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??
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.
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.
Wow,, another dead thread.. Well here it is, 9 November, 2014. I going to add to it. Maybe winter can get some interest.
Here are pictures of my pond and wicking boxes this last summer. The whole thing will be modified come January, 2015.
The foam floats absorb water and are slowly sinking. I am going to switch to 2 to 3" bamboo and PVC pipe floats on the pond. It will be interesting to see how many plants survive the winter floating on the pond. My thought is they will gain some heat from the pond water, we'll see. It depends upon the winter.
The wicking boxes will be modified to have way less water level, 1 to 2", right now they have 3 1/2 to 5 1/2". Last summer they were too wet, with too much water standing in the soil. Some of my plants suffered.
I also had trouble with excessive algae, a result of overfeeding the fish. I have since learned that I can add up to about 1 lb. of salt to 100 gal. of pond water to control the algae and not hurt fish or plants. I am also looking into purchasing an UV clarifier in a loop in the system.