Our DIY Aquaponics system
(constructed mostly of recycled materials) has been operating for eight months now and the fish and plants are doing well, says Julia from Cooroy.
We're in the middle of a very dry period in southeast Queensland and it's a real pleasure to see the plants so healthy in spite of the heat and drought.
A small solar panel runs the pond pump (4000 lph) and aerator on sunny days. Tank water collected from the roof of the shed is used to replace water lost by evaporation and transpiration. The fish are fed on composting worms and commercial pellets. I have four worm farms now, and hope to feed the fish mostly on worms soon. Since the grow beds are located above the ground, weeds and pests are easily managed organically by hand. The bottom half of the beds are filled with 20 mm gravel, and the top half with expanded clay pellets.
To protect against heavy rain, hail and wind, we have constructed a shelter covered in clear Perspex, with roll down shade cloth.
So far we have successfully grown tomatoes, beans, Lebanese cucumbers, beetroot (beets), silver beet (Swiss chard), rock melon (cantaloupe), basil, chives, coriander, parsley, lettuce, snow peas and strawberries.
Very entertaining and rewarding!
JULIA from Cooroy Qld.