Backyard Aquaponics

Need advice on creating school aquaponics system
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Author:  MCPHRO [ Nov 16th, '06, 14:04 ]
Post subject:  Need advice on creating school aquaponics system

My Name is Roy McPherson and I am a teacher at Tannum Sands SHS in Gladstone Qld.

I am looking at creating a School Aquaponics system and am seeking advice on creation and rough costs to getting a system up and running.

What I am asking is what sort of set-ups are possible if I had either:

$500, 1000 or 2000 dollars worth of funding.

I have heaps of research and am writing a business plan via the advice on the Dept of Fisheries web site.

I realise I need grow beds, a pump or 2, fish tank and bacteria. But am still gathering data on cost of these things. One good point, we have Awonga Dam very close by and they have Barra fishing all year so I was hoping to Barra as my fish choice.

We don’t need a HUGE set-up, but we want to concentrate a lot of science on keeping the system in balance, how to start the system in stages and what is it's future growth potential within the school. We are also considering other factors for classes like:
* Using solar/ wind power to power the pumps
* Testing for water loss and PH/chemical levels
* Plant and animal biology
* The inclusion of a worm farm to work on the solids from the fish.

Author:  Jaymie [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:15 ]
Post subject: 

Hi Roy, we have a number of teachers involved in the forum. Some of them should be able to help you out. Plus, there are heaps of folks gaining heaps of first-hand knowledge. Ask questions and I'm sure someone will help you with an answer or with a push in the right direction.
There are a few people in the Rocky area also.

Author:  Jaymie [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:16 ]
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A lot of stuff can be scrounged or donated by helpful business in the Happyrock area.

Author:  EllKayBee [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:17 ]
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Hi Roy, welcome to the forum - there are a few teachers who are regular forumers and should be able to help, 2 that I know of have systems set up in their respective schools.

Your questions should be answered when "the workers" get home, in the meantime there is a special area for school projects which maybe an interesting read for you: ... m.php?f=17


Hah! - beat me Jaymie (wonder who will be the 1st?)

Author:  Jaymie [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Need advice on creating school aquaponics system

Hah! - beat me Jaymie (wonder who will be the 1st?)

maybe I type faster Les!

Author:  EllKayBee [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:23 ]
Post subject: 

I was referring to
beat me Jaymie
being taken out of context and who would be 1st to highlight it :twisted:

Author:  Jaymie [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:26 ]
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ooh Les, whatever will Axl say? :shock:

Author:  Jaymie [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:27 ]
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but then Alex uses threats of violence from me to frighten people :twisted:

I really have no idea where he gets these ideas from :?

Author:  veggie boy [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:28 ]
Post subject: 

Hi Roy - check out forum member Murray's website for fantastic grow-beds as well as a number of other aqua products. If you are going to go small and concentrate on the science of it all, then one of Murray's beds and stand may be sufficient. His site is If doing this I would set up a single pump system using the pump to get water from the fish tank to the grow-bed and gravity to return it. Use an autosyphon (member Les has a great design) or a timer to get your flood and drain cycles going. The pump would not need to be large capacity (a pond pump would do the job). For a fish tank there are various options.

Re: Barra, temp might be a problem in winter. Remember a pond will not have as much temp stability as a dam. Silver or Jade Perch may be a better option.

Regarding testing kits and stuff - buy from online aquarium dealers - heaps cheaper than the shops.

Author:  Jaymie [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:30 ]
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Barra grow fine in Rocky, I can't see that Tannum would be much different

Author:  steve [ Nov 16th, '06, 15:45 ]
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Roy, you'll also notice that a certian two people don't need much to off on a Les has an excuse, he's old, but jaymie should know better ;)

Anyway, welcome and it great to hear you want to get the kids involved.

Johnnie7au and Aquamad are both teachers and will no doubt log on soon, and give you pages of tips.

You'll be surprised how many subjects you can incorporate AP into.

Regarding the test kits there is a PH thread around which has the kits that people like to use, i'll try to find it and link to it (Test Kit Thread that Steve couldn't be bothered looking for). If anyone finds it before me, feel free to post it, if its a moderator just edit my post and insert it if you want. I've just logged n and have 140 posts to get through! :shock:

Have fun!


Author:  MCPHRO [ Nov 16th, '06, 17:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: Need advice on creating school aquaponics system

I can't say how happy I am to get so many replies so quickly. I never realised just how active these threads are, and how popular aquaponics is. Just in saying that, I've so gotten the bug and I haven't even started yet. All the enthusiasm may have finally convinced my wife, who has been driven mad with me talking about it, to let me take over the back yard...

Author:  steve [ Nov 16th, '06, 17:48 ]
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roy, mate, you haven't got the bug till you start renovating your house to accomodate a fish tank :shock:

Vb, you having one of those days? :bootyshake:

LOL, it true, i couldn't be bothered :)

Author:  bundaberg kid [ Nov 16th, '06, 17:54 ]
Post subject: ... r+Test+Kit

Author:  bundaberg kid [ Nov 16th, '06, 17:58 ]
Post subject: 

[quote="steve"]roy, mate, you haven't got the bug till you start renovating your house to accomodate a fish tank :shock:

.....or diggin a wee hole in your backyard to plop ya IBC in....ESP WHEN YA RENTING RAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..........oh shit im gunna be evicted I can see it now

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