*Please note that these pages are under construction, stuff may change at random and without warning! 

 Gunagulla Organic Garden

Updated 19/6/2016
Gunagulla free range organic eggs are for sale here

Gunagulla, Loomberah NSW - Live Weather

Aquaponics at Gunagulla

 All the Rainbow Trout were harvested from the small aquaponics system in mid Decmeber 2015, due to rising water temperature. One 2yo, but only ~20cm long, Murray Cod remains, as it can handle higher water temperatures, which reached 25C on 20th December 2015, and 27C in mid January 2016.
Just over 400 40-90mm trout fingerlings were added to the 9500 litre fish tank aquaponics system on 3/2/16, 141 of them were transferred to the small system on 26/4/2016, once the weather had cooled enough. This larger system has a ~2.3kW (input, COP ~2 - 3.5, depending on conditions) chiller operating in hot weather to keep the water temperature in the safe range for the trout. It ran long hours during February due to well above average temperatures, up to 39C, with the heat continuing into March and the first half of April, which was running about 5C above average. The new trout are generally ~25cm long as of mid June, with weights generally over 200g.

The trout are harvested by catching them in a net in the dark, and then tickled on the tummy until they don't try to escape, at which point they can be lifted out of the water with minimal to no struggling, and then whacked on the head with a rolling pin. This less stressful method of dispatch (no thrashing about trying to escape from my hands) leads to better tasting fish, and less stress on the person doing the harvesting too, except when I whack my thumb! The largest trout in the 2015 batch was just over 1.2kg (1.05kg after gutting and cleaning), with a lot in the 700-900gram range, along with a range of smaller ones.

1.2kg trout harvested on 31st January 2016
A pair of trout harvested on 17th December 2015
Wicking bed beans
Wicking bed with beans, corn and moon & stars watermelons

1.6kg romanesco broccoli

1.6kg romanesco broccoli from the small system, harvested 17/8/2015

Trout 20150406
215 Rainbow Trout in the 1000l tank, before transfer to the 9500l tank


Some images I took from early May to early Aug 2013, showing the first 3 months vegetable growth and grow bed additions in the small system (800 X 536 - 9.8MB) 3 months of growth in 2013  

Feeding with lots of jumping trout in slow motion Video (1280 X 720 - 52MB) Trout feeding 15/5/2016  

Feeding frenzy in slow motion Video (1080 X 608 - 95MB) Trout feeding 15/4/2016  

Even without any pellets in my hand, the trout are very enthusiastic! Video (1280 X 720 - 8MB) Trout 2/3/2016  

Hand feeding the trout fingerlings in slow motion - Video (1080 X 608 - 37MB) Trout Feeding 28/2/2016

How to fillet a trout in 30 seconds - Video (1280 X 720 - 40MB) Trout 29/1/2016

 Rainbow Trout feeding in Slow Motion - Video (1080 X 608 - 99MB) Trout 20/1/2016

 Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon feeding in Slow Motion Video (1280 X 720 - 111MB) Trout and Salmon breakfast 22/5/2015

Video of a Murray Cod that appears to be unwell (1280 X 720 - 26MB) Unwell Murray Cod 17/4/2015

Trout Video (1280 X 720 - 15.7MB) ~200 Rainbow Trout in 1000l tank 6/4/2015

Trout breakfast time feeding Video (42MB) Rainbow Trout feeding in slow motion @1/4 speed 7/4/2015

Small size (320 X 240 - 30MB) Murray Cod having 60g of ox heart for breakfast 1st March 2015

Larger size (640 X 480 - 95MB) Murray Cod having 60g of ox heart for breakfast 1st March 2015

small- phone size (35MB) Murray Cod having 50g of ox heart for breakfast 23rd Jan 2015

