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 Post subject: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '11, 17:46 
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Hi guys,

setting up an aquaponics system at school here in Greensborough Victoria.

Tilapia are of the cards, so I believe. Anyone any suggestions about a suitable fish for the Melbourne area (vegetarian would be nice)?

Cheers, Jan


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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '11, 18:24 
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Silver perch for sure, also catfish and bass are available at the moment. Trout could also go in shortly but they will not survive our summers (normally).
I would go with silver perch and yes we are not allowed tilapia down here unfortunately else I would have them in a heartbeat

edit: Oh yeah , welcome, didnt notice it was your first post :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '11, 18:33 
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Hey Jan, Welcome Glad to see another school onto Aquaponics :)

I would recommend using Silver Perch over warmer months, however during the cooler months Rainbow trout are the best bet. Catfish and bass are options, however Redfin, golden perch are sceptical due to feeding issues and murray cod are far too predatory to have in small scale aquaponics successfully, although some people have had success with them.

Do you have the system in a hot house??

Silver perch will feed on Duckweed, leafy greens etc, but would still require a high protein pellet style food to keep growth up.

Good Luck with it all, hope to see more schools get onto aquaponics!!!

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '11, 18:33 
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Hey Jan, Welcome Glad to see another school onto Aquaponics :)

I would recommend using Silver Perch over warmer months, however during the cooler months Rainbow trout are the best bet. Catfish and bass are options, however Redfin, golden perch are sceptical due to feeding issues and murray cod are far too predatory to have in small scale aquaponics successfully, although some people have had success with them.

Do you have the system in a hot house??

Silver perch will feed on Duckweed, leafy greens etc, but would still require a high protein pellet style food to keep growth up.

Good Luck with it all, hope to see more schools get onto aquaponics!!!

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '11, 19:28 
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Silver Perch... near bullet proof... and bare in mind you have school holiday periods to deal with...

Goldfish are another low maintenance option...

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '11, 21:58 
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They could do feeder fish then supply the local aquariums with the feeders to sell a good fundraiser??

Plus lots of pretty colours for the kids.... Colourful get their interest more

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '11, 16:40 
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Thanks for all the info guys,

silver perch certainly seems to be the way to go. We won't have the system in a greenhouse, although the area where we plan to have it is secluded and less exposed.

at the moment I am applying for grant money and getting info on tank sizes /prices.

a 2000l tank overflowing in old bath tubs for growing the veggies and as well as a sump is what we're looking into.

So it'll be
-water overflowing from fish tank to growth beds (bath tubs)
-water draining from growth beds, also containing worms to clean up larger crud, into a sump
-a pump, pumping the, hopefully clean, water back to the fish tank

I'll keep you guys posted,

cheers, Jan
How many silver perch you guys reckon we can grow in 2000l?


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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '11, 19:26 
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j_cornelissen wrote:
How many silver perch you guys reckon we can grow in 2000l?

Depends on how much grow bed filtration volume you have... not the fish tank volume...

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 5th, '11, 05:15 
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aha, so I suppose it is better to have overcapacity of filter beds than of fish (in the worst case your veggies won't grow that well).

On this subject; is it possible to seed the filter beds with the right bacteria, say for example from a good old little goldfish tank, or do you just wait for the bacteria to rock up by themselves?

Thanks again, Jan


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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 5th, '11, 07:56 
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Seeding will reduce your cycling time....

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 7th, '11, 07:01 
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OK,

so the more I think about it, the more complex this whole aquaponics is

the sump I should be using with a tank overflow system should be at least the volume of all the grow beds combined, is this the right assumption?

And on a different note, is it common practice to add worms to the grow beds to prevent the system from clogging up?

Cheers, Jan


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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 7th, '11, 07:15 
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j_cornelissen wrote:
OK,

so the more I think about it, the more complex this whole aquaponics is

the sump I should be using with a tank overflow system should be at least the volume of all the grow beds combined, is this the right assumption?

And on a different note, is it common practice to add worms to the grow beds to prevent the system from clogging up?

Cheers, Jan


The sump should be able to hold enough water to fill the growbeds and still have some in reserve so the pump never runs dry.

a 500L Growbed will only need around 200L of water.

you also need to keep in mind about holiday periods where the Sump could end up empty due to not being topped up. so having plenty in reserve would be a very good idea.

you could also run some Constantly Flooded Growing beds, these dont drain and require no sump room, a combination of beds can see a very efficient system.

Worms will help keep beds clean, also the use of Expanded clay pebbles as medium makes easy work of removing excess roots from the system each harvest.

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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 7th, '11, 16:54 
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Thanks Jamey,

forgot about the fact that the grow beds are actually filled with scoria and therefore can't hold that much water (duh!)

getting there, bit by bit

will post a drawing of the intended set-up soonish

Cheers, Jan


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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '11, 18:45 
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Ok,

still busy with the grant application and getting to the financial part of things.

got some quotes on the 2000l ft and will go for old bath tubs for the grow beds.

Jamey, you mention a Bunnings pump you use for your set-up, will something similar do for what I have in mind? The idea is to flood - drain.

Any suggestions / recommendations what to use (or avoid) are much appreciated.

Cheers, guys Jan


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 Post subject: Re: some advice
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '11, 18:47 
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yep the 'B' (thats how we refer to the great green shed on here :thumbleft: ) pumps will do you, though you might want to go to a aq shop, might pay a little more but the quality and return service might be a bit better? :dontknow:

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