Aquaponic Gardening

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I have an indoor aquabundance system that the pump has  been finicky by not turning on properly and I
was out of town over the weekend. While I was out a colony of red ants set up
shop in my grow bed. This is so bizarre to me, I have never had a problem like
this. I am thinking since the pump was not flooding they found their way in and
made a home in my grow bed. I would have thought it would have taken them
longer than a weekend and it's pretty overrun, I would say there are easily
over 200 of those buggers in there. Now that the pump is running, a good smack
on the side up the tank is all it needs to turn on but the ants are staying in
the first inch or two of Hydroton above the high water line. What can I do to
get rid of these ants besides squishing them one by one? Has anyone else out
there had this problem? Can I flick some into the fish tank, will the fish eat
them, they look like they could be fire ants.

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oh, indoors that kinda sucks!!!

 

You might try some DE powder Diatomaceous Earth

Not sure what else to recommend.  If you flood your grow bed extra deep for a while you might get them to move out but since it's indoors I'm not sure that is really what you want.

You might be able to try the old dry quick grits trick.  I don't know how to go about making it work in a growbed but they've worked well on my kitchen counters a few times.
I fight fire ants with fire. Use a propane torch.  I do it outside though after a rain and always have another person nearby with water handy. You may not be able to use the same approach inside, but good luck.

Thanks for the suggestions guys I used the flood and squish method.  Tedious but effective, although some ants found refuge in the tops of my plants I hand killed most of them.  I may get some DE just in case it happens again, but I think if I replace the pump the ants wont come back. (fingers crossed)

 

Thanks again

Good Luck with it.  Ants are such a pain and they are tough buggers.

So how do you deal with the eggs and larvae?

Anny Recurrence yet/...

..

Dave

Phoenix, AZ

Dave good questions... I have seen a straggler or two in the grow bed and I continue to squish them by hand. These guys may be matured larve.  I do not think they are from outside as I have not noticed any ant activity across the floor.  Also I applied some Tree Tanglefoot to the legs of the growbed to disuade any additional ants from climbing up.   So far so good. 

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