Aquaponics 101 – scaling (way) up.

Maybe I should have been an architect, because I get a real kick out of dreaming up ideas, putting them down on paper, and then going out and making them happen. I look back at the early photos of my aquaponic setup at home, and cannot believe that from a mere idea, a real system has evolved.

My first commercial aquaponic setup that I am building for a local farmer was started this week. You may remember a week or two ago I posted the following diagram of a planned system.


The levels took a day to work out, and another day was spent compacting the soil in preparation for the concrete slab which I will lay next week. The slab will be 9m x 9m. I will put all of the inflow, drainage and electrical piping in this weekend and then we’ll put the steel re-inforcing in on Monday, and then commence the concreting.

As mentioned previously the slab will hold a 5000L sump which has been sunk into the ground, and then 4 x 3m diameter ponds (above ground), each holding about 8000L. The greenhouse 30m x 10m should arrive by mid-March and we’ll then pop it over the slab. The growbeds floor will just be gravelled.

The temperature was 30 deg plus on site without a breath of air and no shade for 100’s of meters. Here are some images from the days work. In the final photo you may just make out the four center drains for the ponds.

I used 4 guys today, Obvious (my spare Malawian, Joshua will be another week in exile), John (85 in the shade, and stone-deaf), Denzel (lazy as hell, but a barrel of laughs) and Keegan (no front teeth, but works well).


This was how far we got by end of day.


We also did some work clearing bush next to the dam at my planned hatchery site.


With the bush all cleared, I now have a brilliant view of the valley, from the bottom terrace.


Enough for now.

Enjoy your weekend.



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