Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello Everyone,

 

   I have been using a rhizosphere root inoculant on my seedlings that I transplant into my hydroponic systems.  Now I have a few baby basil, tomato, and cilantro left over and I was thinking about sticking them in my aquaponics grow bed.   My concern is that the inoculant fungi in the plugs may harm my new bacterial colonies or may be bad in general for the health of the system.  The product bag says " non toxic to flora and fauna"  "Increases nutrient uptake" "a unique and proprietary blend of fungi that builds a microbial system in and around plants roots which greatly improves plant and root growth, vigor, and production naturally"  .  The ingredients are expanded clay, Glomus intradices, G. aggregatum, G. etunicatum, G. Mosseae, Trichoderma harzianum, T. koningii and Amino acid L-glycine.  It is not listed as organic..  I want to err on the side of caution and ask for any suggestions, warnings, or advice before I plant them in my bed, FYI I am in my 3rd week of fishless cycling, another question in a couple of minuets about that. 

 

Thanks a bunch!

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If it is safe to use on food crops, I wouldn't have any fear of traces of it going into an aquaponics system.  The general method of transplanting seedlings into Aquaponics that were started in a soil like mix would probably be appropriate.  have a bucket of chlorine free water, remove seedling from container and gently shake off excess potting or seed starting medium.  Dunk seedling roots gently in the bucket of water and swish a little as needed to remove most of the seed starting medium.  You don't have to be perfect about getting it all off but you want to avoid adding excess "dirt" to your grow beds.  Then plant the new seedlings into the aquaponics grow beds.

 

I have done this with store bought seedlings and seedlings I started in soil trays.

 

In good healthy soil the bacteria and fungi co-exist.  Many of the same bacteria that work in Aquaponics are the same one that work in good soil and in worm bins.  The small amount of this inoculant that might come in on gently rinsed roots are not going to make much difference one way or another.

 

(I have heard of rooting hormone products that are not safe for use on food crops, if this product is anything like that, then I would avoid it in any type of system growing my own food.)

It is safe for food crops and not a rooting hormone.  Im going to go rinse and plant some seedlings now,! Thanks as always for your insight
I just transplanted some stuff into my systems using the rinse method.  I often flip my stand pipes in a bed with a new transplant to have it be constant flood for a day or two to help the plant get over the shock.

Let me know how these fungi end up working when you can! I was interested about any advantages of micorrhizal fungi in aquaponics as well. Do you know if they require oxygen to do well? You might need lots of bubbles, but that may shake them loose I'm thinking. I have never tried it actually but that's what I imagine.

Andrea Rzad said:

It is safe for food crops and not a rooting hormone.  Im going to go rinse and plant some seedlings now,! Thanks as always for your insight


 

 Hello Conner,

I usually use the micorrhizal fungi in my seedling trays before transplanting into my hydro, soil, or aquaponics systems. Through out the growing cycle I will reinoculate the soil and the hydro systems but have not reinoculated the aquaponics system. Micorrizae are soil dwelling so in my experience they like damp environments. I know they work well in my soil and my hydroponic media (expanded clay). I think there is enough O2 in the negative space of the expanded clay aggregate to keep them happy. My only concern was if the fungus could be detrimental to the fish themselves. I have had no issues with transplanting inoculated seedlings in Root Riot cubes into the system, the fish are still doing well. There are a few different types of root inoculants I use, ZHO from Botanicare and Xtreme gardening RTI makes a good soluable Mycorrhizal powder called Mykos WP. There is also a new line of hydroponics nutrients that are aquaponics safe called Microbe Life, based on beneficial bacteria, and humic acids that I plan to test soon. Hope some of my experience helps


 Conner Goertzen said:

Let me know how these fungi end up working when you can! I was interested about any advantages of micorrhizal fungi in aquaponics as well. Do you know if they require oxygen to do well? You might need lots of bubbles, but that may shake them loose I'm thinking. I have never tried it actually but that's what I imagine.

Andrea Rzad said:

It is safe for food crops and not a rooting hormone.  Im going to go rinse and plant some seedlings now,! Thanks as always for your insight

Thanks, Andrea. I am going to be using pea gravel (assuming the pH tests stop climbing) since expanded clay is too expensive for my kiddie pool (would require about $180 to fill it up). My micorrhizal spores have expired so I am going to use a product called bountea which contains these fungi in smaller concentrations, along with seaweed extracts, humus, and all kinds of other natural goodies. Have you tried worm tea in your system? Is worm tea dangerous as far as bringing in imbalances and invaders into the system?

Andrea Rzad said:


 

 Hello Conner,

I usually use the micorrhizal fungi in my seedling trays before transplanting into my hydro, soil, or aquaponics systems. Through out the growing cycle I will reinoculate the soil and the hydro systems but have not reinoculated the aquaponics system. Micorrizae are soil dwelling so in my experience they like damp environments. I know they work well in my soil and my hydroponic media (expanded clay). I think there is enough O2 in the negative space of the expanded clay aggregate to keep them happy. My only concern was if the fungus could be detrimental to the fish themselves. I have had no issues with transplanting inoculated seedlings in Root Riot cubes into the system, the fish are still doing well. There are a few different types of root inoculants I use, ZHO from Botanicare and Xtreme gardening RTI makes a good soluable Mycorrhizal powder called Mykos WP. There is also a new line of hydroponics nutrients that are aquaponics safe called Microbe Life, based on beneficial bacteria, and humic acids that I plan to test soon. Hope some of my experience helps


 Conner Goertzen said:

Let me know how these fungi end up working when you can! I was interested about any advantages of micorrhizal fungi in aquaponics as well. Do you know if they require oxygen to do well? You might need lots of bubbles, but that may shake them loose I'm thinking. I have never tried it actually but that's what I imagine.

Andrea Rzad said:

It is safe for food crops and not a rooting hormone.  Im going to go rinse and plant some seedlings now,! Thanks as always for your insight

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