Aquaponics

WorldFish is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization working in partnership with a wide range of government and non-governmental agencies at regional, national and local levels in the developing world, and with advanced research institutions worldwide carrying out research-for-development to improve small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.

We are very impressed with their commitment to world hunger and their research focus to poverty and hunger reduction. 

We are now working on the procedural information to move forward in our hopes of  partnering with this incredible operation. http://www.worldfishcenter.org/v2/index.html

 
BELOW ARE 2 OPTIONS TO BUILD YOUR OWN.
Our friends, the Blatchley's in the Philippines, were kind enough to share how they provide a fish farm feeding in to a garden which is true aquaponics. 

4’ X 8’ fiberglass covered plywood, fish ponds (2500 liters of water in the fish pond and the garden is about 1 foot deep filled with small rocks. The fish produce waste in the form of nitrogen which feeds the plants (tomatoes, okra, cucumbers etc. twice as fast if planted in the ground, and the garden at the same time filters and aerates the water for the fish tank. This is called aquaponics. Click on the word to go to the website. Each garden/fish pond will cost about $1100, including the sump pumps, battery backup power supply, etc., all inclusive

The tomatoes should be producing in 45 days and the fish matured by about the same time. We need the fish for the garden then the fish needs the garden to clean their water. Plus the excess leaves feed the fish when they’ve grown a bit.

Aquaponics in a Barrel - By Travis W. Hughey
Grow your own vegetable and fish at the same time, with an Aquaponics system.  Aquaponics is the combination of Aquaculture (growing fish to eat) and Hydroponics (growing vegetables in a non-traditional way, using water).
Aquaponics uses the water and nutrients used in the fish Tank to feed and grow your vegetable and plants.  It basically uses a hydroponic system and instead of chemicals, it actually uses naturally sustainable fish waste as nutrients instead of the chemical fertilizers.  These nutrients are filtered through the plants which works as a water filter for the fish, it is set up as a true ecosystem.
 
Below is a link to Travis Hughey's E-book Instruction manual & to a video.

 
 
Or dig your own fish pond:
GROWING TALAPIA FISH
This option comes from Thomas Trock, a marine biologist that traveled east Africa building fish farms for the Peace Corp.  He is kind enough to provide Eden's Song with  instructions to build with materials indigenous to Africa.  For more specific information, including diagrams, please contact us.
 
 

Finding a Pond Site and Pond Construction:

You need a water source, usually year-round but not always necessary and soil that will hold water and not allow it to leak out.
  • Determine shape of your pond (rectangular works well but pond can be any shape)              -Clear area of all vegetation, roots, grass, etc.
  • Determine inflow end (for filling) and outflow end (for draining water and fish harvest) of the pond.
  • Dig your pond with a sloping bottom, the shallow end sloping down to the deep end where you can later drain out all the water and harvest your fish.
  • Put sticks across a corner of the shallow end of the large pond.  These will hold the manure in one place and keep it from going all over pond.  Put the sticks in the shallow end of the pond, the end away from where the water is drained out of the pond.  
  • Put manure in only one corner.  Pig or duck/chicken manure is the best, cow manure is OK too.  You want the pond water to be green in color and the manure will do this for you.  
  • If possible, do not put any new water into the pond while the fish are growing.  The new water will remove some of the green color.  The green color is also food for the fish.  It will allow your fish to get big very quickly.  If you don’t have manure for the pond, that is OK.   You can still grow fish in your pond.
 
Stocking Pond with Tilapia:
Example 1:  If your pond is 10 meters long and 7.5 meters wide, you have 75 square meters of water in your pond (10 x 7.5) PUT ONLY 75 small fish into this pond.   DO NOT PUT ANY MORE THAN 75 SMALL FISH IN THIS POND.
 
Example 2:If the pond is 50 meters long and 10 meters wide, you have 500 square meters of water in your pond (50 x 10).
DO NOT PUT ANY MORE THAN 500 SMALL FISH IN THIS POND.
 
Example 3: If the large pond is 15 meters long and 10 meters wide, you have 150 square meters of water.
DO NOT PUT ANY MORE THAN 150 SMALL FISH IN THIS POND.

Feeding the Fish
Food for your fish to grow --Grass clippings, old fruit, old vegetables, sweet potato leaves, any soft green plants, leaves -any sweepings from rice or grain mills.  Just about any kind of vegetable.Try to feed the fish every day if possible.  More than once a day is even better. This will allow your fish to get big very quickly.   Feed them if it’s raining or if it’s sunny.It is very important that you feed the fish often and everyday if possible.  By watching the fish, you will soon learn what they like to eat the best.

Harvest the Pond
  • Dig a small pond (where water can flow in and out easily if possible) next to large pond.  Dig it 1 meter wide x 2 meters long x 1 meter deep.   Place a screen or sticks on both the inflow and outflow so that fish can not swim out of the pond.
  • Drain the large pond,collect all the fish out of it with screen or baskets or nets at the outflow.  Take all the very small fish - 4 cm or less - and put them in the small pond.  Be sure they can not swim out.  You may have to cover pond with something to keep out the birds, snakes, etc.

    Take out the large fish - prepare them directly for eating

                                           - dry in the sun, preserve them with salt to eat later
                                           - take to market for sale 

                                          - you can do all of these things if you want to

  • Drain the large pond completely - Remove all water from pond bottom, remove water from the mud holes and fish nests in bottom.  Water must be removed completely and pond bottom dried in the sun if possible.  Best if pond could stay dry 1 week before refilling with water.
  • After the large pond is dried out completely (after several days), then add water and re-fill it totally.  Once the large pond is filled with water, stop the flow of water to the pond.  Do not put any more water in the pond unless some water leaks out during the next few months.
  • Once the large pond has been drained, all the fish removed, dried in the sun, and refilled with water, then take some small fish from the small pond and put one small fish into the large pond for each square meter of the large pond - see examples above. 
 
TRY TO ONLY PUT SMALL FISH BACK IN THE LARGE POND, SMALLER THAN 4 CM IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH OF THEM.
If you still have some small fish left in the small pond (after you have put enough small fish into the large pond), you can use them for soup or sell them to others starting fish ponds.
  • After some months, when the small fish have grown big and you can see both small fish and large fish swimming in the pond, drain the large pond and repeat the entire process.  Once you can see that the small fish are about 3-4 cm, you must drain the pond completely.  This may be as soon as 6 months, perhaps as long as 10 or 12 months.  Do not allow the pond to remain as it is, or you will end up with a pond full of many small fish and very few big fish. 
  • You now must drain the pond completely and allow it to dry in the sun.  Once the big pond is dried for a week, refill it with water and then put some small fish back in, one fish per square meter- see examples above under “Stocking Pond with Tilapia”.

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