Good Earth Aquaponics
Our new aquaponics system is constructed and ready for fish and plants!
Here is how we built it.....
First we measured out the area that would be excavated for the fish tank.
Then we moved irrigation lines that were in the way and dug out two saplings to be transplanted in a new location.
A trench was dug around the perimeter of the excavation to indicate where to dig.
Digging in our heavy red clay is hard work and needs a sturdy hoe.
Most of the dirt from the excavation will be used for the base of the grow beds around the new aquaponics tank.
The excess is placed beside an existing aquaculture grow out pond (picture at right) to facilitate building
grow beds there for our next aquaponics project. The swimming pond can be seen in the background.
On the left is my wife, Oh, showing the boys how to dig!
You can see the tank and the raised area around it taking shape.
The boys are straightening the walls to make it easier to lay the blocks.
They are also leveling the floor.
The floor has been laid using chicken wire and cement.
Blocks have been stacked around the excavation in preparation for laying the walls.
All of the cement mixing is done by hand. Good exercise!
The walls are laid using cement blocks. The hollow blocks are filled with a mixture of clay and cement
to make them more waterproof. The space between the block wall and the excavation wall is then
backfilled with the clay and cement mix.
The dirt is leveled around the tank to provide a foundation for the base and a cement block
retaining wall is installed to hold it in place
Cement and chicken wire are used to make a base for the growbeds. The base is inclined slightly
towards the tank to aid drainage from the beds back to the tank.
More blocks are used to build the growbeds. A space is left every 1.5 meters to facilitate pruning and harvesting.
PVC pipe was inserted into the growbed walls during construction. Combined with the slight incline
of the growbed base this allows water to drain back into the tank after fertigating the plants.
The water is fertilized and ready for fish.
Some newer pictures of the system in action!
On the left is the system as it looked in April, 2011. One of the catfish destined for dinner!
Good sized catfish are doing well in the fertilized tank and
the mung beans and okra in the growbeds like the fertigation.