Just look at these cantaloupe plants. They want to take over the world. These little beauties are perfect illustrations of the power of aquaponics. They are being grown in earthbox self-watering containers and are primarily being fed with water from my aquaponics systems. How is that for awesome?
In the spirit of full disclosure, I do supplement with a dash of chelated iron and some Epsom salts, but that’s about it. I am loving the results.
I forgot to take photos of the current state of our raft system but it is the perfect way to grow greens, herbs and okra. Also, I had some tomato seedlings that were struggling in their starter trays, so I moved them to the raft aquaponics for a couple weeks and, BOOM, the growth was off the charts. I transplanted them into their earthboxes and they are outperforming the plants I put directly into the boxes. It’s incredible.
With that awareness, We are putting up a series of small systems throughout the garden to provide nutrients for all our containers and wicking beds. We bought two 100 gallon stock tanks to be used as fish tanks and are using half barrels as filters/grow beds.
The systems, as you can see from the pics are simple, almost rudimentary. The half barrels are just sitting on top of the tank and are used primarily as a bio filter. A simple 40 watt submersible pump sends the water up into the grow beds where it is filtered by clay pebbles and lava rock and falls directly back into the fish tank.
As a side benefit, they will also grow plants.
One of my additions to these new units was to add a garden hose faucet to the water line. This is cheaper than running a bunch of drip lines, but saves a lot of time and effort vs. filling watering cans.
Because it’s late in the season, I’m using comet goldfish in everything except the raft system which has catfish. Next year each unit will have catfish and Tilapia. We will also add some 500 gallon (2000 liter) tanks as well, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I have a lot of electric lines I need to run before I can even think about a major expansion. For now I’m just enjoying the power of poo; fish poo, that is.