Grow your own Vegetables and Fish in your own backyard.
A fun and interesting project.
Aquaponics is Spoken Here.
Aquaponics as a Hobby, or a Commercial venture.

Aquaponics information and Aquaponic Systems and Hardware

Strawberries grown in a "Tower" made from 90mm PVC pipe.

Aquaponics is spoken here.
My personal discovery of Aquaponics was by a chance conversation with a commercial fisherman from Western Australia. He told me how he believed the wild fish stocks were disappearing rapidly all around the world and that he believed the future of edible fish production for the average person lay in Aquaponics.
Aquaponics ? What is that ? I had not heard the term before
"A way of growing fish and vegetables together and it can be done in your own backyard with minimum expense". He said.

I was absolutely intrigued by this whole idea. It sounded a bit too fantastic to be true.

Much Google-ing followed. Information available on the internet was actually a bit scant. The idea of being able to grow edible Fish and Vegetables together, at home, was amazing. I have always been keen on vegetable gardening, but with little actual success. Poor soil and very low rainfall don’t make for good gardening conditions. Yes, it can be done, but the crops grown in such conditions are very hard won.
I wanted to get started on this fantastic project. The possibility of growing my own Fish and Vegetables in a system that was, evidently, so efficient in regard to water usage and vegetable growing quality, immediately became one of those “must do” projects.

Getting Started
Not many weeks after a lot of net surfing, I obtained 50 Jade Perch and 50 Silver Perch from a local Hatchery.
I put the fingerlings into a 1000 liter Galvanised tank.
The Galvanised tank looked OK. It had been behind the now defunct chook shed for a decade and a half and was still in pretty good condition. So I cut the top out of the tank and after a hose out and a close inspection, it was declared to be just fine for the purpose.
The fingerlings were so small and the tank so big, "Plenty of water in there for those little mongrels" I thought. I knew that fish tanks had to have an air bubbler of sorts, but I did not understand, at that time, how important it is to provide plenty of aeration.
Left :
Poor little Perch.
Some of the fingerlings I managed to kill in my first fish tank.
The biggest fingerlings were only 40mm long, the smallest around 25mm long.

It was late in the afternoon by then, so I decided to hook up some air for the fingerlings first thing in the morning.
I did that by using an old 14 cubic foot capacity compressor via a filter and regulator.
Unfortunately by morning the damage had been done.
Within 3 days of obtaining the fingerlings, I had lost a large number of them. I learned that even after adequate air had been supplied to the fish tank, damage had already been done to the fragile fingerlings, so losses still happened in addition to the initial overnight deaths. A very sad lesson to learn about the need to aerate a fish tank properly.
The situation was very distressing. I found it difficult to understand why they were dying. I rang the hatchery where I had obtained the Jade Perch and they were of little help.
I contacted everyone I could think of who might know something about keeping fish. Perhaps the galvanised steel tank had some sort of metallic contamination was the most common suggestion to explain my dilemma

I guess everyone I spoke to assumed I had taken care of providing aeration immediately, and therefore were searching around for some other cause of the losses.
Aeration is pretty basic stuff to those who know how to keep fish, but if you don't know, then you don't know.

Right: Jade Perch hiding out in a piece of 90mm PVC pipe.

Jade Perch 3 months from purchase as a 40 mm fingerling, now 100mm long.

More info to be added soon
This page updated 12th December 2011

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