I've been trying to do some research about how to deal with the most common pests in AP. How do you deal with the following:
aphids- I have used a worm tea spray for ahids. I have also used a mix of water and molasses
thrips- I have used spinosaid
white flies- worm tea and water/molasses
I hand pick all worms/slugs/caterpillars and feed them to the fish
I spray everything else off with water,repeating as necessary.
never had an ant problem
Spray bottle with water, no color unscented liquid soap and rubbing alcohol, start off with the same amounts as above and test. (in our normal garden we add neem to that mix)
This will work with all except snails and slugs.
If aphids keep returning it is because ants are helping them.
Ants were a big problem until I painted ant barrier around the bottom of my beds and pipes.
Slugs and snails are not so bad here but if signs are there I use a beer trap.
For slugs and cut worms that like to hide in the media during the day I simply flood the GB about 1-2" above the media and wait for them to come up for air. Works great but limit it to about 15 minutes so you don't drown the composting worms. They seem to be able to hold their breath for about 20 mins. before they (the composting worms) start to pop up for air as well. Just pick the predators up with an aquarium net or such. I do not cut the gravel guard slots above the media (why would anyone but I see it all the time). That way they do not go down the siphon down tube and into the sump. The top of the GG acts as a dam. I flood by adding a 3" section of 2" pipe into the Bernoulli 2" funnel on top and of course leave off the bell. Very green
For aphids, try Aphidius Colemmani parasitic wasps. They work very well. I get mine from Hydro Gardens and they keep aphids under control for the whole season. I've had to get new ones each year though.