Produce your own vegetables and fish using Aquaponics

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Produce your own vegetables and fish using Aquaponics

There are some very exciting initiatives in Canberra aimed at showing people how to grow their own vegetables and raise fish using aquaponics.

What is aquaponics?  According to Urban Agriculture Australia, aquaponics involves growing fish in water tanks, with water from the fish tank circulated through the vegetable grow beds. The bacteria on the gravel and clay balls in the grow beds transform the toxic fish waste into beneficial nutrients which the plants take up from the water. Only organic feed is given to the fish and only organic fertilizers are used. As well as standard fish food, the fish will eat worms and insects.

Aquaponics uses only 10% of the water required to grow plants in the open field situation. It uses relatively little energy and relatively low capital input. Aquaponics does not require fertile soil and can operate in areas with low or unreliable rainfall.

There was a commercially produced aquaponics system on display at the Urban Agriculture Australia display at Floriade this year (picture above).

The not-for-profit organization, Fusion Australia (Canberra) also has a great aquaponics set-up at its premises in Kambah. Fusion grows large carp in its water tanks, and very healthy-looking vegetables in recycled bathtubs or larger tanks that are linked by pump to the fish tanks.

 

Some Canberra schools have even been getting into the act, with Deakin High School operating a large aquaponics system.

You can find out more about aquaponics, and sustainable food production in Canberra more broadly, at these websites:

 

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