Aquaponic Gardening

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June 2010 Blog Posts (39)

The Aquapons Lexicon.

Aquapon: A human pawn manipulated by the Creatures of Aquaponics

DWC: Deep Water Culture: A cult of unspeakable icky creepy crawlers with some pretty things growing on top to hide them.

Raft Tank: A magic illusion of veggie plants floating in space.…


Added by M Cosmo on June 29, 2010 at 6:50pm — 4 Comments

Progress Report - Week 2

Okay, the cilantro and parsley and lettuce all died and I pulled them out.

But the tomatoes seem to have recovered.…


Added by Andrea on June 29, 2010 at 2:30pm — 3 Comments

OASIS - Open Aquaponics Synergy Integrated Systems or Non-RAS systems for dummies

Words can be fun but sometimes are a poor tool for understanding a vision or concept. As you many know I have an interest in opening up the boxes we build around our mental comfort zones. Many of us are always thinking out of the box or in our case out of the tank. Bar the limitations of our environment - Scare water etc. Many of us can afford to consume not waste some water for… Continue

Added by M Cosmo on June 28, 2010 at 10:59am — No Comments

My Zen Interspecies Epicurean Quest -

Ah the Grail! "you and the earth are one" One of the many grail secrets. There are so many great teachings and profound revelations to be experienced in this quest. KISS - keep it simple stupid.
So what is the Secret that I am endeavoring and dreaming of in this quest you may wonder.
To be a steward of Nature among many other things one has to be a great observer. A willing participant is also a plus. I would like a "thing" system - farm - garden - pond - what ever…

Added by M Cosmo on June 26, 2010 at 9:50am — 2 Comments


Perhaps it isn't exactly Aquaponic but canning our own produce is an important part of gardening and sustainability to me.

Today I'm canning some soup where the only ingredients that didn't come from our own garden is the corn, garlic and spices.

The corn at least was local and the rest, carrots, onions, potatoes, beans (3 types) and duck was all grown right here.

We have found that my soup is often so much tastier than the stuff from the store. I like to keep a shelf… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 25, 2010 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

Day spent doing in the ducks

There is something to be said about knowing how your food comes to be your food. This step does turn some people vegetarian.

Today was a day for moving some of our ducks into new quarters in the freezer. That is right we were killing today. Killing one's own food does bring a closer connection to the whole process.

It does seem the closer the animal is to us, the harder the process can be. Most of us think nothing about harvesting a plant to eat even through that harvest is… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 23, 2010 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Spanish Moss as media test

I thought I would do a little test to see if Spanish Moss might be a suitable media.

I put six small catfish fingerlings in a small tank and a basket of Spanish moss under the inflow to the tank.

I started the test on June 12. Well on June 20 I discovered one of the six catfish looked like it's tail was all chewed up. Not knowing if it was a case of illness brought on by the Spanish moss or if perhaps there was fighting going on. I removed that fish from the tank and into an… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 22, 2010 at 8:38pm — 4 Comments

cheap swimming pools

Think twice before assuming a cheap swimming pool will be appropriate for your fish tank. Do some extra research.

I know that there are some people who have done it successfully but there are other situations where several months into operation of the system, certain types of fish start showing signs of illness.

Some types of swimming pool liners are treated with chemicals to protect the vinyl from UV, algae, and bacteria. Some of these chemicals are slow to release and can… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 21, 2010 at 7:58pm — 4 Comments

Water Chestnuts

Just lately I ordered some water chestnut plant starts. I've read that fresh water chestnuts (which of course are not nuts but actually more like a corm that grows attached to the plant roots under ground under water) are so much better than the canned variety that I thought I should try growing some for myself. They like a hot climate and I've heard they grow fast so it could be a great thing to have.

I'm not sure if they will like aquaponics or how best to grow them in aquaponics so… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 20, 2010 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Progress Report - Week 1

Most things have gone really well. A few have been less than perfect.

My bell siphon would work for 6 hours then either not activate or not stop. I'd jiggle it, and we'd go through the whole thing again. I tried increasing the inflow of water and further restricting the outflow in order to help the activation. I tried drilling a hole in the top of the bell and running a tube outside to the bottom, to help it deactivate. Those were imperfect solutions, plus now the flow of the water… Continue

Added by Andrea on June 20, 2010 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

Today, I just can't get very focused.

Perhaps it was due to the heat (and being pretty worn out from the past several days too.)

