My aquaponics project has made quite a bit of progress recently. 

  • The culture tank and settling/filter tank are now plumbed together.   I’ve included a suction drain type device at the bottom of the settling tank.  I copied the idea from a sketch on a koi pond forum,  I’m hoping it works.  
  •  The greenhouse/shed now has a watertight roof, good thing, since we’re getting 6 inches of rain over the next few days.  If the shed doesn’t float away, the next steps are better power management and a water test.  Installing the roofing required me to climb up on the roof.  This was done with the aid of a rickety rusted and bent ladder that I borrowed from my neighbor about 4 years ago.  I tread very lightly on the roof, fearful of causing my highly engineered structure to collapse.
  • The highlight of the past weekend was putting my son inside the culture tank.  I put him in and handed him the vacuum to clean out the plastic shards that fell in when I cut the top off.  For some reason this was fun for him…
  • I’ve tested my backup power system and determined that it is completly inadequate.  I’ve consulted with my Chief Engineer and we are going to redesign this component.  I want a system that will run the airpumps for about 24 hours.  Current system will go about 2 hours.     

I still do not have the necessary permit to raise Tilapia.  In Massachusetts a permit is required for any type of aquaculture project.  Apparently I am the first person to ever apply for a non-commercial Tilapia permit.   I’ve had a few conversations with two different agents at Mass Fish & Wildlife,  they are navigating the different requirements and will hopefully help me out.  Tilipia is highly regulated in this state,  I may have to switch to a different species.  If I do, I will go with Channel Catfish.  This species doesn’t grow as quickly as Tilapia,  but I enjoy eating them even more, so i’m okay with this change.   I may have to over winter them in order to grow them out large enough.   I’ll worry about that later.