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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My point is that the sticky traps don't actually help control pests in an IPM program, they only indicate whether or not you have the pests to begin with, and how bad the infestation is. And, yes, there are different colored strips for different types of insects.


TCLynx said:
The yellow sticky traps catch whiteflies and are a good Integrated pest management tool to know how much of a problem you are having with whiteflies. They make blue sticky cards that are supposed to be good against thrips I guess.

Diluted lime juice or cut hot peppers soaked in water or a combination of both can be sprayed for controlling biting or leak cutting ants.It also deters other insects. Apply at the entry sites or around the perimeter of your AP set up every 2 days.I've used this method with success even in my soil garden as well. Be careful not to get it on the leaves of your plants as some of the leaves can get stained and also some plants don't like it.
Jessica
What is Dr Bronners I haven't hear of it and where do you get it. I really get control of the aphids with the soap, oil , and molasses spray on the taro. It works for the green aphids also. Do your aphids on the taro fly. They really get bad on in the middle of the ha next to the corum. I think I have a handle on them now but the took over for a while. The BT really works good for cabbage worms I had those huge tomatoe/tobacco worms for a while they loved the Ungchoy. I have a problem with white flies sometimes. I guess it is just a matter of staying ahead they thing that I am the worst at.
Oh, I forgot about Dr. Bonners, Jessica. I used to use that too and I really liked it. Raychel, here is a link - http://www.drbronner.com/.
No Jessica all the taro is in the water. I haven't time to keep things in the ground watered. It has been so dry out here this year. I can't tell you how bad it has been. I have lost several trees just because I can't do what I used to do. The acre is a little to big for me anymore. My poor asparagus hardly gets the water it needs. My days of ground garden are over. What I can't grow in water I won't eat. I just spray the leaves and I swear it really does the job if you keep at it,.
Aloha Jessica
I don't think the toads eat fish but they are in the rafts anyway where there are no fish except guppies. I don't mind the toads but I wasn't sure they were food safe. I know they eat insects. One day a couple of years ago when it was very dry we had put some pools of water around the citrus trees and the honey bees were so thirsty they were swarming around the water. I watched the toads gather and catch the honey bees and eat them. I was amazed. The toads love the water and I( am sure they are good about eating the bugs on the plants.
Dr Oz is on tv right now telling what happens to you when you eat pesticides on your food. It is pretty scary. Go aquaponics.This sceintest on Dr OZ says there are 40 pesticide residue on spinach and 50 on strawberries, this is test by the Dept of Ag.
I had two visitors from Australia today. One contacted me from the WWOOFer site. She just arrived to visit her friend and came out with her friend (who is doing her 2nd post doc at the U of H) They were great people so interested in aquaponics and becoming self sustaining. . I showed them Murray's website so I think Jacki will look him up when she goes back. I checked the taro today and the aphids have mostly left so try the soap, oil, and molasses trick. I find it useful and I was over run with aphids.

Well, I thought I had escaped the bug problem this winter.  A pot I brought in to overwinter must have had aphids on it, and when the plants withered they produced flying offspring and guess what they found?  My lettuce!  At least my media bed hasn't started yet, as plants would be harder to remove so I'd have to spray them with water and knock off the beasties.

 

I'm going downstairs for some serious dunking.  Fishies get aphid soup tonight.

Sorry to hear that, Paul, but I've been in the same situation here for about a month now.  Started on some tomato plants, and I it on all my tomato and pepper plants.  Funny thing is last year they wouldn't touch the tomato plants.  Can't really duck 10 - 15 ft vines so I resorted to 3 rounds of ladybugs.  I now have ladybug eggs all over the place...and very few ladybugs (this always happens and I have no idea where they go!  It is a pretty buttoned up greenhouse...at least I thought it was).  The larvae are the big eaters so when they hatch it will be great, but meanwhile I still need to get rid of the aphids.  A couple weeks ago I went to Neem and started spraying that 2x a week after spraying the plants down with a blast of water.  I also took out the oldest tomato plants.  Seems to be starting to work.  Far fewer of the little beasties.on  the remaining plants now.  Hope the baby lady bugs aren't disappointed when they show up.

 

Did the dunking work?  Love doing that! So satisfying.

The dunking resulted in happy fish!  They could see the adults floating on the surface and they were getting hit.  Still, about half an hour after I was done I could see the survivors crawling on the edge of the FT.  Today I found about 5 aphids on the plants still, so I'm going to dunk them again tomorrow after work to hopefully mop up any stragglers.  Fortunately right now I'm kinda at low ebb for plants, and the ones I do have aren't very big so they're easy to dunk.

Sounds like you got most of them, and happy fish as well.  Good dea.

Some  of the pests I am getting lately are not so small  I use dipel on the smaller one.  I have been invaded by cabbage  worms also,  They get the dipel also

 

this guy keeps returning.  I don't think he can get much more than a guppy.  For aphids I use a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of dish washing soap, and some molasses in a spray bottle of water.  I got this from Murray.  It really works.  I just spray the leaves top and bottom.  I do this about once a week or if I see aphids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ick.  That's a Tomato Hornworm, isn't it?  The first time I saw one of those bad boys I was pruning back a big tomato plant and came face to face with one and screamed.  It was so big, and looked just like the worm that smokes the hookah pipe in Alice in Wonderland.  They can do a massive amount of damage very quickly.  Do your fish like to eat them?

 

Pretty funny about the bird, as long as he sticks with the small guys.  Reminds me of my dog - a pretty harmless pest, but she sure tries hard.

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