Aquaculture was the next step.
After much deliberation, we started the aquaculture system that we ran for a couple of years.
The aquaculture system was started with several female plain guppies and a few male fancy guppies, in a bucket of water with a bubbler. The water was inoculated with nutrients, algae, and bacteria that would be helpful, and a regular fish tank bubbler helped oxygenate the water. Soon we had many guppies in several buckets.
When there were enough guppies to warrant a larger tank, we came upon an IBC through a friend. It had only been used for distilled water. Noah placed the tank in the garage, cut the top off (as in many aquaculture systems) and moved the guppies over.
A new professional grade bubbler was added, and further amendments were made to the water as needed. A water heater was used through the winter and the guppies did well.
The guppies really flourished. They had multiplied, and through breeding nearly all were fancy, and their colors became extravagant. Like a canary in a coal mine—which is why we started with guppies—they let us know that we were ready for the next step. Aquaponics.
When you take a look at the pictures of the tank, you’ll see what was the last version of the aquaculture setup.
-Ruth & Noah Smucker