Aquaponic Gardening

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I'm doing an aquaponics project for one of my graduate classes and we were thinking of creating a mini rice-fish farm. There would be indendations for the fish to retreat to and dikes where the rice would be planted. We would add more water to the system when the rice needs to be flooded. I found some information online that said that it has been grown hydroponically, but no information on growing it aquaponically.

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Thanks for adding this discussion, because the Ancient Chinese are way ahead of us all. What they did is put fish in their rice paddies, flooded area, and found that the rice grew better. Now you probably knew this from research or, general knowledge, but I assume the rice would grow perfectly in a constant flood system. You could always make a small scale (relative) system that is passive with a few catfish, and/or carp, and there you have aquaponics. (insert ecstatic emotocon) Now to make sure I know what I'm talking about, here are the experts, in 3 2 1...

Rice and aquaculture has always gone hand in hand it seems.  Even in this country there has been long standing rotations with cray fish and even rotations with catfish, bullheads or some other species.


I don't know if anyone has gotten very far yet with doing rice and aquaponics but one of the attendees of my workshop was planning on doing something between his planned aquaponics system and his rice paddies.

A number of online discussions that you can actually grow long grained brown rice from the supermarket! There were different methods though. Some people just put the rice in few inches of water, some added compost or potting soil and a few inches of water, and others sprouted them on a moist paper towel. Only brown rice works because it still has the germ part of the plant, to make white rice that part was removed. Other sources said that brown rice can't be grown because it lacks a protective hull, but I put some rice in a few inches of water on top of my vermicompost to see what would happen. It takes a long time to germinate, from 2 weeks to a month, but I'll let you know how it goes. : ) 


I'm also sprouting taro and water chestnuts that I bought from the Chinatown market, which can also grow submerged. I bought a small variety of taro, filled a plastic bag wth moist paper from a torn paper bag, and covered it. They started sprouting within a week! You have to check them regularly for moldy spots though, which you cut off to prevent from spreading. The water chestnuts you just put in a plastic container and wait for them to start sprouting, they are taking a little more time, but supposedly in no time you have a pot that looks like its filled with grass. Another interesting experiment would be growing lotus....that would be pretty. : )


It would be fun to have many different species of fish. We are thinking of goldfish and crayfish. The goldfish would stay in ditches when the plants are out of the water, but will be able to swim among the rice plants when the system is flooded. The crayfish will be able to move where ever they want. I was also thinking of adding some apple snails, but they are pests in rice fields so I don't know how well that would go... 


We are also thinking of having the water pumped up into some hydroponically growing plants that are suspended above the ditches so that when the water falls down, it will aerate the water for the fish. 


This is an awesome source for information on rice-fish farming:


Adam Black said:

Thanks for bring a good subject,, and interest up, something I believe can be easily built, crayfish and catfish, could be added in rice paddy , Would cause less stress Perhaps increase crayfish breeding. Keeping it flooded and allowing the water to cycle throe something to think about. Were can you get the rice starts?
I have also been interested in this.  I would love to hear more.
The brown rice from the supermarket is sprouting and it's only been a week! : ) It is possible.
I put some long grain brown rice on a moist paper towel with some vermicompost on it and closed the entire thing in a plastic bag. Only 1/5th of the rice sprouted and the rest had already started to go moldy. I should have checked it sooner or used less vermicompost, it's strong stuff. I'm going to try a different method that I learned about from this website: You soak a handful of rice for 36 hours, dry it for 24 hours and then plant it in a few inches of potting soil and vermicompost with a few inches of water.

Here's a photo of my two-week-old rice seedlings! Only a few survived the first batch due to my negligence, but more are starting to sprout. I planted them in potting soil two days ago. I'm finding that when I'm starting seeds and when I planted them in the soil, the stagnant water is a problem and mold forms a film over the water, so I've been keeping the water level low and adding water whenever it gets to low and making an effort so shake the container every so often to provide aeration. Experiments growing rice indoors found the same problem because of the lack of wind and rain to provide aeration. They solved the problem by adding a fan. 

Hum, interesting


I like it!  I look forward to seeing more :)
Very cool.  Need to try that.  Barley is the only cereal grain I've grown.  It did VERY well.

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