Aquaponics system update for course students

Thanks to everyone who came to the aquaponics course this weekend. Lots was learned! The main practical part of the workshop was spent re-plumbing the current system, adding a new grow bed and replacing the pump with a similar but much stronger version. We initially had a few issues with the new pump which was spluttering but soon settled down and is now working like a dream.


The demo system

A quick word about aquaponics water cycling rates:

Aquaponics systems should cycle the water twice per hour and more than that means cleaner water and more oxygen for the fish. The demo system sump tank to fish tank cycle is running at around 1800 litres per hour quite happily and each grow bed is filling at 600 litres per hour. All up that’s 3600 litres per hour going through the system. The water in the system is about 1500 litres, therefore the water in the system is cycling about 2.5 times per hour.


Water cycling back into system

I don’t know if you can cycle too much water in an aquaponics. I believe that it is not possible to add too much oxygen to water. Water will only handle a certain amount and then not hold anymore. (I suppose you could make the water too turbulent and make the fish unhappy.)

What’s next?

We still have enough room to place 2 more grow beds in the allocated area. After that is done, we will work on making the whole thing look aesthetically pleasing. At the moment we have the luxury of been able to build this current system up, down and play around with all the bits during workshops.

The next workshop details can be found here. We will start at our place with some theory and we will be able to play around a bit with our fully functioning system (fish included) before heading over to the other side of Springwood to put all that theory into practice and build a 2 grow bed system at another location. Sound good? You can find out more and register here, but be quick as the group is kept small and places are already filling up fast.



About Healthy Harvest Kitchen Gardens

Healthy Harvest provides a permaculture-based kitchen garden service for existing food growers and people who are inspired to grow food. We sell fresh chemical-free seedlings, seeds and seasonal produce. We also provide educational workshops, courses, gardening consultations and services. We can help with new vegetable garden designs, maintenance of established gardens, or converting and improving existing gardens ready for growing food. Please see our website for more information: Check out our blog at for news and interesting bits and pieces.

Posted on March 13, 2013, in permaculture. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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