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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '20, 22:03 

Joined: Mar 12th, '20, 20:55
Posts: 2
Gender: Male
Are you human?: yes
Location: Hangzhou
I'm British, but living and teaching at an IB kindergarten in China. I was considering creating a small scale aquaponics system for fun and to prepare for possibly creating a bigger one in the future, and have now been told that the next inquiry unit I will need to teach my class will be about water. We'll need to cover water conservation, pollution, uses of water, and other things as practically as possible. As you've already guessed, I've asked my boss to find space to create a system at the school and am hoping to run some ideas by you guys.

My background:
Experience of keeping freshwater tropical fish. Basic knowledge of things like hardness, PH, the nitrogen cycle, and consumer water tests.
Some online research about Aquaponics, including some of this forum.
A bit of experience growing herbs, potted plants, bonsai trees, etc. One time successfully growing corn to harvest outdoors at a previous school in Guangzhou.
Presently my class are trying to regrow vegetables from their kitchens!

Outline of the intended system:
The school is in an urban part of the city of Hangzhou, China, and has a (very) small outdoor space. There may also be space available on the flat roof.
I want it to be big enough that the water chemistry is stable and it can comfortably house a couple of small examples of edible fish without overpopulating it.
I would like to be able to grow enough vegetables that twenty children and a couple of teachers could at least try what we grow.
My inclination is to grow non-fruiting local leafy stuff like spinach, pakchoi, and lettuce so that success means success, and failure means small plants that still give us a little nibble.
My preference is to pair up a system like the one below that looks user-friendly...
2.jpg [ 70.56 KiB | Viewed 2990 times ]

...with a fairly substantial plastic container like the one below in the region of 120-150L. It seems like it might hold up to approx five tilapia-sized fish. My intention would be to get fingerlings for a local edible variety of farmed fish so that they can handle the climate and add them as the plants start to grow.
1.jpg [ 46.58 KiB | Viewed 2990 times ]

My biggest uncertainties are:
1) If/how to cycle the system and get things going. Rapidly growing plants will keep the water clean enough for the fish, but may not get that far without fish present in the first place.
2)Whether additional biological filtration media is necessary, or if that is provided by the sponge plant inserts.
3) Do I need to worry about chemicals in the tap water and what should I test for? People here mostly drink RO filtered tap water, me included.
4) How dechlorinating is done when you intend to eat what you grow. How sure can we be that dechlorinator is safe? Or do we evaporate chlorine? I guess I need to look into the composition of local tap water and possible chloramines.

I'll keep thinking it over, but all suggestions would be welcome, especially any considerations that I've missed.


Phil Wareham

These original Taobao links for the items may or may not work where you are. They're the same as the photos above. ... 0774913083 ... 9049655431

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