Aquaponics 101 – Scaling Down.

With everything in life (including life itself) there is a time for building and a time for breaking down, a time for birth and a time for death, a time for expansion and a time for contraction.

Because of my new challenges in a distant town and the Child Bride moaning about the daily upkeep of our home Aquaponic (AP) system, I recently decided to scale down the home system to a more manageable scale that the Child Bride and Brat Deluxe could manage with ease.

First (unfortunately), the Tilapia brood stock that had served me so well over the years (and put a serious amount of food on the table) had to go.  I sent out 5 emails to  clients in the immediate area and within 2 hours they had been snapped up by a lucky sod just 10 km down the road.  The immediate effect of this is that I will no longer have Tilapia fingerlings for sale from this Spring, but I will merely change the contact details on this blog to route fingerling enquiries to the new hatchery.

After delivering the fish one Saturday morning, the work began.

You may remember my original home system.  It consisted of two 1.7m diameter tanks inside a greenhouse and 10 growbeds outside.  These were fed by gravity.  Later I added more growbeds at a higher level fed by a submersible pump.  These I would be using in my new layout.

Step one was to scale the system down to one tank, so out came the front tank leaving some very useful space in the greenhouse for seedling production.

Then I decided to shorten the back tank so that the Child Bride could easily work with the fish here without climbing up a ladder, so out came the trusty grinder.

I now have a nice short tank with about 50 goldfish (comets) that I bred last Spring.  I will rig up a submersible pump to pump water to the higher level of growbeds, but for Winter I have moved all my plants into my soil (permaculture) garden.

I had a few Tilapia fry (all males) that I have moved into a fish tank in the study to keep the Child Bride amused while I’m out of town.  One can spend hours watching these little critters and it’s fascinating to see them at close hand after all these years just seeing glimpses of them in the big tanks.

And just in closing, a photograph of Jess the greenhouse helper, starting to get cold as Winter approaches.

Enough for now.

Cheers

Synaptoman

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