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PostPosted: Oct 4th, '13, 14:45 
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Hi All,
Recently injured my back so I thought I would use the time stuck and immobile to give you all an update on the progress of my system.


Not too long back I had to change out my pump as the other pump chewed through the impeller rod. have replaced it with a BOYU 3500lph pump which is working a real treat.

Also discovered some magical stuff called EM1 which stands for Effective Micro-Organisms which is available from many agricultural shops basically its the bacteria that convert the amonia in your fish tank into nitrate/nitrite, so I have been adding small amounts to suppliment the already established bacteria and have noticed a few things, The plants are all looking much happier despite the ph still being at 8.5 also my water clarity is also much better than it was before I started adding the stuff however this could have something to do with the plants root systems being more dense, also the EM serves a second purpose as it has a natural ph of about 3.2 so it can slowly help to bring down ph in high ph systems.

The plants are doing much better than they were and everything is growing at a fantastic rate including a random pineapple that got stuck in there. I will soon be removing some of the filler plants that I stuck in just to help use up some of the nutrients in there to help keep the water clean for my fish, I will replace them with more productive plants that I will use more often which will be nice.

My strawberries have failed totally however and I am not sure it this is to do with the PH or if they just didnt like their placement in the growbed, I will have to experiment with those again sometime soon.

My fish are doing fantastically with only one death in the last 4 months and it only occured because he was pretty weak and sick to begin with. They are all growing as great speed although some are more greedy with the feed than others and are racing towards my dinner plate sooner rather than later.

Hopefully soon I will be putting some new photos up on here and my photobucket site so you can have a closer look.

Oh one more thing, I clad the whole fishtank in steel printing plates so it looks kind of like a streamliner caravan that you find in the states with all the sheet steel rivetted to the frame and it keeps the sun out very well. next step will be to remove the sheeting and pack the frame with paper insulation and then reapply the sheet steel so it will be much more thermally efficient.


Take it easy folks :)


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PostPosted: Feb 11th, '14, 02:49 
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African-Rob wrote:
Hi All,
Recently injured my back so I thought I would use the time stuck and immobile to give you all an update on the progress of my system.

Also discovered some magical stuff called EM1 which stands for Effective Micro-Organisms which is available from many agricultural shops basically its the bacteria that convert the amonia in your fish tank into nitrate/nitrite, so I have been adding small amounts to suppliment the already established bacteria and have noticed a few things, The plants are all looking much happier despite the ph still being at 8.5 also my water clarity is also much better than it was before I started adding the stuff however this could have something to do with the plants root systems being more dense, also the EM serves a second purpose as it has a natural ph of about 3.2 so it can slowly help to bring down ph in high ph systems.



Looking forward to hearing of your experience with EM1. I have read up on it, and it seems like a perfect complement to AP - even in systems that are "stable as-is". A robust microbial composition is vital for growing high-quality food, whether in AP or dirt gardens. The microbial agents in EM1 are marketed as "ideal for recirculating aquaculture", and can be used in food production without worries about introducing something "pathogenic". Beyond food quality, benefits can include improved breakdown of solid wastes, suppression of pests and plant disease, and treatment of anaerobic zones.


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PostPosted: Feb 11th, '14, 04:36 
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Hey Rob, read through your journey, respect for sticking through it. The rewards just seem to be starting, that basil should go mad in just a little bit, and all your perseverance will be made worth it :]

I've used broken bricks in my systems as well, though i didn't break them into pieces as small as yours. I think i will add a layer to top of my new system just as solar protection as i think the sun may be a similar problem here, system as always had shadecloth or had immense growth so not a problem in the past but I'm getting a bigger bed so should be careful ;]

Lastly, I built my system in Pakistan, so I feel your third world blues, at least I had some basic aquarium supplies available. Stick at it bro, hope your back is feels better.

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '16, 04:58 
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Hi, I am moving to Zambia, Lusaka and would like to build an aquaponics system. Do you still live there? Is your system still functioning? Any new insights? Thank You.


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PostPosted: Nov 26th, '16, 07:02 
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Hey Rob,
So cool to hear that you are into aquaponics. I'm just learning about it and think it is a brilliant idea. I am Zambian but currently in the U.S. I would love to start an aquaponics system somewhere in Northwestern province and would absolutely love to pick your brain on how you started.Have you ever used a solar powered pump before? Is the whole aquaponics worth it or do you see yourself spending too much money on it? Do you have a green house or is your system out in the open?
Thanks


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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '18, 20:05 
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Hello Rob.

I have read through your posts and I am impressed with your perseverance. I want to venture into aquaponics as well in Lusaka, but I personally don't know anyone who's done it, so I am relying on the internet for information. Are you still doing it? In your opinion, do you think it is worth doing in Zambia?


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 Post subject: Re: Aquaponics in Zambia
PostPosted: Oct 24th, '20, 21:03 
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Hi All.

Due to Covid having to finish my aquaponics course online. Looking for systems running in and around Lusaka for purposes of studies and photos. Can anyone in in zambia doing aquaponics help me please? So far seem to be drawing a blank on commercial ones.


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PostPosted: Oct 26th, '20, 12:50 
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Hi Pumbatoo1269,
There was a very good program shown on ABC TV Australia 3 weeks ago. If you can get ABC Iview in Zambia it was on
Landline. Sunday 4/10/2020.
It featured a Thai couple who set up a successful aquaponic vegetable and seafood restaurant in north eastern Oz.


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PostPosted: Nov 1st, '20, 20:55 
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Hi Rob,

Thanks for your insights and tips. I'm also in Lusaka and just setting up a test aquaponics system. My main problem has been finding the right grow media for the grow bed. Now that you say red clay bricks work fine, I'm going to try them. One question though, is the whole grow bed full of red clay bricks or you have those river rock pebbles below?


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