Modularity rules!

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. 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. 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

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How we save nearly 2000 litres of water a year

It’s this simple! We all know that water is a valuable resource and one that shouldn’t be thrown away lightly. Some of us are still in mains water, so here’s a way to save quite a bit of that precious and increasingly expensive resource. The idea works for those on tank and bore water too. Here’s how we save a almost 2000 litres a year… The idea’s simple. A 1 litre bottle of water placed in the cistern of a toilet will displace 1 litre of cistern water. That keeps the float valve always just a little bit higher, causing less water to flow into the cistern. I’m assuming you already have the float valve adjusted to the minimum. The pic above shows how easy it is. Just fill a bottle with water. pop the cistern lid, slide in the bottle where it won’t catch on anything like the float and pop the lid back on. The next time you

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Gary’s got a new home!

  A couple of days ago we took out the backyard pond. It took lots of space and wasn’t very productive, so that space could be used for other things. While we were doing this, we needed to find a new home for the goldfish. That was easy, they went into the aquaponics (after a time in a bucket while they got used to the new water conditions). We found a Brown Tree Frog during our efforts too. The big question was what to do with our wandering crustacean, Gary the Yabby? Luckily, I’d just fitted a DIY solar fountain to the little pond in the front yard. It seemed most suitable for both Gary and the frog, so in they went. Gary was so happy with this turn of events that he actually refrained from his favourite game of ‘sever the finger’ while I popped him under the duckweed.    

…and the kitchen sink!

We’ve got water use, catchment and distribution in the garden under control, now it’s time to learn about recycling our greywater from the house. To that end, I’ve disconnected the drain from the sink and run it into buckets. A couple of days of measuring showed that we were throwing away around 21 litres a day! That’s quite a bit when projected over a year, 7665 litres in fact! Put another way, it’s nearly 8 of those square white IBCs. All for washing up and preparing food. Wow! What to do with all that water? At the moment, we’re catching it in buckets and putting it on the garden but, you know me…I’ll find a way to make the system automatic (or at least fairly labour free). It is grey-water, so even though we use environmentally friendly, phosphorus free, dish washing liquid, it’s not the best for drinking or adding to the aquaponics so onto the garden it goes. The

read more …and the kitchen sink!