What can I reuse or recycle to make an aquaponics system?

As I mentioned in reply to Charlotte yesterday, I recently read about the concept of aquaponics and was quickly smitten – another thing for my endless “cool things to do in the garden” list. It’s a good job it’s a pretty big garden.

The idea is that you have a mutually beneficial veg bed and fish tank – the fish dirty up the water with lots of valuable nutrients (poop nutrients = pootrients) which is pumped up to fertilise the gravel-bottomed veg bed. The gravel works as a filter, keeping the nutrients & other gunk to feed the plants while the excess clean water is returned tank to begin the process again. Smaller tanks are probably only suitable for small ornament fish but you can grow your own freshwater swimmers in larger ones – an alternative to keeping chickens in the garden!

Has anyone already played with aquaponics on a small/domestic scale? Did you make your own system or did you buy a ready-made one/components? If you made your own, what did you use?

I don’t think we’ll have the time to build a system for quite a while (so many other things to do first!) but it makes sense to start collecting items we can reuse when we see them – I suspect something to use as a tank will be the most difficult part find – any ideas?

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4 Responses to “What can I reuse or recycle to make an aquaponics system?”

  1. Dan Brown says:

    Check out Olomana Gardens on YouTube.
    Using 55 gal plastic drums Glenn creates a sustainable hydroponic veggie garden and edible fish farm.

  2. Hi! Welcome to the wonderful world of aquaponics. You are right – it really is an amazing way to grow both fish and plants. I recommend you read through Travis Hughey’s wonderful piece on Barrell-ponics, which makes great use of recycled materials http://www.aces.edu/dept/fisheries/education/documents/barrel-ponics.pdf. Also check out the forum at Backyardaqauponics.com. There is a huge wealth of information there. Good luck!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would really like to apply this method of farming to mass production for industrial purposes. what do you think?

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