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New permaculture project  RSS feed

 
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Hi I'm here looking for some help with starting my project.

I'm struggling to find decent land where I am in the UK as the area I need to be in all the land is practically as flat as you can imagine and the small slopes I do see are north facing.

would it be possible for me to create hillsides and move the earth to whatever position or shape I want?

Ideally I want to use some electrical power to create water flows in my system so I can farm a large number of fish within the system and I can't find examples of farms that include fish farming so I am struggling to imagine how it would look.

Any help or input from any one here would be great

Thanks
 
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Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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In permaculture, there is a saying that is known as a Type 1 error.  I'm not saying that this is the necessarily the case, but hear me out:  If you want to do the work, and expend the money for machines, you can make any type of topography and ponds on flat land, but a type 1 error, would be to put such a system in place when the landscape cries for something else, simply because you want it.  You dream of a fish farm, but your land is flat.  Ok, so if you want to expend the money on getting some machines in to the place, and then put in pumps to circulate the water (another expense), then you can have your system.  There is no reason why you can't if your local council/laws are not blocking such things.  

If I had such a dream and lived in a place that would require a lot of extra work, I might consider moving to another part of the U.K. that had more suitable topography.  

would it be possible for me to create hillsides and move the earth to whatever position or shape I want?

yes you can, keeping in mind the need to create proper dams and seals.


the small slopes I do see are north facing.  


North facing slopes, as far as I know, should not be much of an issue with fish.  
 
Sam Weldon
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The north facing slope was more about the trees I would plant on the land such as nut trees, fruit trees etc.


Unfortunately I can't move away from this area of the UK due to personal reasons - needing to be within travel distance of the mother in law as she is ill so I have to make do.

I have no problem with installing water pumps and moving the land I will put the effort in and do the work if need be.

I just struggle to do the actual design I just can't see it in my head the way I want to.

Also I can't seem to find water pumps that can pump a high enough volume of water to create artficial stream like systems and also what about soil erosion due to faster flowing water? What about tree roots hitting the river bed and causing leakage? Would I have enough rainfall to retain water?

I have so many questions and hours and hours of research a day just isn't leaving a dent in the amount of questions I have
 
Sam Weldon
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Also if I had topography with hills etc would I be able to create fast flowing streams without pumps?

Surely that would only be possible with constant non stop rain?
 
Roberto pokachinni
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If you are wanting to have fast flowing streams then you will either require large industrial pumps or you will require all of the following: gravity feed from an existing stream, the ability to clean your waste water, and gravity feed back into the stream flow.

For fish farming, so long as you have the right temperature and aeration, as far as I know you will not need fast flowing water.

If you do not have either gravity feed or large pumps, you can not have a lot of flow.   You can have flow, but you can't have tons of flow.  So you can have your tanks flow downhill, one into the next, and the last pond pumps back into the first.

The only way that you can have a decent flow, without a large pump, or on demand gravity feed, is to have sporadic flow.  In that case you would have an upper tank that fills by trickle feed from a simple cheaper pump somewhere down at the bottom of your flow system.  When the tank gets full, there is a floater valve, like in a toilet, which then reaches max, triggering a release by pulling a rod or chain on a plug, like when you flush a toilet.  The water then washes down from the upper tank, feeding into each subsequent fish pond, bio/aquatic cleaning ponds, et cetera, and dumps into a final tank where the pump is.  The last lowest pond is considerably larger than the top pond, and so always has enough water to pump and fill the upper pond.    

You might want to swap this thread or question into the aquaculture forum or something like that in order to get more people checking it out and responding.  Some fish folks might not look at the thread at all with that title, and in the permaculture forum.  

I have no problem with installing water pumps and moving the land I will put the effort in and do the work if need be.  

ok. no worries.

Also I can't seem to find water pumps that can pump a high enough volume of water to create artficial stream like systems and also what about soil erosion due to faster flowing water? What about tree roots hitting the river bed and causing leakage?

 You might want to choose species that do not require such a fast flow.  I'm thinking that you might be considering arctic char, which are not the easiest fish from my own studies.  I don't mean to sound weird about it, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that you have no experience whatsoever in fish farming, or developing land, so I'm going to say that you are going to have to ask a lot more questions if you are wanting to avoid either a catastrophic failure of your system, or a vast waste of money and time on a system that does not perform the way you want it to.  Considering that you clearly have some income that you can put to the task, you might want to hire a consultant who specializes in such things-at least for your water system/pond infrastructure.


 
Sam Weldon
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I have some experience in fish farming but yes not much.

This isn't necessarily new to me as in I have wanted to do this for a very long time and it's been something I've been researching constantly for years.

I will look into getting a consultant but the way I do things as with everything in life I like to know how things work like getting electrics done in my house I paid an electrician but I understud everything he was doing.

I want to be able to atleast start a design for my self with ideas to go to the consultant with.

The same as when designing a house to build. I want to design it myself so I learn a bit about architecture and I'll go to an architect after. Otherwise I'd be getting an architect to make thousands of designs before I pick one I like.


The fast flowing water I believe from the way I understand it would be a good concept as it will provide proper aeration along with beautiful scenery and produce healthier fish from swimming in the current. I could use the same amount of electricity on several pumps to aerate each individual pond system.

Maybe I am wrong and using small fountains on still water ponds would be more efficient and I'm happy to be told I am wrong.

Im looking into efficient ways to aerate water or create flow

It could be possible to create the "creek/river" entirely on contour so the water flow never has to rise which is more efficient to pump too

Does anyone on here recommend any good consultants on this sort of thing in north east UK?

Thanks

 
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Location: Harghita County, Transylvania, Romania
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Sam,

A while ago I saw a video on YouTube about a large-scale permaculture project in Russia.  It was shared on this forum as well.  I see that it has been taken down from YouTube, which is a pity because it could have helped spark off some ideas for you.

The project consisted of several larg-ish ponds dug on a plain / flat land, with the spoil piled into 'hills' not far from the ponds. It was a nice video because it showed aerial views of the entire project, when earthworks were still underway, as well at completion, with the ponds filled with water.

I think the water came from precipitation - I don't recall having seen any river or stream in the images.

I don't see why you shouldn't be able to build ponds on flat land - to my mind, it may be advantageous, as you won't need to make a dam (or not a large one anyway) to have a pond.  You may have a problem if your land is really very flat, and the overflow has nowhere to go.  In fact, the aerial views of the Russian project did show extensive waterlogged areas around the ponds, presumably after a rainy period.  But even that may be okay, if you prepare for it - e.g., if you aim for having a (seasonal) wetland in some areas around the pond, with the opportunities that that may bring.

Those flat & wet areas may be balanced off by the 'hills' you build from the spoil, which by the way can help you counteract the naturally north-leaning slope of your plot. I have a mental image of terraced, crescent-shaped 'hills', whose inward-curving south-facing slopes catch both the direct rays of the sun, and those reflected from the pond...

As for streams - I don't understand why these are necessary.  If you stock your ponds with the right species, the fact that water is stagnating and is not very high in oxygen should not be an issue.  Carp for instance is quite tolerant of stagnant, even murky water.  European Weather Loach is even more so.

Keep us posted about your progress !
 
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