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GaryD last won the day on March 8

GaryD had the most liked content!


About GaryD

  • Rank
    Global Moderator

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  • Biography
    I'm a micro-farmer....and the author of The Urban Aquaponics Manual
  • Interests
    Microponics, woodcraft

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  • Location
    Macleay Island, QLD

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  1. WTF is Waste Transformation Farming. Waste Transformation Farming (WTF) is a productive, resilient and sustainable food production system. It’s about identifying and categorising organic waste streams – and adding value to them – before using them to produce clean, fresh organic food– while reducing the need to purchase feedstuffs, fertilisers and soil amendments. The secret to WTF is integration. Integration, in a farming context, is where food production systems are linked to each other to enable the waste from one organism to become the feedstock for other organisms. Aquaponics/iAVs is an example of integration in which aquaculture and horticulture are combined. The fish are fed and produce waste that is converted to plant nutrients. The plants take up the nutrients and, in so doing, clean the water for the fish. Integrated systems are always more than the sum of their parts. They’re the combination of leveraging elements that are the functional equivalent of 2+2=5 (or more). In the aquaponics example, we get fish and vegetables for the same amount of fish feed that it would take to just grow the fish. We also get two crops for the same amount of water – and a cost-saving…and a huge environmental benefit. Of course, WTF is not limited to aquaponics/iAVs. It’s an infinitely scalable food production system which embraces many ‘organisms’ including: Vegetables and herbs Freshwater fish and crayfish Japanese Quail Chickens Fruit and nut trees Ducks and other waterfowl Bees Aquatic plants – duckweed, azolla, water spinach, Chinese water chestnuts Fodder plants and trees – pigeon pea, amaranth, comfrey, Chou Moellier, tagasaste and moringa Live animal protein – Black Soldier Fly larvae, feeder roaches, mealworms, worms Farmed rabbits Snails Fungi Pigs Sheep and goats Cattle The thing that all of these organisms have in common with each other is that they generate some type of waste that eventually presents as a problem. WTF turns problems into opportunities. https://garydonaldson.net/2019/02/wtf-is-waste-transformation-farming/
  2. If you feel that the social promise of “go to school, study hard, get a good job, be happy” isn’t delivering for you – or your struggle with life hasn’t yielded what you need or want – then the notion of Have More For Less might strike a chord with you. Having more with less is about simplifying your life in the interests of having a more satisfying one. Living with less (debt, stress, clutter) creates more time to focus on what really matters. The consequence of having less of the things that you don’t need or want is that you get to focus on all of the good things that life has to offer. You create a life with less debt, less stress, less stuff and better health, more space, money and time to do the things you’d really love to do. We promote simple living and self-reliance as the way to greater security, peace of mind and a more fulfilling life. https://garydonaldson.net/home/hmfl
  3. 2020 was a weird time for the world...one game-changer after another...scary times for many people! What we should all take away from 2020 is that simple living and self-reliance are our protection against life's challenges. Knowing how to grow our own food...provide our own shelter/utilities...design, make and mend...and acquire the means of exchange...are the cornerstones of freedom and security. Helping others to acquire that knowledge - and to develop those skills - is our reason for being. We started (as APHQ) back in 2007, as an aquaponics forum...but we quickly broadened to include other things like micro-livestock and all manner of other things...and we are about to become even broader. I've changed the Forum menu to reflect that broader approach. A name change...to better reflect what we do...is also imminent. I'm pondering several possibilities.
  4. I want to talk about the operational status of the forum. In so doing, I want to be very clear. I infer no judgements...and I assume all due responsibility for its current state. I have no undue feeling about the past seven years...the period of Kellen's ownership. I can make no judgments about the failings of others when it comes to taking on too much. I live in that zone. Whatever acts of fate conspired to cause Kellen to choose the precise moment to reach out to me...and for me to be of the mindset that I was...I am grateful beyond words. Everything that we say about the history of APHQ/Nation is for the purposes of benchmarking and the quest for ongoing improvement. There is no good or bad...or right or wrong...there's simply what can be learned. Kellen is currently giving me all of the time that he can to help me get APN sorted from a technical standpoint. I'm making good use of his counsel...and I really appreciate his generosity. With his help on the back end of the forum, I can focus on the front. In the meantime, I'll stay focussed on content and enhancing the visitor experience. The vision is still unfolding but it's becoming clearer. I'll share that with you soon.
  5. Ande and bigdaddy....We're still standing...after all this time. Sounds like the stuff. of a song.😉
  6. Good luck with finding out what IAS is about - without putting your hand in your pocket. IAS is a collection of food strategies that have been gleaned from various places (principally the work of Dr Mark R McMurtry and Dr Paul Olivier...both of whom have made their work available for nothing. The best growing system is that which is the most productive, resilient and sustainable...and, in my view, that's the integrated aqua-vegeculture system (iAVs) invented by Mark McMurtry. The best overall farming system (in my view) is the waste transformation method described by Paul Olivier. Information on both methods is freely available without the need to pay VKN...who got the material for nothing anyway.
  7. It looks like nothing has changed in VKN's world. He only shares that which he hopes will attract revenue....and little to nothing that is of actual help. Despite lengthy attempts to bring some reality to his thinking, VKN is determined to do things his way. If he want to peddle his wares on APN, he needs to consider how he'll compensate us for the use of our platform. It's not about money...it's about sharing. Since he is wedded to the idea that 'his' work has value (and that people should be prepared to pay for it), he should be comfortable with us demanding the same.
  8. I've made no further progress on the Urban Aquaponics Manual (4th Edition) but what's there will prove useful to anyone looking to understand the processes and design considerations associated with aquaponics. The progress of the revision work was impacted by my six-year collaboration with Dr Mark R McMurtry...and his Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System. iAVs proved to be a game-changer for me (as it is for most people who get close to it) and the completion of the Urban Aquaponics Manual (4th Edition) now depends on my ability to reconcile it with iAVs. if you're interested, you can still access the first seven sections of the UAP manual...at no cost...here.
  9. Freshwater fingerlings eat a proportion of their bodyweight...beginning at around 6% when they are very small...down to 1% as they get larger. This range varies depending on species and water temperature. In practice, I'd feed them what they will eat in about 10 minutes...twice per day. While I don't have experience of mirror carp, most species will eat less as the water temperature drops. Trying to reconcile feed rates and plant nutrition in such a small system can be a real balancing act...to the point where the operators may begin to question that aquaponics actually works. Most backyard aquaponicists supplement their systems to offset issues with the availability of plant nutrients...at which point, the system might just as well be hydroponics. Are you wedded to the idea of aquaponics or are you more interested in having clean fresh food for you and your family? I ask because I have an alternative that might work better for you in your circumstances.
  10. Arguably, one of the best foods for composting worms is what's left after black soldier fly larvae have worked their way through it. It apparently retains something like 50% of the original protein levels of the what fed to them. The best feed for BSF larvae is pig or cow manure.
  11. GaryD

