Tuesday, May 20, 2014

An Aquaponics Adventure

Aquaponics /ˈækwəˈpɒnɨks/, is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrogen-fixing bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients. The water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponics systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponics system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline.

So we have been thinking of this aquaponics system for sometime now but never had a good place for it.  Now we have a small aquaponics system up and running and hopes of a larger system that could feed many people if we needed to.   So from start up to today this is our trial run of aquaponics.

 We started with an ibc tote to use as a fish tank

Then G-pa came to help us set up the barrel system he made for his system  

The garden looked like a construction zone.

 All the lettuce that my girls and I had started from seed went into the first aquaponics grow bed. 

 Another growing pain.  We had a very windy night and for some odd reason the door on the green house had blown off and I couldn't get it back on.  So the broom held it in there until hubby got home.  LOL

 This photo above is an example of our growing pains.  LOL  came out one morning and we had lost a ton of water through the night and thank goodness it wasn't very cold or these guys would have been belly up.  I bet they started getting worried as the water level kept going down.  :)

We started with 35 larger fish in the ibc tote and 110 smaller fish in the shop in little tanks.  

I'll update more later.  But for now I have to get busy with the daily tasks. 

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