Scott is giving away his aquaponic system! If you are interested in it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in contact with him to arrange the transfer.
The system includes an IBC fish tank, a full IBC sump tank, a 55-gal
settling filter, 3 half-IBC grow beds and 4 half-barrel grow beds.
Here is the work required to operate the system:
Daily (about 10 min but only during growing season)
Feed fish, general upkeep of plants, check water flow and unclog anything as needed. Sometimes harvest daily, sometimes less frequently.
Weekly (about 20 minutes)
Discharge solids from settling tank (I discharge to my lawn but could use as fertilizer in garden), check and adjust water chemistry (more on this below), check water flow and unclog anything as needed.
Annually Late Fall (1-4 hr)
Clean out plants. Shut off part of the system (close a valve). Install cheap pond heater to prevent freezing. Could plant cold-weather plants but I usually have a few greens already in there (oregano, parsley, beets, some perennial onions) that survive winter OK. In winter, feeding is much less (once per week) and plants don’t grow.
Plant out beds. This can be putting individual seedlings in a carefully organized way. Lately, I just throw handfuls of seeds in the beds and whatever grows, grows. Greens like kale, kholrabi, beets, turnip greens, and herbs (parsley, dill, oregano) grow well without any intervention. Fruiting plants require a bit more care and careful attention to water chemistry and nutrients. In the past, I’ve grown fruiting plants well, like green beans, eggplants, and tomatoes. In the photos, you can see some greens going to seed (beets, dill, parsley). I just let them go, collect the seeds and throw the seeds back into the beds.