    Pond liner

    Murray Hallam (Practical Aquaponics) sells an LDPE liner that is very similar to Duraskrim. I've used it for several years without issue.
  12. I have to say I like the odour of cooking food...particularly if it's Italian. My favourite food smell is frying onions or French fries...although I can really only enjoy home-cooked chips, these days.
  13. Here's what I had to say about K1 biomedia in the Designing Your RAS section in the Urban Aquaponics Manual. "The manufacturer of K1 claims that each 50 litres of media will deal with the metabolic wastes arising from the use of 750 grams (0.75kg or 1.6 pounds) of fish feed per day. That figure applies to industrial wastewater treatment and commercial aquaculture and it assumes that there is some heavy duty filtration equipment upstream of the moving bed biofilter. Our design will feature some inbuilt redundancy…so we’ll be using 50 litres of K1 to deal with the wastes from our 50 fish…based on a maximum daily feed rate of 250 grams (0.25kg or about 0.5 pound). When sizing a moving bed biofilter, I calculate the amount of media to be 60% of the total filter volume. So, if our filter was going to be, for example, 100 litres we’d use about 60 litres of media. Since we’ve already decided that we need 50 litres of media (a standard shipping volume, by the way), a 100 litre plastic barrel will suit us just fine." Fifty litres of K1 biomedia will certainly cope with the amount of fish biomass that you can keep in a 300-litre fish tank.
  14. I just re-read your post and the amount of K1 is not going to be the limiting factor. Your fish tank is only 300 litres...and that will be the limiting factor.
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