Central Queensland equine dentist Keith Page won't knock renewable energy and self-sustainability before he tries it, so that's exactly what he's doing. The former mine worker is using a wind turbine and solar panel to power an aquaponics operation at his Alton Downs backyard. The set-up produces fish to eat and uses the filtered water from the tank to grow vegetables.
"I sit in my loungeroom visualising," Mr Page said. "Other times I wake up at two in the morning and think: 'That will work'." Mr Page said water from the fish tank was processed through two filters before being pumped into the vegetable garden, which was filled with clay pebbles commonly used in hydroponics.
"There's a bell siphon which, when this garden bed gets quite full, has an airlock in it, and the water forces the airlock out of it and there is a continual flow of water [out of the garden bed]," he said. Every hour 400 litres of water are pumped into the garden bed from the sump tank, a collection reservoir for the run-off. With the occasional addition of nutrients, such as iron, the filtered fish water has proved fruitful.
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