I grew up in Washington state and we had salmon a couple of times a month, not the fake farmed stuff that comes out of Chile but real salmon, King, Coho, Sockeye, etc and since I have moved back to Maryland I haven’t had much in the way of good smoked salmon. Recently I found a possible solution…Aquaponics.
Aquauponics is closed loop, organic, completely sustainable way of growing just about anything. The basic idea is to take a large fish tank, filter the water through a few grow beds and then recycle the water back to the fish tank. So the fish waste provides nutrients to the plants in the grow beds and the plants clean the water of Nitrates and allow the fish to live in clean water. It’s a beautiful system.
I found a great website (http://www.aquaponics.net.au/) that has a ton of very good and insightful information on how to make the system work and what kind of success and failures they have had. They have a DVD and some instructions on how to build a custom aquaponics system in your back yard. They call in the CHOP Mark 2. CHOP stands for Constant Height One Pump and the mark 2 is for the second generation of this system. Essentially, you take some standard IBC totes (which are VERY common and you can find in craigslist) and you create a fish tank with one, and you cut the other two up to make a sump tank and three grow beds.
Yesterday I found some food quality IBC totes (make sure the previous owner didn’t have chemicals or oil or something in the tank – it needs to be “Food Quality”) and I picked them up and then today I did this:
This was captured using my iPhone with a time lapse app set to 1 frame every 15 seconds. Next up is to get some gravel down in the corner and to replace the brick walkway around where I’m building my Aquaponics setup.