To watch the loop of the water flow in our small aquaponics system is hypnotic: first, the water is whisked up by the pump and makes its way between the clay pebbles until the whole grow bed is full. Then, thanks to the auto siphon, it makes its way back into the fish tank. This same circular movement repeats itself again and again, creating a mesmerizing motion that you could look at it for hours.
Last Saturday the aquaponics group met for its second building weekend. The wild weeds that we had planted as a test in one grow bed, are sprouting up more every day. After this test phase, we will replace them with plants and vegetables. Although it is the main goal of our project, I can't help but be nicely surprised when I see the roots going deeper and deeper. One thing is to see the entire process in a manual or through videos, but it is a completely different experience to see firsthand the plants in our own system grow and change.
It has been a Saturday morning of plumbing and testing. The systems have to be ready to welcome fish and plants, and every single step has to be checked and carefully prepared. Clay pebbles need to be clean and ready for the grow bed: some kids on their way to a party saw and helped us to wash them, attracted by the noisy and strange sort of marbles, pretending for a moment to be gardeners.
Like those kids, we have the same good feelings with aquaponics. We are drawn to this world that we are learning more about every day. From its simplest aspects to the most technical ones, we're becoming familiar with this technique. How to build an auto siphon is not a secret anymore! Would you like to learn it too? Come and join us in our next meeting!