With all of the talk about my plants in my IBC system i have failed to mention the other stars of the show so far. At the moment i am running about 10 yabbies as well as an unknown amount of small feeder fish or gambrusia that i was able to catch from the local river. The Latin name for the yabby is Cherax Destructor and the destructor part of its name is well earned. They are highly territorial and are also cannibalistic, so they don’t mix well with others. I have included a link to Wikipedia below for a bit more reading on them.
I am really hoping that these guys will grow to a size that suitable for eating. I actually caught quite a few more than the 10 in my system, so i cooked them up and ate them. Even with a day or so in fresh water they had a bit of a muddy taste, which i am hoping the guys in the IBC wont have. Even if they do still have the muddy taste i will still keep some as pets. They are a really interesting creature to watch and it is always fun pulling one out of the water to scare someone with. 🙂
I took a few more photos to share today.
I have been having problems with wind absolutely hammering my plants. Solution? Wind break. So i got the tools out of the shed, cracked a beer and got to work. Using leftover pine from making the frame the the grow bed sits on i constructed up the frame for the wind break. I used a sheet of polycarbonate as the material for the wind break so i could still get maximum sunlight on the plants. I should note here that sun light is something i am very conscious about with they whole system being under the back patio. The polycarbonate is hinged along the top to allow me access to the plants from the back of the system. That will save me having to climb on the fish tank to reach back there.
I also planted some new silverbeet plants and i trimmed back my spring onion because it was starting to get a bit old and unruly. I also planted some dwarf beans between the rhubarb and the capsicum plant as well as an unknown creeper type plant that started growing in one of my pots.
Sorry about the poor photo quality. Its the best i could manage with my phone.
The first growth update of my IBC Aquaponics system!
Every thing has been ticking along smoothly for the first 10 days or so. Plants are looking happy and the small gambrusia fish and yabbies that i put in the fish tank are still alive and feeding. I have also been dosing the system with additional ammonia to help the system cycle. Cycling means to establish the bacteria i mentioned in the previous post to a level where they can handle the ammonia load of the trout that i am planning on getting for winter. Usually this process takes 4 – 6 weeks so i still have a while to go, but i dont think the small fish and yabbies will provide enough ammonia to properly cycle the system.