By Jon Archer
Thought I’d post a quick progress report on the aquaponics setup as the build pretty much complete and the growing has commenced. I left the last post where I had a lovely clean tank and had just introduced 20 goldfish. About a week later I introduced a further 20 and I’m happy to say that around 3 weeks on the fish are thriving, initially they seemed to cower in a corner but are making full use of the space.
We’ve had a good mix of weather, both heavy rain to top up the tank and blistering sunshine to reduce it again. The sunshine has helped bring on a fair amount of algae growth inside the tank, I’m assured this will subside once the nitrogen cycle really develops. Its assisted by the fact the tank is made of while slightly opaque plastic, this allows the UV to penetrate and promote the growth of the algae. This was one of the main reasons, alongside the promise of making it look nice that I created a wooden surround for the tank.
I created the surround using 2 or 3 old palettes a friend acquired for me, he asked permission first. I think the result is pretty good, if I do say so myself.
The other update is the progress of the plants, we now have carrots, cucamelons, pak choi, broccoli, spring onions, cucumbers and lettuce growing nicely. The lettuce has bloomed immensely, and mostly before the nitrogen cycle properly took effect. The rest are now starting to show progress as we are getting early signs of the cycle starting.
You can see the lettuce has really come on, and also early shots of the cucamelons. These are a new fruit to me, they are small grape sized fruits which look like water melons but apparently have a taste of cucumber and lime.
I’m due to retest the water in the next day or so, but last weeks tests showed a good sign of the expected ammonia, I’m hoping to see the signs of Nitrates or at least Nitrites next.
Left to right: pH - nice and stable at expected value of around 7.6, ammonia showing good early signs, nitrites still showing zero, and nitrates maybe showing a trace. Still really enjoying the aquaponics way of growing and now looking at ways to expand.