Earthan Group

Our newest integrated garden

137 posts in this topic

Here is a shot of our recent job on the south cost NSW.

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6000 liters aquaculture

220 m2 of grow space that includes earthan beds, floating raft and media beds.

Took a month to build with all the rain down there but it is done.

I have written up a full run down on our site

Enjoy.

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Hi Paul,

It's looking great. We look forward to more detail of how it's going.

What are the characteristics of an Earthan bed?

Gary

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Thanks guys.

The Earthan Beds are essentially a grow bed with soil in them that is connected to the fish system.

I like soil because:

  • Any plant grows well in it
  • We have been growing plants in it since time out of mind.
  • Contains all the micro nutrients needed.
  • It is cheap and easy to get.
  • Thermally stable.
  • Require no additional nutrients.
  • You can turn in manure or inorganic ferts if required
  • Treat the plants with organic pesticides without risk to the fish.
  • Lay out mulch.
  • Much less evaporation.
  • and the list goes on.

With the correct soil mix and properly built, they can be extremely effective filters with massive surface area.

Anyone else using soil beds in their aquaponics?

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Sweet ! That is all I have to say..totally sweet :) Congrats on the efforts

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Hi Paul,

When you look at the detail of the gardens, they are all the more amazing......congratulations to you and the team that designed and assembled the thing.

Anyone else using soil beds in their aquaponics?

I've thought about it often enough but wicking beds are as far as I've got thus far.

Would you care to elaborate further on how they are constructed and how they operate?

Gary

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Are the Earthan Bed's a open system then? i.e. you put aquaponic water in, but don't take any out? I'm planning on building a small wicking bed this upcoming summer a water it with aquaponic water.

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Nice job mate

Thanks again Anthony

Sweet ! That is all I have to say..totally sweet :) Congrats on the efforts

Thanks Michael

When you look at the detail of the gardens, they are all the more amazing......congratulations to you and the team that designed and assembled the thing.

Thanks Gary. There is a great deal more to this garden than meets the eye.

Part of the brief is they had to be simple to operate so all of the complexity is built into the system to make it simple. If that makes sense.

Are the Earthan Bed's a open system then? i.e. you put aquaponic water in, but don't take any out? I'm planning on building a small wicking bed this upcoming summer a water it with aquaponic water.

The entire garden is a closed recirculating system as with a recirc. aquaculture system, only the beds are included like aquaculture tanks would be. So the Earthan Beds have fish water running through them constantly.

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First off, my I forgot to mention that I am also impressed and think it's a great systemm

The entire garden is a closed recirculating system as with a recirc. aquaculture system, only the beds are included like aquaculture tanks would be. So the Earthan Beds have fish water running through them constantly.

Is there any concern with solids being picked up in the eathern grow beds and do you then have to filter the water coming out? Does the water pick-up any colour?

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First off, my I forgot to mention that I am also impressed and think it's a great systemm

Thanks mate.

  1. Is there any concern with solids being picked up in the eathern grow beds
  2. and do you then have to filter the water coming out?
  3. Does the water pick-up any colour?

  1. None. We did not wash any part of the clay media or any of the 90 tonnes of gravel through out the system and the water is clear but getting a little green because there is still not enough plants in it. No clay no dirt nothing. In fact we had a minor mishap with one of the sumps and ended up with a huge amount of clay rich water in the sumps, it went through the fish tanks then through the beds and came back clear.
  2. The beds are designed to be the filter. We do have a small amount of bio media in one of the water storage sumps but that is only there as a precaution if the beds need to be bypassed completely.
  3. Over time it will pick up the usual tannin color but that is a good thing and what we want. To reduce that, we would reduce the amount of mulch and other plant waste sources

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Sorry, but I don't understand.

Water goes through beds with soil and back to FT , and soil is not dissolve in water?

Maybe I didn't understand because of my bad english.

If I understand you correctly, then must be some membrane involve in yours beds.

Cheers

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Sorry, but I don't understand.

Water goes through beds with soil and back to FT , and soil is not dissolve in water?

Maybe I didn't understand because of my bad english.

If I understand you correctly, then must be some membrane involve in yours beds.

Cheers

There is filtration built into the beds and they do have a rubber membrane liner in them.

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Looks fabulous,

But I'm beginning to think you've developed an aversion to straight lines:tongue:

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Looks fabulous,

But I'm beginning to think you've developed an aversion to straight lines:tongue:

lol Shane. Yeah these integrated gardens let me get out of the straight lines of aquaculture and be a little creative. But part of the breif for the research was it to be some kind of maze. Sort of like paths that lead to nowhere and the like. Curves are nice on the eye but not easy to build. I can attest and I am sure Rob will to, the maze part of it started to work when we were building the outer curves as you would walk down one part to get some tools and get stuck in the middle somewhere and have to walk around....

