IBC Aquaponics Course Photo’s

#ibc #aquaponics build workshop was a great success! We got the system complete and working! By the end of the day all the students felt confident that they could do this for themselves. They took home course notes including build plans, instructions and a shopping list with links to products online! And we all ate together (of course).


Eel Diaries

We added aquatic plants to our #eel #conservation #aquaponics system and had the help of lots of volunteers at our workday!

Project Diary

After a few days Easter Break we all meet for a check-in to see where we are at with the tasks at hand. James has made progress on building the lighting rig for system 2 and needs to go get more pipes. I order more IP rated hydroponic lighting controllers from iquatics. Sam is wandering when the new Seneye sensor system will arrive. Jay and Diane are volunteering from UWE’s IWC conservation programme.

Jon who rigged up our last aquaponic electronics system is in tomorrow morning bright and early to rig up system 2.

And Jen’s is arriving tomorrow – for his placement with us!

Plus we are keen to make sure we are ready for our forthcoming courses –

IBC system build workshop

Commercial Aquaponics Course – 4 Day intensive


Eel diaries

Today it’s just James, Merle, Mark and Alice working on a few jobs on the farm. Building lighting racks for the new system, tidying up the watercress, seeding, cleaning and of course stopping for curry for lunch. The eels are gradually coming off the starvation programme and beginning to feed. Especially those in the IBC system. The dark tanks seem happier than the white tanks – so we consider cladding them to reduce stress.

Biofilter great advice!

Antonio Paladino of @bioaquafarm came to visit and advised we add a RAS style #biofilter to our #eel system whilst we prepare our #aquaponic media beds. Bloody good thing too as the snow keeps us away from the farm.

The filter is in an IBC, with some sizeable airstones on a hailea pump to keep the filter material moving. We ordered some filter material to make a home for the bacteria.

Antonio also helped us speed up our cycle by offering us 100l of already bacteria rich filter media from his own system to boost our system cycle. Now there’s a good aquaponic neighbour! Hopefully we can return the favour sometime!

Great thanks and gratitude to him as always and pointing any budding aquaponicists in BioAqua farm’s direction!

Cute Eel video made by Bristol School!

#eelconservation #kidscreating #hydrocitizenship

We absolutely love this video -an animated journey into the hidden ecologies of the River Avon as told by the children of Victoria Park Primary School, Bristol, using their drawings, ideas and voices! Funded by the AHRC’s ‘Towards Hydrocitizenship’ project, and part of Water City Bristol, supported by the ‘Sustainable Eel Group (SEG)’. In association with NOVA, lead artists for Water City Bristol.

‘Protect The Eels’ is a film made by Pinch Me! Productions.

Project Diary

It’s a gentle day at the project. I like it when Sam and I get to work together, we are both… doers – makers – and today is one of those days. Sam picks me up on his way to the warehouse, and we head to Greens Horticulture for some advice on winch systems for our lighting rigs. We are in luck – as we often are when we visit Green’s. Matt has just the thing, and we can have it for free because it’s from an old display and all the winch strings are tied in knots! We buy coir for propagating some watercress for the big-rig – we can see that it will be ready soon and we will need some baby plants, and Matt recommends some organic nutrient to give the baby plants a little boost once their seeds initial nutrient has been consumed. We swing by the supermarket and I buy big bags of chopped vegetables for meals for our volunteer workdays. We eat together after working on the project on Thursday nights and Sundays and I want to make sure there is something fast and healthy we can share.

Today we decide to work more on the IBC scale eel system as it is here that we will be receiving our eels in February.WhatsApp Image 2018-01-23 at 22.57.34

Last Friday, whilst I was in London visiting Paul Bavister at Flanagan Lawrence to talk about our modular concept system, Sam and Tom worked on further testing u-siphons as an option for draining the flood & drain system. Today we get it to fire as a working system. Then we build a sort of rigging for our lighting system.

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-23 at 22.57.26

It’s a good size as it is roughly speaking half the length of 1 of our big-rig bays. Which means we can test out the efficacy of our lighting array (spacing, height etc).

The rest of the week is looking exciting.

Thursday Jon the electrician is coming to help us set up lighting in our classroom. Plus Alan from Big Issue Invest is coming over to talk to us about our bridging loan request. Fingers crossed they can support us in this endeavour!

Friday Tom and Sam and I will complete the IBC build and get that cycling. Plus there is a lot of admin to do. I plan to apply for funding to pilot the module and I need to begin making preparations for our eel project launch on March 12th!

Sunday we are having a workday (if you fancy helping out you can sign-up here). The main job will be to start setting up our propagation area for the big-rig and to clear some of the drains that are full of autumn leaves in the Garden.



Aquaponics Concept Shortlisted at 2017 World Architecture Festival

Our proposal for a modular aquaponic urban farm was shortlisted at the World Architecture Festival 2017, which took place in November. The project is a research collaboration between Flanagan Lawrence Architects, the British Aquaponic Association (BAQUA), the Bristol Fish Project, and Expedition (as part of the Useful Simple Trust’s work on the circular economy). The vertical modular farm is designed to make use of available growing space on the south facades of large urban sheds, to be built from reused steel elements and involves a number of closed-loop principles: between fish and plants, and turning foodwaste into sustainable fish feed.

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Designs for Module build

Sam and Alice sat down to discuss what happens next to the pallet-racking and recycled materials based aquaponics module that they’ve been building. The rack is up, boxes have been built using recycled scaffold planks. Butyl lining which we ordered cut to size is waiting to be affixed. Fish tank and sumps are standing by. Big pumps are on the lab table. The electronics have been installed. The controllers for T5 arrays are waiting to be pinned to the bays…. but we can’t make the next move until we know exactly where we want holes for the plumbing to go! So – to the drawing board!

Diary of a Volunteer – Baptiste Grollier is down’t farm!

img_4046Here I am in Bristol, arrived on a Sunday 2 October 9, 2017 in the evening at the station of Bristol Temple Meads welcomed by Jacqui E. The next day I was able to quickly discover the city   : alive, rich and abundant activities. During the first week of my stay, I met the entire Bristol Fish Project (BFP) team.   : we have begun research with Daniel Nicholas on the project of production of black soldier flies intended for future eels present in the aquaponic circuit (under construction) . We have formatted the project in writing to give a first glimpse of its objectives   : bring different foods for fly larvae and compare the nutritional results of soldier fly larvae, the speed of larvae growth … or the goal is to provide the best food for eels on a small scale in the context of sustainable development. In this context, I am responsible in part for the production of black soldier fly (Black Soldier Fly) which will begin the week of Monday, September 13 with the arrival of the first fly larvae. The Bristol Fish Project is progressing with the entire team. Thursday night allows us to meet at the hangar to share and advance on projects until 9 pm. 

The days of the week are filled with visits   :

   Grow Bristol   “Hydroponics company BristolCenter that produces”   microgreens   For restaurants (mustard leaves, radishes, chickpeas …) and supermarkets with a hydroponic system.The company has already produced these  microgreens   In aquaponics with tilapia but did not have as good production results compared to the current hydroponic system.

This is the reason why the company stopped producing in aquaponics. The company wants to focus advantages on the production of  microgreens   “Rather than tilapia for several reasons   : there is sector market (restaurants, delivery to ‘   trunk bike   “Electric”), ease of production (it does not concern more fish ) , nutritive balance s more stable and therefore more efficient for the growth of plants. Grow Bristol works actively with computer scientists (optimizing production through automation) and in cooperation with BFP and the University of Bristol. I was able to attend and participate in the harvest that takes place every Tuesday .

Technical characteristics of the company / production   :

           Water   : pH of water ( hydroponic )   : 5. 5-5 .8 open watering 5 minutes per day only

           Lighting   : 14/24

           Air   : 18.5 ° C

           Harvest   and sale: 2 times / week, boxes of 20g and 40g for restaurants and a mix multi varieties + chickpea leaves in 75g box for supermarkets

Example of production of chickpeas   : Chickpeas put 24 hours in the water in the dark, taken out and put on support (composed of wool and recycled textiles   : durable) and moistened. It remains a week in the dark before lighting.

The main project of   Grow Bristol   “I n this time is to re c reate a fog on plants improve their growth time.

   Nibley leaves    is a cooperative gardening company on the outskirts of Bristol. Sam Rossiter is the owner of the farm. The company produces a variety of salad varieties for catering. The atmosphere is very nice, family. During my work day at Sam, I met French people who work and live in England. It’s really nice to talk in French abroad

The company produces salads all year long and makes one harvest a week. The non-esthetically presentable production in a restaurant is given to an association for modest meals.

Sam to a lot of project for the future   : he raises bees to make his honey, he wants to make an aquaponic greenhouse in a building that is currently used as a warehouse, he planted particularly resistant trees on the western side of the fields to protect themselves from the winds and also to replace those who threats to fall soon.

I thank everyone for having welcomed me on this day.

   Bioaqua Farm   “Aquaponics is a company in 30 minutes drive from Bristol. Antonio Paladino , chef cook, to create the company 6 years ago in the city of Pollbridge . He is one of the pioneers of commercial aquaponics in England. It produces , transforms (on site) and sells these processed products on the internet. It has managed to be economically profitable by multiplying the variety of these products   : Smoked trout, trout pâté, cookedsauces ues sells jars. He also does “   streetfood   “With these summer vegetables to reach customers in short circuit and make known aquaponics. I visited this company in early November so the aquaponic greenhouse is partially empty because the main production is in summer.

The aquaponic system was built entirely to measure. It is composed of   :

           Bins of clay balls for root plants that ‘   spread   »(Fennels, peppers, chilli u)

           Bins with «   rafts      : they are ponds of water or push it on a support floating in a permeable substratum (here, the support is composed of fibers of coconut   (recyclable)).

           6 basins of 200 liters with a density of 16-17kg / m3 on average. He has an average of 700 trout in the year

           35 watts / pond air pump (60L / min)

           pH   6.45

           Losses   : 7% including 4% mortalities and 3% sick

           filters   : gravity, MBR (membrane bioreactor ) , bio filter (clay beads)

In England, legislation (food standards agency) authorizes the transformation of the primary product in the producers (smoking, pâté, etc.) . Antonio considers that low cost technology in production is the future of market gardening compared to production with high production cost technologies.

The project of the company is to go from 6 to 10 tanks and to have 3 greenhouses instead of 2.