Aquaponic Gardening

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Anyone use Water Hyacinth as supplemental filtration? I'm thinking that if my grow bed is too small for the fish density I would add some water hyacinth to help keep the water clean. I can pull the excess water hyacinth out toss it in the compost pile. The Water Hyacinth will provide shade and cover for small critters that will supplement fish feeding.

 

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That's a great solution to high densities because it also provides O2 for the fish.   Tell us about how it goes if you decide to use it.

Keep in mind that the Hyacinth will only provide O2 during the daytime, at night it will use O2 and give off CO2.

 

If Hyacinth are legal in your area, go for it.  Anything you compost though, make sure it gets good and properly composted.  Escaped Hyacinth is actually a major problem here in FL and owning any of it is a pretty major crime with a very substantial fine if they go after you.

Hyacinths are legal here so I don't have any problems. I see the benefit of the hyacinths shading the water and keeping the temps and algae at bay.
A dip in O2 would happen at night; howeverplants store complex carbohydrates, in the same way people store energy, bringing the net O2 levels higher than when it wasn't present. (this was originally 3 sentences) Also CO2 in the water is good for terrestrial plants--just ask any greenhouse hydroponic grower.  
TCLynx said:

Keep in mind that the Hyacinth will only provide O2 during the daytime, at night it will use O2 and give off CO2.

 

 

I only warn because it is possible for plants like algae to use up all the O2 overnight and leave the fish gasping at the surface for air so one might want to have supplemental aeration (at least overnight) under the plants.

They are great plants for using up excess nitrates and ammonia.



TCLynx said:

I only warn because it is possible for plants like algae to use up all the O2 overnight and leave the fish gasping at the surface for air so one might want to have supplemental aeration (at least overnight) under the plants.

They are great plants for using up excess nitrates and ammonia.

I use water hyacinths in all 20 0f my tanks.  I am into thinking like a fish.  What would the fish like.  I try to make the fish feel at home.  Call me nuts a little too old, or even demented but I tryully feel my fish are happier and a happier fish has to be healthier and taste better.  I get raving remaks on hoiw my fish taste.  One problem is the fish eat them and causes crap in the water but if you are vigilent and clean athe scraps out each day I do believe you have happier fish.  This may not be practiical  for for the commercial grower.  My biggest tank is 300 gal.  I have done this for years with no ill effects that I can tell.  I feed the older plants and scraps to my friends geese and chickens. ( Happy geese and chickens)  The rest I put in the compost pile.

I actually wish it was legal for me to have Hyacinths because my ducks and chickens LOVE them.  I got a few and realized there would be little chance of them getting out of had here when the ducks and chickens ate them down to nothing in just a few days.
I have used water hyacinth in the past, but the leaves tended to rot below the waterline so I abandoned it and now grow hornwort to feed to the tilapia. Not sure what caused my problem with the hyacinth.
They need a lot a lot of light. So if they weren't getting enough light they will do that.

Ellen Roelofs said:
I have used water hyacinth in the past, but the leaves tended to rot below the waterline so I abandoned it and now grow hornwort to feed to the tilapia. Not sure what caused my problem with the hyacinth.
I have had hyacinth in all 3 of my tanks this summer.  In the koi tank they keep the roots trimmed pretty short.  Otherwise, in the other two tanks with crayfish and mosquito fish the roots grow nicely and are perfect at filtering debris floating mid-column in the water.  Of course the plants came with more snail eggs, but the snails do a great job of keeping the roots clean!  They help digest some of the extra un-used nutrients in the system to make that much more available to the bacteria and plants.  The hyacinth are also perfect habitat for mosquito fish to reproduce.
I don't think that's what did it for me because I got pretty good growth and even a few blossoms; but any portion of the leaf that was underwater, the floats in particular, seemed to rot rather quickly. temps in the 70's, pH 7.8, much more than that I can't tell ya.  Maybe I'll give them another try and see how it goes... I do like the plant...

Chi Ma said:
They need a lot a lot of light. So if they weren't getting enough light they will do that.

Ellen Roelofs said:
I have used water hyacinth in the past, but the leaves tended to rot below the waterline so I abandoned it and now grow hornwort to feed to the tilapia. Not sure what caused my problem with the hyacinth.

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