Over the week end I went to a aquaponics class, and thought it was interesting concept,
In one way not really permaculture, but it looked like it could be adapted, in some way,
the biggest draw back was the fish still need to be feed (normally by external means and food) , and was not a true closed loop system, but one was raising fish and plants in a system, in many of the systems the pumps were solar,
Any thoughts on using the system or variations of the system?
No surprise that it is not the first AP thread... too good to ignore.
This is not the First Aquaponics thread here.
To label something "non permaculture" I fear is being too restrictive. Everything must be looked at in context and the more sustainable methods for a situation should be used.
The recognised method of AP would be less cost effective for me, TC .... both in terms of time and economics. I don't want to lose the benefits of the algae and want such a low tech design that I can replicate it anywhere. But in no way do I wish to knock the system for those with different criteria. You have successfully proved the value yourself in your set-up. No doubt about that. Superb production on land size.
Cyara, don't simply give up on aquaponics because of your source water being from a limestone aquifer. The action of the bacteria bio-filter in aquaponics does work to acidify the water and unless your tanks/grow beds and media are also limestone, the pH of the water will come down. My system much of my media is shells which keeps the pH at 7.6 generally, I might not be as successful as I like with some plants but I still have plenty of others that think aquaponics is great. The wicking beds also seem like a good alternative.
Depends on each situation. I have a river flowing by as one of my borders. Using more electricity would be more wasteful for me. Electricity costs are escalating here at a ridiculous rate. I am looking to get completely off-grid one day. All depends on what is important in each situation. I also do want to go for absolute self-sustainability..... regular AP design would not fit in with this.
I don't want to dump and replace water as that would be far more wasteful.
This is true. If fast growth is important then more intense inputs are necessary. Fast growth does seem to lend itself to high omega 6 levels and other challenges though. Natural cycles take longer but seem to produce better quallity. Admittedly space is needed... or less fish eaten and more of other proteins.... chicken.. rabbit... mutton.... even goat. Possible even on a small lot. Just depends what is wanted.
I would like to come up with better feed sources for the fish. Worms or BSF larva from bins are a nice option of feed supplementation but they are really too fatty to be the primary feed for fish like tilapia and catfish at least. Tilapia will happily feast on duckweed or algae but I don't really see those as viable options in small recirculating aquaponics systems where people are trying to grow the fish out really fast. Tilapia will survive on duckweed if you can keep them supplied with enough of it, but they won't grow as fast as they do on commercial feed. The bug zappers and bug lights do provide a good supplement of bugs to the catfish I'm growing but again, not a fast way to grow out large numbers.
Fred Morgan wrote:
It might be a bit ugly to throw in the occasional dead sheep in your system like I do for my catfish and langostinos but....
One thing to realize is that as you raise animals for food, you don't eat all of them (for those of you who do this) - the leftovers are excellent for fish. This goes with my idea of "no waste" as the key behind permaculture.
I would do the same with my tilapia. No waste. Don't think I will feed fish waste to them though.
LOL, no probably wouldn't want to swim in a pond with flesh eating catfish.
Well I can remember working on the ornamental pond at my mom's place and when I had to get in the pond to work on the waterfall or something, it really tickled as the goldfish tried to nibble the hairs off my legs.