Aquaponic Gardening

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What is everybody's worst idea ever. We all have one you know it thought it would make everything work much better....then after you were done you looked at your reflection in your fish tank and thought what in the hell was I thinking. come on if you cant laugh at yourself at least give us a good laugh.

Minnows

The closest place to purchase fish out here in no mans land is over 200 miles away shipping is murder. the good part is they travel out to our area twice a year starting up two new systems one for catfish and one for copper nose bluegill. and they had a special on minnows so I thought hey a treat for my catfish when they get bigger so I bought 100 figuring that should be enough to feed to the cats till the next trip.

where to keep my bargains till feeding time. I will keep them in my sump till the 4 to 6 inch cats get bigger to eat them....

1. minnows are very small and find a way to get through what ever you put around your sump pump....pumps and minnows do not mix....that was a expensive lesson

2. ok move the minnows to the tank with the catfish let them have at them....catfish seem to care less

3. minnows are small and love to swim in your pipes...being smaller then catfish they swim right through the barriers i have set up for the cats....come in the next morning and green house smells like a fish market...minnow suicide in my grow bed...noticing that there are a lot missing I figured the cats got hungry during the night and rang the dinner bell....wrong.

4 did i mention minnows love pipes.....now my swirl filter has become the home of most of the minnows that did not continue to the grow bed.....

5.tear down system......minnows in all sections of my pipes. re do all barriers so minnows can not swim in to pipes.....huge pain....must of missed one or two because there back in the swirl filter...

6. minnows grow a lot faster then catfish. so I think they have just became another part of my system...maybe one day the cats will be big enough. But I will never buy another minnow in my life......

not even to fish with. :)

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Hi, David. I'm surprised other people didn't post their stories... mine is that shortly after I set up my first system, I thought it would be nice to replenish the water with rainwater rather than tapwater. Nice, clean rainwater! A lot of rainwater had accumulated in some plastic tubs I had sitting outside, so I brought some of that in and promptly killed off all my fish. See, the tubs were from the curbside recycling service I operate, and some of the recyclables had leaked god-knows-what into the tubs. Could have been detergent, or bleach, or motor oil, or most anything. Ugh! Lesson learned.

My neglect of monitoring my ammonia levels along with overfeeding resulted it what I refer to now as the aquapocalypse.  5 of the 6 goldfish died, including the black and orange one with the little black line above his lip making him look like a fish version of Hitler.  Only my white and orange one named King survived.  He's still going strong and has 5 new friends now.  No more over feeding for sure.

Not guarding my power source like the family jewels. A contractor was working at the house. He used my outlet that powers my pump. Somehow at the end of working he tripped the GFCI (built-in mini breaker) and my pump was off all night. The next morning my biggest tilapia was dead.

Awesome topic, David.  As for me...there have been so many bad ideas!  Besides forgetting that I"m filling a degassing tank and flooding the basement / greenhouse / grow lab on a regular basis, perhaps my silliest mistake was with my first system.  I left the cords on the ground by the fish tank outside under the deck and when it rained hard...guess what?  The current ran into the fish tank and electrocuted the fish.  My son discovered it when we were out to dinner. He called my cell and said "ah, mom?  Should  I be being electrocuted when I put my hand in the fish tank?"  Crap!  The fish were all floating motionless.  Amazingly, when he unplugged the extension cord from the wall they all started swimming again!  A true testimony to the resilience of tilapia!

Ooohhh, almost Frankenstein-ish!

Sylvia Bernstein said:

Awesome topic, David.  As for me...there have been so many bad ideas!  Besides forgetting that I"m filling a degassing tank and flooding the basement / greenhouse / grow lab on a regular basis, perhaps my silliest mistake was with my first system.  I left the cords on the ground by the fish tank outside under the deck and when it rained hard...guess what?  The current ran into the fish tank and electrocuted the fish.  My son discovered it when we were out to dinner. He called my cell and said "ah, mom?  Should  I be being electrocuted when I put my hand in the fish tank?"  Crap!  The fish were all floating motionless.  Amazingly, when he unplugged the extension cord from the wall they all started swimming again!  A true testimony to the resilience of tilapia!

   I have a concrete slab on the back porch, so I thought what an excellent location for the outdoor aquaponics system (IBC TOTE and 2x 4x8 GBs) that over-wintered in the hoophouse. It has been so far, with the exception of the mulberry tree that over hangs it! I got volunteer mulberries in the raft and media beds. Now you would think I would have learned my lesson  about mulberries, when last year I put all the over-ripe fruit in the vermi-compost...so that now everything I have added vermi-compost casts into has mulberry volunteers.

My worst idea ever? Thinking I could raise tilapia in water conditions under 70 degrees :D I slowed their metabolism way down and (confession time) to this day I have yet to eat a fish from my aquaponic system. Now that I'm heating things up, they're getting big fast.

Let's just say I've been very focused on plants the last couple of years......

Mulberry makes the best wine I have ever tasted. Yum. We have had to start new ones here in TN but it will take awhile. Our old one on Cape Cod produced tons of berries much to the delight of our dogs, chickens, etc. And when they start to ferment right on the ground the animals get a little wonky. That's what gave us the idea to make wine

Kenneth J Roche' said:

   I have a concrete slab on the back porch, so I thought what an excellent location for the outdoor aquaponics system (IBC TOTE and 2x 4x8 GBs) that over-wintered in the hoophouse. It has been so far, with the exception of the mulberry tree that over hangs it! I got volunteer mulberries in the raft and media beds. Now you would think I would have learned my lesson  about mulberries, when last year I put all the over-ripe fruit in the vermi-compost...so that now everything I have added vermi-compost casts into has mulberry volunteers.

Picking up 50 trout fingerlings and forgetting to ck PH. All the larger fish were fine (so I never thought about it) but the babies could not handle the slightly acid ph. Lost half over night. A tad of ashes out of the GH wood stove saved the rest.

I'm sure lots more will come to mind. This thread may live forever.

Geez, where do I begin? Worst mistake ever, relating to aquaponics anyway; took on a business partner. Hindsight is 20/20, but looking back it's still a bit fuzzy. 

Wow, Jon, I heard that partnerships ALWAYS work out

Kind of a "what was I thinking?" moment? Personally I have never seen that end well. I hope your GH business is flourishing. I have never seen anyone work harder. Big discussion on Link-In on just this subject right now. The only partner I will work with is my wife and that can have it's moments as well but making up is so much more fun.

Like Sylvia said: Turning on the water to the sump KNOWING you won't forget. That often doesn't end well either. My 2400gal system water dropped from 74F to 62F overnight just the other day. The trout looked happy but the cats and the BGs weren't as exuberant. Fortunately our artesian well cost us nothing as far as power goes and our soil soaks it up so fast there is no sign other than temp drop and loss of nitrates in the system.

Jon Parr said:

Geez, where do I begin? Worst mistake ever, relating to aquaponics anyway; took on a business partner. Hindsight is 20/20, but looking back it's still a bit fuzzy. 

Ah well, I am no longer associated with Viridis, hence the partner comment. Long story there, and a quick sum-up here: http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/8865-friendly-aquaponics/?...

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