Aquaponics – first harvest of fish (Tilapia)

It’s getting close to two years since we had our first batch of fish in the aquaponics tank. But we never harvested any fish mainly because kids weren’t too favorable to this idea, although I always wanted to complete the farming cycle 🙂 

Over the last few days we had been working on cleaning and rearranging the tanks and growbeds, which I can summarize in one word as “messy” 🙂 Some of the older fish have grown really big and tanks are now over crowded. Unless we start harvesting now, we will soon be losing fish due to water quality issues. Infact, I lost a two year old karimeen (pearlspot) a few weeks ago.

Tilapia harvested from Aquaponics

So today we harvested one tilapia from the first batch. It weighs just over 1 KG (2 lb). I am not telling the kids where this fish came from for a few days 😉 
We bought the first batch of teeny-weeny fingerlings from a hatchery in early 2015.

With this harvest, although it took a little too long, the Aquaponics farming cycle is now complete 🙂

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Aquaponics – Setting up a new system

I just got a new aquaponic system setup today. 🙂

We have a 5 ft tall metallic stand on our roof top for keeping a back-up water tank for our home water supply. I utilized the bottom of this stand for setting up a fish tank. Metallic sheets of about two feet height were welded between the four legs. Then used a polyethylene sheet as the lining. This should hold about 500 litres of water.
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Added two growbeds to the system. One is a small new growbed made from a used blue barrel. Second one is a reuse of a similar sized old growbed that was connected to another system earlier. These together would give only about 6-7 sq ft of grow space, which is about two thirds of the capacity what this fish tank can support. I will need to add one more growbed of similar size soon.

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Growbeds are kept very close to the fish tank so that plumbing for getting water to the growbeds is easy.

This system will keep constant water  level in the fish tank and for now I am keeping the growbeds in constant flood mode, meaning growbeds will always have water two inches below the surface. I have kept a 2000L/hr (30W) pump in a common sump tank for pumping water back into the fish tank.

I temporarily stopped an existing small system for maintenance 🙂 and moved 10 or 12 tilapia into the new tank. Fish are looking happy.  🙂
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I plan to plant long beans, cucumber and may be a melon plant (experiment) on these grow beds.

I’ll keep the system running for a couple of days before planting, just to make sure everything is running fine. Will keep the progress posted. 🙂

 

Aquaponics – Babies in the fish tank!

We have a fairly dense population of Tilapia in our fish tank and so it is unusual to see baby fish. Either they don’t breed well when tank is overcrowded or big fish eat the new ones quickly.

This time we were lucky to notice a few tiny ones and removed them from the big tank. There are 13 of them (out of the usual 300+!), I don’t know where the rest went.

We are excited and looking forward to seeing them grow big! 🙂

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