Seeing that I have been accused of dealing with too much politics and not enough “fishies” (thanks Lex), I’ll get right back to Aquaponics.
My system is by no means complete, nor are the fish, plants or water quality perfect, but I have paid my school fees and I now know what works, and what doesn’t work on my size system, which by Australian standards is regarded as a medium-sized system.
I have always involved myself in businesses or hobbies that are scaleable, and Aquaponics is most definitely scaleable. I will now be moving in two directions.
Firstly, smaller. I am busy designing a completely a self-contained, mini-system for households and small communities. It consists, simply of a fish tank, two grow beds, a small submersible pump and a solar panel and battery. It will be totally portable, and I will deliver, assemble and configure it in a few hours. It will get it’s water from a single downpipe from the roof of the house, and could even be placed permanently up against the house with the downpipe leading into the fish tank. I would like to see one of these in as many households as possible.
Then bigger. I have designed a 30m x 10m tunnel-based system consisting of 4 x 3m diameter (1.2m high) tanks, 100m of grow beds and a centre sump, pumps and filtration. The first of these systems will be going up on a farm near Knysna and will be producing the Tilapia as well as tomatoes, strawberries, basil and ginger. This will be an interesting build and I have at least 3 others lined up to do when I have finished this one. It will take a few months to build and configure.
Here is a roughly drawn plan. You probably can’t see what’s going on from this, but I’d like to post it to document the very first step in this project.
Here’s an image of a large aquaponic farm in the Virgin Islands, growing Basil, with a similar layout as mine except we will have everything within a greenhouse, and the ponds will be in the middle.
I now have a great dam to use for my Tilapia brood fish, and hope to be producing tens of 1000’s of fingerlings by Spring. Have a look at this. 9m diameter and it holds about 60000 L of water. I am very excited about the potential of this project which appears to be growing from strength to strength.
Oh well, a busy weekend beckons.