Aquaponic Gardening

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Looks like aphids are having a party in my aquaponics system. At least i'm pretty sure they are aphids. They are tiny about 1 mm and there are both white and black ones.  I also see very tiny white dots on the underside of leaves especially near the stem and the leaves are curling around the edges. I suspect those are the eggs. Today in the morning, there are thousands floating around in my fish tank.

Anyone have ideas how to get rid of them? preferably without harming the fish or plants?


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It's hard to tell from the picture but the larger blue bugs look a lot like ladybug larvae - and they will eat aphids till they bust! 

Unfortunately they're not good swimmers!

@Carey: My fist choice personally would be Feltiella ascarisuga and/or Phytoseilus persimilis, but RW wanted results right away...I dont think I'd dump a bottle of "Liquid Ladybug" or any other essential oils into my fish tank either, but I would probably spray after covering the tank up and taking some precautions with the GB's? I mean your probably right, those oils certainly aren't like vitamins for the fish or anything, but...

Hey there's a good idea for a study..."just how fish safe are those organic oil-based remedies...

Sylvia sells a couple of different brands (both essential oil based) on this site, so I presumed they are fish safe, within reason. I donno either? I guess if nothing else, your fish will smell like fancy handmade soap...

Carey Ma said:

Ditto what TC said.

@ Vlad: I would do that in my organic garden but I'm not sure about using oils over my tanks. I donno.

The think what concerns me about using essential oils is that a lot of them are really good cleansers and I am afraid that may interfere with the slime coat and lower their immunity more than directly effect the fish...however, I simply don't know. I do believe a study should be conducted for this problem affects us all..

The general rule is to keep oils and soaps away from your fish.

That said, there are people out there who have successfully used such mixtures on the plants in their AP systems.  I'm not endorsing this as I've never done it but, here are some precautions that might help if you decide you must use such sprays on your plants.

1-cover the fish tank to protect it from overspray.

2-a drop cloth of some sort to protect the grow beds from dripping.  (or in raft systems some people will remove the plants from the system and take them somewhere safe for spraying.)

3-think twice about using any heavy sprays if your system is out in the open and rain might wash the soap or oil into your system water later.

4-And most important, don't do the mixing near your system.  You might only be planning on using a drop of oil or soap in the spray but accidentally knocking a whole bottle of soap or oil over into your grow bed or fish tank is gonna be far worse than possible overspray.

Agreed...I'd worry about gills too...I just wouldn't know at what concentrations to start worrying at? 


Vlad Jovanovic said:

Agreed...I'd worry about gills too...I just wouldn't know at what concentrations to start worrying at? 

So any other solutions?

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