The picture above is our new tank for our aquaponics system. We designed it and built it instead of buying a tank. It is approximately 12′ long by 3′ deep and 3′ wide. it is a massive tank. It should hold approximately 600 gallons of water and be a comfortable home to 300 fish.
This is the first step to building our system that will provide both fish and vegetables for our table for years to come. That is the plan anyway.
What is an Aquaponics system?
It is a natural process that mimics lakes and ponds. The only input is fish food. The fish eat the food and excrete waste which is used to fertilize and water the plants. It is a type of indoor farming that uses 1/16 the amount of water to grow 8 times more food per acre. Though our system won’t be an acre of growth. It will provide us with fresh food and fish year round.
Best of all. The fish have no growth hormones. No toxins from being in a lake or river. Most of the rivers and lakes are saturated with mercury, arsenic and lead making the fish in them toxic to eat. Even the booklets they give out for yearly fishing regulations says not to eat more than a few fish a month because of the amount of toxins such as mercury in the fish.
Raising our own fish we won’t have that problem and can cut down the amount of toxins in our food supply both fish and vegetables.
Some of the plants that can be grown indoor include lettuce, swiss chard, kale, collards, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, radishes, carrots, green onions, leeks, beans, peas, kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sunflowers, edible flowers and aloe.
This picture above isn’t our tank of course but ours will be much like it. We don’t have our grow beds in place yet. The fish will be below and the grow beds for plants above. The water siphons from the tank over the top of the plants and then is filtered through the plants and back in to the water. cleaning and aerating the water before it goes back in the tank.
We are hoping that we will provide all our own fresh food needs with this system and hope to not have to buy anything from the stores. Just flour and the stuff that we cannot grow or produce for ourselves. It is another step to creating self-sufficiency.
As we get the system up and running I will take pictures of its progress.
We decided to do this project last year at Christmas time. Instead of wasting money on Christmas garbage and expensive gifts for each other we decided to pool our money and buy one big gift for ourselves. This is that gift. Or the start of it. We are planning to do the same thing every year from now on. No more Christmas tree’s that go to waste. No more wasted wrapping paper and spending hundreds of dollars on stuff that won’t be wanted or may end up returned or in the landfill. Give a gift to both of us and one that is lasting.
This year we plan to buy lights, pumps, and add fish as our joint present to ourselves. We still have a dinner for Christmas. just not the gift giving. Saving that money for something like this instead.
Here is a link with some good information for anyone interested in getting one started. There are lots and lots of information on the web. Some information is provided by people wanting to sell you something and others that are genuinely interested in the process. You just have to weed out the good from the bad. This one I thought was a good place to start.