5EyesFarm – Kebun Mata Lima Large scale aquaponics system build.
Aquaponics… what is it?
Aquaponics involves raising fresh water fish (aquaculture) while growing edible herbs and vegetables (hydroponics) in one, integrated system. By combining these two eco systems together the fish waterdoes not need changing as with traditional aquaculture (usually flow through systems in Asia), and the plants do not need additives, boosters or chemical suppliments as with Hydroponics.
The basic idea of aquaponics is that the fish feed the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. A symbiotic relationship that benifits both systems. Both food and fish grow well with much less water and no chemical additives at all. It is commonly understood that aquaponics uses less than 10% of the water needed in in ground. Furthermore, plants grow faster and are very healthy. Aquaponics is now considered organic in several states accross America and this understanding is catching on. With the advent of indoor farming, aquaponics is a stunning solution. Once established the maintenance on these systems is relatively minimal – comparable with traditional farming in terms of planting and harvesting. Pest issues are negligable if the system is designed well. Soil bacterias, uptake issues, soil health do not apply. The plants grow in water. Water condition takes the place of soil condition with aquaponics. And water condition is easy to maintain and test once the system is in place.
There are different designs based on the same basic principles. A common small scale system might look like thone of these:
With our aquaponics system we are creating a productive farm under a roof – a roof that lets in light to grow the food – food that grows in water – floating on rafts – food fed by fish waste. At the same time, we are raising fresh organic fish and the plants clean their water and keep them healthy. This is an integrated system. Fish and plants help each other to grow better, faster and healthier.
Building the Aquaponics
We collect old car tyres to build our tanks and beds – This is a major recycling venture and the tyres serve as solid retaining walls when they are core filled with concrete and steel. So far in less than 1 year we have collected and used 11,500 tyres for infrastructure at 5eyesfarm.
Starting early 2017
Phase Two – experimental stage – system just starting – 1/3 of system opperational with temporary linings. The Nitrogen cycle is not mature yet (Oct 2018). Still, good fast tomato and green leaf production.