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Does anyone have any experience or info on having a worm only operation? I'm entertaining the idea of keeping my fish density very low, but having a lot more worms in the flood and drain that we are incorporating. Another place I could add the worms are in the large bottom pots of the vertical towers. I've noticed the strawberries and some other plants on the bottom didn't produce as well.

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Here is a huge thread on the subject.

BYAP Vermiponics

 

Thanks.saw this..need to read more in depth..didn't remember seeing if Jim was able to make it work and how best

TCLynx said:

Here is a huge thread on the subject.

BYAP Vermiponics

 

And here is a description of a worm tower which is usually used in something like a soil based wicking bed.  I expect it could be easily converted to work well for aquaponics, just skip the manure part.

worm tower

Thanks. I like the idea of incorporating the food scraps into the gravel bed, but still separated, do you think it's necessary to keep it from rotting ie. banana peels break down quicker ?.. was just on the BYAP thread and noticed the pic on the (second to last page) where the guy had something similar, a small compost bin in the gravel bed and  vaguely remember seeing a you tube video..just have to find it again.

TCLynx said:

And here is a description of a worm tower which is usually used in something like a soil based wicking bed.  I expect it could be easily converted to work well for aquaponics, just skip the manure part.

worm tower

"necessary to keep it from rotting?"  I'm confused about what you are asking?  rotting is breaking down and we want them to break down quickly I think?  Having it in the "tower" is really just providing a dark place for the worms to work on things while not having slimey smelly rotting banana peals our in the open where they would be unsightly or could slime our veggies as we are harvesting or whatever.

 

I don't think it's really necessary to the rotting process but more a way to contain it so the rest of the grow bed can be easily used for growing other veggies without disrupting the worm compost area and to be able to feed the worms without digging into the gravel and disrupting the plants.


Michelle Silva said:

Thanks. I like the idea of incorporating the food scraps into the gravel bed, but still separated, do you think it's necessary to keep it from rotting ie. banana peels break down quicker ?.. was just on the BYAP thread and noticed the pic on the (second to last page) where the guy had something similar, a small compost bin in the gravel bed and  vaguely remember seeing a you tube video..just have to find it again.

Hi TC, I'm sorry, didn't mean to write it like that...was thinking more like..would it create bad bacteria and would it help bananas to break down quicker if we could add a divider bin/worms  .. guess its' a mute point as long as either way there is enough oxygen. It would seem to make it cleaner and also possible to add more i/o having rotting food all over bed, roots etc.

Sometimes I bury my food scraps next to my fruit trees (in the ground) and someone once said to me that I shouldn't do it because it could cause harmful bacteria. I occasionally had continued although I did get a disease on one of the small orange trees and it made me wonder. Possibly I didn't have enough worms creating space in the soil and it didn't get enough oxygen to break down. 

Just a side note, when I had multiple fish deaths with the freeze I buried them next to the peach and banana trees and they are flourishing.

TCLynx said:

"necessary to keep it from rotting?"  I'm confused about what you are asking?  rotting is breaking down and we want them to break down quickly I think?  Having it in the "tower" is really just providing a dark place for the worms to work on things while not having slimey smelly rotting banana peals our in the open where they would be unsightly or could slime our veggies as we are harvesting or whatever.

 

I don't think it's really necessary to the rotting process but more a way to contain it so the rest of the grow bed can be easily used for growing other veggies without disrupting the worm compost area and to be able to feed the worms without digging into the gravel and disrupting the plants.


Michelle Silva said:

Thanks. I like the idea of incorporating the food scraps into the gravel bed, but still separated, do you think it's necessary to keep it from rotting ie. banana peels break down quicker ?.. was just on the BYAP thread and noticed the pic on the (second to last page) where the guy had something similar, a small compost bin in the gravel bed and  vaguely remember seeing a you tube video..just have to find it again.

I wouldn't worry about burying scraps in the garden.  Those people who tell you that you shouldn't because of disease probably insist that all organic matter should be wrapped in plastic for the big trucks to take away and "deal with properly."

There is a very good chance that the disease your orange got had nothing to do with feeding the roots.  Unless you were putting lots of diseased orange peals around it.

 

Fish make very good fertilizer.  Remember the stories of putting a fish in the bottom of the hole before planting the corn.

 

Only danger is if you overload the beds with scraps, but I expect you will notice the odor from the food scraps before the system has too much trouble and then you will avoid doing that again.

