Friday, 9 January 2015

AQUAPONICS UK- Back to the Future

So, that was looking backwards.
More fun: Back to the future

This I am going to divide into three sections.


The main aim for 2015 is to move the adult Trout to the dinner plate.
Move the Perch from the loft tank to the IBC.
Introduce new Trout Fingerlings to the loft tank.
The thinking behind this is that the Perch will tolerate the higher summer temperature in the IBC. The Trout fingerlings will be shielded from the summer heat to some degree by the shade and extra insulation of the loft tank. Plus, all being equal, they should be close to plate size come summer.


Watercress is still the main objective.
However I have been a bit sidetracked by Dangerous Dave. He has managed to grow Samphire in an AP system and I am intrigued. DD says he grew this in AP with a salinity of 1 part per thousand.
Samphire tastes great. Salty and crunchy. Grows wild in salt marsh areas. People lucky enough to live by the coast can forage for this tasty sea asparagus.
It will re-seed itself so this could be a constant crop. It can also be pickled. Wait and see how much we have. Rich in Vitamin C so Mrs Fishcake will be happy.
Samphire Pesto? Hmm.

Grelos is a member of the turnip family. I first came across it when walking in Galica in Northern Spain. Unlike in the UK it is grown for its leaves. Not the tuber.  It looks like the stalk of a Brussel Sprout but with individual leaves. It is used on a pick and come again basis. The leaves taste like Kale. It is one of the key ingredients in Caldo De Galicia. Which we love. Probably not a brilliant choice for AP because it can reach two meters high but something I want to try.

Pimentos De Padron
These tiny green peppers are a common tapa in Spain. Splash of olive oil, rock salt and in the oven for 10/15 minutes. Fantastic! Watch out for the occasional hot one! 
I once spent a night in the Monisterio De Padron,but that’s another story.

Tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is not a tomato. It is related to the Cape Gooseberry and a staple of Mexican food. Used extensively in Mexican green sauces. It has a tart taste. Chilli Verde (green chilli) is one of our favorites and the Tomatillo is a key component.


I intend to grow the watercress in horizontal tubes. I tried this last year and had horrendous problems. Leaks, overheating and dirty water to name just three!
So the plan this year is to switch to NFT. This is, ‘nutrient film technique’
You run a constant small stream of water through the tubes for the plant roots.
I will put an additional pump on constant flow in the sump. This will run through the pre-filter and bio-filter and then the horizontal grow tubes. Returning to the sump. I plan on four grow tubes. This should give me holes for about eighty plants. I will detail this construction later. First I have to build the supports and shelter.
I am not happy with my RFF. It works great in settling out the large solids but my system for removing them can be improved.

If I add a new RFF then I can use the existing olive barrel for a net filter. This is just a big barrel with a load of netting inside to remove the ‘fine’ contaminates.

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