Aquaponics 101 – Bamboo

There is one thing that tomato plants like and that is decent support.  This is probably even more relevant in Aquaponic systems because of the continual flooding and draining of water and the nature of the growbed medium, in my case a 13mm gravel.

Traditionally, young tomato plants are staked until they get to a certain height and then supported with a wooden teepee. I have taken this concept a step further and connected a number of these teepees together.

I normally build my teepees out of bamboo, and if you don’t have any of this versatile grass growing in your garden yet, I strongly recommend that you plant some soon.

Today I built some new teepees and then lashed them together with 3 horizontal bamboo poles, one on the top and one on each side.  This will provide excellent support for both the plant and the fruit once these young plants start bearing.  Here is what the end product looks like.

bamboo

Here is a shot from underneath a well supported tomato bush.

tomatoes070209

The hatchery is going from strength to strength and apart from the occasional “walk-in” sale, I am busy with no less than 3 batches of fingerlings for various local farms  Feeding times are getting a slight bit complicated with 3 different types of food for the various batches as well as the adult brood fish and the goldfish.

On the subject of goldfish, I moved some bigger babies back to the goldfish pond to see how they integrate with the adults.  I also topped up their water today which means that they’ll be spawning like crazy by tomorrow morning.

Water is a very scarce resource at present as we haven’t had a decent downpour this year yet, and my rainwater tank is now bone dry.  I have a sneaky suspicion that this is about to change so I planted 30-odd tomato seedlings out in my garden today.

Here hoping


Synaptoman

Advertisements

6 Responses

  1. […] 4, 2009 · No Comments The tomatoes that I spoke about last month have grown like crazy and have just started flowering, so soon […]

  2. Hi
    I noticed that you said you have run out of water. This is one of the factors that has been keeping me from trying aquaponics. We have no access to the water grid and so collect all of our water from rain falling on our roofs.
    I know it is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string, but what do you think a reasonable volume of stored water would be to support growing enough fish and veg for a family of two?
    And is there any discharge of water, or does what is not absorbed by the plants just keep going around the system?
    Great site by the way, and thanks for sharing your experiences and expertise.
    Gordon

    • Hi Gordon,

      I think that the fact that I DID have an Aquaponic (AP) system helped us through the drought. AP is super-efficient with water and if you plan it well to prevent any evaporation you can probably get away with replacing only between 2-5% per week. When water is scarce we don’t discharge any, but when we’ve had good rains and the collection tanks are full I like to replace say 20% of the water to prevent the gradual buildup of nasties like heavy metals.

      In a typical home system of say 5000L you can operate for months of low to average rainfall with an additional 2500L sump tank and a 2500L water collection tank.

      Hope this helps and thank you for your kind words.

      Synaptoman

  3. Thanks Synaptoman. That’s very clear and impressive. I hadn’t been aware that water could be recirculated to that extent in an aquaponics system.
    Nothing to stop me now – apart from a rather full-time commitment to building a house, but once that is out of the way the aquaponics system will be next.
    We are on solar power too, so power management is going to be another challenge.
    Cheers
    Gordon

  4. Hello could I speak to you about a large commercial system in Asia?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: