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Floyd C. Constable 's Profile
Floyd C. Constable
Last Updated:
Koh Kood, Thailand
Climate Zone:
Wet/Dry Tropical

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Sydney + Surrounds, AU


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Milkwood Permaculture Noosa Bagot Community OSHC Garden No longer at Eco Centro Soneva Fushi The Panya Project
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Cafe-ponics....Eat @ Martins

Posted by Floyd C. Constable over 12 years ago

A cafe based Aquaponics System by Floyd....

Howdy all,

It seems I have caught the Aquaponics bug!

In January I was fortunate enough to co-teach at Milkwood's PDC in Sydney (thanks so much Nick and Kirsten). As part of the course we had Charlie from Ecolicious (http://www.ecolicious.com.au/) come along and show us all a thing or 3 about setting up a small scale aquaponics system. It was at this point that I became hooked! Charlie was gracious enough to show me some neat tips and tricks when it comes to building a system, and I took all this new found knowledge and enthusiasm back to Tropical Darwin with me...

I had been working for my self in Darwin as Permaculture consultant, designer and educator for a little while. So it was reasonably natural for Martin, a wonderful man and cafe owner in Darwin, and good friend of my wife, to approach me when he was expanding and landscaping his cafe's outdoor dinning area.

During the initial consultation, Martin said it would be nice to able to grow some of the herbs and salads for use in the kitchen, and in passing he mentioned it may be nice to have some fish in pots... Here was my chance to put my new found passion to good use :)

I did heaps of research and put together some information regarding what an aquaponics system is, what it may look like in his setting, and a rough estimate of costs (I still hadn't designed it yet, so had not developed a bill of quantities) and asked Martin for another meeting. As I was explaining it to him, his eyes grew wide with wonder! He was as into it as I was, and my passion and excitement fueled his...He gave the final enthusiastic thumbs up.

I put on my thinking cap and my designers glasses and set to work. Based on the limitations of the site, and the demand for high aesthetics, as well as Martins request to use large pots as fish tanks, I settled on a CHOP mk 2 style system. I managed to manifest 3 bath tubs on road sides so there was my 2 grow beds and a 3rd for the hidden sump...I even found a brand new worm farm that someone had thrown out, so we set this up to produce some yummy worms for the fish.

I then designed the grow bed support and all the timber work on paper, then transferred to the digital realm using Google Sketchup, which is fantastic for putting your ideas to the test. You can see if it will actually fit in the space, and get a fairly accurate idea of the material quantities you need. 

The system has 2 fish tanks that are constantly gravity feeding into the hidden sump tank. The pump is in the sump tank, which is constantly pumping back to the fish tank, as well as very slowly pumping into the grow beds. When the water in the grow beds reaches a certain point, the auto siphons kick in, and rapidly drain it back into the sump. The water just goes around and around, 24hours a day. All the plumbing is 24mm poly irrigation pipe and fittings, which I prefer much more than PVC.

All in all, its been a smashing success. Martin, my self, and his clients think it looks fantastic and really enhances the feel of the dining area. The right angle design of it means your almost sitting within the grow beds, and you can always hear running water which I just love...and if the large increase in his business is anything to go by, so do his clients! :)





P1030214%20%281%29 P1030210%20%281%29 P1030207%20%281%29 P1%202%20x%20400l%20pots%20%2b%201%20250l%20sump%20=%20lots%20of%20water%20%281%29 Floyd p1030216 Floyd p1030005 Floyd p1020820 Floyd p1020817

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Pri verified
PDC course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Verifying teacher: Geoff Lawton
Other Teachers: Bill Mollison
Location: Melbourne
Date: Sep 2009
Other course verified
Keyline Design Course
Type: Earthworks
Teacher: Darren J. Doherty
Location: Milkwood Farm
Date: Oct 2010
Other course verified
Permaculture Internship
Type: Internship
Verifying teacher: Nick Ritar
Other Teachers: Kirsten Bradley
Location: Milkwood Farm
Date: Oct 2010
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Climate Zones
Floyd C. Constable has permaculture experience in:
Warm Temperate
Wet/Dry Tropical

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