Owens Aquaponics – May Update
Author: Owen Date Posted:4 June 2018
Hi all, I know it's been a while since an update, so here it is. A lot has been happening since the last update, work had been flat out and I was really starting to question if I had the time to continue running my Aquaponics system. I was really at a crossroads, something had to change, or I really needed to consider shutting it all down. After much deliberation I decided to redesign the systems so that as little time as possible could be spent if needed. Hence the rebuild began....
The systems as, they were, looked something like this.
I decided for ease of work that all the beds would be aligned in a row from East to west, and the main fish tanks would be shifted into the shed. It was not an easy task. Firstly the hoop house was removed, the raised garden beds emptied then moved to behind the new place for the beds and the pond system beds and the "pond" it self moved into the shed. I decided while I was moving it, I'd also add a Bio filter, so I could disconnect the beds for maintenance purposes. The pump is still located in the tank, but the beds now run constant flow. A dedicated air pump was then added to the system.
A space was then cleared in the shed for the big tank. The tank, old swirl filter, bio filter and air pump were all then moved. A dosing tank was also added for further ease of use/maintenance. The beds were all then lined up with the other 2 beds. Moving the 100 or so fish was a bit daunting, but I was able to do it with no losses.
The plumbing/return pipe to the sumps under the beds was then upgrade to 90mm to assist with flow due to the distance away it now was, but the existing 10,000lph pump was still enough to provide water to the beds and the fish tank. The beds are still flood and drain through the use of bell syphons. Due to the weight of the beds, they had to each be emptied to move, and then replanted. The hoop house frame was then rebuilt for the shadecloth come next summer. Hose nipples were also added to all tanks, so that I can refill the systems from my water tanks with ease.
Now that all 3 main tanks are inside, It's easy to test, harvest, rotate stock, add supplements and view the fish no matter what time of day, or the weather situation. All the systems now utilise filter socks at multiple locations which I can clean in the washing machine, and use the water on my fruit trees, lawns, dirt gardens etc. Also, as I have a young grandson, It is of ease of mind that he is unable to climb into any of the tanks as they now reside in a locked shed.
The fish are all happy and the move didn't affect their feeding, and luckily no filtration/ammonia processing problems were encountered after the move. I also have added 100 or so Tandanus Tandanus catfish (eel tailed catfish) fingerlings to the system to replace some of the fish I have harvested over the past year. I now stock the catfish, jade perch, silver perch, barramundi and a pleco.
Even though the weather is now cooling down, growth is still phenomenal in all of the beds, and looks like I will be getting another crop of capsicums shortly, as well as some late tomatoes. Garlic has once again been sewn into the beds, and some winter cauliflower and broccoli added.
Here are a few Videos of the fish.
WARNING FISH HARVEST PHOTO'S BELOW
I also harvested some fish between the last update and now. All Jade Perch.
Thanks for looking, I hope your systems are all going well :)