Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Wicking bed growers


Wicking bed growers

This group is dedicated to those who are interested and growing in wicking beds. Wicking beds in conjunction with aquaponics can enable us to grow just about every crop that cannot be grown in standard aquaponics. Lets discuss deign, operation and whatever aspect of wicking bed growing you can think of.

Members: 212
Latest Activity: Dec 18, 2020

Discussion Forum

Does water need to stay at full depth for wicking action to work?

Started by Lida Soileau. Last reply by Lida Soileau Feb 4, 2016. 6 Replies

Hi all,I am looking to build a wicking bed this year. (Once I get it going successfully I plan to tie it into an aquaponic system.) I have seen many different designs on the web - some put net pots…Continue

Wicking bed for seedling and cuttings

Started by Philippe Pauvert. Last reply by Philippe Pauvert May 8, 2015. 12 Replies

Hi,What would be a suitable media mix to ensure adequate capillarity and soil quality for seedling and cuttings?Since the WB will be in a aquaponics system it will be of the Earthan type, if there…Continue

Winter wicking

Started by Carl Jacobs. Last reply by Paul Smith Apr 15, 2015. 10 Replies

Any body attempt to grow in winter using hoop covers in zone 5 ,if so changes requiredContinue

Thoughts on recirculating wicking / sub-irrigated grow tower

Started by Robert Jack Meyer. Last reply by Paul Smith Nov 17, 2014. 5 Replies

Hey folks,I'm new to aquaponics, only having dabbled in it briefly before, and am considering my system options.  After much research and brainstorming, I've come up with an idea that I am not…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by David Gallentine on November 24, 2015 at 12:06am

Do any of you need tilapia?

Comment by Jim Fisk on October 1, 2015 at 9:30am

Well I have been posting about our new wicking bed over at our IBC group and our page on FB (Smoky Mountain Aquaponics and Homesteading) but neglecting to post in our wicking group here, tisk, tisk. So here are some pics if I can get them in order on here. Our bed is now circulating full time with a short bell siphon at the center that allows the water to just make contact with the compost bed before triggering and feeding at both ends. The first time I left it circing over night it turned the 2500g system water compost tea brown and scared the heck out of me but the trout (the canary in the coal mine) were actually feistier and hungrier than before but I shut down the circ and only turned on the system water enough to make up for evap for a few weeks. Then I turned it on again and left it on for weeks now with no discoloration (it had cleared up) and well everything is looking great and the wicking bed looks amazing and of course is a source of compost tea and worm castings for the rest of the GBs. So a few pics:

Comment by Elizabeth Cedeno on September 30, 2015 at 8:47pm

I have blue tilapias for sale. It's been a great year and wevhave too many... very healty and beautiful,

all sizes, very low price.

Palm Bay, Florida. 

or call  321-216-8684 


Mr or Mrs Cedeno.

Comment by Jeff S on June 22, 2015 at 10:23am

Jim you can't kick me out. This is my life LOL. Actually I never had any interest in gardening because I had no desire to bend over in the dirt but when I discovered aquaonics I thought "I can do this". Then YouTube took over and I'm doing everything. I haven't been doing this long enough for my compost beds to mature but I have 4 bins and 2 large trash cans cooking as we speak. I even have multiple worm bins going. Found out the best place to grow worms seems to be my aquaponics beds.Took me a while to get plants producing in the aquaponics due to lack of knowledge but it's going good now.

Comment by Jim Fisk on June 22, 2015 at 8:41am

Thanks for the great replies. I will have to say that I am not interested in using chemical fertilizers because I am interested in the taste and the nutrition rather than how large the veggies can get. We have had better results over the years using my high rate compost (naturally reaches temps around 180F) than any chems. we have tried and I have been growing for the table and commercially for about 40 yrs. So yes Jeff and Paul are both banned from our AP forums from now on. Kidding 

But seriously guys 10-10-10??? Have you ever compared hot house (hydroponics) tomatoes to properly raised organic veggies raised by a knowledgeable organic farmer? Learn more on how to boost your growth with great compost (not the raw junk they sell in bags that stink rather than smell fresh like forest black soil) and trace minerals, Greensand, Montmorillonite clay, etc. I'll keep you informed on our latest AP venture into wicking. For your dirt gardens check out "Back To Eden" on YT. We are finally getting back to nature. I was doing that in the 70's. Stay off the artificial soil drugs that are destroying our planet. You won't regret it. Replace the 10-10-10 with high aeration compost tea and worm castings.

Comment by Jeff S on June 21, 2015 at 7:36pm

I covered my perforated 4" drain tube I used with weed cloth then covered that with all purpose sand for better wicking. I then out in a layer of about 4" of straw. I saw in a video where this would help keep an anaerobic situation from happening by separating the organic soil from the heavy moisture.I then covered that with another layer of weed cloth and then the soil. I seems to be wicking just fine but I'm not pleased with the growth. I used fish water in one and tap water in the other with identical results. My Kratky  bed next to them is growing like wildfire compared to all my gardens... including the aquaponics beds.

Comment by Bob Terrell on June 21, 2015 at 6:56pm

On the weed barrier, I used a nylon screen, like what is used in screen doors.,  Very small openings and workes well.

Comment by Paul Smith on June 21, 2015 at 5:29pm

Success, My fingers decided not hit the right keys.  Of course, it cant be me..

Comment by Paul Smith on June 21, 2015 at 5:27pm

There will be those who will want to kick me out of the aquaponic group for telling You this, but here goes.

Last year I used strictly aquaponic water in my grow boxes.  I think I had the drains too high so my soil was wetter than I would prefer. Some plants did OK, beans and tomatoes, while summer squash and corn didn't fair as well.
This year, I redesigned the boxes to increase the drain size, from 3/4" to 1", and lower it as low as possible, so each box drained all the water, holding none.  I also decreased the inlet size from 3/4" to 3/8".
I added a strip of 10-10-10 all purpose fertilizer, using a knee-high stocking as a container, right at the top of my grow-box, right down the center, covered with approximately 1 1/2" of soil.  About 3" below the top of the soil, I also used about a cup of dolomite lime and a shake of rock dust.
I cover each grow-box with black plastic, held in place with the outer ring of the lid.  Then I cut holes in the plastic and plant my plants, or seeds.
The theory is, the sun will shine on the plastic, causing moisture to evaporate from the bottom of the box, rise through the plant roots, then condense on the underside of the plastic cover and fall back into the root zone, taking with it some fertilizer.  Any rain is funneled around the fertilizer strip by holes in the corners.
I have found amazing success this year.  I have already harvested cucumbers, summer squash and strawberries.  Each corn stalk is approximately 6' with 3 ears each.   I have tomatoes 3" across, waiting to ripen, a pumpkin for my grandson is already 6" in diameter and my beans are beginning to explode on the bushes.  I grow veggies for the local community house and they are going to have plenty of food.
This picture was taken about 1 month ago.  I can't argue with suddess.

Comment by Philippe Pauvert on June 21, 2015 at 3:53pm

Hi, I did that 2 months ago. Water transport is perfect.


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