Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

"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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Seems around where I'm living all the old timer sayings about the weather have been out the window for about the past 15 years.  That clockwork summer afternoon rain that everyone used to set their clocks by has hardly been regular since I moved down here the end of last century.

I know the weather patterns have been odd lately where I grew up.

Hopefully you do get some good snow to stock up on the water though.

Nothing seems to be "for certain" any more in the old weather sayings around here too. 

All the more reason to make my own micro climate to suit myself, I know the micro climate that was here when I moved in was pretty inhospitable and is gradually getting to be a life sustaining one.  

I wish I could make it change all at once, but I believe even if I had money to reclaim the place with machines, just as they almost destroyed all value of it they would likely only make it worse. 

Besides slow and steady wins the race, a tortoise goes on little and never stops till it gets where it's going, and a hare eats up all the green stuff and stops everywhere and wanders far out of the way, the prior gets rid of bugs the second encourages them if anything just like hand labor to attempt the reclaiming of my gravel pit makes a plant friendly environment and slowly discourages the grasshoppers that took over from the gravel pit being here the dumping of new topsoil would likely just blow away if it were not to hard pressed down for vegetation to grow (we have lots of hard winds) and the grasshoppers would continue to eat everything in site.

It was not much more snow today, we have only gotten 0.82 inch of moisture from this storm system but the water level is coming up real good.

just keep plugging away slowly building the vegetation along with the soil (so that there is something there to hold it.)  Hum  Well I know if some one thinks they have an over abundance of snails the truth is they are really just duck deficient. 

I wonder what deficiency an overabundance of grasshoppers indicates?

That is about all I can do, "just keep plugging", getting some vegetation growing might seem to be all my aquaponic garden has done and just wild grasses at that, but as you say building the vegetation will hold the soil and when the winds blow dust from the rocky pine tree inhabited hills will collect here instead of blowing on. I wish I could have tame ducks on the subdivision I'm on, they would do well here with a pond for them to swim in and all the grasshoppers they could eat, but rules are rules, ducks and many other birds eat grasshoppers, so do skunks and mice eat their eggs,,,,,but I hope I don't get either of those let alone rattlesnakes (also grasshopper eaters), but have been enjoying seeing more garter snakes and birds, the pond has given the beneficial grasshopper eaters the upper hand same as the food and shelter from what trees and bushes I've gotten growing,,,,in the middle east the poor eat the grasshoppers and locusts fried in butter I believe,,,,lots of things the grasshoppers mean a deficiency is, but mostly a deficient water supply, grasshoppers love dry hot weather, and the gravel pit makes a "sauna like micro-climate", the shade from the trees will cool things off and the aquaponic style irrigating of the gravel on the rock shelf, right where it was left behind by excavation will keep the vegetation green and moist.

Keep up the good work.

If wild birds moved in, could they blame you?  I got the impression you were on a fairly large chunk of land, what does the neighborhood care what you do?  (I know there are crazy things out there, heck it's why I moved to my new farm, I got sick of code enforcement getting sent out to my place.)

Not much to be done about wild birds. Not real big, 5.6 acre and I am not sure but think it was whoever in the county planning board that drew up the papers for the subdivision that made the rules. The rules are lenient on some animals but no foul and no goats, the subdivision was made as an expansion to the town, and actually has more strict rules than the small town it is near. 

Wild birds come around more often with the pond here, and I put out lots of feed for the small birds, so I get plenty of help from them and I have several times bought praying mantis egg cases, which seem to gobble up lots and lots of the grasshoppers without ever being seen by me.

This year the grasshoppers were numerous but did not do a lot of damage, a lot of stuff they even stripped older leaves off of and increased the drought tolerance of them doing so, I know stripping the older leaves from tomato plants is supposed to help fruit form better. 

Giving the grasshoppers a bait laced with a spore called nosema locaste (SP) was proved to be continual slowing down of the grasshoppers,,,,before I put that stuff out I was even afraid they would eat me! 

If nothing else growing more grass has given the grasshoppers more to eat out on the gravel pit so they are kept at bay more to keep them from eating my trees and bushes or garden. 

Is your pond area visible to the neighbors?

Somewhat, it is kind of blocked the the cottonwood saplings. Why?

if they can't see something, are they likely to turn you in to code enforcement? 

Not sure, some of the neighbors want chickens, it would be best if whatever birds were gotten could run free range over the whole area though.

If I remember right, something may be getting done about the rules, I should check into that.

I saw a Large-mouth Bass in the pond yesterday that looked like it may be as big as 1 1/2 inch by about 7 or 8 inches. 

I wonder how many more that big there are hiding in there?  It should grow to be a nice size within a year or two.

I don't think I ever got down by the pond today for some reason?!

I supposed to be warm tomorrow so I should be able to go for a wade and check on the fish.

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