Mike Trethowan

Pen Truth Editor

Well, first what is “Aquaponics?”  I can give you a detailed explanation, but this blog is just a quick introduction to my Aquaponics project, so I will give you the Wiki version of Aquaponics:

Aquaponics /ˈækwəˈpɒnɨks/ is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In the aquaculture, effluent accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients, after which the cleansed water is recirculated back to the animals”

Simple.  I have two systems going right now, one in a 54 gallon plastic tote and a smaller “Patio” unit with a 27 gallon tank.  The patio unit, I designed for small homes such as Condos, Townhouses and Apartments with small patios.  An important factor for this design was aesthetics, I wanted it to look nice and double as a water feature.

The system is working well and the water flow in excellent.  This unit is a full time flood system, but I do have a timer and will experiment with cycling the water later on.

The fish tank was primed using a quick start solution and feeder guppies.  I do have baby Tilapia given to me by a local  Aquaponics supply store, (thank you Gro Pro.)

In the works are two larger Patio Units with larger tanks and a design for vine plants and platforms for melons and such.  I also plan on raising Fresh Water Prawns and Cray Fish as well as these are also good eating.

I have found several large tanks which are reasonably priced in the 100 gallon to 350 gallon range which will be perfect for large backyard projects.

As my skills in hydroponic and aquaculture develop I will post my experiences, failures and successes.

  1. Kathleen Jenkins says:

    Mike – this is great. My Yoga studio has a hydroponic tower in a small garden/patio outside the studio. Yes! – no gofers and voles. Those among us who have moved to the country do consider moving to a place or perhaps system that is less voluble to predation.