Aquaponics System Build – Base

I had planned on eventually building an aquaponics system but it wasn’t a priority – until there was a deal on eBay that was an absolute bargain. It’s a good size for starting out, has 3 grow beds and a fish tank made from IBC containers. Now I have this system sitting on the driveway waiting to be installed so the priority has gone to the top of the list.

The location needs to be near a power source and raised up to avoid any flood areas, I’ve got a good spot behind the workshop that is built up and fairly flat. I didn’t want to put it directly on the ground so I’m using a bunch of leftover materials to make a pad approximately 11′ x 13′ (canopy will be 10′ x 12′).

The first step was laying out the shape and leveling the edge boards in place. This will be a temporary setup (2-3 years?) so I didn’t want to concrete the pavers in place.

Aquaponics pad squared

Next, added paver base at about 2″ depth. Normally this would be deeper but again this isn’t a permanent setup and the ground underneath is very well packed down. This was just about a cubic yard of material.

Aquaponics pad with media base

Started tamping down the paver base by hand, eyeballing level to try to get it as close as possible to be 2″ below the top (height of a paver).

Aquaponics pad media base leveling

Finished tamping. A good workout.

Aquaponics pad media base levelled

Made a screed board, spaced a 2×4 under another using 1/2″ pieces of plywood.

Screed board design

Laying in the pavers a row at a time. I used a simple alternating direction pattern. Not fancy, but I didn’t want to cut any pavers so they can be reused again.

Aquaponics base paver installation

All pavers in place.

Aquaponics pad pavers complete

Brushing sand into the cracks. I had a bunch of sand left over from the last chicken coop clean out.

Sanding pavers on aquaponics pad

And the finished product. Now I just need to clean up the area around it. I’ll start the aquaponic system build in the next week or two.

Aquaponics pad completed

Until next time, keep on planting!

Where the Animals Roam

Hello! First post here so I’ll start with an introduction.

Three Acre Paradise is a privately owned residential property located in Melbourne, Florida (on the east coast). The property was bought in 2013 and the home built shortly after. The eventual goal is to turn this into a model for local permaculture as part of a larger plan towards self sufficiency.

In addition to the permaculture food forest there will also be traditional vegetable gardens and a host of experimental methods for growing food. We also have chickens and a pond to raise fish in. The home has solar power and water is provided by a well to help support the goal of being as self sufficient as possible.

Long term goals include having regular property tours and host events to help others learn more about growing their own food and establishing their own food forests. This will all be done as a project to help the community and is not a pursuit of income. We will gladly accept donations and will provide a page of needed materials and in exchange will help others with getting their forests started at no charge.

The first big hurdle we are facing is wild animals – they have been destroying trees, digging up vegetables, and stripping trees clear of their fruits. For the short term I’ve created welded wire fences around sensitive areas but for the bigger picture the whole property will need to be fenced. The timeline to have this completed is early 2018, in the meantime I’ll continue to address it on an as needed basis and will post a blog entry showing these methods.

Until next time, keep on planting!