Bill & Bens HydroWorld Aquaponics

Originally posted on Bill And Bens HydroWorld:

So its been a while since I wrote about what been going on with Bill & Bens HydroWorlds Aquaponic setup. You may remember we took on the ‘Bristol Fish Projects’* Tilapia last year when they lost their site. This was great as we took the fish when they were established & semi grown so we didn’t have to cycle the water. We also took on one of their IBC’s (Intermediate bulk container) which we housed in a 2.4m x 1.2m Century Grow Tent using 2 x 125w Maxi Bright CFL’s (energy saving lamps) & 150w Dual Spec HPS (high Pressure Sodium bulbs when we need a bit of a light boost.



So having had a bit of an accident evolving a trapped air line to a temporary holding tank whilst trying to clean an infestation of Aphids from the Aquaponic area we restocked with 100 Koi Carp (The Tilapia…

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2014 Introduction to Aquaponics Course – October start

 IMG_2175We are pleased to announce our 2014 Introduction to Aquaponics Course will run over 12 weeks from October. It brings together experts in all the important aspects of aquaponic farming from tank to fork, and provides a good framework for someone wanting to set up a system of their own or train in the basics to run an aquaponic system. Check out the course on our courses page, or download the 2014 Introduction to Aquaponics Course Flyer. To register or for more info email

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Talk at SSE graduation

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2014 Introduction to Aquaponics Course

IMG_2182It seems there is demand for a repeat of last year’s introduction to aquaponics course – we haven’t really thought about advertising a course, but a few people have been in touch so if we can get together a big enough group then we can afford to run the course again. If you are interested in learning about commercial aquaponics; check out last year’s syllabus here, and get in touch. Bests! Alice and the Bristol Fish Project Team

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Course Starting October

Check out our courses page for more info

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Wanted a good home for 3 ‘Free Tilapia’ fish.

Hi There

As I am now about to stock the fish tank with 200 Koi Fry. I need to take the 3 remaining fish (200-300g ish) & “find a home or I will have to eat them” otherwise they will eat the fry.


You can take just the fish for free or take them with the setup that they are in but I will need £50 to cover the expense of the set up . (This setup is not really big enough for them and was only a temporary home).  However it is a good hospital or fry nursery tank.

Contact me ASAP if you are interested

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The Start Of A New Cycle

I will carry on as best as I can & for as long as I can with Aquaponics here at Bill & Bens HydroWorld.  I will try to keep the blog regularly updated but I am finding it hard to keep on top of my work load at the mo, won’t be this busy forever though!


I have separated the 5 remaining fish into these old loft water buckets I found & cleaned out.  I took a pump with a built in timer so I could fine tune the minutes that it pumps for & worked out it was 7 minutes to fill the top bucket with the plants with water from the fish bucket below.  When the pump stops the water drains back out through the pump.  I do this once an hour.  You can see the fry nursery floating on the top.  Im finding its hard to keep the fry in the nursery as every day I find some escapees?  I think its the older Tilapia crashing down onto it & pushing the top edges under water as one day I found a fish in the nursery however there are less numbers of fry which makes me think they are being eaten by the other larger Tilapia!

This new setup had to be done as you will find out later on.




I cleaned up from the last time I posted to the blog.  I rinsed the clay balls which we grow in & returned them to the grow beds.  Filled up the tank & then noticed a leak, thought I had sorted it & so started  to go through the process of cycling with Maxi Crop (as suggested by Murray Hallam in the book Aquaponic Gardening by Bernstien).  Cycling with Maxi Crop a seaweed based fertiliser (contains Ammonia which attracts the beneficial bacteria) can shorten the cycling time to 2 weeks rather than 6,  and you also have the added advantage that you can grow crops in your set up straight away.   It smells nice to begin with & then starts to stink like rotting veg that been sitting in water for to long & guess what? it leaked all in & under the tent, which wasn’t that pleasant for me or the shop.  I took the system apart again re-sealed the NFT with Aquatic Silicon & so I would like you to wish me luck as I start to cycle again today.

O yea the reason for the separate system?  The clay balls I had returned to the grow bed I believe had absorbed the Permethrin, the ingredients in the smoke bomb I used to get rid of the creepy crawlies in the tent, I believe this is the case as I found many dead worms & on the second clean up.  I don’t really think they had starved to death.

Anyways I replaced the balls & now have no good bacteria left & have to start the process again.  Thats about it for now I hope you can make it to Alice Park in Bristol this Sunday for 2pm where we will be serving a Tilapia Picnic & discussing the future Of The BFP.

Nice One


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