the system next to the sump. It has a non-return valve so that water cannot flow down the hill back into the sump.
The week ahead will involve filling the ponds, erecting the green house frame and covering with film and filling the grow beds with gravel. I have to get some vegetables in urgently to start the process before the fish arrive on Saturday. Wish me luck.
And finally, here’s Jess after a hard days building.