Aquaponic Gardening

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I have some type of egg or larvae on the bottom of my squash leaves. It looks like yellow eggs and they are accompanied with a flurry of ants. The ants don't seem to be eating these eggs, more like waiting on whatever comes out of them. Does anybody have an idea what we have here? Are they pest or partners? And how should I deal with them?

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I'm fairly sure they are aphid eggs. Ants "farm" aphids for their "milk." You'll want to wash them off but certain predator insects such as parasitic wasps or lacewings will feed on the eggs. 

I believe those are aphid, definitely pests. Some suggestions to get rid of them:

  • Add ladybugs
  • Sprinkle some diatomic dust to get rid of the ants herding the aphids.
  • Grow a sunflower near or in your vegetable beds. Aphids prefer sunflower, and they don't hurt it.

Yea, probably aphids and the ants are probably farming them so you need to get rid of the ants to keep the aphids from coming back.

Diatomaceous Earth sprinkled as a dust around the plants might help against the ants.

Do nip it in the bud right away, so to speak. They can get out of hand very quickly, and can destroy your crop.

In addition to cleaning them off, sprinkling diatomaceous earth, and everything else mentioned here, you can make the place undesirable for them.

Try a spray of cayenne tea. Just brew a cayenne pepper in water, or use cayenne powder (in which case you'll need to strain the solids or it will stop up the sprayer), and spray it on any visible aphids and ants. It doesn't necessarily kill them, but they hate it and will find another place. You can also use garlic and/or cinnamon.

Allow me to add an old RV'rs trick to keep ants off your grow beds.  Where the legs of the structures contact the ground liberally sprinkle household powered cleanser 360º around the legs or pallets etc. that support the structure.  The ants will not go through the cleanser and it will kill the ones that try.  Your ants is disappear as  quickly as they appeared.

I'm gona due the powdered cleanser around the base and repeat after each rain. Now, how much cayenne powder do I put in a brew? I guess I better find me some diatomaceous earth too.

Thanks crew!

take some canola oil or olive oil like 3 tablespoons , add  a few shakes of cinnamon , and 3 cloves of chopped garlic and let this soak for 2 nights then add it water and a few drops of soap to make a spray keep shaking it up in between sprays . I leave some soaking sometimes for weeks to have some on hand to spray when I have a problem.

and do not forget the leaves of Wolfbane, 2 eyes of newt and 3 chin whiskers of the vampire bat ...

Just be careful with any oil or soap anywhere around Aquaponics.  Please make sure that oil and soap are not going to be dripping or washing into the Aquaponic water since both of those can be rather disastrous to fish and bio-filter bacteria.  If you must use a soap or oil spray on plants in an AP system, use a drop cloth of some sort to keep dripping out of your system water and be very careful about over spray.  Also, don't do the mixing over a grow bed, accidents like a spilled bottle of oil or soap going right into the system would really suck.


In the AP I use 1 cayenne pepper or about 1/4 tsp to, about 3 or 4 C of water. Jane's cinnamon/clove concoction is a good one, too.Maybe this year I'll combine all three. :)

I use water instead of oil in AP for the reasons TCLynx noted. Oil can gum up media, too. The benefit of the oil is it makes the stuff stick to the leaves.

Also, if you have worms, be nice and don't get any on them.

Yea the problems with oils and soaps and any other sufocants is that they coat things (make water wetter) and because they do that so well they can coat fish gills and suffocate them, they can coat the bacteria and suffocate them, and same with worms (worms breath through their skin by osmosis so if you coat them with something they can't breath through or let them dry out they die.)

Forget all this chemical crap.  One reason that we do this is to get away from chemicals.  Every time you introduce a chemical into your grow system, you chance destroying your fish.  I don’t know about you, but I have 16-fish tanks and they hold high value koi and lesser value catfish fingerlings.  I have gone through significant expense to only farm them in filtered rainwater and no chemicals.  My breeding pond only gets biofiltered rainwater runoff and rainfall.  No one is getting a chemical anywhere near my fish.  Tear out the affected veggies if you chose, they can be replace cheaply.  But the life of a 12’’ to 14’’ koi worth $100.00 or so dollars is not being bet on chemical bug control. 

Just purchase - on line - aphid's natural enemies including lady bugs, they will stick around if they have something to eat.  Sprinkle the powered cleanser on the ground, sit back and enjoy your fish.

I know an Aquaponics grower that requires his workers to wear surgical gloves and kevlar jump suits ...


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