Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello guys,

first off all i don't have any practical experience in Aquaponics:

Before starting testing the water i run the system for tree days.

No fish in the tank (18G)

day 1 after the test i added some liquid ammonia 

day 2 after the test i added "Cycle" to start the cycle (added for three days)

what do you think?

thanks fo your help


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7 inches deep, so probably is going to be 6 inch of water, enough right??

out of curiosity... 

the zucchini roots are very long...around 2 feet, is that normal...or they grow so long because they look for nutrient ?




The "standard" seems to 12" with about 10" of water, but it might not matter a whole lot esp. with small leafy greens.

Holy cow! 2 feet already. I've never grown zucchini in water, so I don't know if that's normal (probably is though, some plants just seem to have more root mass than others at a given stage of development)... you can always prune some roots if it gets too unruly.

Did you dose ammonia again now that you got the small bio-filter, or are you waiting for nitrites to come down first?


building a grow bed with wood and liner(food same) will cost another 150$ (only the liner is 40USD + 40USD for the shipment) plus the blue foam board (50$ or more) . which type of raft do you use?

I'm waiting for the ammonia , do you think i should add it before the nitrites come down?

can i switch to the bigger fish tank even with the small grow beds i'm using now?(in this way i can dilute some of the nitrites)


Yes, you can absolutely switch to the bigger fish tank.

I don't think that adding ammonia at this point would hurt at all since you are still cycling and have just added the new bio-filter. The stronger your colony the less now, the less chance of a significant nitrite spike after you add fish...

With the various little systems in the house, I use deep plastic bins for peppers, chilis, and shallower ones for lettuce, spinach, basil etc... but in the greenhouse I'm building wood and liner DWC troughs.

The rafts are all all extruded polystyrene sheets (like the DOW blue board), in all the little systems, and will be the same in the big system. The blue foam (and all polystyrene) is a bit more expensive, but much, much better than styrofoam, so good choice.

ok , so i'll switch to the fish tank. (probably i'll need to add some seaweed too)

then test the water, and then add some ammonia.


the good ones are the extruded polystyrene, the bad ones are the expanded polystyrene?

Yes, the expanded (bad) ploy, if you look closely, look like they are made up of tightly packed little spheres. Easy for some roots to break up. Also its weaker (not so dense usually)

Extruded is homogenous looking. (Much tougher... more dense kg/m3...and plant roots will not break it up so easy and will not grow into the foam)...

You can also tell by the price 


i don't know if already know, but you are officially my mentor...

today water test is the same as yesterday (....)

yesterday i filled up the bigger "fish tank" with tap, i 'm going to connect it to the system in two or tree days.( this is the time that i need to get rid off chlorine right?

i have zucchini plants with bulbs:

1 it is time to switch the light bulb(hps)

2 it is time to set the timer 12h off/on cycle?

this is a picture:

thanks thanks


Nope I did not know...but now that I do, I am worried for you 

If it's chlorine and not chloromine that you have in your water 2-3 days should be fine (even less is you put air stones in there to bubble away).

Honestly I don't think the lights really make a difference if your zucchini is a "day neutral" plant (like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers)... but check to see that your variety really is day neutral. I know cucumbers definitely are, and zucchini is a cucumber hybrid, so it would make sense that zucchini is also day neutral.

Day neutral plants (like my peppers for instance) don't care much about MH or HPS they flower just great with MH. Day neutral plants do not exibit traits of photoperiodism, but rather flower when they reach a certain stage in development, or some other environmental cue (like low-temp/high-temp differential between night time  and daytime (like with tomatoes). So, if your zucchini is day neutral just keep them on 15 to 19 hour light cycle (lights on) and just keep picking and eating and enjoy.

Be aware that you should have both male and female flowers, so you need to hand pollinate (unless you have bees in your basement :). I use a cotton swab to transfer pollen, but you can also pick the male flower carefully when the stamina are releasing pollen and touch it to the sticky tip of the female flowers pistil. If you have some weird 'self-pollinating' variety they will take care of 'sexy-time' by themselves. (Check what it says on the packet you bought, though in all likelihood, you will have to do the pollinating).

SDP - Short Day Plants will flower when the end of summer days get shorter, nights longer. Tobacco, some corn, marijuana etc...

LDP - Long Day Plants will flower when the days start to get longer, nights shorter (like from spring going into summer) Spinach, lettuce etc... 

Day Neutral plants couldn't care less (and therefore are my favorite) Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and hopefully your zucchini...I am only pretty sure. Not positive. Zucchini is a hybrid of cucumber, and cucumber is day neutral, so it would make sense. The more light (after 20 hours of light a day there is not much benefit) the faster they'll grow. So keep the light on as much as you feel you can afford, or want to.

Looks nice BTW...

my master,

this is the type of seed

its a plant just for flowers, we eat them in Italy, and here they are almost impossible to find.

so i do not need pollination for this plant.

the package says:

seeding May to August and harvest July to Septmeber, does it help to know if it is "day natural"?



Ahh zucchini flower delicacies ...I'm pretty sure you should be fine with about any lighting regime. (14 - 16 hours). How much light have you been giving them up until now?

Should be day neutral considering their lineage...

18 hours On, it that too much?

today tests are like yesterday...

so you can see which kind of light by the lineage? interesting...

my master , in your opinion can i build a dwc troughs  4ftx4ft 10 or 11 inch deep ,with a food safe liner?

is the square shape a problem?

the liner i found is 6ft wide, so i can use a 6X6 liner for a 4X4 troughs.



Yeah, you should be fine. I've built a 4' wide by 8' long trough that is 10" high and had a bit of excess liner to trim off the sides.

I don't understand exactly what you mean by "is the square shape a problem"? No problem, if I understood correctly?

But, your sizes seem right.

And cut it out with that 'master' stuff, or I'm gonna start charging you money 

18 hours is fine for the zucchini (if it's ok with your electric bill)...

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