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I had planted my first seedlings in my 48ft DWC bed last August 15th. Since them, I have harvested a tremendous amount of food and grown a considerable variety of different food plants other than lettuce. I have grown berries (blackberry / raspberry), peppers, egg plant, fig tree seedlings, tomatoes beans, swiss chard, box choy, kale, spinach, cukes, melons, basil, okra, bananas etc. Not all the items gave me the best success bit they all wanted to grow.

I pushed the limits as regard the size and length of time I let these plants remain in the DWC beds. As the Central Florida summer heat started to take effect, I found it increasing difficult to keep the DWC bed clean from fallen and decomposing leaves and excess growth. The roots of many of the overgrown plants were also starting to take on a large amount of the sunken coir. Increased oxygen into the DWC had helped continue the growth but I was becoming frustrated at the amount of time required to keep the beds clean (the fallen leaves would rot and form an unsightly algae on the bed. 

 

About two months ago, I had a major set back in that I somehow stupidly managed to KILL all of my expensive Koi ...almost 200 fish that were between 6 to 9 inches. I had forgotten to turn off the water faucet that was being used to full up an extremely low fish tank (evaporation due to summer heat). This had stayed on for the whole day as it was the weekend. Bummer! Expensive fertilizer!

 

Well, as I cleaned out the dead fish, I decided to clean out the whole of the DWC bed. What to do with the existing plants? We have a 6 ft payment boundary which has Oak trees planted every 10 to 12 feet. They are reasonably mature and best gardening knowledge and experts kept informing me that I could never grow anything under those Oak trees. Really! Well, I have numerous recirculating wicking beds there now which are now planted with the plants from my DWC bed. They are going great. i will post pictures later.

 

I am going to replant a whole new crop of plants and have started the seeds. Planting date commences on August 15th again...Indian Independence Day...Jai Ho :-)

 

 

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Hi Sahib,

Really unfortunate!, I felt that one, all those Koi, must have hurt a lot. I always beat myself up with this human error thing (Like if I'm supposed to be perfect). My raft is small, 4' L x 3 W, flow rate is now 6 GPM, foam is form fitted(no spaces for debris to fall through), and there's nothing at the bottom of the trough. Before, with lower flow rates i had accumulation but now its changed. BTW i like the song(Jai Ho). Happy Indian Independence day!

Sahib why do you think they died due to being left on. Was it the radical change in temp, too much city water at one time  or ph or what? I have left mine on several times and havent been hit yet. Trying to learn from you. Really love your system. I do find that I spend alot more time on rafts vs gravel beds and am considering dropping one raft and going to more gravel. Just curious my friend sorry about your loss. Wish you were close I would give you about a dozen big ones.

Namaste David.

 

Thank you so very much Sir. Actually the water faucet was on full and it must have filled my 1000 gallon pond a few times over...the chlorine in the water was just too much for the small Koi :(

 

I have had such incidents before in other ponds but only where the pond was overfill be a few hundred gallons...a small dose of Chlorine remover or de-stresser was fine and no fish loss. Not so licks here as the faucet was on over 24 hours.

God willing, Never again!

 

I do have some big Koi at home at my home system. I had purchased some "popcorn" koi which have grown now to 3 to 4 inches...I have posted some photos of a few I have kept in my office aquarium. I love the raft system technology but do not consider it superior to any one system, rather love using them all together. I am starting phase II and am going to be incorporating "Dutch Buckets" and Deep Container Raft beds (30 to 40 Gallons), for growing tomatoes and cukes. Will post photos soon.

 

Thank you for you offer. You know I would take you up if we were closer. I have talked to my Koi Breeders "Blackwater Koi" and will be purchasing 200 or so Decorative Quality" Koi variety "popcorn" size once Phase II ponds are ready to be stocked...soon I hope :-)

 

Thank you David. I also am totally in awe with your wonderful setup and am glad to say that I am jealous of the excellent greenhouse you have. Beautiful :-)

 

God bless,

Faucet timers or float top up valves are a must for me as I can't seem to leave a hose running and remember to get back to it at the right time unless I'm close enough to hear the overflowing splashing water.

 

Sorry about the disaster but it means you will have nice fresh plantings in for the tour this Sept so I suppose that could be looked at as a good thing.

Thanks TCLynx...you are totally correct about the float top up...I have it at home and will now install it at the research garden.

 

God bless :-)

TCLynx said:

Faucet timers or float top up valves are a must for me as I can't seem to leave a hose running and remember to get back to it at the right time unless I'm close enough to hear the overflowing splashing water.

 

Sorry about the disaster but it means you will have nice fresh plantings in for the tour this Sept so I suppose that could be looked at as a good thing.

Looks like a great setup, sorry to hear about the fish tragedy.

A toilet fill valve with a float will also work, everythings available at the local hardware, you might even consider an overflow valve in case the ball valve sticks.

They also have water/moisture alarms for your water heater drip pan, that you could utilize in case of an overflow or overlill also.

Hi All,

So out of disaster comes knowledge, just never thought of valves for top up, even the simple idea of a toilet valve. Great ideas thanks!

Sahib -

 

I have had this problem also.  After I killed my Koi in the same way I found this filter.  Since you are running off a faucet as I do to top off this will give you some added protection.

 

http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/2010/09/rainshowr-gardn-gro-g...

 

The filter is good for 20,000 gallons, you can also flush any sediments out by running water in the opposite direction.

 

Since I have added this, no more fish kill when leaving the water on and over filling my tanks.

 

rik

I believe Sylvia also sells a similar hose bib carbon filter up on the shop tab.  A carbon filter not only protects from chlorine or chloramine but also from some metals in tap water.
Sahib I am distressed to hear of your Koi loss!  I remember how beautiful they were.  Things will be bigger and better for you I am sure!

Thank you so very much Rik. You know that I am going to be checking out this site and definitely be in the market for such a product.

 

God bless,

Rik Kretzinger said:

Sahib -

 

I have had this problem also.  After I killed my Koi in the same way I found this filter.  Since you are running off a faucet as I do to top off this will give you some added protection.

 

http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/2010/09/rainshowr-gardn-gro-g...

 

The filter is good for 20,000 gallons, you can also flush any sediments out by running water in the opposite direction.

 

Since I have added this, no more fish kill when leaving the water on and over filling my tanks.

 

rik

Thanks TCLynx.

 

So much to learn. I know about adding carbon filters and have done so at my home Koi ponds, but you know, sometimes we are bigger fools to ourself..."it won't happen to me...I am too careful"...yeh...right. That's when it happens and makes you feel like a total and complete idiot. Boy! it took over a week before I had the guts to tell my wife and another two before she calmed down at the senseless waste. She had really got attached to them eating from her hands and was looking forward to feeding them watermelon.

 

I have got my "popcorn Koi" (unfortunately not show quality, just fillers - so at this stage, just blessed that they provide me with the magic fish waste), to eat from my hand. They are about 3 to 6 inches and in due course I will give some of them away to  other local Aquapons and replace them with show or decorative quality Koi. 

 

I will check out the shop tab as you suggest. Getting ready for tomorrows transplanting and God willing we will have a wonderful garden again :-)

 

God bless, 

TCLynx said:

I believe Sylvia also sells a similar hose bib carbon filter up on the shop tab.  A carbon filter not only protects from chlorine or chloramine but also from some metals in tap water.

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