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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 07:51 
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I was hoping to draw on the great expertise on this forum.
Can anyone with an opinion suggest what they might think would be necessary to fully sustain either one person or a family of 3-4 etc in terms of no of xL of growbeds and L of fishtanks and numbers of fish ? Maybe we should work on say 90% of the veges and fish required. Obviously there are other food requirements such as Himalayan goat cheese and Venezuelan Octopus eyes :funny1:

This could be equivalent production as well, for instance one grower might just grow carrots and lettuce, but would produce enough to sell/barter other growers for 99% of their food needs - you get the picture :D

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts !

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 08:21 
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To support a family of 4.... at least a 3000L tank, 1000L sump tank.... and 4 x 500L grow beds...

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 10:27 
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why the sump if the 3000L is lowered into the ground a bit can the beds then be gravity fed strait back into the ft?

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 10:27 
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Hmmm, for some reason I was actually thinking it would need more than that. But I have yet to start my first system...
So with 4x500L grow beds, its feasible to manage a constant supply of food year round? (providing you don't live somewhere where it gets too cold) ?

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 11:43 
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nat wrote:
why the sump if the 3000L is lowered into the ground a bit can the beds then be gravity fed strait back into the ft?


They could indeed... but the drawdown on the tank itself, benefits from a sump collection, and fast delivery pump back to the fish tank...

This is assuming a timer/standpipe configuration... ala the BYAP "Family" kit system..

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 11:44 
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SuperVeg wrote:
Hmmm, for some reason I was actually thinking it would need more than that. But I have yet to start my first system...
So with 4x500L grow beds, its feasible to manage a constant supply of food year round? (providing you don't live somewhere where it gets too cold) ?


It will certainly provide a constant supply of vegetables for a family of 3-4... a 6 bed system would provide greater continuity and flexibility...

But you probably wont have any great amount of "excess" to sell/trade...

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 19:28 
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that means aquaponics is even more awesome than I thought ! :)

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 19:44 
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Now... come back... to what your expectations are....

What are you hoping to grow.... and how much do you all eat... :lol:

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 20:33 
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would it be fair to say the trick would be actually planting in advance of what you want, eg sort of planting because in xyz weeks you want to harvest that.. and then keeping that consistent.

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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 21:14 
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I have the system you mentioned, so i think my experience may help.
As far as veges are concerned i could well be self sufficient, provided i lived on silverbeet, beets, herbs, lettuce and stuff like that. However that is not what i like to eat, i like chillis, onions, tomatoes, and other nightshades. During the warmer months i produce up to 3 kgs of these a day, and i give the surplus to he local Italian restuarant.
You have to eat what is in season, or can stuff, which is what i am going to do this year.
As for fish, i dont eat them as hey are my fertiliser factiries and if i eat them i have to go to perth and get more, big hassle
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PostPosted: Nov 15th, '11, 22:28 
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And that's one of the reasons I said... pull back a bit...

Yes, unless you can control your environment.. i.e a greenhouse... then there are seasonal limitations as to what can be grown... and/or time ti takes to grow things...

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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '11, 02:31 
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I have 4 1000 liter growbeds 2.2 meters in diameter and a 4000 liter tank. I could push out 240 kg of fish a year if I could figure out how to keep things cool for the trout over summer. there is a lot of vegetable being produced. Whether or not you can support a family of 4 on the system is questionable. You would need to be pretty organised in terms of seedlings and fish stocking etc.

I read somewhere on this forum it was 27 meters square of gravel surface area and a 30 000liter fish tank to support one person fully. Not sure where I read that but its a far cry from 3000 liters and 3 500liter growbeds for a whole family. I guess the word 'fully' changes things a bit. If you are talking support in terms of fish and veg intake then it is quite different from fully sustaining a persons food requirements.

I really must start capturing some more solid data on how much veg my system produces. Need a bigger scale to weigh the veg.

does anybody have any figures on what the average person who eats fish consumes in the way of fish meals in a year? If you assume one 300gram fish meal a week then it's just over 15kg of fish a year per person. So 60kg of fish per year for a family of 4 then you need 2000 liters of gravel filtration to grow out your fish. 4X 500liter growbeds. My general feeling is this will fall well short of supplying enough veg :dontknow: .

My small family of three comprises 2 vegetarians so not the ideal model. My wife also makes green juices which uses up masses of vegetables. I get to give away/sell quite a bit of trout. :wave:

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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '11, 03:03 
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So what is an 'average person'? Are kids factored into 'average' person consumption? Generally speaking, I can probably consume more food than the other members of my family of 5 combined.

Are we considering that self-sufficient also would imply that you have to produce your own feed, so you might need to consider the surface area required to produce your own food. I suppose you can just dig up worms and larvae around the area (which by the way, in itself, provides nutrition for your family).

I also think, if your goal is for when the SHTF (aka when bovine excrement flies everywhere) semi-self-sufficient, you might be better off having part of your food in the ground. Fruit trees almost take care of themselves. Fish in a large pond in tropical environments might be good too. I know the fish in the pond (aka neighborhood drainage ditch) near us is fully stocked with fish and it's probably only about half an acre. Plus the pond attracts some nice fat geese and ducks. :)


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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '11, 05:24 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
Now... come back... to what your expectations are....

What are you hoping to grow.... and how much do you all eat... :lol:


Don't really have specific expectations, first and foremost I just like doing cool projects, growing things and looking after fish, so aquaponics kinda fits that pretty well :)

I'm hoping to grow (once I work out what will and wont grow, I don't know if you can grow beetroot well for instance, or carrots, or pumpkins) the majority of the food we eat tomatoes, lettucey type things, kale, spinach of some sort, beans, shallots, capsicum, pumpkins, and whatever. Oh yeah and tasty fishes :D Probably Jade Perch, hopefully all year round (Brisbane)

My progress at the moment is the purchase of 2 unmodified 200L blue barrels and a stack of pine from the dump shop. So I have got a long way to go :)

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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '11, 10:22 
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You will do well with Beets, carrots and pumpkins. I find the Brassica's are the worst because they either bolt or the bugs get them (White moth)


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