Aquaponic Gardening

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Our success with wicking bed growing using aquaponic system water for fertilizer has led us to integrate the beds into the system. We are experimenting with techniques and interested in what others are doing. What are you doing with wicking beds? What are your ideas for integration??

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Great thread, wish I had time to PONDer all this at leisure.

I am ready to start plumbing and run electricity out to my set up this week if I can steal some time. 

I am looking to blend worm farming, wicking and aqua in this system. Will probably run 1 inch feeder tube and 1.5" into 3' manafold for drain to sump. No idea about anything else.

Until I start to play I cant add much value to conversation. Any idea on what I am doing - please shout



Tetlom said:

Great thread, wish I had time to PONDer all this at leisure.

I am ready to start plumbing and run electricity out to my set up this week if I can steal some time. 

I am looking to blend worm farming, wicking and aqua in this system. Will probably run 1 inch feeder tube and 1.5" into 3' manafold for drain to sump. No idea about anything else.

Until I start to play I cant add much value to conversation. Any idea on what I am doing - please shout

That will keep you out of mischief and off of the street for a while   .How many units total and sq. footage , looks like 18 ,how many of each .looking forward to actual set up pix when complete. How long will cycling take .Very impressive undertaking. I don't even want to think about the costs involved ,let alone the labor .keeps us posted.my Best !  Carl

l Jacobs said:



Tetlom said:

Great thread, wish I had time to PONDer all this at leisure.

I am ready to start plumbing and run electricity out to my set up this week if I can steal some time. 

I am looking to blend worm farming, wicking and aqua in this system. Will probably run 1 inch feeder tube and 1.5" into 3' manafold for drain to sump. No idea about anything else.

Until I start to play I cant add much value to conversation. Any idea on what I am doing - please shout

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the encouragement, those white tubs are fibreglass skins for Ice-boxes that did not make the grade, I picked them up for 100THB or 3AUD each. The metal frame they are standing on is a recycled crate that a customers Outrigger canoe came in. The last 2 concrete rings that have yet to be cemented in were about 35AUD delivered with the cement in the foreground. The Sump was a fiberglass ceiling dome, from second hand shop - 25AUD. Guess it adds up, no pumps or pipe or electricity yet. I still have a lot of homework to do, have not even done any measurements yet.

Incidentally, I got some rope rugs, looks very organic, draped them into the sump and planted through it, did not do anything special, but softens the edge.



Tetlom said:

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the encouragement, those white tubs are fibreglass skins for Ice-boxes that did not make the grade, I picked them up for 100THB or 3AUD each. The metal frame they are standing on is a recycled crate that a customers Outrigger canoe came in. The last 2 concrete rings that have yet to be cemented in were about 35AUD delivered with the cement in the foreground. The Sump was a fiberglass ceiling dome, from second hand shop - 25AUD. Guess it adds up, no pumps or pipe or electricity yet. I still have a lot of homework to do, have not even done any measurements yet.

Incidentally, I got some rope rugs, looks very organic, draped them into the sump and planted through it, did not do anything special, but softens the edge.

That all sounds like me ,more ideas and experiments than money, especially now on a totally fixed income .Thank God ,I have been a avid diy er all my life ,recycle ,adjust ,modify or do with out. It is what it is ,think ,dream ,plan, and hope for the best  .It's worked for me ,54 yrs. married to the same Woman .We have been  LOVERS ,Parents.grandparents ,G>G>parents ,now were BEST OF FRIENDS , Doing what is  possible enjoying the simple things .Planted in to my first wicking 4'x6'x9" table tank ,enjoying the possibilities ,added Chanel cats to the blue gill .Lots of new things to watch and play with . Grab you ideas like you would you child ,love and nurcher  ,,Both with all you got You Can not lose. keep us posted. Later Carl 
   
Carl Jacobs said:



Tetlom said:

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the encouragement, those white tubs are fibreglass skins for Ice-boxes that did not make the grade, I picked them up for 100THB or 3AUD each. The metal frame they are standing on is a recycled crate that a customers Outrigger canoe came in. The last 2 concrete rings that have yet to be cemented in were about 35AUD delivered with the cement in the foreground. The Sump was a fiberglass ceiling dome, from second hand shop - 25AUD. Guess it adds up, no pumps or pipe or electricity yet. I still have a lot of homework to do, have not even done any measurements yet.

