Aquaponic Gardening

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Has anyone tried growing orchids in an aquaponic system?

I'm interested in setting up a small system to raise Koi and orchids.  Any comments on feasibility would be welcome.  I live in the lower Florida Keys.  This would be an outdoor system in a tropical/subtropical environment. Orchids grow well here, and are often grown in pots in an expanded clay medium.

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I think you will need additional filtration for the Koi system since Orchids probably don't want to be watered as often as an aquaponics system needs for filtration.  And I don't know if the Orchids are greedy enough to use up enough of the nutrients so you might be forced to grow some veggies to eat as well.

I would probably recommend a koi pond with enough grow beds to filter for it and then add a separate pump/timer and plumbing to hook up your orchid growing containers so you can put them on a separate schedule.  You can always experiment with putting some orchids in the regular grow beds to see how they do but I have the impression that you will want more control over the flood and drain times for the orchids.

Thanks!  I'll probably get my system set up with veggies and other plants, add a few orchids and add another grow bed for them if they need different water/dry time.

I haven't done so, but I know of several orchid growers here in Australia that use timed intermittant drip, or low flow tray systems for their orchids... and more particularly, timed flood and drain media beds for striking their cuttings...

I don't have experience about striking orchid cuttings but I can say my flood and drain beds have worked very well striking Bamboo cuttings!

I bought a little bloomed out orchid about 5 weeks ago and put it in my system and a few days ago I noticed it getting new buds. I have no experience with orchids but wanted to see if it would make it, and so far it looks like it will. I'd say the thing is in water about 40% of the time. Try it! I'll post a picture later today. I have goldfish.

Slightly off-topic, but I have an orchid fanatic friend who began watering his conventionally planted orchids with fish aquarium water, and every single one bloomed. Many had been dormant for years.
Same experience here. I've thought about setting up nft pipes run on a timer. Trick with orchids is to give the roots a chance to dry a little between watering.

Might work well to setup shallow trough/tables with orchids sitting in their own little pots and just flood it a few times a day. With that approach you'll need some supplemental biofilter to keep the water clear and house most of the bacteria and worms. Maybe just a barrel or two?
My 85 year old neighbor does orchids big time. After watching me do aquaponics he chose to do hydroponics and grows veggies and some orchids. The orchids have such a science behind them with water, nutrients, lighting and such, it's intimidating for me. He even cloned his for awhile.
He gave me some in full bloom and they did ok, but they are in the wettest and heaviest area for fish waste collection, not to mention lack of good sun. I think if I gave them the right conditions with water and sun they might do well.
Since food is more my focus, I haven't given them a real good try. I may soon because they do continue to grow.
It seems to me most plants will work in the various types of aquaponics if it is designed to allow the plants the proper conditions. Without adequate wind protection, the tradewinds are my biggest problem in fully utilizing my yard space.

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