Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

this is a site for the aspiring aquapon to post their questions and have them answered by the more experienced members.  No question is too basic!  This is a great opportunity to tap into advice from some of the most experienced growers in the country.  Go for it!

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I have had a bit of experience planting out hydroponically grown plants into the soil from when we were developing the Garden Starter Tray at AeroGrow. This tray started 70 plants in about a 16" x 8" space within the AeroGarden under the lights using a raft with peat plugs floating in a weak nutrient solution. My entire backyard vegetable garden was the transplant test area. When plants start their lives in hydroponics, or aquaponics, as TC said they get spoiled by a pretty cushy existence, so they don't develop the roots that are required to survive in the harsher dirt environment...but they can. The key to transplanting is to make sure they are going into nice, fluffy, moist potting soil then cover them for a few days. This will allow them to focus on root development instead of photosynthesis. Make sure the soil never drys out during this period. After a few days start taking the cover off for an increasing amount of time each day - just like if you were hardening off a seedling to go outside (same principal). You won'd see any top growth out of the plant for a few weeks, again the focus is on root development, but after that they should grow normally.
Hi Sylvia and al you Folks here:
Question 1 of 2,750,222 from Charley
I am looking for advice and guidance. I am at ground Zero on a new venture! We want to grow Lettuce, Basil, and Parsley. Is there anyone, already growing Lettuce on a commercial basis or larger domestic basis, who can offer guidance? I want to grow a quality tasty product. We already have a customer base throughout the Philippines in chilled food related product. We are looking at growing hydroponically Lettuce and herbs to distribute along with other vegetables to the same market. If we can run a small test are and successful we look to develop into a larger commercial farm.
1. Does anyone have plans for a small floating raft system? This may sound Dumb but only just realizing the significance of “Fish” in this whole process and the Malaysian Prawn thing has also perked up my ears as we already working with Lobster sales in Asia….. Still at the research stage and will defiantly keep all posted on developments if any!
Hi Charles, You might find this of interest....
http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/



Charles Taylor said:
Hi Sylvia and al you Folks here:
Question 1 of 2,750,222 from Charley
I am looking for advice and guidance. I am at ground Zero on a new venture! We want to grow Lettuce, Basil, and Parsley. Is there anyone, already growing Lettuce on a commercial basis or larger domestic basis, who can offer guidance? I want to grow a quality tasty product. We already have a customer base throughout the Philippines in chilled food related product. We are looking at growing hydroponically Lettuce and herbs to distribute along with other vegetables to the same market. If we can run a small test are and successful we look to develop into a larger commercial farm.
1. Does anyone have plans for a small floating raft system? This may sound Dumb but only just realizing the significance of “Fish” in this whole process and the Malaysian Prawn thing has also perked up my ears as we already working with Lobster sales in Asia….. Still at the research stage and will defiantly keep all posted on developments if any!
Has anyone used diatomaceous earth for filtering on a raft system? Is it good or bad? I use it on my swimming pool and it seems to collect a lot of fine particles and is fairly easy to clean and refill.
I've heard some say that the DE used for pool filters is different than the DE that is used as food safe pest control, very different. I would recommend some deep careful research into the DE used for pool filters before using it on a food system.
I also don't personally think a sand filter or the DE version of a sand filter would be the most efficient use of resources, as Kobus notes, those require regular backflushing. I've used a sand filter before on my system (it was free so I figured why not) but I found that it required a fair bit of pressure to operate and the flow would reduce through it and it required regular backflushing and leaving one offline then turning the flow back on a few days later will introduce a huge amount of anaerobic bacteria throughout the system along with the stench so I just don't recommend them at least for backyard scale operations and I doubt they would be worth while for a commercial operation either but I don't know as much about large scale aquaculture.

There are simpler, lower tech, and lower power requirement ways to filter water that won't require as much maintenance.

Tony Tarantino said:
Has anyone used diatomaceous earth for filtering on a raft system? Is it good or bad? I use it on my swimming pool and it seems to collect a lot of fine particles and is fairly easy to clean and refill.
Any word on the research?

Jessica said:
Just met with our buddy who is doing research on aquaponics through the University of Hawaii. I asked him about your question and he said Dr. Ted Radovich (http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/RadovichT/cv.html) is planning research on exactly that. They are also going to test aquaponics using worm tea (from different mediums like manure fed worms vs. food fed worms.)
He did think it was completely possible that basic aquaponics could be lower in antioxidants/polyphenols/all those beneficially components of plants besides the main minerals, which is why they are testing. It seems to me that in the mean time adding worm tea is a good way to not only keep your iron in check, but also ensure that you are supporting food that will support you! I'll blog once their research is published.

aloha
jess

Jim Reed said:
I'm trying to compare the taste/nutrients of vegetables grown in soil vs AP. My gut tells me that roots will absorb a more diverse group of nutrients in a soil garden than in an AP system. I want to know, if I'm eating veggies from an AP system, am I getting the same health benefits? Is there any literature on these comparisons? yet?

 

     Hello,

           I am trying to find anyone in S.C., GA, ALA, FL, who has an Aquaponics operation up and running that I can visit. Thanks, Joe

When do you need to visit?  There are about 47 members in the Florida group and a portion of them have aquaponics systems up and running.


We will be doing a tour in central Florida on March 5th I think and then there will probably be another impromptu one on the 27 after the Training that is going on out at Green Acres Organics.

 

I'm Near Mount Dora Florida.

 

Joe Johnson said:

 

     Hello,

           I am trying to find anyone in S.C., GA, ALA, FL, who has an Aquaponics operation up and running that I can visit. Thanks, Joe

Thanks for your reply. I would love to come to FL. and see what you guys have going on. Please tell me what time I need to be there and how long this will take place. Thanks, Joe

TCLynx said:

When do you need to visit?  There are about 47 members in the Florida group and a portion of them have aquaponics systems up and running.


We will be doing a tour in central Florida on March 5th I think and then there will probably be another impromptu one on the 27 after the Training that is going on out at Green Acres Organics.

 

I'm Near Mount Dora Florida.

 

Joe Johnson said:

 

     Hello,

           I am trying to find anyone in S.C., GA, ALA, FL, who has an Aquaponics operation up and running that I can visit. Thanks, Joe

Great newbie question,

 

Imagine a flood drain system with, lets say 100 gal tank, and 100 gal volume of grow bed.  When the pump sucks the most water from the fish tank the water that remains in the tank is the volume of media in the grow bed?  That seems right but don't the fish go a little crazy with 1/3 the space for 15 min every hour?  Thanks for the reply in advance -Aaron

Joe, I'm happy to arrange a visit any time I'm available.  This coming week/weekend is pretty flexible for me at the moment if you wanted to visit ASAP.

If you are interested in attending the tour, I would recommend joining the Florida aquaponics group and checking the discussions there as the details for March 5 are posted, Michael Cosmo is organizing the tour.

 

Aaron,

If you have 100 gallons of fish tank and 100 gallons of grow bed, the fish tank volume may fluctuate as much as about 40%.  As long as your stocking density is low or the fish small, this isn't usually a problem.  However if you want the 2:1 grow bed to fish tank ratio, you will need some means to deal with water level fluctuations.  Either a sump tank or some way to sequence the flow into the grow beds.

Thanks TC!

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