Aquaponics is a system which grows fish and plants together. The waste from the fish supplies nutrients to the plants in the water pumped around the system. The plants are grown in 30cm deep grow beds full of gravel . The water is pumped to the grow beds and then gravity fed back to the fish tank. The gravel in the grow beds not only hold the plants in place but develop bacteria naturally on them which converts the fish waste full of nitrates which is harmful to plants into nitrites which are beneficial for plants. A totally organic water wise way of intensive food production.
The gardens have an aquaponics demonstration which you are welcome to come and learn more about.
Our system uses what is called a CHOP sytem (Constant Height One Pump) which is the most efficient way to run an Aquaponics system. The basic principal is to use the force of gravity to assist us where possible, resulting in minimal power consumption. One pump is used to pump the water to the grow beds and gravity is used to have it flow back to the fish tank.
The CHOP system is also better for the health and wellbeing of the fish. There is more water in circulation which brings stability in both temperature and pH. Because the fish tank is always full of water the fish are safe if something goes wrong with either the plumbing or pump.
The Flood and Drain system oxygenates the plant roots and stimulates the biota in the gravel.
The gravel used in the Grow Beds becomes home for a high number of garden worms, bacteria and soil biota, mimicking natural systems and stimulating plant growth.
Aquaponics only uses 10% of the water used in a conventional garden.
Aquaponics is a water and energy-efficient system for producing organic food for the future!
For more information visit Murray Hallam who designed and installed our system at http://www.aquaponics.net.au/