How to combine Permaculture with Aquaponics
If you install a tank downhill from your sump tanks and plumb it to the overflows from the different sump tanks, it will catch the overflow of system nutrient water that comes from those tanks (and systems) when it rains. Then you will have system overflow water to use as makeup water for your aquaponics systems during dry periods, or great irrigation water to use on the farm that already has organic nutrients added; such as for these banana plants. Important: aquaponics water is GREAT to use on any plants/trees in the ground and get the same incredible results!
|(Below) A 2-year old banana plant that was accidentally planted in the run-off from one of our aquaponics systems. In this photo, it has 4 bunches of nearly mature bananas. Planted in “potato rock” (fist-sized rock, held together by gravel, with NO soil at all), this one gave us almost 600 pounds of bananas by the end of its second year of life (when this photo was taken). Contrast this to the photo above right, which is of a banana started from the same rootstock, and was planted at the same time, but didn’t get aquaponics water, just rainwater and hose water. ||(Below) Another 2-year old banana plant from the SAME rootstock as the above banana plant. Also planted in “potato rock” at the exact same time the banana to the left was planted, this one has its FIRST EVER bunch of bananas; this banana was planted in the same rocky ground, only it was watered with hose water and rainwater. Contrast this to the previous photo of the banana plant that had been feeding us for a year already!|
IMPORTANT! The most important thing to know about this banana plant is that it was planted in what we call in Hawaii “potato rock”. This is rocks the size of your fist, held together lightly with gravel and a small amount of dirt. I had to dig holes with a pickax for both of these banana sprouts the day I planted them.
This is a REVOLUTION for soil growing: because you don’t need fertile soil to use this method, you can use it in sand, gravel, sandy or rocky soil; all you need is a “matrix” that can hold the plant’s roots so it can stand upright against the wind. You will need more fish and need to feed them more in order to be able to continuously remove nutrient-filled water from your aquaponics system. This is still more economical than purchasing fertilizer (chemical or organic), and MUCH more economical than purchasing a more expensive piece of fertile land (that you DON’T NEED for aquaponics!). Leave the fertile land for those who need to to grow other crops, or who can’t understand aquaponics. Farm with aloha in the rocks!