Aquaponic Gardening

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"Gravel Pit Self Reclaiming Aquaponics System"I knew When I ordered the book that there must be more to Aquaponic Gardening than using waste water from my fish tank,

and am enjoying getting started reading it! Especially since what I've learned about so far has confirmed what I decided would happen by my pumping water to flood irrigate from the free flowing liner-less pond in my gravel pit onto the gravel surface. I was sure this was a success of some kind despite of a huge increase of string algae (I must have 10,000 Japanese Trap Door Snails in there now from this) as the orchard grass which could barely grow there before filled in nice and thick with it getting 5 feet tall in places, and I was right the cottonwood trees growing in a stand next to the pond has taken off quite well now from having fish in there.

Now that I know my fish will do well and that the filtration system works,,,so to speak, can't wait find out/or figure out from the book and this forum what more to do, I will begin adding more fish (I spent around $10 on them to begin with, common goldfish and rosy red minnows as a test) I want to add Koi and edible fish of some kind, not sure how many goldfish I have now, but there appears to be plenty of minnows and snails to support many fish without extra feed, though the hoards of water boatman bugs have been scared off or eaten and only a few remain. I also have Water Sedge plants (quick former of peat) and bulrush plants (a wetland edible) ordered for spring planting along with quite a few of my spring planting trees that are on order being ones that will do well in the swampy condition/while making a nice wind break, so I should have a good start on my filtering of the water!

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This sounds like an interesting pond.  Can you post some pictures?

Sorry, my photo files are too big, maybe I can shrink them somehow, not sure how to though, I'll have to check into that!

if you are still using windows xp the image resizer tool is great

Otherwise you can probably open them in paint or some other image software and shrink it down and re-save again as a JPG, remember to keep it in scale though.

Here's what few I could find that would fit!

Attachments:

The pond is much fuller now, but not as full as it was most of last summer. It is currently a foot and a half from the top of the hole at around 4 feet deep in places, last spring it got flooding out of the top and was around 9 feet deep, instead of being 15 feet wide and 35 feet long it was around 100 feet wide and 200 long. Pumping the water to flood irrigate on top of the gravel mostly took the ammonia out of the water while feeding some grass and weeds, but the increased oxygen made a big flair up of string algae growth. I found the best thing to do with the string algae was to remove it and add it to my compost pile, which really helped the pile to decompose, I live in a fairly arid climate and composting has been a problem for me due to the pile drying out too quick, and adding more water cooling it too much. This year along with my trees wetland plants I already mentioned, I may try growing some of my Hubbard squash out there as they can never get enough water, in August here I can have standing water on the clay soil in the garden from over irrigating and they will still be to show signs of wilt!

Nice slope you have to work with there!!!

next tip, you can post pictures directly into the posts using the image button which is at the top of the post box right next to the link button

like this

now about your compost.  If you need more moisture plus nitrogen to help with it, pee in it!!!!

Best compost activator on the planet and you save water by not using a clean bowl of drinking water to flush away that liquid gold.

Thanks!

Here's one I took of the fish today,

I need to get the water pump out and have a go at it, hopefully running the water through the sand will be sufficient cleaning enough for now, the water has just now been thawed for a week, maybe the ground is thawed enough for it to work?,,,Just have to try and see I guess, since the water is pretty free flowing and has lots more water than there is growing room for the fish it stayed pretty clean over the winter. It is mostly discolored from algae, I know I've been braving the cold water by wading in there and can tell by the feel of it.

Cold day here putting a damper on getting going on the project.

Looks like the weather should start clearing up again tomorrow, so I have time to get a few parts for the water pump and get them on just in time for good weather to kick in full Wednesday, in the meantime I hope the beneficial bacteria I jump-started the pond with continue to thrive and get ready for the pumping, I know they have already turned the algae from a sickly color to a nice healthy green. Then I can pump to filter the algae and nitrogen contents (whatever the stages of breakdown the emissions from the fish are in, no time to wait till fully broken down) should make the fish happy! Hopefully then I can see them more at least for a while too, but often there is too much dirt from water movement, kind of like some rivers. I saw some good sounding deals on lots of fish on Ebay, but not sure if that would be a good choice for me to get from even if it would save a bundle!

I still have been reading in the book getting to find out more about what I need to know so I don't continue to go about Aquaponics like a Cave-man so to speak, I know I still will be fairly primitive with my action, but there must be plenty more I can add to what I do, no sense letting letting the extra fish waste from the fish I put in to feed the trees to be to go to waste!

What I have works due to the fact that there is an impermeable layer of rock just a few feet below the level of the gravel that was left behind when the gravel pit quit being excavated, so even though water flows pretty freely through the sand between the rocks, not much chance of groundwater contamination, and a natural liner for the pond at the same time as only needing to pump the water one way for circulation! When I first started out I didn't even know there was such a thing as Aquaponics, now I feel there is almost no limit to what can be done with it!

My place was always hard to get things to grow ever since I moved in, now with the return of decent amounts of precipitation and the cottonwood trees getting big enough to help keep the water table up on muggy days by taking it out of the air I now have fish to give a free feeding in a form that won't burn my trees and plants in this harsh environment.

Other than that, little I put into the ground that wasn't container grown in a tire even survived at all,,,,even with the best of care being given!

I got started on getting the pumping done, one tank of gas run through the pump and the pond dropped a foot in water level, but should come right back up if the ground isn't too badly frozen. The fish had been hiding today but came out as soon as I started pumping. Here's snow in the furrows I made with my ditch digger.

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