A Backyard fish farm can be as easy or difficult as you like. You can design a backyard fish farm really well on a low budget and it will provide you will fresh fish and no stress. Design a backyard fish farm poorly and it will give you no end of headaches. So take a little time working on the design will save you plenty of time later. [heading] My Backyard Fish Farm [/heading] I rarely get to check on the system these days and open a valve to top up the sump with rainwater from time to time (because I am yet to install the float valve sitting in the shed…). I have not cleaned the filter in 3 or 4 months and only checked the pH once and added a little lime to prop it up. It denitrifies itself, so no need to exchange any water at all, but keep in mind the fish are not chomping at the bit so to speak on the feed. Another month and that will change. As the temperature in the backyard fish farm raises, the more attention we will need to pay to the fish farm. The system seems to take care of itself even though it is running purely as a recirculating aquaculture system with no grow beds attached. I am very pleased there is next to no maintenance required for the backyard fish farm aside from tossing in some food (the fish without heat are not eating much) every two days. We are back to feeding every day like you would any aquaponic system, but without the grow beds or plants to tend to, life is a little easier for Leah especially as I am away often for long periods. The grow beds are still planted but have no water going through them and have had none throughout Autumn and Winter and all the plants are growing very well, without the help of the fish. I left water in the bottom of the beds and that has been enough to keep them happy. We had a few hot days and I put 9 litres out of the fish tank into the grow beds over that time. Some people are concerned about the difficulty of running a backyard fish farm and growing fish without the plants is somehow more difficult than aquaponics. I have not found that to be the case at all. Well I am out an about for a few weeks and left instructions for Leah to toss in a handful of food each day while I am away. Nothing more nothing less. She has had to do it many times before an never stressed or lost a fish in our backyard fish farm. So I say, if you build an aquaponic system or even a backyard fish farm, build it right the first time and it will never give you any trouble….