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Hi from Canberra, Australia - pic heavy

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Just popping in to say G'day...!! So.....G'day! ;)


I am very very new to the AP world, I started a micro indoor AP system as well as a larger outdoor system in Dec 2014 and am having mixed success.


Indoor system is struggling a little as far as the plants go which is likely down to a lack of sunlight.



I have since moved it to a slightly better location but still we lack natural light coming into the house (very poor designed house I must say). The plants in this system are really struggling as a result, pretty much everything is dying :( Yes that's me in the pic above the system shown above. I race bikes both dirt and road and am currently the 2014 Pro Twins champion (aboard an Aprilia RSV4 Factory). Gardening and even playing guitar gives me some down time at a very different speed hahaha





Outdoor system is smashing it along! Thankfully!


Pick up day!



Pool removed, prep work begins






Intitial setup



Day 1 plants





Plants are taking hold....



So....there you have it! I found out about AP in Sept last year while setting up a soil patch in the back yard. Figured I'd research AP to death and setup an IBC system. Then enter my amazing partner who bought me not one but TWO AP Kits for Xmas 2014!!!


Crikey how can I keep up with that!!!


So here she is grappling with one of the mutant zucchini's from the soil patch....this thing is near half her size and probably double her weight hahaha



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Thanks Edmolina!


Oh I almost forgot....we had 10 Comets we used to kickstart the system. Cycling completed within a few weeks and I've re-homed the goldies and added a bunch of trout a week ago!



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Welcome to APN/HQ J

Pics are cool :cool:  look forward to your system details & build thread :)




HI Ande,


Thanks brother!


I'll start another thread at some point but the 'build' was pretty easy as it's a plug n play kit from Practical Aquaponics in Aus....so there was no real DIY component.


FT - 1000L

GB - 300L (I am desperate to get a few more grow beds)

Love the simplicity of the auto syphon!

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Hi Jarrad.


Welcome to APN.


While you're thinking of new grow beds also give some thought to some basic mechanical and biological filtration……particularly given that you're keeping trout.  They really like clean water…..and lots of air……and the filtration will help with both.


BTW…..can you give me a brand name for the plastic fish tank you're using…..or a link to where it came from?



Edited by Gary Donaldson (see edit history)

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Thank you everyone,

I don't know the brand of the tubs sorry. It was a ready made kit purchased by my partner.

Agreed Rupert, the depth is ok but it could use some more media. Considering winter is fast approaching I will have to pull out of the out of season plants out so might be the ideal time to make some changes.

I'm trying to look at how ppl have made their swirl filters and will have to have a go myself. I'm a little hesitant to mess with the kit tho....

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Morning one and all!


Time for a bit of an update I guess.


The small indoor system is still really struggling. Moved it to another location but as per above, the house is so poorly designed there are no windows I can use that get northern light :( For the time being, I've been removing the grow bed and placing it outside during the day until I can get a UV light installed above it inside. Bit of a pain but whaddya do hey. We are looking to move to a property soon enough so I may just leave the UV light....


Soil garden has been going great guns. I planted a few items I've not had experience with before and to my disbelief we have had pretty good success! Those items being watermelons (which were just so tasty), onions and garlic.

Capi's are quite hard to grow here but we've managed to get some great produce from them although it's about to get really cold here so it's been a short season for them.






Winter seedlings kicked off:



The scary, vicious guard dog lol



Anyways onto the main game, the outdoor system! As you can see from the differences from pics above to now, it hasn't all been bad news:



Shown in bottle, the chilli/onion spray I made up to deal with some of the pests, unfortunately the aphids are still smashing my red cab's and spinach:





I had 4 (left over) tomato seedlings that had been living in pots and nearly dying several times before I'd remember to water them and they'd bounce right back. Being so late in the season I was just going to chuck 'em but figured hey why not stick 'em in the AP and see what happens. Lo and behold they all recovered and growth was excellent. Considering they are heavy feeders and it's really too late in the season to grow them out, I removed all but the healthiest plant. I was utterly amazed to see flowers then fruit appear, which I don't know if they wil mature before it's just too cold but hey, still blown away they're doing anything really.




