Posts tagged "fish"

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?

How can I reuse or recycle fish heads and bones?

fish-headsWe’ve had a “Can I Compost This?” email from Wynn:

Can I compost fish heads?

The answer to this, like meat & animal products, is usually no. Unless you have a sealed composting system or the like, the odour of the fish might attracted unwanted vermin to your compost heap and unless your composting area is really far away from your house, it might get a bit stinky for you too.

But like other animal bones, you can though use fish heads and skeletons to make fish stock. There is often quite a bit of meat on the heads of bigger fish like salmon, so don’t forget to save that: it can be used anywhere you’d use mashed up fish (salads, fish cakes, seafood risotto…) or in the stock to make a hearty soup. Like all stocks, it will freeze well if you’re not going to be able to use it straight away and if nothing else and you’ve got cats, the stock will make you a firm favourite with your felines.

Any other suggestions of things to do with leftover fish bits?

(Photo by mama)