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Hi EG

Beautiful set up, IMO you are holding the key to the AP future.

A question how do you keep the crayfish in, I would thaught that they crawled out?

quote: The DWC beds will also house the fresh water crayfish which will require no additional feeding outside of what they can scavenge. They will produce around the 100kg of yabbies (Cherax destructors)

cheers

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Looks great E.G.!

The world has again been made just a little bit better by the introduction of another beautiful AP setup :)

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Hi EG

Beautiful set up, IMO you are holding the key to the AP future.

A question how do you keep the crayfish in, I would thaught that they crawled out?

quote: The DWC beds will also house the fresh water crayfish which will require no additional feeding outside of what they can scavenge. They will produce around the 100kg of yabbies (Cherax destructors)

cheers

Thanks Ande. Not sure I am holding the key to the aquaponics future, but I like to take the best from mutiple growing methods and improving on them with new technologies.

RE: the yabbies staying put. The floating rafts obviously have a raft on top of them and they are quite deep. But there is no guarantee they will stay in the system. From my small amount of experience with freshwater crayfish, they stay if the environmental conditions are good, their is plenty of feed and they are not overcrowded.

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Looks great E.G.!

The world has again been made just a little bit better by the introduction of another beautiful AP setup :)

Thank you GreenFin, every little bit helps for sure.

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Hi,

From my small amount of experience with freshwater crayfish......

I offer a brief caution for anyone who may be planning to respond to this statement. Paul has a great deal of experience with freshwater crayfish......and he hosts one of the most comprehensive web sites on freshwater crayfish anywhere.

Paul (as Jan said to me recently), don't play with your food......;)

Gary

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Hi,

I offer a brief caution for anyone who may be planning to respond to this statement. Paul has a great deal of experience with freshwater crayfish......and he hosts one of the most comprehensive web sites on freshwater crayfish anywhere.

Paul (as Jan said to me recently), don't play with your food......;)

Gary

lol just being humble Gary. While we do a great amount of work with fresh water crayfsih around australia and in fact the world, a great amount is still unknown about their behavior, especially in an aquaponic system. But from past experiences, I may have it worked out.

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Hi again EG

We have one specie(Astacus astacus) here in Norway(out of 5species total naturaly or native to europe) its threatend by plague (Aphanomyces astaci) from the american (Pasifastacus leniusculus) so the escape aspect is absolute esential to cover(document) to farm it. All crayfish is baned for hobby purposes including indoor aquarium.

Thats why I asked

cheers

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Hi again EG

We have one specie(Astacus astacus) here in Norway(out of 5species total naturaly or native to europe) its threatend by plague (Aphanomyces astaci) from the american (Pasifastacus leniusculus) so the escape aspect is absolute esential to cover(document) to farm it. All crayfish is baned for hobby purposes including indoor aquarium.

Thats why I asked

cheers

If you provide around that 100 to 150mm of free board, the crayfish don't get out. You know they have done some great work on breeding the disease out of next generation crayfish using salmon hatching systems. I was one of the consultants to the Government here on behalf of farmers to gain funding for them to research this method here in AU.

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Had an update from them yesterday, they were a little concerned about the green water and it only has 10 gold fish and 5 yabbies in the system. There is some filamentous algae on the walls of the tanks. Which is not a concern.

What may be interesting is they have had quite a bit of rain and the system water is still crystal clear and no contaminants (exluding some leaves in the tanks). And the system has not used any water at all in 6 weeks. That may change as they plant another 3000 seedings in the outer beds but we will see....

I like those results for sustainable gardening. :headbang:

copy-of-basin-view-19th-020.jpg

copy-of-basin-view-19th-023.jpg

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Hi,

If you provide around that 100 to 150mm of free board, the crayfish don't get out.

With the important caveat, that you don't have any pipes, air-lines, hoses or other things hanging in the culture tank. They climb very well once they have the means.

The other thing that we experienced was that such things also provide the means for water monitors (lizards) to get into the tank......and (subsequently) into the crayfish. We inadvertently provided many gourmet meals for a little water monitor before we become aware of the problem.

On another matter (but still related to this project), I see that you are frustrating old RupertofOz over on BYAP.....over the construction details of your Earthan beds.

Am I correct in assuming that these beds are actually a combination of a media grow bed and a wicking bed?

Where a wicking bed has a static water reservoir, I'm guessing that the flood and drain media bed is providing the water for the wicking bed that sits over it.

Tell me......or I'll arrange for someone to drop by and poke their fingers into the bed.....and report back.:P

Gary

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yeah, I'm not understanding the earthan bed concept, either. Is there a description somewhere of how this works with soil? I love that concept, and I would use it, but I've always had the assumption that soil was a big "no-no" in aquaponics.

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