I entered into a local group buy for trout and well....it didnt' go well. In typical Canberra style we had a few unexpected weeks of hot weather and water temps hovered around the 24 degree mark. Having done a fair bit of reading I understood this was dangerous territory for the trout but my attempts to cool the water were in vain. The fish did ok for about 1 week then started going off their feed and a few days later the deaths began :( To be honest, being so new to keeping fish this wasn't entirely unexpected and I'm treating the first 12 months or so as a big learning curve but still....not great obviously.


I contacted everyone from the group buy and just about every single person had the exact same problem, in fact it made me feel a little better on a few counts in that at least I wasn't the only one but also my losses were relatively low. I only ordered 15 trout, by FAR the smallest order of fish in the group buy (most were between 60-100) so I felt worse for those who had near complete losses with their bigger orders.


Anyway, onwards and upwards as they say!


I have a 2nd order of trout soon to arrive. Ambient temps were down to 7 degree's last night and water temps have been so much lower. My water has been 15 degree's or less now for a good few weeks so this next batch should do much better as far as water temps go.


That said I've been concerned about filtration for a little while now. In fact I have a few concerns with the kit we purchased but now we have it so I have to live with it. As per Ruperts advice above I'm going to add a new/taller syphon and more clay beads and in the very near future, another 2 grow beds.


I bought a large blue drum quite cheap with the intent of using it degass the tap water for system top ups but I'm going to try making an RFF out of it instead as the FT is getting quite dirty. I have a decent vacum I've been using to deal with solids but it's far from ideal both in practice but also regarding the time it takes each day.


Jobs to do:

- Remove some tin from the carport roof and replace with clear sheets to get more light in, been meaning to do this for ages now but because the carport is north facing the grow beds get excellent light as it is BUT they're still reaching out the wrong way so hoping that changing the roof will help the plants.


- Build the filter - as you can see from the pics, because I didn't bury the FT, my grow bed is quite high. Problem being, at least from what I understand, the outlet from the RFF will need to be as least as high as the grow bed to deliver water, unfortunately the ideal placement would be next to the FT but that's where I want to put the extra GB's....question being, the remaining place I can locate the RFF is outside of the carport roof and will be in full sun - wondering if this will cause me any grief??


- Weed/much the soil garden and get some winter veg in there


- Probably a whole list I've forgotten here.......

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Hello, hey is that a type of squash that your (wife?) is holding? That thing is huge. I have the same kitchen vent in my house. Welcome.


I believe it is a Zucchini. I see zucchini get that big quite often, but, with the variety I have grown, not very tasty when that large.

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Hello, hey is that a type of squash that your (wife?) is holding? That thing is huge. I have the same kitchen vent in my house. Welcome.


Hi Strider, that was one of the (many) rogue zucchinis we had from our soil patch.

We had so many Zuc's from the one plant it wasn't funny... Was a bit sick of the sight of them hahaha

We were picking quite a few smaller ones each day but then I'd miss one (or a few lol) and they just massive.

I don't know that I'll try them in the AP. Thinking is to have the pumpkins/zucchini patch in the soil left to go nuts and I'll stick with other vegies for AP (at least for now).


I believe it is a Zucchini. I see zucchini get that big quite often, but, with the variety I have grown, not very tasty when that large.

Yes the smaller ones are alot better for salads/stir fry's.... What we (wife) did with the big ones was cut in half down the length, scoop out all the middle/seeds then we added feta, bacon, spinach and things and baked the bejezus out of them.... Very tasty I must say. In saying that just one of those big ones cooked like that made enough snacks for our family of 7 so we ended up throwing some of the bigger ones out (or at least the ones we didn't use or give away).

Edited by Jarrad (see edit history)

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