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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The weather was good enough to pump twice so far this week, monday and wednesday, the latter was just in time for my reindeer moss planting! I hope to pump again tomorrow and maybe once a week the next 2 weeks, then shouldn't be anymore weather good enough for doing so till spring, been lucky it's heald up this long!

Oddles and oddles of snails, going to get ducklings in the spring to gobble them up along with the overabondance of water plants in there, anyone know if they will eat string algea too?

Still been pumping, gotten in an extra month of it already this fall, looks like may be to more weeks of it, then winter weather will be here maybe. Fish are doing great, saw lots of them yesterday! My Reindeer Moss seems to be doing OK, planted it for the ducks, should eventually make winter browse for the deer population as well.

Not sure yet what winter will bring, so many forecasts, so little agreement between them!

Looking back I was pumping for a month early too, despite all the trouble with the pump early on, all this extra time should do good with the getting ready for breeding this coming year, the first year the fish should breed if they are 4 years old like I think the will be.

Extra green grass this fall has been wonderful for me and my flock of 25 chickens 13 are mine 12 are my brother and sister in law's, extra bug control plus extra manure plus more flies for food for the fish!

Still looking forward to having ducks in the spring, should do the place a world of good, both in weeding the pond and helping rid the place of grasshoppers!

Super excited, a full week left in January and the pond is thawing! 

Still have more warm weather on the way which should take the rest of the ice off, icy dip in the pond, HERE I COME! 

It's only been 2 1/2 months or so being frozen over right now, normal would be 5 to 7 months the way I figure. 

Water looks sparkling clear from what I can see from the bits of bare water along the shore. 

It was actually spring when I saw it get this high last year, doing good for the amount of  snow we got this winter, should be even better after the rest of this soaks in from the past weeks melting. 

The chickens are starting to earn their keep again with the warm weather and lengthening days. 

Much joy is coming from the excitement of days ticking down till I can order ducklings at the local feed store! 

Got a few icy treatments for my feet and legs. Saw a few fish even. Not much else to say or do till spring, except maybe avoid cabin fever, and it has still been nice enough to get outside some even though it snowed a couple inches and even before that it refroze the pond several times to remind how far from spring it was! More nice weather seems to be right around the corner though!

I was able to run the pump once and feed the fish shortly after my last post, been frozen again since but has turned off warm again and should be able to repeat and maybe keep going off and on till regular seasonal warmth sets in. 

I have ducklings on order, 24 of them. 

That should be enough to gobble lots of grasshoppers while atracting flies for the fish and weeding the pond at the same time as riding it of surplus snails. 

I adopted 14 chickens and both myself and my brother (who's chickens are staying with me) are putting in an order for more chicks, 3 more standard breed and 20 silky bantams (10 for each coop to deworm manure to prevent bumble foot and clean up spilled feed) plus however many my brother wants to get. 

My reigndeer moss looks great after that running of the pump to re-hydrate it/feed it. 

Here are some floating wicking baskets that I have floating on my gold fish pond.
The floats give my fish some shade as well as cut down on the amount of sun that
hits the water.

My pond is about 800 gals, 

Opps the picture is upside down.  I don't know how that happened.
Oh well, You can stand on Your head for a few seconds.

wow looks great thanks for sharing


Looks great, afraid to try it myself though, would prbably end up getting knocked off the floats in to the pond by wind or my animals or by wildlife. 

My ducklings are growing great and looks like it may turn off to being a wet year despite a dryish start, been super green around here anyway already! 

Paul Smith said:

Opps the picture is upside down.  I don't know how that happened.
Oh well, You can stand on Your head for a few seconds.

LOL! That's just what I thought when I saw that!  Thanks for sharing! 

I ended up with 17 surviver ducks, they only took 24 hours after being put outside to rid the pond of string algea. 

(4 khaki cambel, 4 blue swedish, 3 pekin, 3 welish harlequin, 2 indian runner, and 1 lone cayuga from 4 of each)

I am now starting 17 chicks for adding to my brother and sister-in-law's flock that is staying with me. 

(8 light brahma, 5 cuckoo mahran, and 4 red star, all doing well so far.)

It's been rainy (thank goodness) which helps all the extra murk added to the water get filtered good as well as extra muck that settles to the bottom of the pond to get suctioned out (I just about had all the extra muck from over the winter suctioned a tolerable might when the ducks got the string algea and it went in one end and out the other to the bottom of the pond) simply amazing how the water stays cleaner and healthier yet provides more nutrient. 

The 2 pumping areas are doing super with all the extra fertilizer of such high quality, the cottonwood stand is so beautiful and healthy (leaves showing good signs of high plant hormone levels and not just tender green leaves) and the grass covered area is thick lush growth that would never let you believe it's a gravel pit with such rich cloriphil metabalizing dark green leaves (the quaking aspen [newly planted], and shrub willows are doing exellent on this second area and I do believe they will make sure it gets filled in with canopy whether the tree and shrub seeds I put out ever do even sprout). 

I do believe the duck manure as made the chicken manure loose much of it's apeal, much better stuff, but not as good as the fish manure (which I've been cheating and getting gallon jugs of to help out stuff out of reach of pond irrigation circut, I got 4 pickup loads of goat manure to help out as well, that may be evened out with the fish manure though different best features (my favorite is the probiotics boost that eliminates the need to add those to the pond by doing an even better job than comertial probiotic products from the goat manure, and the extra ability to remove water vapor from the air to keep vegetation hydrated and maybe even return the water to the soil by the fish manure). 

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