About Rodney

Rodney has been a member since June 29th 2012, and has created 33 posts from scratch.

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USA University student studies Cairns Aquaponics system

Hi, my name is Brennan Cross,  an undergraduate university student performing research into the exciting field of aquaponics.

I’m from the United States but thanks to SIT World Learning and the University of Vermont, I have had the opportunity to study here in Australia for a few months at the Redlynch Aquaponics Training Center.

Since I was 14 years old, I worked on a vegetable farm in my Hometown of Simsbury, Connecticut. Naturally over the course of seven summers growing food, I developed an appreciation and interest in agriculture in its different forms. I recently discovered the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics as a sustainable agriculture practice and it immediately piqued my interest.

I met the energetic Rod Ingersoll, aka the Aquaponic Gardener, by chance shortly after arriving in Australia and he’s been kind enough to allow me to perform a modest experiment in his ingeniously designed aquaponics system while I conduct my research.

usa aquaponics research in cairns

USA University Student Brennan Cross conducts Aquaponics research in Cairns

Through a series of installments, I’ll share the results of my research as well as the progress and outcome of my small experiment.

Hopefully I can be of some help to those like me who are interested in how this process works.

I plan to update you with the following over the coming month:





Part 1: Plant Needs and How Fish Provide them;

Part 2: Aquaculture and Hydroponics: What are they and how are they natural allies? (System types and designs);

Part 3: My Experiment Design and setup;

Part 4: Experiment Progress;

Part 5: Results;

Cheers, Brennan Cross






Aquaponic Gardener wins Southern Cross University School of Environment, Science and Engineering Alumnus of the Year 2017

Southern Cross University School of Environment, Science and Engineering Alumnus of the Year 2017 Awards were held in September 2017. Rodney Ingersoll was awarded as finalist for his local and global environmental management & sustainable community development initiatives like aquaponics.

alumni of year 2017

Rod Ingersoll wins SCU Alumni of year 2017

IMG_2845 Alumni065

“I feel numb, happy, humbled & so blessed to have won the Southern Cross University School of Environment, Science and Engineering 2017 Alumnus of the year for services to Global Community & Environmental Management.

So many nominated talented people who have all done so much in there careers. I received the awards acknowledging those who helped me survive university and those who never stopped believing in me. People like SCU Chaplin Rev. John Kidson. I appreciate all your support”, Rod Ingersoll said


See for further information

World Environment Day 5th June 2017

World Environment Day – observed on 5 June every year across the globe – is the largest annual event for positive environmental action. 

world Environment DayWorld Environment Day was inaugurated in 1972 following the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden on 5-16 June – the first international conference on environmental issues.

Since its first celebration on 5 June 1974, millions of people across the world have taken part in thousands of events to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming.

Events range from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests.

The Day has developed into a global platform for taking action on urgent environmental issues, driving change in our consumption habits as well as influencing national and international policy.

The host country for this year’s celebration is Canada, succeeding 2016 host Angola.

Canada has chosen the theme “Connecting People to Nature” for 2017, which invites people to enjoy the outdoors and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.

Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, said: “It reminds us of what a treasure nature is, and encourages us all to protect and appreciate our environment.”

Countries around the world will host events and introduce initiatives to celebrate the largest annual event for positive environmental action.

This year the citizens of Mumbai, India are taking part in a mass beach clean-up, while Canada is offering free entry to its national parks and marine conservation areas.

world environment dayTo get involved you can join the global album by sharing a photo or video of your favourite place in nature using #WorldEnvironmentDay or #WithNature. See:

You can also join over 1,000 events taking place across the globe, or even organise your own.

Or why not help build the world’s largest nature database by recording the wonders of biodiversity in your local environment.

World Environment Day has partnered with the iNaturalist global network to record all contributions, which will be shared with scientific data repositories.

For information on how to get involved visit:


For Australian Environmental Events including World Environment Day see:

An introduction to Aquaponics – 27th of May 2017 CAIRNS

An introduction to Aquaponics – 27th of May 2017.

For all those that would like to see several different functioning aquaponics systems, I have made available my time to show you  through my Cairns Aquaponics demonstration facility. Cairns is a tropical environment and there are many different tricks and secretes that I can show you to assist your vegetables and fish grow healthier.

As part of Cairns Eco Fiesta 2017 I am running this workshop on behalf of Cairns Permaculture.

Ill be discussing the following: Ph issues, fish selection, problem solving, siphons, solar backups, pumps, how to grow super fast vegetables etc.

Registration and payment is essential to confirm your place. At just $20 a head for 3hrs of expert training i’m sure this will book out fast!

Please register at

aquaponics ad May 27th 2017

Aquaponics Training reaches remote QLD schools

Travelling from Cairns to assist the Queensland Northern Gulf schools, The Aquaponic Gardener took his aquaponics education and travelling displays into remote QLD towns last week. Both public and private local schools of Croydon, Georgetown, Forsayth and Normandy were engaged learning freshwater ecology, organic vegetable farming using aquaponics, water bug identification, soil science and even fresh water fishing techniques, skills and knowledge. The days were highly interactive and practical.

The Aquaponic Gardener showcased his fish tank mini aquaponics system display using yabbies’ and demonstrated how it’s possible to make a simple aquaponics organic vegetable garden very cheaply in this manner. “It can be as simple as floating a Styrofoam box lid with some holes cut into it where you place vegetable seedlings on top of the fish tank and add goldfish below the vegetables or herbs”, Aquaponics doesn’t have to be complicated. If you can dream it, find containers that hold water and you can build a system to produce fresh vegetables and fish from home or school” said the Aquaponic Gardener.

The school children learnt the importance of water quality and only after just a few minutes were able to test pH, ammonia, dissolved oxygen and identify environmental indicators of good water quality.

During the two days intense freshwater environmental education the children were engaged in practical well thought activities.

During the Aquaponics classes we discussed the benefits of aquaponics which is suited to the poor soils and harsh hot environments of central Queensland and the Gulf regions.

The teachers and children alike were engaged and by the end of each session were wanting to return to school to make either the small fish tank herb aquaponics system or larger systems using IBC tote tanks and vertical gardens.

Teachers and students left each days events learning all the essentials of organic aquaponics in the backyard or school, were provided a USB or CD with information, fact sheets and handouts on DIY system designs.

Many different examples of aquaponics systems were discussed including global examples using swimming pools, spas, recycled materials, IBC, timber grow beds and others.

School participants had a great time learning about freshwater environment and growing fresh organic aquaponics vegetables at home or school. It was a real privilege to share aquaponics information with the school children in this manner at last week’s event.