I have been using a water soluable microrrhiza in my aquaponic system. In the first week of just letting water run through my system i added one ounce of water soluble mycorrhizae powder that contains endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi spores, Trichoderma, and beneficial bacteria. I have used it in my hydro seed starter as well as for my potted plants with steral soild. The roots i have examined from a broccoli, in a matter of 1 week, have the best lookins rizhosphere. The plants really seem to benefit. I have read the fungi help with o2 levels intake and desiese resistance as well. I would recomend this product to anyone! I think i ordered it from a place called Fungi Perfecti at www.fungi.com. Has anyone else used a similar product or have any further information. I have limited information myself besids the self tought hands on experiancs and personal opservation. Any input would be very helpful!
Im really not learned enough yet to know the longevity of these fungi and other organisms in competition with the nitrifying bacteria that we all strive to have in our systems. The site i bought them from has some information about them. I have also found that they are a naturally occuring thing in nature. That being said, areas such as subdovisions that have a false appeance of nature but rarely the ecology are lacking in these organisms. Same with sterolised potting soils. This product puts those symbiotic organisms back into play.
The term mycorrhizal comes from the Greek words mykes, meaning fungus, and rhiza, meaning root. Mycorrhizal fungi are fungi that have developed a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with the root systems of living plants, from garden vegetables all the way up to the trees of the Old Growth forests. Networks of mycorrhizal filaments envelop the seedling’s root structure, supporting the plant’s own ability to utilize water and nutrients in the soil. This relationship encourages healthy, vigorous growth—naturally
Im sure someone out there has used this in an aquaponics system. I just havnt found enough on the subject to really shine a true light on the benefits. Ill keep looking though! Tomorow im going to take a picture of two broccoli plants. One i have been growing in potting soil and one i removed from that soil about 10 days ago and show the difference in the root structure. Untill you see this first hand it is hard to depict. Its awsome though!
Here is a good article i found on the use of microrrhiza in hydroponics. There really isnt much out there for aquaponic use though i think the basic ideas of its nutrient uptake, water uptake, and disease resistanc qualitys are certinally worth looking into for everyone growing aquaponicaly. The simply fact that we all strive to create a mini ecosystem only begs the use or introduction of benificial fungi, being as we boast the use of three other kingdoms,animal, plant, and bacterial, why exclude our fungi friends.
Here is a comparison of the roots of two brocoli plants. The one on the right without fungi and the one on the left with. Notice the abundance of feeder roots on the one to the left! I tryed to take a video and a picture of the reall action on the root ball. The roots inoculated look as though someone put pulled cotton balls on them! The fungi roots are so fine my cameras wouldnt pick them up. These roots were planted from the same seeds and grown in the same potting soil. Until 10 days ago when i took the one on the left out of the soil, washed it and put it in the aquaponic system with the microrrhiza. The one on the right i pulled out today and washed it off. Crazy the difference 10 days dose. Though not a proper experiment or comparison. If i had another system running without the fungi that would be the true test. But it works. Trust me people, you will see the results!
Would this fungus not have spores floating about in the air and water just like our bacterial friends? Do we actually need to introduce them into our systems or would they tend to colonize systems (especially outdoor ones) on their own? I have no idea, that's why I'm asking. Hydroponics is so sterile, and Aquaponics so natural I'm just wondering if they'd populate on their own.
Thanks peter. Ive been waiting for someone to help me along with this. It seems like you have a great deal of experience on the subject. Im guessing because of the different types of fungi in the product i have used this is why it looks like there is fungi on my broccoli roots? Im still learning and anything this forum has to offer is greatly apprecieated!