Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


Fish-less Systems

This is a group for people who have any kinds of fish-less systems, but yet are not doing classical hydroponics. Where we can share what we have come to find about making-home made nutrients, oganic-hydro, pee-ponics, worm tea hydro, bio-ponics, home-made buffers, water chemistry or anything else that is perhaps inappropriate for fish. As well as experimenting and sharing results for  things that might be alright for our aquatic critters.

Members: 68
Latest Activity: Nov 21, 2015

Warning... Much of what may be contained here may, or may not be a good idea to apply to a system populated with living, breathing, happy fish, crustaceans or any other aquatic life. So be smart...

Discussion Forum

Temporarily Fishless

Started by TCLynx. Last reply by TCLynx Sep 7, 2015. 2 Replies

Just wondering if anyone has some recommendations on how one might supplement a temporarily (Backup failure during HOT HOT stormy summer night) fishless system used for commercial production?I want…Continue


Started by Gregor Sidler. Last reply by Gregor Sidler May 26, 2015. 13 Replies

Brand new here. Got the link from Meir Lazar to join here. I am in the process of building my first system. For the past almost year I am looking, reading, watching just about every video and article…Continue

Some plants grow better in my raft, others in my flood and drain?

Started by Stacey King. Last reply by Stacey King Mar 24, 2015. 2 Replies

I'm running a humonia system. I have a system of 6 half barrels, at the first end are two raft barrels, the other four barrels are flood and drain. The pump runs to flood the beds 20 times per day,…Continue

Can nitrate water be stored?

Started by Gene Parbst Feb 1, 2015. 0 Replies

I started a 25 gallon fishless startup 12 days ago and the nitrates are coming up very nice.  When the ammonia and nitrite drop to 0ppm the nitrogen cycle will be complete.  After the nitrogen cycle…Continue

Tags: storage, water, nitrate

Comment Wall


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Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on January 24, 2015 at 3:29pm

Thanks that link Bob...Nice to see you around again...

Comment by Bob Campbell on January 24, 2015 at 9:55am

Vlad you bring up a valid point about too much nitrogen. 

This study indicates that a plant grown in a "traditional method" usually will have access to synthetic nitrogen in high levels and will use the extra resources into creating starches and sugars. Because of this, the harvested part of the plant oftentimes will have nutrients—include good antioxidants—in lower concentrations.

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on January 23, 2015 at 6:32pm

Hey Brian, nice to see you here...A few years back I compiled this list of "home-made well as the NPK (and other macro-element) content of some common substances...You might find it useful (or not)...

The thing with using humonia is the same as the thing with using fish...which is the reason MotherEarthNews suggests cutting back the bloodmeal...which is TOO MUCH NITROGEN :)

Even with pee-ponics (humonia) there is a way around is the "work around" to that problem...

There is some other neat crap strewn about this group in various threads, but organic hydro can be done on the super cheap by understanding some of the nuances of nutrient cycling/recycling. I happen to like humonia based hydro, because you are placing yourself into that loop. I DO NOT believe there are any 'perpetual motion machine-systems' (the laws of physics just doesn't grant us such a thing)...but humonia based systems are one step close in that direction...

Anywho's...thanks for the MEN link.

Comment by Brian on January 23, 2015 at 5:28pm

Last winter I did some experimentation with organic hydroponics. Finding this group got my interest going again. I purchased organic nutrients from the hydroponic store. It worked very well with deep water culture with bubblers in each reservoir, but it turned out to be what I considered "too expensive".

Today I found this in an article:

"basic solution of 1 1/2 teaspoons fish emulsion, 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid seaweed, and a teaspoon of bloodmeal to each gallon of water. The mix varies, depending upon the type of plant being grown. Less bloodmeal should be used with flowering and fruiting produce than with leafy crops."

Read more:

Comment by TCLynx on September 27, 2013 at 11:45am

I would say mix up your stuff minus the extra calcium carbonate, let it bubble and mix for a day and then check the pH before you worry too much about adding any extra buffer.

Comment by Safwat Zaki on September 26, 2013 at 5:22pm


    I am using a city tap water which has Total Alkalinity of 202 mg/l as CaCo3 and Total hardness of 372 mg/l as CaCo3



Comment by TCLynx on September 26, 2013 at 10:22am


      Before you add too much calcium carbonate to neutralize acidity, check to see how much carbonate your tap water has.  In some locations the tap water can be acidic and require more buffering but in other locations the more common problem is that the tap water is way too hard (full of calcium carbonate) and you may have absolutely not need or only very little need to use calcium carbonate and you may actually find you need to use a different source of calcium so that your pH can come down to a useful range for your plants.  This balance may change over time depending on the stage of the filters for your system as well as your other sources of phosphorus and potassium and even the season since well and tap water will have some natural variation in hardness depending on what the treatment plant is adding or the amount of rainfall reaching the aquifer if you have a well.

Comment by Safwat Zaki on September 25, 2013 at 8:39pm

I am designing a liquid organic fertilizer using blood meal as a source of nitrogen, seaweed extract as a source of micronutrients and K, adding phosphorous, more potassium and a carbon source to balance C/N ratio to 20/1 so heterotrophic bacteria will be able to digest the organic matter to ammonia and nitrate.I will add calcium carbonate to neutralize the acidity of blood meal.

Using dechlorinated tap water since it provides more nutrients for plants.

The nutrient reservoir will be oxygenated continiously and inoculated with beneficial bacteria, a drip system will be used to irregate grow beds which have a mixture of 1:1 perlite to vermiculite.

I appreciate any input or suggestions.

Comment by Ralph Anderson on April 30, 2013 at 7:04am

Thank loads folks lots to think about.  For now most of the berries go in the composting bin then tilled into the garden in the spring.  Tried small constant flow fish system last year.  Small fish tank to hot a summer all died.  Going to try fish less this year. 

Comment by Jim Fisk on April 28, 2013 at 3:35pm

Points well taken. Hi JonI see you read the fine details.

I should mention that's a major reason I went to my long tumbler tunnel design. Very well mixed and goes to 160+F which will kill pathogens as well. Some say those temps can hurt some good bacteria but the results speak for themselves. Good compost will kill most pathogens whether wet or dry done properly.


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