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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Although it's warmed up to mid 30's today I've only braved the wind to go outside for a few minutes at a time. 

We have 50 MPH+ gusts today, feels icky! 

The good thing about the wind is it has blown in many highly compacted large drifts that will feed the water table, especially in the area around the pond. 

Not sure if the snow blew off of the ice on the pond or if it melted, but have a feeling even if it did blow off, the lost snow will be inconsequential to the water table due to all the new snow pack it left near there, any way the snow looks thread bare on the ice and I can tell the height of the ice is only off an inch or two from normal this time of year, and that is good due to how dry last summer was. 

It's the middle of the coldest month we usually have here and still haven't had what we can consider bitter cold more than a few nights total. 

I'm hoping this will ease the bass into there new climate better so they continue doing well in my experimental situation. 

I'm starting to get cabin fever, and am feeling like spring will never get here, but am reassured that we have well past the shortest day of the year and are increasing the closeness of the coming growing season very rapidly.

I had a dream a while back about sleeping through the rest of winter and waking up in the spring at planting time, only to hit the snooze button and not wake again till Autumn.....Boy was that a sit straight up in bed from a sound sleep moment for me, haven't had one of those for a long time before that! 

I guess most of my helping the snow accumulate in drifts by trying to form catchments was to get it to hold more in places up or down wind of the catchments where I thought snow would stick in the wind all on it's own. 

Still, the gravel pit is no-longer a windswept area void of life sustainability, and will be all down hill from now on I hope, at least as far as my reclamation project goes! 

It is sure melting good out there after the night temp only drooped into less than a deg below freezing, and the snow will soon be soaked into the gravel making room for more of it. 

You sure have a different kind of cold there I think.  I grew up in a lake effect belt, I'm not used to seeing that much grass through the snow this time of year.  Well at least when I still lived up there.  Now I live where some people have never experienced the stuff before.

I'ts though stemmed wild grasses and alfalfa that are poking through, the wind and snow makes most go squish, plus there were only six or so inches or much more of it would have gotten squished. 

Snow is the poor mans fertilizer, I love the way it looks too, but there is much to be said for not experiencing it too. 

It got to 48.2 deg here today and got a good bunch melted. 

The big drift on the slope with the lip on it reminded me of an ocean wave coming to wash away the horrors of the drought stricken conditions of the gravel pit, cleansing it with a huge watery ripple! 

The top of the ice was mostly melted bare, and it might be a bit early for spring thaw, but I bet the ice is thinning from the bottom giving the fish more room to move around down there. 

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