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** Aquaponics - The integration of AQUAculture and hydroPONICS ** AQUAPONICS ** Where fish and plants grow in the same system ** AQUAPONICS ** Aquaponics can be done anywhere in the world, regardless of soil types ** AQUAPONICS ** A sustainable way of growing organic produce for the world
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About Us

Matt and Shannida Herbert, directors of Aquaponics Pty Ltd, live and run their business in Mudgee, NSW on a property with limited water resources, and an average annual rainfall of 640mm. Both have extensive knowledge of horticulture, with organic vegetable growing being a passion of theirs for many years. They came across Aquaponics while looking into low water use growing systems, and as the property is run on solar power with no mains power, the growing system had to also be a low power consumer.
Matt and Shannida

Shannida has a degree in Ecological Agriculture from The University of Sydney, with a focus on Ecological Production Systems, one of which was Aquaponics. Several research projects were carried out while completing the degree using the home Aquaponics system set up in the backyard. Prior to completing the degree, Shannida had been interested in Organics and Permaculture for many years, attending several short courses and open days throughout NSW and Victoria, and found that the University degree was a good mix of all ecological production systems, including Organics, Permaculture and Biodynamics. Shannida also has a Certificate in Horticulture (Organic Plant Growing).

Matt's experience lies as an electrician for 30 years within water pumping and control systems. This work has included systems using water resources supplied by the Sydney Water Catchment Authority, servicing the Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains region in NSW. He also has a Certificate in Advanced Industrial Electronics. More recently Matt has been working within the renewable energies sector, installing solar water pumping and power systems to properties throughout NSW.

When Matt and Shannida moved to Mudgee during the drought of 2002, their main aim was to use the principles of Permaculture to grow their fruit and vegetables in an organic manner. This proved next to impossible, with little water resources to work with, and soil that was far less than fertile. The amount of time and money that would need to be put into building up the soil was not worthwhile, or sustainable. During summer, watering of the small vegetable garden was done on a daily basis, with the soil drying out by the end of each day, causing many of the plants to wilt daily. Aquaponics seemed the way to go; with its minimal water use, yet still tying in with the principles of organics.

Matt and Shannida have several Aquaponics systems currently operating, located both in a greenhouse (14m x 8m) and in an adjacent outdoor area. Total fish tank water capacity for all systems is 10000Lt with a total plant growing area of 45m2.

All the systems are powered by solar power, with low energy use pumps and aeration equipment. Water for the Aquaponics systems is supplied by rainwater catchment off the house, shed and greenhouse and stored in tanks with a total storage capacity of 65000Lt.

There is also a 6 megalitre (6 000 000Lt) dam located on the property, which has a clean catchment area, and is also used in the Aquaponics systems. The dam is currently at 10% capacity (as at December 2019 ) .

Matt and Shannida started Aquaponics Pty Ltd in May 2006 and created the website shortly thereafter. They saw there was great potential in using Aquaponics within Australia, and wanted to become part of the growing trend towards using sustainable growing systems in Australia. Matt and Shannida are experienced in business, both having completed a Certificate in Small Business Management, with Shannida working in administration for 30 years, and also having a Certificate IV in Financial Accounting . They are enjoying working towards a sustainable future, and hope that you too will become an avid Aquaponic grower!!

Matt and Shannida released a book titled "Aquaponics in Australia - The Integration of Aquaculture and Hydroponics". Published in 2008, it is a manual on how to establish and maintain your own Aquaponics system.





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