Aquaponic Gardening

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has anyone else tried the growing power method of having tomatoes growing in pots of compost or compost / coconut coir mix . that are set down partway into a continuous flow in the aquaponic system . ? they claim the tomatoes taste bettter this way and it makes sense to me ....

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Hi Jane.  I've been to Growing Power as well and saw what they were doing.   Seems to grow tomatoes, but it isn't actually aquaponics, IMO.  It is just a way of watering pots of tomatoes using wicking of nutrient rich water.  It's kind of like went people use the water from their aquariums to water their houseplants.  Grows great houseplants, but it's not aquaponics.
Though not aquaponics I hope you try it, it's highly space efficient and I urge you to try it. Come-on, do it!
I have not gotten to see it but read about it .  Why is it not aquaponics ?  are the pots not in the fish water that is recirculated back to the fish?

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Hi Jane.  I've been to Growing Power as well and saw what they were doing.   Seems to grow tomatoes, but it isn't actually aquaponics, IMO.  It is just a way of watering pots of tomatoes using wicking of nutrient rich water.  It's kind of like went people use the water from their aquariums to water their houseplants.  Grows great houseplants, but it's not aquaponics.
I grow in rock beds 3/8 to 1/2 in  river rock and all our veggies tase grate better than store bought .
The pots have compost that wicks up the water to the plants. In other words--non-recirculating. The cress however is.

Jane said:
I have not gotten to see it but read about it .  Why is it not aquaponics ?  are the pots not in the fish water that is recirculated back to the fish?

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Hi Jane.  I've been to Growing Power as well and saw what they were doing.   Seems to grow tomatoes, but it isn't actually aquaponics, IMO.  It is just a way of watering pots of tomatoes using wicking of nutrient rich water.  It's kind of like went people use the water from their aquariums to water their houseplants.  Grows great houseplants, but it's not aquaponics.

I've seen articles about it in magazines but couldn't really see what the growbed arrangement was all about.  Does he use gravel in there and place the pots in that?  Or is it just a membrane with the water flowing over it and pots sitting in the water? As long as the fish waste chemicals go through the microbe food chain to get the nitrates, I don't guess it matters much what you call it. That make me wonder, though, do the plants in a system actually remove the nitrates from the water that the fish get in return, or just from the water that then gets lost through transpiration... which make up water then replaces????  Seriously, I'm wondering because I don't know and I'm trying to learn more about it all.  I've composted for years, for my soil-based garden, but now I'm digging a hole which is supposed to become part of my first fish tank, to try something a bit more entangled. A biodiversifiedpermacultureaquaponic system...of sorts

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I've been to growing power and they have cress beds in gravel on top of the fish tank. The pots of compost hang there and wick the water.

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Jane.  I missed your question earlier.  The reason why, IMO, this is not aquaponics is because the water is not recirculating.  The soil media in the pots will wick up as much water as they can take and the plants will grow from that...but nothing is being returned to the fish system.  In addition, this is not a soil-less system which, again IMO, is a critical part of the definition of aquaponics.  In aquaponics the plants receive 100% of their nutrition from the fish...in this case they are receiving some significant amount from the vermicompost.  Granted, vermicompost is created by an aquaponics system with worms in the beds...but the source still comes from the fish.  In GP's case it comes from their compost piles...a source that is external to the aquaponics eco-system.  Again, no knock intended on this as a technique for growing tomato plants.  I'm sure it works very well...it's just not aquaponics.

 

Now as Eric has pointed out, the watercress system in the gravel beds at GP is, in fact, growing aquaponically. 

Jane said:

I have not gotten to see it but read about it .  Why is it not aquaponics ?  are the pots not in the fish water that is recirculated back to the fish?

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