Aquaponics anybody? grow plants and grow fish....
Aquaponics.You feed the fish - the fish poop - bacteria converts the waste into nutrients the plant can use - the plants use the nutrients and this cleans the water for the fish. You grow edible plants and fish for the dinner plate!
Sounds simple enough, in practise it may be tricky, and will definitely be fun and interesting. However, we can supply readymade systems to take the hard work to get you going.
If you are interested pop in or give us a call. System starts from £550, plus fish and plants / seeds.
How to set up an aquaponic system.
Endordorsed by Paignton Zoo this clip shows a home fish / plant production system. A water feature that actually produces super fresh food for you and your family. A great addition to your conservatory, greenhouse, patio, or spare bedroom.
Watch out for the incredible hydro system in the background.
It's a super automated vertical growing system. This ladies and gentleman is what can be achieved with the right level of commitment (Plus lots of investment).
The pioneering work and innovation shown here helps to improve the knowledge base for all commercial and hobby gardens. Keep up the good work.
FishPlant Aquaponics unit-Taking delivery and setting up .....
By animal & garden, Feb 11th 2013 4:45PM
I found a company called FishPlant. They had put together a self contained Aquaponic unit, Its not too big will grow about 10-15 kg of fish and would provide the same plant growing space as about 22 large (11ltr) pots. The unit is about 1.35m x 1.05m and holds 470ltrs of water. Perfect size for home use, and can be extended. One is enough for now. Enough to grow lots of greenery and provide a decent amount of fish.
A call to them to supply us (we are now the ONLY stockists of this product in Wales), and they kindly offered to drive one down for us and set it up with me. Many thanks to Steve and Danny for your time and answering the hundreds of questions I had.
It took about an hour to put it together - the bulk of the time was spent washing the clay pebbles that go into the plant bed, and filling the fish tank with water. To see a video of one being set up, have a look further up this page - it's the Paignton Zoo Clip.
What you are looking at is a 470ltr fish tank with a 220ltr plant bed on top. The plant bed is full of expanded clay pebbles. These are a bit dusty straight out of the bag so needed to be washed. This was done by opening the top of the bags they came in (50ltr bags) and punching some holes in the bottom of the bag with a screwdriver. A hosepipe was then put in the top of the bags and water was run through the pebbles to remove the dust. A bit messy so we did it on the grass outside the shop. The pump and other plumbing were fitted to the two tanks. The pump sits in the fish tank and pumps water into the top of the plantbed - the outlet you can see on the right of the unit. The other grey bit you can see on the left of the plant bed is an auto siphon (lots more about this later). A shroud was placed around the auto siphon to keep the clay pebbles out of it, and then the washed pebbles were carefully poured into the plant bed.
The next step was to make sure the plantbed was level with a spirit level. This is because the auto siphon need to be vertical to work properly, the plantbed needs to flood evenly to give all the plants a fair amount of water and nutrients, and so when it drains it does so evenly - and of course it all looks more pleasing if it is straight. So far so good.
Fill her up! The fish tank was filled from a hosepipe to about 15cm from the top. Any higher and the fish may jump out.
Next a dechlorinisation fluid was added to the water, and the pump switched on.
Great. All we had to do was get the auto siphon working correctly. This was tricky, and we all had to be somewhere else. So after a bit of fiddling I agreed to sort it out myself later. I must say I was still a little confused as to exactly how the auto siphon worked. I deally it allows the plant bed to be flooded to within 5cm from the top and then it empties completely. Once it is empty the plant bed starts to fill with water again, and it is supposed to cycle like this. The pump is left on and the auto siphone makes the magic happen. Sadly not much magic this day.
My next post will be about the auto siphon, and hopefully some good news that it did what it should.
A bit of background .... times like these and the value of cheap
By Animal & Garden 11th Feb 2013 3:33PM
Every day we read about new food scares, I am sure that others that would really horrify us are the ones we don't know about and you can bet that we are protected form the worst details fo the ones that are made public. The recent horse burger dabacle (or should that be criminal scams that rip off the consumer and endanger our health) is a great example. This story is going to run and run the full course like a thoroghbred with endless energy.
Where does that leave us? we have become super reliant on not so supermarkets, we have allowed them to close down local traders, lay waste to our town centres and more than that they have completely skewed our sense of value. Ok I might not go for the value burgers, but i may go for the next cheaper option - especially if I have lots of mouths to feed at a bbq. Cheap. You get what you pay for, not what you think you should for the money.
This all follows on from the Great Fish Fight. I love to go fishing, I love eating fish, I hate what is being done to our seas by greedy corporations supported by our politicians and lawmakers. All that said without eager consumers prepared to buy the fish the easily identified villains wouldn't do it.
You can add the two issues together. There have been fish frauds where consumers have thought they were buying one species of fish which is actually another which has been mis-labelled. For mis-labelled read knowingly fraudulently passed of as something else to make huge sums of money.
It dosen't stop there. Mechanically recovered meat is fairly well known as a cheap source of protein. It turns out that this is as prevalent in the fish business as anywhere else. The resulting snot is turned into 'scampi' or used in fish pies or reformed lobster imposters. Shocking? No, people make money this way all the time. What is shocking is that we have all been eating the crap that is produced. Why? Because it's cheap, and tasty and we have an almost unshakeable trust in the people who supply our food -the very same people that are cheating us, making lots of money out of us, and have been doing so for a very long time.
Aquaponics is not a cheap way of producing food. The cheap way is what I was talking about above. Aquaponics is the ultimate in traceable, sustainable food production at home. Most of us do not have the room to keep a cow, or even a goat or chickens. Most of us do have a space we can use to grow our own salad crops, vegetables and fish.
Welcome to Animal and Garden Supplies Aqauaponics blog. Follow our quest to produce great tasting food for our homes.
I will start to update the project so far, thanks for reading.