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Aquaponics

This gardening technique has been around for centuries apparently, it was used by the Romans and the Chinese to grow food for the table efficiently so I’ve been reading up about the technique over the last few weeks. I’ve bought a couple of books, Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together and Building An Aquaponics System: 1 (The Backyard Prepper Series) aimed at beginners which should allow me to understand enough to acquire my own system.

The theory behind it is sound, based on hundreds of years of use and the system doesn’t look that complicated, so far anyway, but having so little time I decided to have a look at what I could purchase as a solution instead of building. I came up with two systems available on Amazon and eBay which were complete Aquaponics solutions, one a FishPlant Family Unit Complete System was £600 and the second a FishPlant Production Unit Complete System was £1000.

Aquaponics1

Basically you need two containers, one for the fish, although you can use other sea creatures, crayfish or oysters for example, and the other for your plants. You feed the fish and use their waste products to fertilise the plants and the water is cycled between both systems. This system is more efficient in water use than Hydroponics which doesn’t have the fish and you have to add fertiliser which eventually requires the water to be completely replaced. Fish food being a lot less expensive and less damaging than fertiliser as well as producing fish is clearly a much better solution.

Sure, it needs power for force growing the plants but a small solar system can be used to power a few of these units and even if there is no power they can be used although production will be down. After all the Romans didn’t have any power when they were using these techniques.

I feel that these system will be invaluable for our requirements. Compact and efficient they will provide us vegetables and/or fruit and protien in the form of fish all of which could be grown indoors, garages, greenhouse or the like and out of the gaze of predators passing by.

The only OPSEC concern would be the solar panel and as the power requirements can be minimal you can opt to leave the force growing of the plants and increase security.

Well worth a look, search the internet to see others home built units, and see that you can build your own at a fraction of the price a ready made system is sold for. Personally, I’m going to be building one after I’ve finished with the solar panel project.

9 comments to Aquaponics

  • prepper1

    I sort of do this now.
    I have my plants that I chose to grow but water them with the fish tank water when I change the water in my fish tanks, the fish win because they get regular clean water and the plants love the nitrogen rich waste water.
    I had a weekling sweet pepper plant I got from b and q last year, pretty much thought it’d die, but feeding it the fish water make it bush out and now theres a pepper growing on nearly every part.

  • River Song

    I’ve been thinking about this myself. The idea of fresh fish to eat in a situation would be great. However in a post SHTF how would you replace the fish?

    X

  • I-K-E

    I’m guessing that using this system post SHTF you could incorporate the breed of fish into the system

  • fred

    There’s an aquaponics place near me – might go up on Sunday and have a look at it.

  • Skean Dhude

    Prepper,

    Sounds like you are ahead of the curve there.

    River,

    They replace themselves. First of all you have a Mummy Fish and a Daddy Fish then …. a stork drops off some more fish or something…

    IKE,

    You can use variois fish from tilapia, koi, trout, oysters, crayfush, etc… Have more than one and mix and match.

    Fred,

    Let us know if it is any good.

  • Kenneth Eames

    Hello SD, This seems a very good systembut, what would be the minimum size of tank for,say, trout? Surely has to be a very large size. I certainly find this idea worth investigating. I’ve looked at Hydroponics before but didn’t like the idea of using chemicals. Not viable in a Survival situation. Thanks very much for the info. Possibility, that I could set such a system up in my workshop, especially with your new post on the Solar kit. Kenneth Eames.

  • Skean Dhude

    Ken,

    Not got that far yet. Although from looking at trout in a barrel the water quantity was much larger than tilapia for example so I would guess you are right.

  • Undertaker

    I am in the (slow) process of building a pool in my garden, so I may well try to incorporate this into the design !

  • moosedog

    Just came across a project for a solar powered, stackable aquaponics system that might be of interest: if you do a web search for Staquaponics the original is on the itp.nyu.edu website. One point of interest is that you need some extra starting current to get the pump working: knowing this in advance might save some headaches later on.

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