Modularity rules!

Modules make for more efficiency
I like to be able to swap things around

One of the great things about aquaponics is that you can design a high degree of modularity and redundancy into your system.

Am example is our floating raft beds – the plants in them aren’t doing so well now that the cooler weather is here.

Swapping rafts is an easy way to improve efficiency
Swapping rafts is an easy way to improve efficiency

I noticed that, in these conditions, the Azolla was thriving. You can’t have too much Azolla, so I made the decision to swap out the floating veggie bed with a new Azolla mesh bed.

Now, we have twice as much Azolla growing and the space and nutrients aren’t being wasted on struggling plants.

The Basil that was in the vegetable raft bed will make their way to the front garden. They’re a perennial, bush Basil type so should do well after a period of adjustment.

The vegetable raft bed
Now to clean and store this bed for next Summer

We were lucky enough to get some thick, construction grade, Styrofoam from Andrew Hurst and his Habitat for Humanity project. This stuff will last for years so I’ll clean up the old raft and store it for next Summer.

I’ve designed our system with modularity in mind. Each bed has its own tap that allows the water flow to it to be stopped. This allows for repairs and maintenance.

Now the prolific growth of Summer has finished, we can open up the pipe bed that is above the media beds and soon close down the long pipes that run along the fence line. That’ll mean more veggies by the back door and less need to run out in the rain.

Having the active parts of the system in close to each other will mean that the next stage of experimentation – lighting will be more easily handled.

It’s all a learning experience!

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