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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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.

Hi fellas, sorry for my lack of visiting on here. I bit the bullet and started a commercial farm. I have a little over 2000 sq ft of wicking beds tied to 40,000 sq ft of rafts, and 8000 Bato buckets.

Wicking beds aren't really as complicated as you all might think. I am having great results using simple boxes lined with Skrim and filled with wicking media. I have used both through-flow, and dead-end beds. I have carrots, beets, peas, beans, tomatoes and everything you would ever want to grow, even a pineapple. The only source of nutrients comes most certainly from AP water, and the deficiency problems normally associated with aerobic AP are solved by the anaerobic floor of the wicking beds. Anaerobes and their products, by the way, are a blessing not a curse. Whether it is the sweet fermenting type like EM, or the foul sewer variety, plants thrive. If any of you are having dampening off issues, then your media wicks too well. It should be dry enough on top that seeds and transplants need to be top-watered for a bit until they get their legs. Once they hold their own, no flood and drain or surface watering need be done again. Roots built for water and anaerobes go deep, aerobic feeders go shallow. Plants know what to do, so let them do it. Good luck all.

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.

Well here are pictures of my system.  The pond might print out upside down, who knows why?

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