Growing Strawberry with Fish Poop in Aquaponics System
As of yesterday, I started building my second Aquaponics System using most of the available components at the farm. I try to reuse as much as possible. Most of the stuff come from left over from the closed store or not being use at the farm. Some piping and connects are new, which is unavoidable.
My plan is to use this new system to grow 18 Strawberry plants. 6 in each of the 3 buckets in the picture. It is a work in progress, so I will update the blog as I get things completed. Hopefully, the whole system will be operating by end of Thursday.
The fish tank is the old Hydroponics water container. I had changed to a bigger one since. It can hold 160 Litter of water. It should be enough for 10 fishes. I am thinking of using Red Tilapia or in Thai it is called “Pla Tubtim” (ปลาทับทิม).
Small fish tank pump will pump up the water into the 3 grow-beds, which will cultivate bacteria that will break down the fish poop into plant’s fertilizer, which feed into the plants, Strawberry. I am simplifying the fertilizer a bit, but that is an other long story. … then the water return to the fish tank, ideally clean.
The grow-beds are made from old wine wooden crates lining plastic holding them together with stapler.
The siphons are basic Bell Siphon type, 1/2 inch PVC pipes glued to a hard plastic sheet to create better seal with the plastic lining. This is the only section that is glued, all other pipes fitting are snuggly fitted or with white seal tape. The bell siphon works ok. We tested the set up this morning, and hope it will continue to work after the clay balls are in place.
Clay balls of 2 sizes are used as grow media, small and medium sizes. We measured the volume and now it is soaked in water. It should be well absorbed by tomorrow.
I have a few Strawberry plants growing in the old system and maybe 10 more at various stages using good old soil. They do sprawl quite well both on ground and in Aquaponics. I don’t imagine that we will see them bare any fruits before new year.
All for now … I will add to this blog when there are more progress.
20121114 – Making an other entry
So today, we are fixing the leak in one of the grow-bed. Not sure where it leaks. By time I got to the farm, the labor (Chai) had remove the siphon fitting and the pipping, so no evident. We simply just redo the siphon, and hope it will work.
The soaked clay balls are in, and the siphon still working as expected. The filling rate is about 5 minutes and drain in about 2 minutes. Guess everything looks fine. You can see the Strawberry is ready to move form soil to the grow-beds.
Oh … one of the fish jump out and die, so not to waste anything, we will put his body into the clay balls and let him make Ammonia to kick off our system.