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grassroots

No pump system?

9 posts in this topic

I would like to set up a system that doesn't use a pump. I thought a 1000 litre tank would carry somewhere between 3 to 5 fish. 2000litres for 6 to 10 fish etc. On top of the tank I would have a floating vegetable grow bed, with clay balls. Feeding the fish duckweed, sweet potato leaves, lettuce and bsf.

Has anyone done this?

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Hi Grassroots,

I know a scientist called Vivienne Hallman who ran something quite similar to what you've described (albeit on a slightly larger scale). She grew silver perch in 4,000 litre above ground swimming pools. The pools were lightly stocked and had no bio-filtration. She maintained water quality by using the water from the fish tanks to irrigate Asian greens and herbs which she grew in broccoli boxes. She topped the fish tanks up from rainwater tanks.

You can read more about her project......here.

I'd probably want to put an air pump into the tank - just as an bit of insurance against things becoming anaerobic......particularly given that you live in Rockhampton. You might also need to lower the stocking density a bit given that things are probably a bit warmer where you are.

It all really depends on your throughput of water. Exactly how many fish you can keep at any given time (and density) could be determined by water testing.

Gary

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This is a bit different, but I had been trialing a system in my dam, where I had cut holes in old boggie boards and slotted in pot plants, so as they were just touching the water , they were just floating around looking after them selves until the dam over flowed and pushed them out, anyway the tomatoes didnt do really well but the Ceylon spinach and the strawberry plants did, i am still experimenting with new stuff but the mozzies are too bad to get near the dam at the moment, i reckon cress would do ok as well.

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There is a gentlemen rececently retired from running a nursery who has moved in across the road from me. He has a 5000 litre tank full of large gold fish that he brought home from the nursery. He uses the water to irrigate his vegie patch and his large collection of bonzai trees. Fresh water from his large water tanks replaces the water used. He never tests his water and his fish remain healthy.

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Hi Rudy,

Your neighbour's set up appears to be similar (in terms of how it operates) to Vivienne Hallmann's system.....here.

If you replace enough water......and keep your stocking levels low.......you end up with a form of greenwater culture.....and no bio-filtration will be necessary.

Gary

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How would a system like this differ from a deep water culture system? I know you'd still want an air pump, but you wouldn't have to worry about pumping water through the system. I barely looked into the idea, so I don't know how you build the bacteria culture in a DWC or anything yet.

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Biofiltration is the single most effective water treatment technology on the planet. Biofiltration water treatment is the process of cleansing water of harmful pollutants and organic matter by running the water through a system of plants and microbes. This natural filtration environment filters out and absorbs components that would otherwise pollute the local ecosystem.

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Hi Skulker,

Just to expand a little on what Pugo has said about bio-filtration....

For practical purposes, bio-filtration is the conversion of organic compounds (fish faeces and uneaten food) into ammonia.....and then to nitrite (both of which are toxic in certain circumstances).....and then to nitrate (which is much less toxic). Nitrate is also able to be readily taken up by plants.

So-called beneficial bacteria are responsible for this conversion.

While these bacteria are naturally occurring in air and water, we use simple devices called biological filters (AKA bio-filters) to facilitate the colonisation of these bacteria in sufficient numbers to be able to deal with the wastes that are produced within aquaculture or aquaponics systems.

Gary

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