Aquaponic Gardening

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Trying to increase the food production for my fish / worms via duckweed.   

Think the next steps are to test for PH, and do some water temp tests.

I found it interesting that the duckweed was greener at 1 in depth rather than the 4 inch depth, I am guessing that is because of water temp.

Open to hear advice from others how they increase production.

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I have grown duck week extensively for the last couple of years to help feed my chickens. I experimented with lots of designs for production. Didn't play with water depth at all though. I found that a little water movement is necessary. At first I tried an old DWC trough that was 4'x8'x12" filled with water duck weed and mosquito fish and nothing else. The weed grew but slowly then stunted.

After many more experiments I had developed the trough into a solar powered aquaponic system. The trough was still filled with duck week and mosquito fish. I added a small DC powered pump to a small solar panel. Water would only pump during daylight hours. The pump would pump up to a gravel bed then down to the trough and by piping enter the trough at the opposite end. The gravel bed adds enough oxygen to keep the plants and fish happy and my daily harvest of duck week kept my chickens happy. It was actually a ZERO input system! I used no power and the mosquito fish were never fed. In the end all I did was harvest duck weed on a daily basis. I think there is HUGE potential here!!

I have fed duck weed to my fish that was growing in the same system as the fish. In that situation I believe you are simply recycling nutrients. If you want to harvest and consume produce you have to bring in nutrients from outside the system like fish feed or black fly larvae or what ever your feed may be.

I recently downsized my chicken flock and am now growing food for the family in that trough again since it is the closest one to my house.

Thanks for the insights, I also am using solar power to ad air and stir up the tank.    As of now I have tadpoles to help with the problem of mosquitoes.

Thanks for the ideas.



Chris Smith said:

I have grown duck week extensively for the last couple of years to help feed my chickens. I experimented with lots of designs for production. Didn't play with water depth at all though. I found that a little water movement is necessary. At first I tried an old DWC trough that was 4'x8'x12" filled with water duck weed and mosquito fish and nothing else. The weed grew but slowly then stunted.

After many more experiments I had developed the trough into a solar powered aquaponic system. The trough was still filled with duck week and mosquito fish. I added a small DC powered pump to a small solar panel. Water would only pump during daylight hours. The pump would pump up to a gravel bed then down to the trough and by piping enter the trough at the opposite end. The gravel bed adds enough oxygen to keep the plants and fish happy and my daily harvest of duck week kept my chickens happy. It was actually a ZERO input system! I used no power and the mosquito fish were never fed. In the end all I did was harvest duck weed on a daily basis. I think there is HUGE potential here!!

I have fed duck weed to my fish that was growing in the same system as the fish. In that situation I believe you are simply recycling nutrients. If you want to harvest and consume produce you have to bring in nutrients from outside the system like fish feed or black fly larvae or what ever your feed may be.

I recently downsized my chicken flock and am now growing food for the family in that trough again since it is the closest one to my house.

I am very pleased with production,   I was corrected in what I was growing, turns out I have Azolla, not duckweed growing in this setup.    I am happy to report it has 25 % protein, and is a nitrogen fixer, so more nitrogen for the system.     Hundreds of tadpoles growing under neath, so a real bonus.     The front system I think I will remove the Azolla and put in duck weed, ( I had just a small amount in my aquaponics.

Took a duckweed enthusiast to show me what I was really growing.    

I am not sure why it is soo brown, but it really grows fast.     Added solar bilge pump to the jug above with several small holes cut to increase aeration.

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