Aquaponics is a system that combines hydroponics and aquaculture. The water cycles between the fish tank and hydroponic vegetable grow beds. The fish produce nutrients that are consumed by the vegetables, and in turn, the vegetables removing those nutrients cleans the water for the fish. We just need to feed the fish. The system needs to be in a water proof greenhouse so that rainwater doesn't dilute the process water, and needs access to electricity to run the pumps, so we needed to build a greenhouse.
After much deliberation and assessment of possible locations, taking into account access to electricity, the limited number of flat spots on our property, sun and shade available, and the boggyness that we experienced just about everywhere during the floods last year, we finally decided to build an extension on our existing shed. I forgot to take "before" photos, so this is a progress update after one weekend working on the greenhouse, in case you all thought we'd given up on the aquaponics idea!
Our next step is to order poly sheeting for the roof and greenhouse fabric (solarweave) for the sides. As well as additional guttering, ridge capping and down spouting to finish off the shed. Our goal is to finish the greenhouse before the first frost so my chillies have somewhere warm to live through winter.
|building the greenhouse shed extension|
|all the joins are welded rather than bolted|
|view from the other side with the concrete that we mixed by hand|
|more welded joints|
Have you used an aquaponics system? Any tips?