Aquaponic Gardening

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OK, here's my annoying situation.  My building has recently acquired bed bugs - gross, I wish I could just feed them to my damn fish - but here's the real problem.  The treatment is literally to "cook" the apartment at 130F for a few hours.  This will obviously kill my fish, plants & my lovely bacteria colony I have lovingly grown for almost a year and a half.  

I happen to have an extra 55 gallon tank to transfer the system into and put in my friends house for a bit.  All my filters are detachable and moveable (a lot of glass vases full of lava rocks and healthy plants) 

I'm planning on keeping them full of water for the move and transporting the fish in bags/buckets of the fish tank water.  

Any suggestions for things I'm not thinking of to make sure and keep my bacteria colony as alive as possible during the move? I also have a pocket tower growing a 17ish foot tomato vine (I have to cut it down, I'm think I might cry) that harbors a ton of earthworms and I'm assuming bacteria.  Will the bacteria survive without running water (tower full of hydroton) and the drop in temp for a couple hours till I can get the pumps running again?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Just make sure the media is good and wet before you shut it off and you should be fine for several hours with just moist media.

How extreme a drop in temp are you talking about?  If it's gonna be like loading it into an air plane cargo container for 6 hours for a flight, you will see spikes if your system is heavily dependent on that media for filtration but if you are talking taking it out of a 75 F apartment for a ride across town in a pickup truck before getting hooked back up, I wouldn't worry too much.

 

The disruption of moving the fish is going to mean you won't be feeding them much anyway and you will probably ramp the feed back up slowly when you get all set back up at home so provided your fish survive the stress of transport twice in a short period you should be good as far as keeping the filters alive.  Aeration for transport containers is something I strongly recommend unless you are bagging the fish with oxygen.  Also, adjusting the fish to the changes in temperatures properly will be important to them too before you dump them into their new temporary home and then again when you move them back.  Battery powered aerators are not terribly costly.

 

Sorry to hear about the need to cut the tomato plant but you may find this could actually be a good chance to check for root clogging since a big tomato plant can definitely clog a pocket tower.

Thanks TCLynx, not a long trip (20 minutes in the back of a truck)...but the PNW is the 60's right now and wasn't sure how fast the bacteria die when they get below that.  

Great idea for transporting the fish, I'll have to find an aerator that works on a battery. I am worried about the short transportation time, and may leave them at my friends place for about a month to allow them to calm down...though a second move may just stress them again...hopefully they all survive.

No need to check for root clogging in the tower, lol, it is highly clogged already...roots growing everywhere...but the plant is happy and healthy, so I'm sad to cut it down. I suppose that just means some food in the form of dead roots for the worms living in the tower though.

in the 60's might slow the bacteria down but I don't think a 45 minute ride is going to set you back much especially since as I said, you will probably not be feeding the fish for at least a day or so after the move.
Thanks for the advice, turns out I didn't have to move the tank - different method to kill the pests in my place...but I did have to cut down my gorgeous tomato vine :( Oh well, looking forward to my next year of growing...going to lose too much light soon in the NW to start again now.  The fall/winter will continue with houseplant based aquaponics.

sigh.

 

So how are they killing the bed bugs that is allowing you to not moving everything?

It was a very new & small infestation, so they decided on steam & spray treatments.  They said no over spray, it is very controlled, so not concerned about chemicals in tank. Also, the stand I have the tank on is hollow, so they could spray under it to get to the base board.  I did have to slide the tank forward on the table, which meant cutting the vine, but that was better than transferring, and possibly killing, the fish/system.

TCLynx said:

sigh.

 

So how are they killing the bed bugs that is allowing you to not moving everything?

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