|Our little AP System has now been running for 10 months and while I cannot claim that everything has grown perfectly I can say that my wife and I are thoroughly enjoying our 'aquaponics experience' and we expect we shall for many years to come!!! We still have 42 of the original 50 Silver Perch added to the system in May (8 deaths of unknown cause) not sure how many of the original Yabbies but there are at least 3 broods of young Yabbies growing in the Fingerling Tank.
The adult Yabbies are very territorial and we have lost a few due to cannibalism and others due to unknown reasons we have 'topped up' adult Yabby population a few times. Currently there are 15 Adult Yabbies - and I have not counted the juveniles.
We have harvested some Pak Choi, Watercress, Snow Peas, Beetroot, Zucchinis, Celery, Potatoes, Lettuce,Tomatoes, Basil, Parsley,Garlic, Tang O and Vietnamese Coriander and Goji leaves. We have experimented with growing some other vegies - and fruits - but did not get to harvest for various reasons. It is great growing the vegies at waist height - without digging into dirt, without bending and without heavy lifting. And did I mention that our own home grown vegies taste great!!!
Not everything has been perfect but I believe that I have diligently maintained an appropriate level of water quality - employing a regular water testing regime (the 'basic disciplines' mentioned earlier).
I have maintained the equipment (water pump and air pump, battery and bilge pump, cleaning the syphons and tanks), and I have fed the fish according to instructions from the supplier. (Don't get me wrong. maintenance is not hard work or time consuming. in fact it is quite easy and gives me time to enjoy my AP's experience).
I have joined the various Aquaponics Forums' and by doing this I have access to the most knowledgeable and experienced Aquaponics people in Australia and the world??? to whom I am most thankful.
And despite some recently published 'Mythconceptions' our experience with Aquaponics using an 'off the shelf kit' - has been. and continues to be - a most rewarding and enjoyable learning experience. We are producing our very own - home grown - chemical free - fresh vegetables/fruit and soon - fresh Fish and Yabbies for our plates.!
If we can do this then anyone can do it....!
I am the first to admit that I am not the 'sharpest tool in the shed. I am not mechanically minded and good with tools (and plumbing) ; but by starting our AP journey with a quality 'off the shelf kit' - I believe we have received great value for money, and have given ourselves a very good start.
Just wish I had discovered AP when my kids were small (and would not eat there vegies), would have been a great educational and 'hands on' experience for them. And they may have even liked eating their own home grown produce that they had a hand in growing themselves.
When Murray first saw photos of our set-up - he said there is only one thing wrong with that Aqauponics setup!!! you have left no room for expansion !!!
Yes, you are right Murray. Only trouble is - I will have to buy another house with a bigger yard and then I can get a Maximus Kit, and a Homestead Kit, and maybe even attempt a DIY version!!!
Best wishes to all AP'ers and encouragement to 'give it a go' , if you are not into AP already
ColinW - Mitcham Victoria Australia