Thursday, June 9, 2016

Solar Aquaponics

One of our projects for sustainability is our solar aquaponics setup. I am going to need a new 12 volt water pump for it and a new small battery and small solar panel to run it, but at least we have moved the fish tank and grow bed over to the new homestead. I'll tell you, THAT was a lot of work!

We had to use a broken shovel (the handle was broke out of it awhile back) to dig out the gravel from the grow bed. It's somewhere around 400 pounds of gravel. My son did the digging out and put it in a bucket, and I dumped the buckets of gravel into an old tub from a washing machine. When the level of gravel got pretty low, he just dug it straight out and over into another old tub. Both of those were in the back of the pickup truck, which we backed up close to the setup.

Once the gravel was all out, we disassembled the bell siphon and any other loose parts, then put the grow bed into the back of the truck. Then, we had to empty the fish tank part, which only has minnows in it, and try to catch all of those we could. I think we had about a dozen or so in there that we put into a 5 gallon bucket of fresh water, so we may have missed some little ones.

Then my son took a car washing brush and scrubbed out the fish tank, rinsed it, and put it in the truck.

Finally, we took the whole setup over to the new place, put it in its permanent location (face it, you can't really move something like that again), filled it with fresh water, and put the minnows back in it. We also did a little "remodeling" to make it easier to access the fish, since we are wanting to get real fish that we can grow for food in there a bit later.

Now I just need to get a new pump, battery, and solar panel, some plants for the top, and reconfigure a hoop greenhouse over the top of it to help grow things in cold weather, too.

One step at a time! Hope you enjoy these two videos about moving the aquaponics setup!

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