Category Archives: aquaponics

all posts around the aquaponics project in collaboration with the MLU halle and aquaponics activities in the color garden of the casedeldragon

Familiafeliz Info Day 2018-10-06

FamiliaFeliz Info(rmation Day) 2018 – 10 – 06 from 10 am to 10 pm – Cervera del Maestre – Castellon – Spain

We come together with members, helpers and friends of our community to talk about further steps to develop our living community. We will show you our projects, resources, partners and opportunities and we are interested in your dreams, ideas and projects.

We will enjoy this day with delicious food and a lot of fun.

We have a lot of space for cars, caravans and  vans and mobile homes and we have some caravans on our colorgarden plot and limited places in the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON in the village nearby. Accommodation is free.

You could apply here for staying up to 3 nights for a short visit around this Info Day or apply here as a volunter for a longer visit.

Orientation in the color garden

signpost before
the signpost near the fig-lounge before…

In the beginning of the color garden project we managed around 3 ha land and started with cleaning the first stone walls and implementing the first raised beds. After some years we added time by time new installations and “features” in the bio garden, the sculpture garden or even inside the social area near the open kitchen.


signpost after adding some arrows
signpost after adding some arrows

At the same time we had more and more visitors and guests, in october 2017 first time students from the biology department of the MLU Halle (Saale) Germany. Later in spring 2018 we welcomed again students from Halle, first from the “Burg Giebichenstein (art university)” and later new students from the MLU Halle (Saale). They where interested in aquaponics and in management of natural resources. More and more it became usefull to establish a system of sign posts in the garden to route the visitors between all the different locations.


signpost near the aquaponics installation area

In spring 2018 we expanded the area up to more than 8 ha and we placed new signposts in crossings and important places.


second signpost with new arrows

Also we liked to play a little bit with the words and wrapped some of the targets in an artistic linguistic way.

The choice of Hercules pointed out an area where we are able to accommodate horses or donkeys. But the place is also linked to a powerful and important decission of Clara related to the horse project. We liked to underline this powerful decission of her and we will remember it linked to another famous decission in the greec mythology, the choice of Hercules. By the way, we like classical music too.

harvesting biomass

Gonzo testing the mountain of olive leafs

Gonzo, the kid from Jitka and Thomas, is testing the mountain of olive trees. The cooperative of the village clean the harvested olives and collect a very big mountain of soil, leaves and broken olives. Nobody will use this biomass and we decided to test i in some beds in the garden and as a compost starter in some raised beds in the aquaponics area.

covering raised beds with olive leaves

We harvested 8 trailers full of this leaves and soil. Around 2 cubic meter of biomass was donated by the cooperative and will help us to develop the color garden.

mixing the biomass with the soil of the raised beds

Because we are not able to proof the toxic quality of the donated bio mass we used it only in some beds. Also we want to monitor and verify the effect of this exploration.

Reference and comparison for aquaponic systems

The web is full of successful stories about aquaponics. But we are not sure about the economics around aquaponics. We are on the way to establish different system layouts in the color garden and campus of UNIIE. As part of this project we want to know, how to build a system in smaller and medium size, how to make it profitable and what are daily needs of a running system.

As reference and for a possibility to compare the aquaponics system we created in the same space and location a “classical layout” (raised bed).

Soil and olive harvesting waste mixed with local soil

We mixed soil waste and olive tree leaves from the local agriculture cooperative with our own soil from the garden.

planting lettuce on new raised beds

We planted salad (lettuce) and onions and spinach in a first trial.

new raised beds in the UNIIE campus

We set up four raised beds in early january 2018.

In each bed we placed 16 – 32 plants (one square meter). We are pouring two times per week with 10 liters of water per bed.

We will harvest and mesure in march 2018.

El huerto de peces – aquaponics in castellon

The aquaponics area – called “huerto de peces” – is located in the color garden of the CASAdelDRAGON in Cervera del Maestre. In the first step of the project we created 24 wood boxes based on pallet stacks in early 2018.

Two (red) are used as working spaces and to guard tools. Six IBC tanks (blue) are used to store water (or later fishes).

The infrastructure is setup between some fruit trees (round brown).

sixteen boxes (green) are used as raised beds, little green houses or later aquaponics flow tanks.

two boxes support a large aquarium (blue with “f”) with 460 l water capacity.

The idea behind is, to create a realistic setup for aquaponic validation in the color garden. According to the local conditions (clima, temperature, sun shine) and the “human factor” (people available for maintaining, knowledge) and economical implications (budgets, investments, ROI) we want to know if “fish in the garden” makes sense for us.

The multifunctional usability of the setup will offer us to compare classical maintanance in gardening with aquaponics.

Step 2 will be to add technical and electronical components like solar panel, sun heating for water and air, pumps, and devices (adruino based) to monitor the system components.

Aquaponics, hydroponics and aquaculture in Castellon / Spain

aquaponics - hydroponics - aquaculture - castellon - spain
aquaponics – hydroponics – aquaculture – castellon – spain

In early 2018 we started with first infrastructure development in the color garden of the CASAdelDRAGON. The color garden is also campus of our free university of informal education (UNIIE).

Ken pulls old nails out of the pallet wood

Ken – 92 years old landscape architect from Utah (United States of America) is pulling out old nails of the pallet wood.

Jens – SAP – Consultant from Germany – is preparing the pallet wood for new raised bed boxes.

foundation for raised bed boxes

We used concrete blockes as foundation for the bed boxes. This will protect the wood from termites.

Old used pallets are used to raise the beds and built the boxes. Old cleaned ibc tanks are used as tubs for the soil.

Finally a wood contruction around the stack of pallets gives the box a stable frame and will support later a plastic sheet. Therefor the box could be used also as a little greenhouse.