This worm tower design is neat :-)

 

I have found that depending upon the age of your fish pond / tank, worms will travel to and survive in gravel beds fairly quickly. You can speed up this process by adding a few worms per each gravel bed, just remember to keep your fish pond / tank well oxygenated. I have posted some pictures of worms that I found at the roots of some of the Broccoli and Greens that I harvested today

As far as Vertigro vertical towers go, I am going to experiment by first laying landscape fabric in the grow box before I put in the media and then introduce some worms in each bed. Will let you know the results. Possible reason for the lower growth at bottom of the vertical towers could be lack of water (usually a larger grow bed than those above), and lack of light. Just my guesses at this stage, will let you know my results in a few months. So far my bottom grow bed of my "Scallop Vertical Towers" is producing but I notice it is dryer that higher grow beds. I may add a separate water feed here :-)

 

Hope this helps :-)

 

God bless,



TCLynx said:

And here is a description of a worm tower which is usually used in something like a soil based wicking bed.  I expect it could be easily converted to work well for aquaponics, just skip the manure part.

worm tower

I'm planning on using worm juice in my system for an extra kick.  From what I can tell, worm-only vermiponics has trouble providing enough nitrates, though I think you can otherwise get a much wider range of nutrients.  So I have decided to build my system to house the smallest number of fish that will provide a baseline level of nitrates, but I plan on having a separate worm bin to collect worm juice which I will add to my grow beds.  I don't so much like the idea of putting scraps directly in the beds, since I want to keep as many solids out of them as possible (for longest life without cleanout -- hopefully never), but adding the juice should still provide a ton of extra nutrients.  I will then use the castings from the worm bin in my wicking beds (separate).


Michelle Silva said:

Thanks. I like the idea of incorporating the food scraps into the gravel bed, but still separated, do you think it's necessary to keep it from rotting ie. banana peels break down quicker ?.. was just on the BYAP thread and noticed the pic on the (second to last page) where the guy had something similar, a small compost bin in the gravel bed and  vaguely remember seeing a you tube video..just have to find it again.

I should also say that I plan to have worms in my wicking beds, and worm towers there to feed them.  I really like the worm tower idea!  But I do wonder how effectively the worms spread out the goodies from the tower site.  Anyone know about this?  Are you better off putting the tower in the middle of the bed?  Not the most convenient..


Greener said:

I'm planning on using worm juice in my system for an extra kick.  From what I can tell, worm-only vermiponics has trouble providing enough nitrates, though I think you can otherwise get a much wider range of nutrients.  So I have decided to build my system to house the smallest number of fish that will provide a baseline level of nitrates, but I plan on having a separate worm bin to collect worm juice which I will add to my grow beds.  I don't so much like the idea of putting scraps directly in the beds, since I want to keep as many solids out of them as possible (for longest life without cleanout -- hopefully never), but adding the juice should still provide a ton of extra nutrients.  I will then use the castings from the worm bin in my wicking beds (separate).

 

thanks..yes, think the bottom was most def getting less water (and nutrients)..thought about adding a second feed tube halfway down, but was on the long list of things I wanted to do : )  Also, thinking about just watering more often so it would oxygenate the return water more as well, will try that first as it doesn't seem to adversesly effect the top pots when I water more often

Sahib Punjabi said:

This worm tower design is neat :-)

 

I have found that depending upon the age of your fish pond / tank, worms will travel to and survive in gravel beds fairly quickly. You can speed up this process by adding a few worms per each gravel bed, just remember to keep your fish pond / tank well oxygenated. I have posted some pictures of worms that I found at the roots of some of the Broccoli and Greens that I harvested today

As far as Vertigro vertical towers go, I am going to experiment by first laying landscape fabric in the grow box before I put in the media and then introduce some worms in each bed. Will let you know the results. Possible reason for the lower growth at bottom of the vertical towers could be lack of water (usually a larger grow bed than those above), and lack of light. Just my guesses at this stage, will let you know my results in a few months. So far my bottom grow bed of my "Scallop Vertical Towers" is producing but I notice it is dryer that higher grow beds. I may add a separate water feed here :-)

 

Hope this helps :-)

 

God bless,



TCLynx said:

And here is a description of a worm tower which is usually used in something like a soil based wicking bed.  I expect it could be easily converted to work well for aquaponics, just skip the manure part.

worm tower

regarding landscape fabric on bottom-  I have plans to try something like that tomorrow using that in a flood and drain with mulch. The mulch is slightly composted, just hope it's composted enough and that doesn't effect my ph too much.

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