Larger size (95MB) Murray Cod having 50g of ox heart for breakfast 23rd Jan 2015

  73 Rainbow Trout in a buried 4500 litre fish tank (holding a bit over 4000l on average) were harvested in mid Dec 2013. The largest of them was 686g, pictured below, and average weight was 432g. The system has a ~2000 litre sump tank (background, under cover), with 9 * 500 litre grow beds, variously planted with silverbeet, parsley, celery, garlic, beans, asparagas, coriander, beetroot, spring onions, chives, tomatoes  (160kg picked between xmas 2013 and 17th July 2014 from 8 plants), strawberries, eggplant, capsicum, Egyptian walking onion (aka tree onion), and a dwarf banana that has become huge (no bananas yet).  Snow and heavy frosts in July-August 2015 really knocked the banana about for a few months, but late in 2015 is appears to be looking healthy again.

The aquaponics system is proving to be a lot more productive than growing in the soil, and uses a small fraction of the water. In summer 2012/13 the in-ground garden had to be abandoned due to the excessive amount of water required just to keep the plants alive, meaning we were close to running out of domestic water, which is only sourced from rainwater collected from the roof.

 In hot weather keeping the system water under ~22 degrees for the trout was quite a challenge. Lots of ice was added to the fish tank on hot days, up to 65kg on a hot day, and the sides of the grow beds and grow media were mostly shaded. King Parrots discovered the aquaponics vegetables on 6th Nov 2013, so I've had to enclose the greenhouse and outside growbed with netting to prevent any more attacks on the vegetables.  Outside growbeds and wickbeds in the new system have netting over them to protect the vegetables from birds, including our chooks, who love chard.

Ongoing operational details such as water temperature plots and other photos (Latest update on last page) can be found here, and the larger system is linked in my sig:

Gunagulla Aquaponics System on Back Yard Aquaponics Forum 

Trout on the BBQ



 Aquaponics Greenhouse 3rd Nov 2013

Greenhouse 30/12/2014

Aquaponics Greenhouse 30th Dec 2014

Nov-Dec garlic harvest

Garlic harvest Nov-Dec 2014

Celery 20140723

Celery 23/7/2014, delicious raw or in soup!

 3 Tomato plants overflowing Grow Bed #8 17/12/2013

Yummy tomatoes!

Tomatoes from the plants above 24/12/2013

Tomatoes 18/1/2014

Some older videos of the first batch of trout 

November 2013 Trout having 2nd breakfast

July 2013 Trout eating 20g of 3mm pellets in 25 seconds

June 2013 Short MP4 movie of trout fingerlings (15MB)


2kg Cauliflower



Trout fingerlings 16/6/2013

Green Tree Frog on celery

Green Tree Frog on celery in Growbed #3, strawberries in background


 * Comet Lovejoy & other photos on Gordon Garradd's Astronomy and Photography Page

Gunagulla is powered by the sun and wind- see a time-lapse animation of the solar trackers in action







Comet Lovejoy & crescent moon in the morning twilight
(more images on Astronomy page link above)


Cherry Pie 15/12/2011

Shade cloth or fruit fly netting bags used to protect the fruit trees from Qld Fruit Fly and birds, 50% shade cloth bags over cherry trees in this view.


Cherries Dec 2010

Chooks + Barney the Barnevelder rooster in the cherry orchard

Ursa, the Ancona rooster, June 2012



Merlot the Rhode Island Red rooster, June 2012

Joey in a friendly wallaby's pouch

Crested Pigeon

Green Tree frog

Gecko eating a huntsman spider





South Celestial Pole, with Sydney (300km away) light pollution


The night sky from the top of the hill- 22nd March 1996
An All-sky photo showing the entire sky + horizon, with Comet Hyakutake near the bright star Arcturus, and also showing The Milky Way from horizon to horizon and Zodiacal Light, with Tamworth city lights on the NW horizon


Email Gordon here or Hether here
*** But make sure you use @ instead of AT, and lose the spaces ***
Phone Gordon on: Oh Fore Too Ate Six Nein Won Six Oh 3

Hether on: Oh Fore Oh Too Oh 7 Won Won Won Fore