Saturday, March 3, 2012

My first Aquaponics System

At the end of 2011 I decided to have a go at building my own aquaponics system. The pictures below show the simple system I built. I already had the half wine barrel as a water feature. I have 10 small goldfish in the half wine barrel. Water containing fish effluent is pumped up into the black pot on top of the wine barrel. The water is fed into the bottom of the pot. As the water rises up through though stones the fish waste solids are filtered out. Bacteria forms around the stones and converts the ammonia from the fish waste into nutrients that feed the tomato plant I have growing in the pot.

These two photos were taken 4 weeks apart. During that time the plant has tripled in size. Having never grown tomatoes before I am not sure if that is a good growth rate. I started this experiment with a few petunias in a floating raft in a pot but I soon discovered that petunias originate from the desserts of South America and don't do to well in too much water. I also found out that Tomatoes need potassium so I have been squirting them with a bit of Seasol. So far I have 3 tiny flowers which will hopefully turn into 3 tomatoes. 

Because it is already March and we are heading into a Canberra winter, I don't know if I will see much fruit this year. I have, however, learned quite a bit with just this little system

1 comment:

  1. Portable Swimming Pool

    Too cool!
    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Excellent work!