Mel Green

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since May 14, 2016
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forest garden fish urban
We live in the suburbs, grow our own food, play with aquaponics and enjoy doing anything green.
We are building a community of permies in suburban Australia. Come and join us
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Recent posts by Mel Green

I 2nd the sandy soil.

Clay gets muddy when wet, sand stays nice and dry, good for a sand bath.
4 years ago
Make-up as self-expression is beautiful.

But when we take that make-up, and use it to cover up ourselves, because we need to gain someone else's approval, we risk feeling like our true self is "never enough".

When you reach a place within yourself where you no longer need to hide "flaws", it is very liberating. Like men growing a beard instead of being a slave to the shave.
Being make-up free shows an acceptance of your own skin. It shows that you no longer feel like you need others approval to be beautiful.

I love that Alicia Keys has reached a level of power, both personally and in her career, that she no longer feels she needs to justify herself to media or men. The greatest gift we can give ourselves is the gift of feeling "enough" in our own skin.

4 years ago
Love the idea Bees are fascinating to watch! Cheers.
4 years ago

Yes, unless a new queen sets up in your hive they will not take up home. You're spot on, the bees are busy in the day, but returning home at night.

You can buy starter queens where we live, to replace dead or missing queens in your own hive. Is that an option where you are?
4 years ago
Sounds like a great setup. A 700sq ft greenhouse will definitely have plenty of room If you place your grow beds high enough, you can fit the tanks directly underneath and double your usable space, that's 1400sq ft of food growing space. Impressive. Our grow beds sit on tables 3ft (1m) high, with the tanks underneath.

We use a flood and drain system - pump turns on every hour for 15 minutes, cycling water through the gravel grow beds. We have a little pump aerating between then. Try what you're comfortable with first, but don't be afraid of trout. The great thing about them is they grow to plate size in 6 months, so by the time the water heats up, they are ready to eat or freeze anyway The "running water" of the tank emptying and filling every hour seems to keep them very happy. I've never grown talapia, but the carp and perch in our area can take up to 2 years to reach a decent size, and by then your attached and don't want to eat them, ha.

Good luck!

4 years ago
Sounds good to me then Go for it.
4 years ago
Hi Seva

Sounds good. If you can't fit your tanks inside your greenhouse it's o.k to have the tanks outside the greenhouse, and just cut a hole through the plastic wall for your piping. Fish are more adaptable than plants, and that might give you more room. If you use a cold water species like trout they will do fine in freezing water, just cover for snow.

I'd start with a 1000l tank, or even smaller. How big is your grow bed?

Our first aquaponic system was literally a tomato plant floating without soil, in a small 2ft terracotta garden pot filled with water, with a couple of goldfish in it That system taught us that piping leaks are more common than you think, our tanks spring a leak, usually from a burst pipe, a couple of times a year. You learn little tricks, like placing your pump on a couple of bricks, to ensure that even if the tank fully drains, there will always be a puddle of water at the bottom to keep your fish alive until you discover the leak, but better to discover a small puddle than a flooded greenhouse. As you increase the size of your tanks, you'll still make mistakes, only they get bigger How much room have you got?

4 years ago
You know you're a permie when you only keep plants in your garden that have several uses and are preferably edible

You look at pretty gardens that have neatly manicured ornamentals and think "what a dead space, what they really need is a fruit tree ..."

4 years ago
Yay for aquaponics Seva

I personally would go a harder plastic container (such as the 1000l water troughs on the Youtube clip) or a professional, agricultural sized, water tank, cut in height to about 3ft high. It's surprising how many of these you can pick up cheap or free from farms or local rural outlets. We have never had much problem sourcing ours for free - people just want to get rid of them because they are so large.

We have tried all methods, and currently have two large setups. They are permanent structures, and if we were to get a leak and lose 3000l of water it would cause a lot of damage, so the harder the plastic the better (Ours are both your typical corrugated, above ground, metal water tanks, about 3 ft high, at the moment).

My suggestion would be to start off smaller first. One smaller tank filtered through your established grow beds using a gravity fed system. Once you master one smaller tank, you can increase the number of tanks without drama. But there is a big learning curve.

Good luck, we love aquaponics!

4 years ago
Great site Josh! Loved it Great do it yourself projects too, who doesn't love cider!

4 years ago