My Aquaponics Vision

I recently visited Pontianak for a second time in December of 2011. While I was there I discussed the idea of aquaponics with the staff. I showed them some of the information I had as well as a video of the food machine In Kona. They had never heard of aquaponics but became very excited in the potential of this technique. And were discussing ways in which this would help improve the quality of life of poor farmers in the villages of West Borneo. They are already talking about building their own system on the Pontianak base.

So, my plan is to build an aquaponics system here in Canberra in order to test and study the aquaponics process. Hopefully this will provide us with knowledge that we can take to Pontianak to train their staff. They in turn will be able to take this knowledge to the farmers in the villages around west Borneo.

So we can get the best out of this experiment this system will incorporate three different types of grow beds.

1. Ebb and Flow
An ebb and flow or flood and drain grow bed is filled with 20mm gravel to a depth of 300mm. an auto siphon is set up so that when  the grow bed fills to a level of 250mm the siphon kicks in and the grow bed drains. When the bed is empty the suction is broken and the cycle starts again.

2. Continuous flow
A continuous flow bed is the similar to the Ebb and Flow bed except, as the name suggests, the water flows continuously through the gravel to a depth of 250mm leaving the top 50mm of gravel dry

3. Floating Raft.
The floating raft system is what is used by Revalesio at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii ( The grow bed consists of a 300mm deep trough of water with an inlet at one end and an outlet at the other end. Styrofoam rafts float on the water and holes are cut in the rafts to hold hydroponic pots.

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