Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Michael asked me to start a thread about my experience using Maxicrop during cycling, and I'm happy to oblige!  Maxicrop is a liquid seaweed extract that you can also get in a soluable powder form. Using seaweed extract is talked about quite a bit on the Australian forums, but they use a different brand. the purpose for using it is to give your plants food before the nitrates kick in.  Good plant food that is not harmful to the fish.

When I used it last September I actually had a one quart bottle for my 300 gallon tank (probably only filled to 200 gallons).  I couldn't find any instructions for using Maxicrop for cycling, and according to the dilution instructions on the bottle I was going to create a very dilute solution using the entire bottle...so I dumped the entire thing in.  Turned the water brown for a couple weeks, but my plants were perfectly happy and seemed to have no ill effect on the fish.  

There is also a form with iron, but I avoid that.  I'm super hesitant about adding anything but fish food and the pure liquid seaweed into my system. I'm just not enough of a chemist to feel comfortable with measuring iron additions to the system, and haven't seemed to need any.  This fear has served me well so far.

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GH makes GO which has seaweed extracts and all organic nutes. I have that. Those, I am hoping, wont build up salts, etc.

Sylvia, I am sold. I only need nutes during the no fish cycle.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
I agree 100% with everything RupertofOz is saying here. One of the biggest appeals of aquaponics to me is that you can avoid using things like GH nutrients. They are expensive, build up in your systems and need to be regularly replaced (the opposite of an AP system) and toxic.
RupertofOZ said:
Daniel E Murphy said:
Has anyone tried General Organics nutes
While aquaponics loosely utilises "hydroponic" styles for growth... it is not a hydroponic system...

In fact the defining difference between aquaponics and hydroponics... is that aquaponics does use... or need to use hydroponic "nutrient" solutions or chemical formulations... such as traditional N:P:K fertilisers... which is really all those products are...

And many could be fatal to your fish...

Just feed your fish a quality aquaculture pellet feed... they contain all the essentially trace elements necessary for plant growth in an aquaponics system.. and the ammonia wastes from the fish... provide all the necessary "nitrates" required for abundant growth...

It's that simple.... and safe...

Other additives are only utilised if deficiencies show... usually due to pH associated "lockouts"...

Cycling a system only requires a pure ammonia source.. and only takes a few weeks...

Liquid seaweed extracts are high in trace elements... pure and fish safe... and all that plants need during cycling... or as ocassional "tonics"...
Sylvia- Could you share with us where we could find the information about the testing you did with Pure Blend. Also which of the Botanicare Pure Blend products did you use?
Hi Michael,

I don't have access to that information anymore since I left AeroGrow - sorry. We ran a bunch of tests in about 2004, and Pure Blend won, then we used it extensively and even approached them about offering it as part of our product line...but it was always far too expensive to make sense for our customers. We just used the Grow and Bloom.

Michael Cosmo said:
Sylvia- Could you share with us where we could find the information about the testing you did with Pure Blend. Also which of the Botanicare Pure Blend products did you use?
I also get it from our hydroponics store.
Pamela Urbas said:
Sylvia, is there a local place for Maxicrop? If so, did they carry the stuff with iron? I'm looking to get my ph down and right now I just have the goldfish so some extra plant food would be good.

Here you go guys and girls....

http://www.shopmania.com/shopping~online-garden-outdoors~buy-maxicr...

http://www.horticulturesource.com/maxicrop-maxicrop-liquid-seaweed-...
1-800-KELP-964

RupertofOZ said:
Pamela Urbas said:
Sylvia, is there a local place for Maxicrop? If so, did they carry the stuff with iron? I'm looking to get my ph down and right now I just have the goldfish so some extra plant food would be good.

Here you go guys and girls....

http://www.shopmania.com/shopping~online-garden-outdoors~buy-maxicr...

http://www.horticulturesource.com/maxicrop-maxicrop-liquid-seaweed-...
I'm in the process of flushing the hydroponic solutions from my system (vertigro pots) and will be using Maxicrop for everything until the fish cycle. My current ratio is 1/2oz per gallon, but when the fish cycle in I'll be cutting that back, possibly by a factor of 10. Since I have a 600 gallon system, that will mean a quart added as needed.

Just flying by the seat of my pants, no idea what the outcome will be. Michael is my science guy, I'm more the jump in and hope there rocks aren't to shallow.
Are the Verti Gro pots on a recycling system? I used these for my first system but it did not recycle it worked but was a lot of work. The 2nd year I tried to make it recycle but I used coco fiber and pea gravel pots I believe held to much moisture, most of plants in the system were stunted. I have redone most of my garden with gravel beds using ebb and flow. I retired the pots for now but I eventually want to work them back in. I’m curious as to how the pots work for you. Are you going to fill and drain with timers or run a continuous flow?

Ron Thompson said:
I'm in the process of flushing the hydroponic solutions from my system (vertigro pots) and will be using Maxicrop for everything until the fish cycle. My current ratio is 1/2oz per gallon, but when the fish cycle in I'll be cutting that back, possibly by a factor of 10. Since I have a 600 gallon system, that will mean a quart added as needed.

Just flying by the seat of my pants, no idea what the outcome will be. Michael is my science guy, I'm more the jump in and hope there rocks aren't to shallow.
Michael Cosmo and I are planning to run our systems on a timer to start. Right now my (not necessarily Michaels) plan is 15 minutes every hour, but depending on results that could go back to 15 minutes every two hours. The reason for the 15 minutes is that is the minimum time my timer allows.

We are using coco fiber to start with but Michael plans to try different media if the results call for it.

Michaels system is closed and recycling. Mine is still open but only because I haven't hooked two pieces of pvc together. That will likely change this weekend as I plan to go to recycling too.
Ron, I'm really interested in what you and Michael are doing as well. I bought a Vertigro last summer and never got around to setting it up. I was just going to use Hydroton - did you guys ever try that or gravel? Sorry if you answered this earlier...
Hi Sylvia,

At this point I have not used anything but Coco fiber. I may try Hydroton in one stack for comparison though. A science teacher at a local hugh school is using it in a flood and drain system.

Michael and I discussed Hygromite, but my feelings were it was both too costly and too heavy for the styrofoam vertigro pots. My figures showed nearly $100 and 72 lbs per six container stack.

Weight is something that must be considered with the vertigro pots.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Ron, I'm really interested in what you and Michael are doing as well. I bought a Vertigro last summer and never got around to setting it up. I was just going to use Hydroton - did you guys ever try that or gravel? Sorry if you answered this earlier...
Good morning, Ron,

I had never heard of Hygromite until now. Looks interesting. Have you used it in anything else? Is it heavier than hydroton?

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