Aquaponic Gardening

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I cycled my system a few months ago, and threw in a bunch of seeds, and even though my system is new it is amazing how stuff is growing.  I did spray Maxicrop on the leaves of the new growth and still do about once a week just give it a misting.

But here's what really cool...  I put beet seeds in the ground months ago, and the plants had more than 1/2 of them only grow to about 1.5" height and then the growth stopped.  I carefully pulled 2 of the tiny plants and put them into one of my 4 grow beds (powered only by 2-8" koi) and by the next week I noticed definate growth and the greens on top were lush.  I just picked and ate one of the beets last weekend- it was bigger than my fist, and the other one is about half that big.

I then went and pulled 7 more stunted beet plants out of the dirt and stuck them into my grow bed, and after 1.5 weeks they have started growing and tripled in size and are still going strong.  I never anticipated this kind of a difference.

I threw parsley and basil seeds in and have plants 1.5 feet tall and lush.  I even decided to try 2 acorn squash plants to really tax the system...and I have huge plants and I'm keeping 1 acorn squash alive on each plant (cutting off the other starter tiny squashes to focus on the one squash per plant).  So far they're about 2.5" in diameter.

Also threw in yellow pear  tomatoe seeds, and have a 2' high x 2' wide lush tomatoe plant with flowers on it.  We'll see if tomatoes grow or not.  Also threw in some pole beans seeds and a side trellis and plants are growing and have flowers.

If this is indication of how well things will grow next spring when I have more fish (and maybe have nitrates show up on my test kit)...I'm excited.  I've been dirt gardening serious for 4 years but all my friends can't believe what I show them.


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Very nice, Bradley! I too have recently set up my system and am growing winter plants, but I can't wait to see what I can do this spring. Fingers crossed that the catfish make it through the winter! Currently I've got kale, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, arugula, and of all things, artichoke. The artichoke has not fared the best except for one or two plants which I think will pull through - if they do, I'm curious to see how they do. I also have to get pH down a bit more, I'm currently at 7.5. They might pick up a bit more after that.

I'm glad to hear your system is doing well - do tell how it goes over time...

Sounds great, Bradley. Show us some pics!

Nat, get your pH down below 7 and you will be pleased.

I Can't send pics....we got frosts and all plants died,  but I got stuff off them it was a good trial run.

A recent development/challange.  I shut off the flow to the grow beds 1.5 weeks ago, and counted on the fish tank(270 gal IBC) and sump tank(180 gal inground IBC) to have enough bacteria to process the ammonia.... but tested 2 days ago and discovered that the nitrites are creeping up as well as ammonia...even though I do have a cannister filter running 24/7 for the 2 tanks, and I have the water exchanging between the sump and fish tank.

 I only have 2 koi about 8" long in the fish tank so I thought this would be enough.  So yesterday I opened up the flow to the grow beds again (even though I have to heat water a little {even though my fish tank and sump tank are well insulated, the flow to grow beds is dropping temps of water a little. 

My next plan is to build a mini-greenhouse around 2 of the grow beds with small amount of heat to the 2 so that I can keep the flow of water going to the gravel.  I think this will work, and I might as well try to keep growing in the 2 beds now that I'm going to insulate and put greenhouse type cover on them anyway to control water temps.  A new idea and more work!! That's what makes this fun huh??  :-)

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