Backyard Aquaponics - Free R .BACKYARD AQUAPONICS A Guide to Building A Backyard System Joel Malcolm

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    A GUIDE TO BUILDING AN AQUAPONIC SYSTEM

    Joel Malcolm

  • B A C K Y A R D A Q U A P O N I C S

    A Guide to Building A Backyard System

    Joel Malcolm Western Australia

    www.backyardaquaponics.com

  • Table of Contents

    SO WHAT IS AQUAPONICS ................................................................................................. 8

    DESIGNING AND BUILDING A SYSTEM ........................................................................... 14

    Preface ................................................................................................................................... 6

    Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 7

    The Concept .......................................................................................................................... 8

    Components .......................................................................................................................... 8

    The Ideal ............................................................................................................................... 9

    The Dream ........................................................................................................................... 10

    My Early Experiences .......................................................................................................... 11

    Tanks ................................................................................................................................... 14

    Pumps .................................................................................................................................. 16

    Grow beds ............................................................................................................................ 18

    Growing Media .................................................................................................................... 21

    Grow Bed Irrigation and Draining ...................................................................................... 24

    Running Costs ..................................................................................................................... 27

    Water Quality ....................................................................................................................... 28

    Maintenance ........................................................................................................................30

  • SYSTEM DESIGNS .............................................................................................................. 32

    THE FISH ............................................................................................................................. 40

    THE PLANTS ....................................................................................................................... 60

    Continuous Flow Systems.................................................................................................... 33

    Flood And Drain Systems .................................................................................................... 35

    Stocking Densities ............................................................................................................... 41

    Feeding Your Fish ............................................................................................................... 42

    Fin Fish Species ................................................................................................................... 44

    Barramundi .......................................................................................................................... 44

    Goldfish And Koi ................................................................................................................. 46

    Black bream ......................................................................................................................... 48

    Silver Perch .......................................................................................................................... 50

    Murray Cod .......................................................................................................................... 52

    Tilapia .................................................................................................................................. 53

    Pacu ...................................................................................................................................... 54

    Trout .................................................................................................................................... 55

    Crustaceans .......................................................................................................................... 56

    Marron .................................................................................................................................. 56

    Yabbie .................................................................................................................................. 58

    Fish Conclusions .................................................................................................................. 59

  • BUILDING A SYSTEM ......................................................................................................... 64

    Building a shelter ................................................................................................................. 64

    Flood And Drain Design...................................................................................................... 72

    Building Grow Bed Supports ............................................................................................... 73

    The Drain System ................................................................................................................ 80

    The Growing Medium ......................................................................................................... 82

    The Irrigation Piping ........................................................................................................... 84

    Flood and drain Process ...................................................................................................... 89

    Initialising The System ........................................................................................................ 93

    Planting the beds ................................................................................................................. 95

    Stocking With Fish .............................................................................................................. 96

    Conclusions and my Thoughts ............................................................................................ 99

    Thanks ............................................................................................................................... 102

    Complete parts breakdown for full system as of 2005. ...................................................... 112

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    Preface

    This book draws together information from around the world, from numerous sources, about a range of subject matters concerning aquaponics, with a heavy focus on Australian conditions and Australian species, aimed at a hobby to small semi-commercial system, and most of its stripped back to the basics.

    A few years back when I wanted to learn all I could about aquaponics, and how to set up a hobby aquaponic system, there was no real manual or book or any precise help on the subject so it was difficult to implement, and required years of studying and experimenting to learn about different styles and set-ups. I only wished I could have had something directly related to hobby-sized set-ups, with particular attention paid to Australian conditions. So Ive tried to create what I wish I had a few years ago.

    I've written this because when I discovered aquaponics, it amazed me, and still does to this day, it just all makes so much sense... When I first started researching, I spent months searching the net for any information I could find, but information was scarce, especially for the setting up of a hobby or small scale system and most of the information I could find was directly related to not only other countries, but also climates different from that in Western Australia.

    Friends who saw the systems I had set up, were fascinated by the whole idea and keen to try it themselves. I decided that ultimately this is the sort of information which needs to be spread to as many people as possible who may be interested. I'd like to see every second backyard with an aquaponic system, to take some of the power away from the 'factory' farms that produce substandard products with little nutrients, while degrading the land and polluting our waterways.

    Native fish stocks are declining worldwide and we have to find safe ways of feeding ourselves and I hope to spur others to think outside the square, to devise new and better ideas, ways of feeding the world in a more viable and sustainable way than the methods we presently employ in western society.

    I don't claim this is a system whereby you can make a lot of money, I don't claim my designs are the most efficient or the most advisable for all situations, each persons situation is different.. I don't pretend to understand all of what is going on in the systems, all I know is that it works for me, and it can work for anyone if they follow the tried and tes