It is now raining pretty heavy and the temps have come down but it did get up to 101 F in the shade here today, I don't know what the heat index would have been though.

About all I accomplished today was installing a new bit of electronics on my main system (to control the automated valve I developed to operate the indexing valve on a CHIFT PIST system where the pump doesn't turn… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 19, 2010 at 6:05pm — No Comments

Baby Fish in The Tanks

I was very excited a couple of weeks ago to see these tiny little sparkling fish in amongst the guppy babies. I hastened to get them out and into a small aquarium in my house. They big Tilipia will consume them quickly. Over the last 2 weeks I probably have saved around 200 babies. I am excited about this because my only source of baby Tilipia wants $1.00 per fingerling. I just told him no way. He had been charging $.50 but decided he wanted more. If I can raise my own I am just that much… Continue

Added by Raychel A Watkins on June 19, 2010 at 12:27am — 5 Comments

TCLynx 300 gallon systemBuilding a completely new system with experience

Now I feel a little out of order here since I realize that I probably haven't done a very good job of describing my main system or any of my other systems on this site. (The main system's story is a bit long and I don't quite feel up to re-writing that whole story at the moment.)

But anyway..... Now with a couple years experience keeping fish (I really didn't know much about keeping fish before I got into this) and nursing the bio-filters and coaxing the plants, I'm feeling a bit more… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 18, 2010 at 7:30pm — 8 Comments

How to torture fish and kill plants through Aquaponics.

Rule one - If you can't have fun don't do it.

Rule two - If you can't laugh at your mistakes and yourself don't do it.

First the current status. My system has cycled. I now have readings Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates on the test scale. My 100 4" Blue Tilapia fingerlings are doing their job. Here at Blue Thumb Gardens in…

Added by M Cosmo on June 17, 2010 at 7:42pm — 2 Comments

I should be on video

There are times when I think how glad I am that no one is around to see what I've just done.

I'm often very wet when I have that thought.

See, I'm one to do quite a lot of quick change plumbing.

But now on later reflection, I probably would be a real you tube hit if I could post videos of the more spectacular incidents.

Plugging the pump back in but forgetting that I had opened that one ball valve to let water drain back so I could glue some plumbing. So… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 17, 2010 at 6:00pm — 4 Comments

Worms to replace 'trash fish' feed?

Tuna, salmon, eel, and other carnivorous fish are fed ground-up fish meal. Many think this is an unsustainable practice. Every pound of meat-eating fish requires between two and twenty pounds of fish meal. This continues the drain on our ocean life. Alternatives can and should be looked into.

One protein source is readily available, and currently being used in many areas around the world. Composting earthworms have potential as a substitute. These worms feed on vegetable scraps, wood,… Continue

Added by Ken Westervelt on June 17, 2010 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Of Lumber and Liner

So why not make grow beds out of wood and pond liner?

In a word.


If you live in a place where termites can't happen, then check on carpenter ants.

One of the drawbacks with lumber and liner is that all sorts of creepy crawlies get in between the wood and the liner. Wood chewing creatures are no exception and they may not notice the difference between the wood and liner…

Added by TCLynx on June 16, 2010 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

pH please have patience

We are talking about aquaponics which is supposed to be a living ecosystem, it is not a lab test kit. I have lately heard of several occasions where people used drastic measures to adjust pH and some of the situations were not so good for fish health.

Aquaponics is not like Hydroponics where you can tweak and adjust chemically. Any sudden changes can harm the fish and bio-filter and are to be avoided where possible.

First, an aquaponics system with time will naturally have a… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 15, 2010 at 5:00pm — 6 Comments

Argument for Aquaponics

I've written a paper for school which I've published below. I think my arguments are solid, but I'd welcome any feedback (either here or at associated content). Thank you for your time. Long live integrated systems!

Added by Dan Brown on June 15, 2010 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Deep grow beds

The common recommended minimum depth for flood and drain gravel beds is 1 foot deep. Some people do attempt beds less than that but the effective bio-filter in a shallow bed is more limited and managing flood and drain by siphons becomes farm more difficult with a shallow bed.

I'm now a very big proponent of Deep grow beds. Many of my grow beds are now 24 inches deep rather than just 12. I've discovered that the 100 gallon rubbermaid stock tanks are only a couple dollars more than a 50… Continue

Added by TCLynx on June 14, 2010 at 4:29pm — No Comments

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