We are off to a good start for this backyard aquaponics season. The days are long and hot here in Northern California. Because of the extended drought water is a major issue for most California residents. We have a well so we are not as impacted as those depending on a water district or city hookups, but we still need to be involved in water conservation.
Aquaponics is perfect for limited water conditions since the water is recycled in a closed loop system and the only loss is through evaporation from the pond surface and the surface of the plant leaves. For this 220 gal. system I have to ad around 10 gal. per day average on hot days. As long as you have the water heat is perfect weather for growing your own food and a backyard aquaponics system is a great way to grow your own food even if access to water is limited by current weather trends.
The 2015 growing season is upon us. Started all my plants this year from seed I saved from last year. Planted bush-bean and lemon cucumber seeds directly into the Aquaponics setup during the last week of April. Transplanted strawberries from southern bed to the northern bed. No plans in the immediate future to expand the aquaponics system due to time constraints. Two of my three square foot beds have been planted with plants that I started at the end of March in the house. I am still in need of a green house, just need to “get it done.”
Will Burson of RawItUpToday.com shows you how easy it is to start tomato plants from seeds. You can harvest the seeds from a tomato you eat today to grow your own tomatoes tomorrow. Will also has a really cool channel about Van Dwelling. Be sure to check it out. https://www.youtube.com/user/RawItUp/videos
Although this is not a build for an aquaponic system I posted it here because I think it is a very good and cheap idea that could be modified to work with aquaponics. I like the “hang on the back” design and think this would work for a system that has an above ground tank like mine.
October 2014 Update: First I must apologize for this update being a little late. As fall continues, the days are getting shorter and evening temperatures are dropping. We have also had our first major rain storm, a welcomed event here in drought plagued California. My DIY Aquaponics set up is starting to go into winter mode. The plants, especially the lemon cucumbers are slowly fading and the strawberries have already quit producing. Green beans are still kicking a bit gut that will be short lived.
I will take advantage of the winter to do some minor maintenance and repairs the the aquaponics. Need to work on the the trim wood on the top that I never completely finished and also do some cleaning of the gravel bed in the area of the water inlets. It also will not be long before things start to freeze so have to prepare things for that also.
This will be my last update for this growing season and I am not sure if I will create any videos over the winter since the fish and the beds will be in sort of a state of hibernation. I do plan on building my much needed green house and will document that and possibly make a video on it as well. I am going to keep it simple and build a TexasPrepper style one to save cost.
The above video has a 2 min. intro showing the activity of my fish when they are fed first thing in the morning. After that is the actual update video. I will continue to post interesting videos from other YouTubers through the winter to please come back. Wish you the best!
Thanx for visiting
This is really a cool idea and I am going to look into it a bit more. I can imagine it supporting the edible fish for a DIY Aquaponics setup. With its size you could support all the flood and drain beds you would ever need for your families garden vegetables. It could also double as a swimming and/or fishing pond!
EDIT: The original video was taken down for reasons unknown. I have found the full version was uploaded by someone else and have posted it here. I haven’t the time to re-watch the whole 3 hrs again so I am assuming it hasn’t been tampered with. I post this because I was raised and lived in Shasta County for many years. I do not have or share any political views on this subject. This video is posted for educational purposes only.
Although this isn’t directly related to Aquaponics the information reveled would be of great importance to anyone living in California, Oregon and Washington and of course the rest of the USA and world too.
It is becoming increasingly more difficult to grow a backyard garden especially in the western United States. Drought and water restrictions, especially in California are having a huge impact. Many municipalities have implemented water restrictions and the State as a whole has also implemented restrictions to limit water consumption.
Where I live there is a water district where regular household use is more expensive than your electric bill. An unnoticed underground leak cost a friend of mine over $1000 dollars in one month charges and the leak was so minor it took several days of searching to locate it. Where my parents live (Shasta Co.) their water allotment is restricted to half of their previous years usage. My moms place is literally drying up because of this. Of course this contributes to even more risk of fire which have already ravaged many areas.
The alarming part of all this is the mounting evidence suggest that these drought conditions could be man made and even intentional. I personally am not an activist nor a “conspiracy theorist” however if this is really going on and UV radiation is up with aluminium also being present in the rain and soil I would be interested in any counter measures we can take to minimize the effects on our growing of our own foods in our backyards.
The video is long (3 hours) but is an important watch even if you have to break it up over a couple of days.
The SleestaksRule Method For Hydroponics, Aquaponics, Or Soil
This is really simple and quick and something I am going to try the next time I plant my strawberrie runners. I have been just cutting them off and planting them straight into the aquaponic bed with success but I do lose around one third of them. What I like about this is you can use this technique no matter how you plan to plat the runners and it give them a good healthy start. I am more in favor of using the hydroponic food over the miracle grow when transplanting to aquaponic beds but if going to soil I wouldn’t be afraid to use miracle grow.
September 2014 Update: It is hard to believe the summer is almost over. All in all it has been a good season for my diy aquaponics setup in my backyard. This season I only planted three things in my aquaponics system, bush beans, strawberries and lemon cucumbers. All three have done good. The bush beans have produced well and since I planted more than last season I was able to harvest more. Strawberries did OK but due to me allowing the yard sprinkler to hit them during the night some fruit was lost to spoilage and also blossoms were damaged. This has been corrected. The lemon cucumbers had a slow start but are producing well now.
There has been a large flock of wild canaries that have adopted my aquaponics as there community gathering place. They mostly drink, take baths and root above on the trellis but they have caused a bit of damage to the bush beans and cucumbers. Not all that much and it has been a pleasure to watch them. They raised a large crop of babies and these have been fun to watch and not as skittish as their parents.
I don’t have any special plans for this setup for next season but I would like to clean the gravel and incorporate a swirl filter to eliminate the solids from entering the beds. This season I started all plants from seed in my kitchen, hopefully I will have my green house for next year.
Thanx for visiting