Aquaponics 101 – Never say never.

For those of you who follow my trials and tribulations, you will know that I prefer 500mm PVC pipes as growbeds.  As they say, “go BEEEG, or go home.”  Problem is these pipes weigh 100’s of kg’s and present huge logistical problems to get to site and then to work with.

On Friday last week the truck with our 12 pipes (and 26 x 110mm pipes for strawberry towers) arrived.  Well, not exactly arrived.  We got it as far as Simola Golf Estate at 7pm and then I chickened out.  There was absolutely no way that the truck would fit down the narrow pass to the Gouna site and I made a spot decision to offload just outside the main entrance.  If the truck had got stuck in the pass it would have caused huge problems, not able to go forwards or backwards and effectively blocking the pass. With a R50 payment to the security guard to keep an eye on our R30 000 pipes for the night, we offloaded in pitch darkness, with the first pipe (ouch) shattering against a stone as it fell off of the truck.

The next morning we arrived with a landcruiser and a long trailer and slowly (and very carefully) transported the pipes to site over four trips, braving sheer 300m drop-off’s, hairpin bends and 6m long pipes hanging off the end of the trailer.  Nerves shot, we finished at 1PM. Some action shots.

In case you’re wondering what in heavens name I do with pipes this size, we cut them lengthwise and make growbeds that look like this.

Cheers for now.



9 thoughts on “Aquaponics 101 – Never say never.”

  1. Sir,
    I and some associates are just starting out in aquaponics however we have a plan to set up an aquaponics system in the near future at an orphanage in Nicaragua to off set their feeding costs.

    Can we use you as a resource when needed?

    We just made our first attempt at a small “goldfish system” last week and learned alot through our failure. We could get the Bell siphon to work once then it would not on subsequent cycles. Is there a ratio of standpipe to bell to grow tank depth to drain pipe angle?

    Much appreciation for your time and help.


  2. Hi Tony
    Im in Pretoria…
    I love to see how you are doing with the aquaponic system.
    I have a couple small tanks and am pondering on gowing a bit bigger and turning it into something bigger byy adding some grow beds and turning it into a bussines.
    I was working at a hotel in Joburg doing a gas installation when i asked the head cheff if he would be interested in Organic veggies and or fruits and maby even Tilapia or kurper and the guy wanted to jump in my car and go and see what i could offer him!!
    I was so excited at the idea of a possible first client also the thaught of their being more clients out there i barley slept, now my head is spinning with ideas to expand a bit more into a proffesional set up.

    I would love to come see your setup if you dont mind me taking some of your ideas?


  3. By the way thanks for all the information it is awsome, some of the people up hear tend to only give you half the information like its a national secret or some thing, i intend on also making my ideas available for others like you have done and keeping them up to date with the happings…

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