Incidentally, I got some rope rugs, looks very organic, draped them into the sump and planted through it, did not do anything special, but softens the edge.

Just added two 4' by 8' wicking beds to our aquaponics system. Laid 4" perforated pipe in the bottom of the bed then covered pipe with course lime free sand. Covered sand with a layer of mesh fabric and then back filled the bed a premium soil. A supply line from the sump tank to the wicking beds connected to a float valve to keep a constant water level.
Will be planting carrots, beets, turnips and radishes in one bed to start with. The other bed, thought about lowering the PH to possibly planting blueberries.

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Hi Friends,

I have been away doing other things and haven't been on here for a while.  I actually forgot where you guys were.

When I read these posts, I see where your wicking beds use various soils as well as the aquaponic water. 

My question is:  Do the plants get their nutrients from the aquaponic water or from the soil in the beds?

I want to set up a system where I can use the water from my fish pond to provide both nutrients and water.

 

I have had great results with my grow boxes built similar to the Earthbox, (earthbox.com;) actually I bought

an Earthbox system then began building my own which are larger.  My growboxes have a fertilizer strip in

the top of the soil mixed with some lime to reduce the acidity.  I use a mixture of garden soil, coir and worm

castings which I will continue to use if I use the aquaponic water.

I plan to set up a series of my growboxes with aquaponic water continually flowing through the reservoirs.

Hence, my question.  I would love to omit the fertilizer strip.

Thanks for Your input, Paul.

 

 

Hi Dear Friends,

I think that if you do some research, I think you will find that aquaponic water has some nutrient difficiencies that will need to be made up some other way. 

I have read and have seen some evidence that volcanic rock powder can provide most of the micronutrients that are missing in an aquaponic system.  Do you know of anyone who has had tests done? 

Paul.

Hey guys - thanks for sharing all your ideas, very inspirational

Red volcanic gravel - is that what we call Scoria? - I was wondering about that also, as it has increased surface area and is lighter, never considered the mineral content, but did wonder about PH. Of course it would add risk to plastic liners as it is sharp. I will definitely be adding Azimote or similar when I can find it. Can't even find a decent uniseal or bulkhead fitting in Thailand, and everyone uses blue pipe for drinking, which concerns me. Coir is cheap and abundant at least.

Also wondering about about Coal, which is basically lumps of Bio-char right? Figuring it would have massive internal surface area, but wondering if it would break down and clog up the system, Also wondering about Cuttlebone, (calcium Carbonate).

Checked out Paul's Work on www.Earthangroup.com.au  - wonder if he sells plans for a backyard system, he seams to be light years ahead in the movement. I am enjoying the discovery process, but also, am delaying start up, due to endless pondering of alternatives :)

I made a video of my balcony experiment, you guys would probably laugh at the amount of basic mistakes in this naive system, but it was fun. I use soil in pots that have a gravel with Sugarcane layer topped with compost/coir. Top fed drip, no fish, but does have compost liquid feeding into the return line. Water is kept not too smelly by adding a lot of EM. No filtering apart from the sugarcane mulch in the bottom of the compost bucket and planters. Was doing very well, then growth dropping off, I think the soil is too wet. so I only run the pump a few minutes a day, I could another pump feed to run some filters to remove solids.

I notice everyone using soil in integrated systems is using Sub Irrigation. I suspect that if we could bubble air up though the soil, we could perhaps run more volume of liquid through the soil either top down, or bottom up or both - any thoughts on this? http://modularhydro.com/

Sorry long post.. 

I meant charcoal not coal. closed my experiment today, water is foul. Like I said, it was naive, will re-plumb with filtering and try a variation.

First pic question: you say worms, but in this layer wouldn't they be submerged in water? How do they get nutrients? Looking for solutions to incorporate worms into wicking. Thanks.



Rob Nash said:

Chris, im looking for feed back on our new integrated wicking beds. Im running a 500 gph pump to circulate ap water through the bottom to keep the water fresh. Using a coir, soil blend, with "Yum Yum Mix" added, and then a shot of compost tea to kick things off.

i will post pics as we make progress. 

 

 

 

 

4" of live ap gravel and worms

2" of vermiculite and coir

 

...this shows the progress of the layering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1" of fine coir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

weed block fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

coir-soil blend, only at about 8" deep.. still need more soil and coir to get to 12" deep. i plan to reuse the coir from my weekly lettuce harvest to add to the beds... should make for a zero waste operation.

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