Aquaponic Gardening

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How are people tackling the bugs that find our systems?  I've been using a combination of beneficial insects (mainly ladybugs) and spraying with insecticidal soap when I have to...but I worry about the effect that using too much of that might have on the fish.  If a plant is pretty small (lettuces, greens, beans, peppers) and is pretty bug infested I'll take it out of the media and let it soak in the fish tank for about 15 minutes. the bugs drown, and the fish seem to love them.

I know some people use neem oil with success.  What are the downsides?  What else do you guys use?

Also, my most buggy plants are salad greens and peppers.  They've stayed totally off my herbs, broccoli, and tomatoes.  What have other's experience been with this?  Any hypothesis as to why?  Travis thinks it has something to do with nitrogen levels...

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Only problem that has beaten me so far is the (I assume) cabbage worm that is actually hitting my brocs more than my cabbages. I have included a close up. I cured the lettuce cut worm that had infiltrated that bed by flooding the bed using an extension on the siphon and that worked great. I can't seem to find what's eating my beautiful (otherwise) broccolis. Here is a pic:

I am considering using a cayenne pepper spray but I am not sure if the fish would mind Mexican. Any thoughts. I have read thru most of the comments here but could not seem to nail this down.

Jim, Dipel.. or BT dust as I think it's sometimes known.... is a very effective, and fish safe treatment...


Essentially it's a bacteria... Bacillus thuringiensis... when consumed by the caterpillar... it dires out their intestinal tract, and kills them.. within 24 hours..

Awesome, thanks Rupert. I'll see who has it around here next trip to town.

I had a little fun this morning making up a spray that might discourage the little buggers for now. Cayenne pepper, a little onion (couldn't find any chives), cucumber peel and while I was looking for some chives I noticed that nothing seems to touch the very healthy sour grass around here (which I have nibbled on for over 60 yrs:-) so I threw some of that in the blender as well. Curious to see what happens.

Thuricide is what I'm used to finding at the big box stores or Ace hardware here in the US.

Thanks TC,

I will ck for the name Thuricide as well. Sounds like we need it in the dirt garden as well. Any good advice here for Japanese Beatles. We were over run with them this summer here in the mtns..

Hum, I'm not sure what to do about the Japanese beatles.  But I think there is another BT product that can be used against the grub phase maybe (look it up since I'm not sure.)  I think it is called milky spore and you apply it to the lawn.  Won't help this season though.

Thanks TC. We did that this summer so we are looking forward to the results.

HELP!!! I am in a pickle now.  I just got home to a mess of Potato Aphids in my bed.  I suspect they came in with the cuttings a few weeks back.  They are on the Roma Tomatoes and on my Jalapeno and Portuguese Chili Plants.  I noticed it on the CPVC water line and checked the underside of the leaves and there they were.  This setup is in my kitchen anyone have any safe methods to get them off?

If I could have only one problem to tackle, now this...blahhh!

John, page 1 of this discussion thread has a LOT of good advice. Check out Chris Smith's recommendations.

Been reading it all.  Thanks.  I wish I could bring my ladybugs in the house...I think that would lead to a divorce.  I have plenty of sprays for the outside but is not good for the fish.  Maybe this is my justification for the new building out

Kirsten Udd said:

John, page 1 of this discussion thread has a LOT of good advice. Check out Chris Smith's recommendations.

Haha, yeah, good justification. Do you already use botanigard? I just found 1qt on Pestrong (went through Amazon search) for $74.95 and free shipping.

You might try that new pesticide that Aquaponics Source is carrying call Aqua Pest Away. It does work and doesn't harm fish. 

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