Monday, 21 January 2013

The Next Step


After getting to the point where I can eat out of the garden on a daily basis I've decided to move on and have a go at an aquaponics setup.  Aquaponics is where you use both fish and plants in a symbiotic relationship to produce more of each other.  I feed the fish, the fish excrete ammonia into the water and then I run this water through ebb and flow grow-beds.  Bacteria grow in the gravel in the grow-beds to to assist with nitrification which is the conversion of ammonia to nitrite then in turn to nitrate.  The plants then consume the nitrate and the now less-toxic water is returned to the fish.

The end result is after a lot of setup effort you have edible fish and edible plants that grow like crazy. I will be monitoring this system using Arduino micro-controllers and an Android app that I'm going to write.

It's a pretty simple system

First I need a raised greenhouse to grown the plants in that is higher than the fish tank. This is so I only have to pump water up to the grow beds and gravity can return it to the tank.
Frame getting constructed
Big mission to get everything home!
Building the base
I've been bolting it all together rather than nailing it so that when I eventually move out of this flat I can unbolt it for transport.
Trying to work out how we get the greenhouse on now
Finished base with tomato plants
In the mean-time I have just put some very wind battered tomatoes in there for some shelter.  In the next few days I will build the grow beds.  I have also ordered a 1000 litre IBC tank - this will be the fish tank for the prototype.
Fish tank... 1000 Litres
I will be posting updates as I make more progress.

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