Aquaponic Gardening

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What type of pest control is safe for using on plants without harming fish?

I have lots of red and green "bugs" on tomato plants and am wanting some help for pest control in my beds without harming my catfish and blue gill.  Anybody out there with results that work?

 

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Debbie I am using what friendly uses in their organic systems and it works great. I use botanigard es for all bugs except tomato worms. I use BT for the catepillar. I sprayed white aphid this morning with botanigard es and it wacked em. I bought both on ebay. The Botanigard is pricey but 1 oz makes a quart of spray. The down side to botanigard is it has to be used as the bacteria wont survive in water past 12 hours.
Thank you, David.  I checked it on ebay and no listings indicated safety for aquaponics, fish etc.  I couldn't understand your first or last sentences in your reply. Could you elaborate, please?

Good question. I am not sure if this works in Aquaponics yet as I have not tried it. In my square foot gardening I use tobacco chew in a spray bottle with water. If anyone has tried this with Aquaponics and it is OK to use please let us know.

 

If you have access to worm castings you can make a simple Brewed Worm casting Tea that will rid you of your insect pest problem and is safe to use in your aquaponics system.  Just take 2/3 cup of worm castings (the castings, not worm compost) and add that to 1 gallon of non-chlorinated water.  Add 1-2 tbsp of table sugar or molasses.  Put an air stone connected to a fish tank aerator in the container with this mixture ( the aerators are cheap at  WalMart ).  Aerate for 12-24 hrs. .  Do not tighten a lid on this mixture.  You are creating a microbial bloom, and if there is a closed lid on this, either the lid will blow off or the container will explode, as pressure will build.  Use this mixture as a foliar spray on your plants.  Cover all foliage top sides and bottm.  Not only will you get rid of your insect problem, but you will be adding a great dose of plant available nutrients. Use this mixture up within 18 hours of removing from the aerator.    Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

 Converse

Friendly aquaponics is a commercial operation and training center for aquaponics. They swear by the two pesticides above. The botanigard must be mixed and sprayed as the bacteria dies in water after 12 hours. Both of these combat the pests by virus and not a chemical that kills on contact which we cant use in aquaponics.
Thank you, David.  I checked it on ebay and no listings indicated safety for aquaponics, fish etc.  I couldn't understand your first or last sentences in your reply. Could you elaborate, please?
I use Botanigard in my system along with a few other biocontrols (aphidus wasps and green lacewing) and don't have a problem.  Botanigard is relatively safe for fish, so long as not very much solution is entering your tanks.  There are petroleum based emulsifiers and suspension agents in it, but not so much that they hurt anything unless you're spraying right over your tanks. . . .

@Nate Storey:  I will be spraying in the grow beds which are above the fish tanks, so I'm hesitant to use Botanigard, based on what you're saying. 

@David Waite:  Thanks for clarification.

Has anyone had success with molasses mixture killing pests successfully?

 

@Converse:  How interesting.  My system is new, and so are we, to Aquaponics. I do not have access to worm castings that I know of. Thanks to everyone for your experiences.

Debbie Sexton said:

@Nate Storey:  I will be spraying in the grow beds which are above the fish tanks, so I'm hesitant to use Botanigard, based on what you're saying. 

@David Waite:  Thanks for clarification.

Has anyone had success with molasses mixture killing pests successfully?

 

Very interesting, this brewing techniques is very similar to one used by the horticultural staff of Harvard Yard to make a compost tea.  They have had success in fostering growth of both lawn and ornamentals using a compost tea.  They did not mention any benefits regarding pest management.  Is the pest management capability of worm tea broad spectrum, e.g. would we be able to use it against tomato worms, stink bugs, and the host of mini critters that plague outdoor gardens?

Converse said:

If you have access to worm castings you can make a simple Brewed Worm casting Tea that will rid you of your insect pest problem and is safe to use in your aquaponics system.  Just take 2/3 cup of worm castings (the castings, not worm compost) and add that to 1 gallon of non-chlorinated water.  Add 1-2 tbsp of table sugar or molasses.  Put an air stone connected to a fish tank aerator in the container with this mixture ( the aerators are cheap at  WalMart ).  Aerate for 12-24 hrs. .  Do not tighten a lid on this mixture.  You are creating a microbial bloom, and if there is a closed lid on this, either the lid will blow off or the container will explode, as pressure will build.  Use this mixture as a foliar spray on your plants.  Cover all foliage top sides and bottm.  Not only will you get rid of your insect problem, but you will be adding a great dose of plant available nutrients. Use this mixture up within 18 hours of removing from the aerator.    Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

 Converse

A Google search for "Elaine Ingham" will find lots of info on worm tea.  From http://www.pollardworms.com/how_does_worm_teas_work/: Worm teas suppress disease on plant material and activate and add to the biology of the soil. By spraying a worm tea on the surface of leaves, you are doing two things. First, you coat the leaf with millions if not billions of microbes all competing for a food source. Some, for instance protozoa, eat bacteria which may be eating decaying plant material. Others eat other microbes and their wastes. In the end, there are not enough resources for the harmful molds and fungi to flourish. In addition, you are also coating the leaf with a protective surface that protects the leaf cells from attack by foreign spores or airborne microbes. Finally, by inoculating the soil, microbes break down nutrients for uptake into plants thereby increasing plant health and the plant’s own disease resistance/suppression.

Ah, that explains a lot.  I will learn biology yet!  thank you for the reply.

 

Regards.

 

 

Bob

 




Bob Segraves-Collis said:

Ah, that explains a lot.  I will learn biology yet!  thank you for the reply.

 

Regards.

 

 

Bob

 

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