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A Year and 2 or 3 Months Since ......

Category: Aquaponics | Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:38 am

It had been a a year and 2 to 3 months since when I planted my very first seedling in my aquaponic bed. These are the latest that I just planted a couple of days ago.

yummie nai pai ( photo / image / picture from KK Ng's Garden )

Just about a year after, I had to make a real difficult decision to eat or not to eat the tilapias. They had grow so large and is splattering water all over the place when they fight. The alpha male would then occupy almost 50% of the tank with its mate making the rest look like sardines in a can. I just couldn't bring myself to harvest them but I know they had to go. My neighbour's maid offered her services to harvest and turn them into food which I gladly accepted. In just a matter of hours the tilapias were history ... tasty too deep fried.

With the tilapias gone, I decided to use aquarium fish as poo generators. I started with platies and tiger barbs. Platies because they are hardy and live bearers. Platies reproduce fast so I do not need to a lot on buying them. Tiger barbs because I like them and they come cheap. I started with 10 platies and 10 tiger barbs but I know I need at least a 100 to produce enough poo for the five beds to get healthy veggies. The platies got pregnant, gave birth and the other fishes treated the fries as hors-d'oeuvres because there is no place for them to hide in the tank.

New Addition ( photo / image / picture from KK Ng's Garden )

In view of this situation, I decided to add in a breeding tank to the system. I made use of the water from the system because when I transfer the pregnant fish from the main tank to the breeding tank, the fish will not suffer any shock because the water condition is the same. With the addition of this tank, the population grew.

Inside the breeding tank ( photo / image / picture from KK Ng's Garden )

You can see a mama fish and some fries in the breeding tank and some different species too. I wanted to increase the population fast so I got myself some black mollies and swordtails too! These little fishes brought back lots of sweet memories of my childhood days, yes it is indeed pleasant :). I used to rear and breed lots of these fishes including those that lay eggs when I was a child and exchanged them for fish food or other fishes with my favourite aquarium shop.

Main Tank ( photo / image / picture from KK Ng's Garden )

The poo generated was a little slow so I had the filter removed, only the filtering media was removed but the tank remained just in case I need it later. With the filter media removed, the clarity of the water was just slighty affected but the quality improved for the veggies. Now the system is running the way it should be again and the fish reproduction is controlled.

Last edited: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:02 am

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Frank wrote on Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:21 pm:

Thanks for the update KK! I wonder, did you feel the smallest tinge of guilt about eating your loyal 'workers'? :)

Cayuga Morning wrote on Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:03 pm:

Interesting KK. I don't quite get it about the fish fertilizer though. Are you siphoning off aquarium water to water your plants? And thus fertilize them?


KK Ng wrote on Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:30 am:

You're most welcome Frank, when they were presented in a plate after cooking, they just become food!

Cayuga the water is pumped into the grow beds and is returned back into the tank after the plants suck up the nutrients which is waste to the fish. When the water return to the fish tank it is like fresh water to the fish. Check out my earlier blog entries on aquaponics and you'll have a better idea.


Jerry Sullivan wrote on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:41 pm:

Great update on the fish. With the nursery aquarium you should have more than enough fish for poo and you have your own control system....too many fry....introduce a hungry tiger barb or two. I presume heat is not an issue with either the fish tank or the produce tanks?



KK Ng wrote on Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:09 am:

Nope there is no heat issue here Jerry and the tiger barbs are growing very well!


Sjoerd wrote on Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:36 pm:

Well KK--This experiment sure turnrd out well for you. It sounds like you have a handle on the fish and they are doing well.

monster2020 wrote on Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:10 am:

Dear KK

Just want to check with you what type of rock are you using for you aquaponics system and where did you get the rock?


KK Ng wrote on Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:55 am:

monster2020 I have send you a pm. Please check your inbox. Let me know if you need more info.

monster2020 wrote on Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:10 am:

Thanks KK ..

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