Aquaponic Gardening

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We all use a variety of different grow planters and containers, some purchased and some DIY self made. It would be nice to share our experiences and on-going developments in this area (including vertical growing containers / systems)

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Excellent post B. Pearcy Sir :-)

 

On the last video, where two holes are drilled into the wicking box to drain the excess water, I would drill on hole and via a bulkhead or other fitting, connect a return pipe so as to recirculate the water back into my Aquaponic system. That is pretty much what I do currently but have yet to incorporate the "worm" station in such beds.

 

Let us know how your beds work...share some photos :-)

 

God bless,

B. Pearcy said:

Here's a couple of young people on a bucket misson:

http://www.globalbuckets.org/

.

I bought the commercial version of the wicking bed for my wife to try because she knows the inventor through her work (http://www.earthbox.com).  I have to say that it works quite well, although some people don't like the price tag. It's pretty simple to use and it's going to grow us the biggest cucumbers I've ever been able to grow at home.

 

Here's another version of the wicking bed / container idea:

http://www.easygrowvegetables.com/index.html

What about the FDA approved rating? I use Rubbermaid stock tanks as my grow beds (media filled) and Tuff Tubs for my fish (both from TSC). In searching the internet for FDA approved containers, the prices skyrocketed for "FDA approved" vessels.  Is this something anyone else worries about or are what I'm using completely safe from leeching chemicals and other issues I've probably never even considered...

I don't personally have any worries about using the rubbermaid even through they don't have FDA or USDA stamps on them.

Hello Allisyn,

As TCLynx says, personally I do not worry if they have a FDA or USDA approval. They are used to feed farm animals etc. (part of the food chain), and there is no such issues re "FDA approved" vessels. I have no problems or issues in using them.

Now if I was setting up a Commercial venture, I would certainly get the local Agriculture Extension Agents involved as to the growing containers / liners / pipes and so on that I was intending to use. Further, although I personally do not care as I know better, but from a Market & Profitability impact I also would ensure that I would be able to get "USDA Organic Certification" so I would consult with other Aquaponics Consultants and Farmers who have been successful in obtaining such.

What do you think?

God bless

 

I'm not really interested in an organic certification, due mostly because of the major hassle and fees involved. I just want to make sure what I use isn't going to leech chemicals into the plants. I've always assumed that agricultural products made to feed and water animals would be safe to grow fish and plants in, but the FDA also allows us to eat GMOs and cows to eat other dead cows so really, how necessary, or in our best interest, is their approval anyway?? The FDA proved containers run up to three times the cost, and I haven't found one rigid enough for media filled grow beds. That's why I'm so partial to rubbermaid. Plus, they're made in the USA.

Bless you, too! Happy Tuesday!

Well I know Green Acres Aquaponics was using rubbermaid tanks for their micro system and for the fingerling tanks and that was in place while they still thought they were going to try to get the Organic cert so the materials in those tanks must meet those guidelines or they would not have used them.  My understanding is that the Rubbermaid tanks are using an HDPE structural foam.  HDPE plastic is certainly safe so the only possible questionable thing would be whatever agent they use in the foam molding process.

Allisyn, a while back someone here wrote a letter to Rubbermaid to confirm/deny their products possible leaching of BPA/phthalates...they made the mistake of mentioning human consumption and/or growing food in them blablabla...and got a run around typical answer, to the effect of..." The Rubbermaid Structural Foam stock Tank is developed and intended for the watering of livestock.  We make no claim when it comes to being used for anything other than its intended use" ...So no help solving the mystery there...That is exactly the kind of answer any company would give...So...

I'd suggest writing them, and telling them you have a small cattle operation and want to use their tanks (in the way they intended them to be used, if you don't tell 'em that, you'll just end up getting the standard no-help "our products have been deemed safe for their intended use" answer...which you may get anyways...which personally, I would take to mean yes...because if they didn't use BPA/phlalates the company would want to 'proudly' advertise that, the way that they now do with their other non-BPA products)...but were wondering whether they use BPA or any phthalates in their animal stock tank products. Don't ask whether they leach...don't ask whether their FDA approved, NSF approved or any other such things...just weather they use BPA in the manufacture of said products. See what they say.

I have no idea why someone who actually uses their products hasn't done this already..? In the past their seemed to be a bit of an 'air of resistance' to even the possibility...but it would seem quite probable (logical even) that the controversial and/or toxic leeching phlalates/BPA are used, given that Rubbermaid used BPA in food storage containers until recently...to their credit they have since discontinued those products... but given what those stock tanks are made for...it almost seems like a no-brainer...this of course is just my opinion. If you actually care about the topic, or actually use/want to use those products then check it out with Rubbermaid for yourself. 

The company  (since about 2009) stamps "BPA-Free" on BPA free products. Also, if it's got polycarbonate in it, you can bet it's got BPA...if it's stamped with a number 7 designation anywhere on the bottom, you can almost certainly bet it's got polycarbonate and therefore BPA in it (but this is for food containers animal stock tanks may or may not need such designations)...It's really not that difficult to find out though, ask them (in the way you would need to ask such a company, such a question, and see what they say)...and they'll tell you.

E-mail their Product Resource Support- TC Technical Support or you can call them at: 1-800 347 9800 




Allisyn Wood said:

I'm not really interested in an organic certification, due mostly because of the major hassle and fees involved. I just want to make sure what I use isn't going to leech chemicals into the plants. I've always assumed that agricultural products made to feed and water animals would be safe to grow fish and plants in, but the FDA also allows us to eat GMOs and cows to eat other dead cows so really, how necessary, or in our best interest, is their approval anyway?? The FDA proved containers run up to three times the cost, and I haven't found one rigid enough for media filled grow beds. That's why I'm so partial to rubbermaid. Plus, they're made in the USA.

Bless you, too! Happy Tuesday!
I'll see what I can find out and report back. I'm working with a rep for a company that distributes their (rubbermaid) stuff so I'll try and sic him on themes he may get further than the end consumer. Let you know when I hear anything...

I would not suggest recirculating water through potting mix but watering using some of the water from your AP system is fine. You do not want to contaminate the AP system with anything in the potting mix. You wouldn't throw handfuls of compost into your fishtank right?

Those buckets work great though. My tomatoes in them put my neighbors tomatoes to shame. I got the buckets from a local sandwich shop that purchases them full of pickles. A friend was able to source 5 gallon pales from a Chinese restaurant that buys them full of soy sauce.


Sahib Punjabi said:

Excellent post B. Pearcy Sir :-)

 

On the last video, where two holes are drilled into the wicking box to drain the excess water, I would drill on hole and via a bulkhead or other fitting, connect a return pipe so as to recirculate the water back into my Aquaponic system. That is pretty much what I do currently but have yet to incorporate the "worm" station in such beds.

 

Let us know how your beds work...share some photos :-)

 

God bless,

B. Pearcy said:

Here's a couple of young people on a bucket misson:

http://www.globalbuckets.org/

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