An Aquaponics Update

Aquaponics October 3rd, 2010

Ah, has it been so long? Sorry.

To bring you up to speed – I had a disaster around ANZAC day this year (6 months ago, I know) and I lost a bunch of fish. The weird thing is that I lost a bunch of fish at exactly the same time of year last year. So could be something seasonal? I think it’s more likely that I overstocked, and fell into the ol’ trap of “I want ’em to grow big so I’ll feed ’em heaps’ and of course overfed them which is the worst thing you can do in AP. I think what ended up doing the fish in, was that the fish food broke down into a fine paste kind of stuff and spread throughout the system. And then as it breaks down it consumes oxygen, and trout are VERY touchy about DO (Dissolved Oxygen). But that’s the thing with fish deaths – they don’t really tell you why they died.

It’s not all bad news! I have about 60 trout, and whats more, they survived an entire month without me. I was overseas (check out these videos of the norwegian fjords: Kayaking and the “liquid metal” water ), my father and a friend looked after the system – this entailed coming over on alternating days, and feeding the fish. Not too onerous.

So my fish survived, and here they are – about 1.5 months ago they looked like this:

And now:

So they’ve definitely grown. And it’s fantastic fun feeding them:

On the other side of the biological equation, the veggies are doing OK:

Above is some brightly coloured silvebeet, and below is russian red kale.

So why did I say things are going OK rather than fantastic? Well one of my growbeds has a big bare patch where I sprinkled in some seeds, and that’s a bit dissapointing. But I know why that’s happened. I have a slater problem, and the little bastards are eating everything, seeds, seedlings, my leek:

So what am I doing? “Flood ’em out”.

I raise the height of the standpipe so that the bed floods to above the height of the clay, and drown critters.

Edit: I should also mention that there is an Aquaponics open day at Alfred Deakin high on 9/10/10 – see capitalaquaponics for more details.

2 Responses to “An Aquaponics Update”

  1. Garth Coghlan Says:

    Norwegian fjords?! Woohoo! They look amazing.

    Bummer about the slaters. I wonder where they are living and what ought to be eating them? Down here, I have slugs to contend with. Last spring, we killed 4000 of the buggers by hand (my housemate doesn’t like slug bait). Not so wet this year, so things are better.

  2. gemmell Says:

    Slaters – they like dark quiet, damp places. Because my growbeds don’t get flooded to above the level of the rocks, the slaters live in amongst it, nice and close to the water, with food nearby too.

    I also haven’t used any sprays – i flooded, and squished. After 2 days of flooding to above the medium the number of slaters coming up is heaps less. So might be ontop of them, fingers crossed.

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