After Doing a day course at Byron bay community college, I got a good understanding of aquaponics. It was run by Ian Campbell from Aqualife Industries. His experience in aquaponics was also enhanced up with his relationship with fisheries and their research. The ratios we were given of fish to grow space and all the fundamentals I took away from the course and used it to design my own systems. I did research on the net for months, looking into the best way to make filters, bell siphons, the different fish to use, other seafood to grow ect. I choose to go down this path as after my research and going to check out aquaponic systems I realized two things. What an amazingly simple way to grow veggies, no weeding, limited maintenance (a lot less than a veggie patch) and you can get fish and seafood as well. However as incredible a system as they are, they are extremely unattractive.
My goal was set. To make aquponic systems that are pleasing to the eye, hiding all pipes, all evidence that it is an aquaponics system. I designed an aquaponic system at Billinudgel in front of the hardware. This system was designed around current medium sized garden aqauponic system with three grow beds and a 1500L tank. It had a small footprint. The system including the grow beds were all pre fabricated out of aluminium and lined with plywood and clad with decking and colourbond. Durable, iight and ergonomic. The difference with this system to what is currently available on the market is its appearance. It looked quite spectacular. However there was one downfall, its price. My goal is to get a system into everyone’s backyard. I needed to make it a lot cheaper.
After six months of looking after this system and the other systems I’d built and purchased. I realized one thing. As incredible as they were, they took too long to clean and required to drain a fare amount of water to clean the grow beds every couple of month. There had to be a better way…….