This year brings my entrance into the world of aquaponics. I’ve read about all the wonderful things about these systems, and I’m a DIY type of person, so I finally took the plunge and built a system for myself. My goal was to get it done cheaply and quickly, so I went with the a fairly simple design. 110 gallon stock tank, flood/drain grow bed, aquarium pump controlled w/ 15-minute timer. I built it all for under $400, which was pretty reasonable considering how easy it is to spend money on projects like this.
Here is a picture of what is planted in the grow bed. Swiss chard, tomato, pepper, spinach, lettuce (bolting to seed), squash, Malabar spinach, and beans. The pH is pretty high right now, I think I have some rock in my ‘washed river rock’ that is bringing the pH up above the point plants do well. (I’ll talk more about this in later posts)
Currently, I have the tank stocked with goldfish. The big fish were free, and they do seem to generate lots of poop. At some point, I’ll replace them with good eats.
On the backside you can see how the tomato plants have grown. I was planning on creating an overhead support system, but never ‘got a round to-it’. One of the really nice things about these systems is that the plants are not down on the ground so bugs and disease don’t ‘find’ the plants as easily.