Aquaponic Gardening

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What plants are best for a new system?  I've been told that things that have lower nutrient requirements are best until the fish get larger, but can't find any clear answers about what that means.  Can anyone share what plants are best for a new system with fingerlng size fish?  How about some more concrete info about how big the fish need to be before we can change what we're growing?  

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It will soon be time to plant fall/winter crops - Cabbage did well in my new system, kale, broccoli, lettuce.  You should be going like gangbusters for spring crops.  You will be surprised to find how how little it takes to grow plants.  It's amazing really.  We put fish in Dec 2011 and right now everything is growing better in aquaponics than in the ground.  The last thing I planted was Okra, early July - no blooms yet but it's growing vigorously.  I'm rooting tomatoes in the media for fall crop.  Generally what I've read is that nutrient build up takes six months.  Winter vegetables have lower nutrient requirements, or so it appeared to me.  Cauliflower did not do well in my new system.  Cabbage was the one thing that did as well immediately as the plants in the ground.  Most things did better in the ground when the system was new but that changed over a few months.  Good luck.

Roger & April I am also new to aquaponics.  From what I have read you should start planting right away.  See cycling your system in the forum.  I planted corn, lettuce, and radishes.  All started to grow and look pretty good.  I did dig up some plants from my garden and planted into the system.  Some died and others are doing fine.  I only have 15 catfish, about 6 inches, and 15 very small, small mouth bass.  Several of these have died.  I add maxicrop, which can get expensive, and iron as that few fish can't feed the plants properly.  I will be adding more fish shortly.  There are numerous plants that require a lot of nutrients vs others. Same as regualr gardening. You asked a very complex question and will get widely varying answers from each person you talk to. It's now late in the season so most people are limited as to what they can grow. I'm in the process of growing seedling to plant into the system. Cucumber, several types of lettuce, winter squash, and several other winter crops. Just going to see what happens and record results.   

Thanks, George.  I appreciate the info about time frame...it's so hard to be patient when I look at the huge tomatoes, squash and cukes I see in other people's systems.  I have some lettuce seeds sprouting and I've heard that herbs might be good, too.  I'll definitely try to cabbage, though our little broccoli plants look a little pale.

George said:

It will soon be time to plant fall/winter crops - Cabbage did well in my new system, kale, broccoli, lettuce.  You should be going like gangbusters for spring crops.  You will be surprised to find how how little it takes to grow plants.  It's amazing really.  We put fish in Dec 2011 and right now everything is growing better in aquaponics than in the ground.  The last thing I planted was Okra, early July - no blooms yet but it's growing vigorously.  I'm rooting tomatoes in the media for fall crop.  Generally what I've read is that nutrient build up takes six months.  Winter vegetables have lower nutrient requirements, or so it appeared to me.  Cauliflower did not do well in my new system.  Cabbage was the one thing that did as well immediately as the plants in the ground.  Most things did better in the ground when the system was new but that changed over a few months.  Good luck.

Thanks, Tom. fYou're the first person I've seen growing small mouth!   I'm hoping to be able to draw from everyone's experience to find something that will work.  The growing season is just getting ready to start for us here in Florida.  We have about 70 blue tilapia fingerlings and we're adding maxicrop to try to boost things for the plants in the system now.  But, the cucumbers, beans and peppers all seem to be struggling from lack of some nutrient.  Since we've been advised to start with crops that need less, I thought I'd ask here to see what others' experience was like.  I think you're right that keeping good records will help us in the long run  :)

Tom Dumas said:

Roger & April I am also new to aquaponics.  From what I have read you should start planting right away.  See cycling your system in the forum.  I planted corn, lettuce, and radishes.  All started to grow and look pretty good.  I did dig up some plants from my garden and planted into the system.  Some died and others are doing fine.  I only have 15 catfish, about 6 inches, and 15 very small, small mouth bass.  Several of these have died.  I add maxicrop, which can get expensive, and iron as that few fish can't feed the plants properly.  I will be adding more fish shortly.  There are numerous plants that require a lot of nutrients vs others. Same as regualr gardening. You asked a very complex question and will get widely varying answers from each person you talk to. It's now late in the season so most people are limited as to what they can grow. I'm in the process of growing seedling to plant into the system. Cucumber, several types of lettuce, winter squash, and several other winter crops. Just going to see what happens and record results.   

We have never ending Basil for sure.  Flat leaf parsley did well until it died suddenly during a 95 degree day - it was about that time the kale in the ground started looking terrible while the aquaponics kale just kept motoring along and it still is.

Roger & April Frederick said:

and I've heard that herbs might be good, too.

Are you feeding the smallmouths live food or do they take pellets? 

Tom Dumas said:

15 very small, small mouth bass. 

I feed pellets and BSF larvae.

George said:

Are you feeding the smallmouths live food or do they take pellets? 

Tom Dumas said:

15 very small, small mouth bass. 

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