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Aquaponics, what is your thought? Anyone with experience?

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Hi

I've recently read a bit about aquaponics and watched a few videos on youtube. It certainly got me interested so I bought 2 x 1000L IBC containers for this new exciting project. I am still working through what equipments I need

What do you think about concept of aquaponics? do you think it worth a try? If you are already into aquaponics please share your experience about the pros and cons of your set up

Below are some link about aquaponics

http://www.aquaponics.net.au/

Cheers

Toan

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I too have been interested to give it a go.

Use to be into hydroponics well before fish and have been thinking it will be my next project.

Then I saw the aquaponics examples and once spring hits I'm determined (if I stay at this property) to set up some growing beds that are used to filter my pond water :)

I would love to see how you end up doing it.

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I am finally got rid of my trailer and certainly have got more room for my aquaponics setup. I will get a water pump tomorrow.......but there is one question I'd like to ask

Does anyone know where I can get Scoria (volcanic rocks from what I read) in Brisbane? are they suitable for growbed? landscaping supplies in NSW sell them but I have never seen in Brisbane landscaping supplies websites

Cheers

Toan

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Plenty of hydroponics shops/suppliers for quality medium but very expensive

I would research net on garden alternative that doesn't leach! And then type that in google with your suburb

always found suppliers that way

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DFF have you used bioballs before as a medium ?

I know finding a cheap medium for larger tub setups is difficult.

I love the growool, but it causes hives for me and you lose some after each plant is removed. The harder clay balls etc are fantastic for long term use and versatility, just not great for seedlings :)

I just found out Guppy's sells bioballs for 6c each, so it's becoming much more reasonable.

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nah never used before, but have enought to try and I refuse to clean any more cubic metres of gravel lol

those expanded clay balls are great (but need to be washed too) and you can get them cheap at police auctions.

some pot heads loss is your basils gain :)

way I look at it, the grow bed is just a filter

and the plants clean the filter

takes a while to break them in

but aquaponics gardens are awesomely bountiful once they kick into gear

jade perch (barcoo grunter) ftw!!

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i read a bit about this today! very very cool.

ive seen people do it with just chemicals instead of fish although im a little sketchy on the details.

is the only reason to have fish because its easier/cheaper or because you can grow and harvest the fish also or?

I'm also a little confused as to how the bell syphon is supposed to work. lol, as embarassed as i am to say that being a mechanical engineer and all...

but what are we trying to achieve? full submersion?

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I use to have a hydroponics setup 15 years back, where I used an igloo (keeps humidity up, protects from frosts in Melbourne and allows sun as light source)....a tier setup of trays/pots and a single pump, lots of polypipe to drip feed the water back into the plants.

Basically you just have a medium (eg. clay stones) in all the trays, you plant seedlings in them, have gravity take care of the water source flowing down to a reserve, which then pumps back to the top.

Very much same as a setup for plumbing tanks into a sump :)

Then a couple of times a week I would add some nutrient solution to the reservoir and top up any evaporated water (little).

The concept is that using recycled water passing nutrients through it, the plants are fed and with the sunlight source and humidity they grow pretty fast.

My only issue with the setup was algae and insects. Somehow it was a haven for insects too and considering I was trying not to use any sprays etc....was hard to keep them under control. I learnt to start having some insect replying herbs and to ensure I did not wait months before cleaning up algae bursts.

Now with aquaponics, all you are doing is replacing using the reservoir of water/nutrient solution - with water coming from a fish tank system. The natural waste products from the fish...is the nutrient to feed the plants.

You are also turning your plant system into a sump equivalent to take out the crap and return clean water back to the fish tank.

Clear as mud ?

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Oh and I forgot to mention a few things....like any hobby....you can go really advanced with monitors/probes, testing chemical levels to maximise growth, keeping logs....and if room....growing up fish for food too. You do need to keep the environment "sterile" to do well.

Many people are considering these setups because they are pretty self sufficient, allow cheap food supplies, if choosing a low watt pump and cheap media....keeps the costs down and also are a bit nicer to work for the gardener than a dirt bed you labour over on the ground :)

I think you'll find people in the fish hobby consider them as a way to replace filtration and add a new benefit of a garden bed that runs itself.

Growth rates though for veggies.....amazing.

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so how much better growth can you expect as opposed to just planting in regular soil?

aquaponics kinda seems pointless unless you plan on growing + eating the fish right? or are the bought nutrients for hydroponics super expensive?

EDIT: Woops sorry i hit reply and then walked away and then when submitted it you had replied again.

Why is it SOOOOOO much better than just soil?

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Benefits from my experience:

* less chemicals than soil garden beds

* less maintenance

* cleaner, no horrible soil mess on clothes etc

* the medium used is reusable without reploughing, so once you remove the plants and any roots broken off, you can just plant again - traditional beds need to be dug up, manure added etc

* many mediums are traditionally long lasting (many years)

* no weeding unless system is open to the weather and gets occassional bird dropped seeds

* little unpleasant smells

* relocatable (ie. more pots or entire system, not many plant a veggie patch that can have that done overnight)

I use to do extensive garden beds in suburbia in Victoria and farmlands....I recall how much regular and periodic work is required to keep it healthy and growing well without pests etc. I then moved to hydroponics and was impressed that the maintenance was minimal.

Growth was at least 40% better than in soil. Some vegetables were table ready in months in my igloo, whereas with the outside garden bed more like 4-5 months.

The taste of the food was also way juicer, cleaner, crisper.

I did mostly chinese vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries at the time.

I found root vegetables and leafy vegetables do really well.

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