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!
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
August 2014 update on my Aquaponics Setup. The summer has turned hot here in N. CA and everything is dry except my backyard aquaponics. Have been harvesting bush beans and strawberries. The lemon cucumbers are just now starting to kick it. I added some mosquito fish in with the Koi fish. Not sure how that was going to work but they are getting along so far. It has been a busy summer at work and I am ready to get back to swing shift after school starts. Morning are the best time to enjoy my garden and up till now that is only possible on the weekends.
I included below a separate video of some early morning activity in my grow beds. The local wildlife can be quite entertaining.
I want to thank all of you for visiting this site and I hope you have been inspired to grow something in your own yards besides grass.
See you in Sept.
My Aquaponics setup has been doing well for the last month. Strawberries have been producing and we have been eating them everyday. The lemon cucumbers are finally taking off and have their first blooms. The bush beans are doing well also and loaded with their first beans. Should be able to take the first harvest in a week to ten days.
I did forget to mention that I had a submersible pump fail. It started tripping the circuit breaker once in a while then finally wouldn’t work. It was used when I got it and it has been running since I first built the system in May of 2013. The price was right so I can’t complain. I had two more backups so it was a non issue.
I would like to say again that this system isn’t perfect and there is a lot of room for improvement but since it was built with mostly recycled materials I either found or had laying around I can’t complain. It is pretty much maintenance free, all being required daily is feeding the fish and adding water to the system a couple of times per week. I would like to ad a swirl filter to run the pond water through before dumping into the beds but that will probably wait until the growing season is over.
Thanks for visiting and please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
Update for my June 2014 DIY Aquaponics Setup. We have had a lot of wind this last month and a little bit cooler weather than usual. This has affected our plants in our traditional raised beds but the plants in the aquaponic beds are less affected. I think this is because they have a continuous supply of water whereas the traditional garden relies on hand watering and is more susceptible to possible drying from evaporation rates that are higher during windy days. Strawberries are already producing well and bush beans are all up and strong. The lemon cucumbers are struggling a bit but showing improvement as the days are warming up.
This is actually a hydroponics setup but it could easily be adapted to an aquaponics system. The advantage would be you would not have to ad chemicals to the water because your fish are already taking care of that for you. Using a small submersible pump you could pump the small stream of pond water into the wall and return it directly to the system without interfering with your original setup. I like how this guy has gone through the effort to paint his piping to blend in an look professional.
May report on my DIY Aquaponics setup for the 2014 season. This is a home made backyard system costing less than $200. I have had some minor issues but overall it has been working well. It uses a 220 gal. stock tank and two 4′ x 4′ beds filled with pea gravel. A little less than 100 gal of water is needed to flood both beds at the same time leaving 12″ of water (120 gal.) in the stock tank for the fish. This water is continually cycling 24 hrs per day and only the water that is lost to evaporation needs to be replaced, about 3 to 5 gal. per day depending on the weather.
My Aquaponics system isn’t large enough to grow everything we need so I am only going to grow 3 items in the system in a larger quantity rather than small amounts of many different things that I sometimes see others doing. It will be bush beans, strawberries and lemon cucumbers this year. The cucumbers and beans proved themselves in the aquaponics last year and I decided to transplant my strawberries into the setup from my conventional raised bed garden for this year.
I have 3 raised beds that are also 4′ x 4′ and in them I have planted tomatoes, green and yellow squash, cabbage, radishes, onions, and carrots. I am contemplating adding one more bed but not sure yet. I also have red potatoes growing in 30 gal trash cans.
I would like to add that I am trying to keep everything sustainable by planting only heirloom varieties and learning how to save seeds instead of buying them. This is a new mindset for me since I have always just run to the store and purchased what was ever on the rack at the time. Just about everything I have this year is heirloom with exception of the strawberries which I am not sure on. I did however establish new plants from them by transplanting runners into my aquaponics this season and those are already producing.
I hope to expand my backyard aquaponics in the future but have limited funds to spend at this time. My next project will be building my greenhouse. I started all my plants in the kitchen AGAIN this year and then had to keep packing the plants in and out of the house daily to get them acclimated to outdoors… what a pain.
I will make sure I do a better job this year of posting updates.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions.
Thanks again for visiting and come back soon!