The carp have arrived, and seem to be enjoying their new home. It was slightly surreal coming home to a box of live fish, but after a gentle introduction to our tanks they all swam off happily, showing no ill effects.

We got a couple of kilos of carp food delivered with the fish, but as they’re far more omnivorous than the trout we’re keen to try something a bit more home-grown.

Some of our sumps are doing well at growing duckweed so I thought that would be a good start and added a net-full of duckweed to their tank.

They’re much gentler feeders than the trout, so I haven’t seen them aggressively attacking clumps of weed, but it is steadily disappearing.

At this stage, with tiny digestive systems, they need to be able to “graze” through the day, and I think the duckweed helps with that between their main feedtimes.

As they grow we’ll try to expand their diet further to see if we can eventually produce all their feed in-house – ideally from waste, or areas we’re not using for our food.


That’s a question we’re often asked at the moment, so maybe it’s worth taking a moment to think about it.

First off, I don’t any great desire to be a fish-keeper. We don’t have an aquarium full of tropical fish, or even a pond full of Koi. Let’s be clear about this, we’re going to eat these fish. They won’t have names and they will end up on plates.

In 1988 we hit “Peak Fish“, the largest catch of wild fish in the world, at 78 million tonnes. Fish are really good for you – great protein, and the right healthy fats. If we lose them then we have to depend even more on the other protein sources, which for most people means more meat – more cows, sheep, pigs and chicken. All the environmental considerations say we should be trying to eat less meat not more, and the ever-increasing price of oil will continue to increase the cost of raising livestock.

So how are we going to ensure that we – and especially our growing kids – get access to the best possible nutrients? We’re going to grow them ourselves.

With Aquaponics we can ensure that we have year-round access to fresh fish, plus it’ll help us grow the majority of our fresh veg requirements.

Today’s Guardian has an extract from the new book “Economy Gastronomy”. They’re looking at delicious frugal food, from great ingredients. The four recipes they have all use Salmon, but I bet they’d all be great with the Rainbow Trout we’re going to use in our Aquaponics system. The recipes are: Warm poached salmon and never-fail hollandaise, Home-made gravadlax, Salmon and horseradish fishcakes with creme fraiche tartare, and an unusual one – Salmon and corn chowder.

Once we’re harvesting our fish I’ll give some of these a go!