You may have noticed IKEA have some hydroponic systems on sale on their website. I think they’re also proposing to get in on the market for off-the-shelf indoor aquaponic units for farming at home too. Apparently they’re meeting with GrowUp to hone this further? You used to be able to buy an off-the-shelf aquaponic system from the British Aquaponics Association shop too, the FishPlant Production Unit Complete System, but it’s no longer available on Amazon. Might be able to get it somewhere else?
The internet as always is full of useful blogs and pages with hints and tips on how to build your own farm [as I am and have been trying to do, still not quite got all the stuff], such as this ‘How to build an aquaponics system’ post on the website fishonfriday.org.uk. This page lead me to lots of DIY aquaponics resources…
Home Aquaponics System give their best-of lists on a variety of products:
- Top 5 best pumps – from £15 to £342! £15 it is…
- Top 5 best grow lights – from £50 to £? (in dollars). I think LED are the only feasible option for a sustainable solution in terms of energy use etc. As such…
- Top 5 best LED grow lights – from $20 to $290.
- Top 5 best grow media from £14 to £113! GrowUp used some mesh type products that came in batts and could be squeezed into the tubes…will have to ask what they were.
- Top 7 water & Ph test kits – from £7 to £54.
- Top 5 best aquarium heaters – from £15-£78. I’ll go for #2.
This WikiHow gives you a step-by-step guide to building your own indoor aquaponic system.
British Aquaponics Association could be a useful resource as well.
GrowBristol used to run courses a couple years back, nothing available at the moment though.
A few interesting youtube video posts on Farmxchange.org of other amateur efforts. They’re all flat and level systems though, not vertical like the GrowUp model. Feature photo is also from this site.
I want to try and create an even easier system that doesn’t require pressure valves on each feed to get the water to the top. Could do this with a level system too perhaps? Just connect the overflow of each run into the next run. With a constant flow of nutrients running around the system then each plant should receive just as much as the next as plants become saturated? i.e. no need for a complicated system of valves.
The only thing not yet covered is where to source your fish from. Would the Winchester HCHQ need to grow it’s own fish for the system from scratch, or are there affordable sources of young, cold water fish?