So its been a while since I wrote about what been going on with Bill & Bens HydroWorlds Aquaponic setup. You may remember we took on the ‘Bristol Fish Projects’* Tilapia last year when they lost their site. This was great as we took the fish when they were established & semi grown so we didn’t have to cycle the water. We also took on one of their IBC’s (Intermediate bulk container) which we housed in a 2.4m x 1.2m Century Grow Tent using 2 x 125w Maxi Bright CFL’s (energy saving lamps) & 150w Dual Spec HPS (high Pressure Sodium bulbs when we need a bit of a light boost.
So having had a bit of an accident evolving a trapped air line to a temporary holding tank whilst trying to clean an infestation of Aphids from the Aquaponic area we restocked with 100 Koi Carp (The Tilapia weren’t wasted as they taste very good & last well in the freezer!).
The Koi suit our shops environment better as we don’t have to heat the water up to 25 degrees as we had for the Tilapia only a mere 21 degrees is ideal! They are also a lot more tolerant of temperature change managing to handle in a temp range from 15 to 30 degrees. Also they don’t seem to stress out too much with fluctuations of PH levels & they handle water changes very well. The Koi are a much more colourful friendly bunch who don’t mind interaction with humans (or the hand that feeds them) & sometimes let me pick them up by hand out of the water. Try doing that with a Tilapia who are very wild & spiky & don’t like that sort of thing at all! One more thing to consider is the monetary value of Koi is far more than Tilapia although they take longer to grow to full size.
So we have grown a multitude of different veg including mini aubergines & now we have some strawberries & a lemon tree. You can grow almost anything with Aquaponics but taller plants are a problem in our grow tent as the lighting doesn’t penetrate enough to be able to do them justice, adding more powerful lights would solve this problem. As a tip for a monetary crop try looking into Water Cress as this loves to grow in Aquaponics sydtems & is rather costly to buy.