We have moved again - now at St Kilda. You can contact us on 0411 105 365. We are in the process of setting up hydroponic and aquaculture displays.

Monday 0930 to 1730
Friday 0930 to 1730
Saturday 0930 to 1230

We are available for consultation and site visits at these times- other times by appointment by email (robin@soladome.com.au)

After 35 years at 44 Chapel Street it was time for a change to a web based operation and to offer guidance based on many years of practical experience.



Polyculture System

400-litre reservoir, a bio-filter, small pump, zeolite, aluminium support framing, white plastic gulleys and 24 squat pots filled with a clay ball medium (hydroton).

Our Soladome polyculture kit has a 400-litre reservoir, a bio-filter, small pump, zeolite, aluminium support framing, white plastic gulleys and 24 squat pots filled with a clay ball medium (hydroton).

For convenience set the tank on top of four besser concrete blocks 390 x 190 x 190 mm arranged in a cross with the outer edges of the blocks aligned with the outer edge of the tank. If necessary use two or three courses to obtain the height required. Put the washed zeolite gravel in the bottom of the tank and then place the framing and bio-filter on top of the tank so that the rear support bar is firmly against the sides of the tank (i.e. pulled forward) connect the top gulley inlet tube to the pump and then put the pump in the bottom of the tank. Make sure that the waste tube from the lowest gulley is fitted so that water returns to the tank from the gulleys.

Fill the squat pots with washed clay balls and place them in the holes in the top of the gulleys. Fill the tank with de-chlorinated water to 5 cms of the top. Plug in the pump. Check that water is being delivered to the bio-filter and the top gulley. The gate valve near to the top gulley should be 1/2 turn opened from the closed position as this setting provides a steady trickle of water to the top gulley. Check that water is being delivered to the bio-filter. The base of the bio-filter has a directional drain to drive the water in a clockwise direction. Position the drain tube from the bottom gulley so that the clockwise water motion in the tank is maintained.


Plant seeds or seedlings in the pots. After running the system for a few days add the yabbies (about two pairs) and make sure you provide at least 12 yabby hides (can be made from 100 mm lengths of 19, 25 and 40 mm pvc pipe. When yabbies moult as part of their growth cycle they are very soft and will be eaten by the other yabbies if the soft shelled yabbies cannot hide for a couple of days until their shells harden. Yabbies can only grow when they shed their shell so in good conditions they are going through a cycle of shedding their shell, expanding whilst the shell is soft and then shell hardening.

When the yabbies have settled in introduce your fish – Murray River Rainbows or Silver Perch seem to thrive in these polyculture systems.

Provide some styrene floats and plant some mint and watercress in the floats. The roots will hang down and provide cover for the fish and yabbies.

Feed about 5 to25 grams of high energy (40% protein) fish food per day. This will be eaten by the fish and yabbies/ Silver Perch and Yabbies are omnivorous so will also eat any algae that grows in the tank and will also keep the roots of the watercress and mint trimmed back for you. Any plants you put in pots in the tank or plant in the gravel will be excavated by the yabbies so use the styrene floats to hold the plants you wish to have in the tank itself.

Regular maintenance

Check the foam filter of the pump at least once a week . Switch off pump, remove sponge filter housing, remove foam filter and wash and clean. Replace foam filter in filter housing, fit filter housing to pump. Place pump back in tank and switch on again.

Keep water topped up in summer in places like Adelaide South Australia anticipate up to 10 litres of water will be required per day andmake sure this is de-chlorinated tap water or rainwater.

Plants will grow quickly so check that roots are not blocking gulley. If necessary trim roots to prevent blockages.

If the system gets very green with algae then either decrease the amount of food put in each day until the fish and yabbies have cleaned up the algae or provide more shade to restrict the sunlight reaching the water surface.

If you have any questions please contact us
telephone 08-8362-8042