Some Flourish One Survived Others Die

squash-cayenneSadly, the squash plants on the right had mostly died off except one that is still surviving. The leaves were never really showing the potential, but I thought by transplanting into the aquaponic boxes they might grow better. Instead they died. I pulled the dead plants up and observed that the roots had not grown and the root system was not large enough to get enough nutrient from the environment. Well, one lesson learned – check the roots before any more transplant in future.

koi fish after 2 weeks
koi fish after 2 weeks

On the other hand the Koi fish have taken to the new environment with delight. Perhaps it’s the number of times we, me my partner and my son, fed them in the last two weeks – over feeding – they have obvious growth in size since their arrival. They have taken to understand that if sight of human appears in the surface they should swim to the surface to wait for abundant food. Usually their feeding habit is that they will snatch 3-4 large chunk of feed and then swim below to digest before coming back to the surface to finish off the rest of the floating feed.

The water in the system is all clear now. The muddy silt has sunk to the bottom of the sump tank. The PH has decreased to about 7.35 (from 7.8) as it supposed to. The ammonia level also reduced from the initial introduction of the fish of 1 ppm back down to 0.25 ppm.     I have replaced the dead squash plants with more cayenne and aubergine. so I am seeing a lot of pepper in my future.

Aquaponics Systems in Hong Kong

It took me the whole of last week but I have finally built a prototype of aquaponics system on my balcony. I also spent about an hour and a half yesterday to shop for my fish. After walking around for more than an hour I’ve decided the best fish to add for my system is six six-month old Koi fish. They are colourful, resilient and easy to take care of.

As Sylvia Bernstein in her Aquaponic Gardening book said, the fish is the power and the fun of the system. My partner and I spent hours looking at the auto syphon flushing water from the boxes and how happy the fish come up to greet us when we feed them in the morning afternoon and evening. They are like our children now, that we will go out on the balcony to check on first thing in the morning and the last thing to do before going to bed.

Just look at them,

fish in the barrel
fish in the barrel

 

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Transplanted them two days ago and new leaves are appearing already.

Balcony Aquaponics

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The system is assembled on the south-facing balcony. It has sun light for the whole day and being on a raised level it is the perfect location for my grow boxes.

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The contraption is actually a water circulating system for the grow box and the fish tank. Using a close loop ensures the water pressure is evenly distributed to both the fish tank and the grow boxes.

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The sprinkler is for aeration of the water in the fish tank to enhance oxygen level in the water for the fish.

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The grow boxes are assemble and ready to be filled.

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Stage 4 testing – with plants transplanted from the hydroponic growing system.

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Water being flushed into the sump from the grow boxes and fish tank.

It’s working!