Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by baleboy, Sep 1, 2005.
I have a lot to take in, and think about at the moment.... Thanks for that peoples......
I love this thread....have printed in out so I can read it easier.
I always wanted to have fish....and decided I would see if I can get an old fibreglass swimming pool to throw some fish in. It wasn't until I joined this forum that I discovered that had I done so they would have all died sooner or later. Then I heard about aquaponics......a very interesting subject. I have two fenced areas on my property and will use one of them to place my system into. So after reading everything I could find, and asking heaps of questions, I've come up with a plan for the system I would like to set up.
I want to have a system that will look after itself as much as possible. I'm hoping I can find an old swimming pool, anywhere from 5- 10m long and set this up so that it's sitting about 1- 2 feet above ground level.
Along one side of the fish pool I would have 2- 3 grow beds, positioned so that the water could drain straight back into the pool. Hopefully eliminating the need for a second pump. On the issue of pumps I would like to go solar...with mains power as a backup. Also a solar air bubbler!
My reason for keeping the fish pool low is so that the ducks can access the water. At the same time adding nutrients with their droppings as they swim/wash. So the purpose of the ducks is to provide eggs and meat, as well as helping build up the nutrient levels. There will be shrubs and the grow beds for them to shelter under....though am thinking of enclosing under the grow beds to use as a 'house' for the ducks. I don't want to have to spend hours trying find we're they've laid their eggs!
I will place a barrier of some kind about 1.5m in from the shallow end. Down this end I will have water plants and other bits and pieces...a mixture of a frog pond and also a safe haven for smaller fish prior to them growing large enough to survive in the deeper end without being eaten!
As well as a couple of grow beds I want to set up a area of piping to pump water through to grow something like strawberries/herbs...maybe even commercially?? I won't go into details about what each part will feed/provide, uses etc.
Now....I am thinking of having lots of fish, and with the ducks won't have enough grow beds to keep the nutrient level safe for the fish. The water plants/tadpoles/fish fry will help to some degree. I am thinking of looking at pumping some (10%) of the fish water out to use as a fertilizer for various fruit trees/fodder plants within the same fenced area. This water would be replaced from water collected off the shelter built over the pool/grow beds (stored in tank/s). I would need to work out how often I could/need to do this.
I have done some reading on making food for fish, and from what I've read you can grow just about everything you need to make decent fish food. Hopefully a process where you can make it in bulk...to save time.
I would also like to look at putting something in place to breed/grow redclaw, or failing that just plain yabbies. Maybe even a turtle or two?
A worm farm would be built close to the fish pool to take care of that side of the house...and also to feed the fish! I'd like to have a light set up over the water to encourage bugs to offer themselves....though not sure if I'll have to set something up or if there's a solar light that will be bright enough (was thinking of those solar lights you see people have in their gardens).
Not quite decaponics I know....but hopefully a system that will feed itself. The two fenced areas I have are 15x20m and 20x30m. I don't know which one I will use for this....will have to see what else I think of to throw in. A good place for a few kiwi fruit vines me thinks!
I feel that not having 'too many parts' to the system will ensure it can be as self sufficient as possible and still survive if any part of it doesn't preform as best as it can, for whatever reason.
The end goal is fresh fish to eat, duck meat and eggs, some vege's, fruit, lots of worms, fodder plants for the chooks (in another area), homemade fish food. And, if suitable, a small commercial crop of strawberries/herbs.
Sounds great Corn i wanna do it simularly but chooks not ducks,knowing ducks and water ill give em a miss this year lolol
I like the idea of making the duck nesting area under the grow beds..
If you want some more info on growing strawberries using aquaponics check out issue 34 and 27 of aquaponics journal, at
Have been thinking of whether or not to subscribe to the aquaponic journal....will have to do some puppydog eyes to the wife (lol yet another subscription!)
Just to keep what is for me, a most fascinating, yet frustrating subject where people can see it, and hopefully add something
I posted this in another forum...but thought it might fit here too...
Warm enough for Barramundi....am looking at a few options for their feed.
Bugs....fruit suspended over the water so fruit fly larva can drop into tank? Also a solar light or two to attract bugs at night.
Tadpoles....a small pond beside fish tank to breed tadpoles (once a season) Will have another area for frogs..am hoping to attract cane toads to this one!
Am thinking of having a pipe running from both the worm and snail farm to over the fish tank...worms and snail wander along and fall through holes into water...fish eat!
Will also look into other methods of catching and encouraging different types of bugs to breed etc.
Would love to hear from anyone else who is doing/or thinking of doing anything similiar.
Mice (easy to breed), lizards and small birds get eaten by barra (and Murray Cod) all the time? How about cicadas, grass hoppers, crickets (sand crickets) or any other of the trillions of meaty terrestrial insects? Also yabbies, prawns, small crabs, shrimp etc?? Barra food for thought…..
Hmmm....mice sliced and diced?
Watch out for cane toads their poison may kill the fish.....
Maggotts sound excelent Ive started breeding mine and havent even got tanks yet :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ...The chooks and chicks can be my guinie chooks...
Mice... how big do barra get? :shock
Slaters is another,worms excellent..
mice is a nice idea for when your fish get bigger.... I can just see it now...
A quiet afternoon at Corny's house, he's off out to the shed, to his mouse breeding farm... Grab a couple by their tails then swing them out into the pool.. Of course the mouse would have no idea, it would be thinking yeah no worries I'll just swim over to the side and escape..... Hahahaha It'd be a bit like a jaws movie but with Barra and mice...
Youd have to feed the mice to the barra live, as otherwise they probably wouldn't eat them.....
If your going to run a pipe from your snail farm you'd have to work out some way to stop them coming back along the outside of the pipe.. I think that weavels or food type moths would be easy to do, plus they don't smell like the maggots do, it's very cheap to get spoilt grains to feed them.
might glue crushed glass or something similiar?? tis only a thought at this stage
you could get those floating solar pool lights , to atract bugs during the night.
didn't know such a thing existed. Thanks Dan, would you know if they're bright enough?
Bug zappers over the pool work well, I don't think they use tooo much power....
Have had maggo breeding lessons,from a mate.....am using pollard to fatten em up not the smelly crap food they bred in.
chnging there diet today actually...will fed my 9, 3day olds with some as well
yep, thats how my old man used to do it Tezza....
Leave the fish heads to get blown, collect the maggots into a container of pollard, leave them for a couple of daystill they fatten up, then you put them in the fridge.... This slows them down so they won't pupate, but when you take em out and they warm up they become active again, perfect for herring fishing......
What is 'pollard'?
You can buy it from fishing shops, probably other places as well... It's a little like bran, looks a bit like coarse flour, I imagine that it's removed from wheat before they make the white bread....
Bran whould probably be just as good if you can't find pollard.
can one pump be used to pump water from two different tanks?
I am thinking for my initial set up to have two tanks....so that I can see the difference in feeding a commercial food and using snails/worms/bugs etc.
I will buy two pumps but was wondering if one would do the job in that instance.
You could Corny, but you'd need some tricky pipe and valve work.... Pumps are one of the main fail points of a system, if somethings going to go they will generally be it. So I wouldn't recommend having 2 systems relying on one pump......
I'm making the barrel-ponics system today, well working on it anyway I don't think I'll finish.
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