Aquaponic Gardening

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June 2011 Blog Posts (12)

system cycle

The ammonia level 2ppm doesn't seem to be going down.  Nitrites are zero but nitrate level is 80 to 160 ppm.  The ammonia level actually increased when I added ph down after checking ph and found it 8.5ppm.  Am I just being impatient.  Also, has anyone raised bluegills?  I checked and they tolerate a wide variation in water temperature.  Here in Michigan I will need to heat in winter but not as warm as tilapia.

Added by Glenn Dennis on June 27, 2011 at 5:54pm — 6 Comments

The Learning Curve

Just five short weeks ago we heard about aquaponics from the simple purchase of lettuce from our health food store.  We decided to check out growing our own produce and jumped in head first.........The rest is history.

Our system is now ready for fish and plants. We are learning new things every day.  We started seeds outside in a make shift "cold frame" only to have left them in too long and they got leggy reaching for the sun.  Then we placed them in the yard only to discover the…


Added by Brian Thiesing on June 26, 2011 at 4:30pm — 5 Comments

2011/06/25 - Some new plants

The garden continues to grow well.   Water tests today were very good, except for a bit too much ammonia and nitrates.  I'm going to quit feeding the fish quite so generously, and that should bring everything to perfect levels.

Earwigs are still trying to eat all the leafy stuff.  I have promised myself to take the time tomorrow to make an oil trap.  They just need to go before they destroy everything.

Here are some broad views of the garden:…


Added by Andrea on June 25, 2011 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

ick infection

i think this is day four of my goldfish ick infection but I haven't exactly been keeping track. I lost one-- the little black moor--yesterday. He may have been the source, but as they're all infected, it's a moot point to be blaming any one fish. The white specks have either fallen off, or are smaller that they have been all week. I know my fish are far from being free of this thing, but this is the longest a batch has lived with it in any of my ponds.

Even though the new… Continue

Added by Debra Colvin on June 24, 2011 at 1:02am — 1 Comment

Strawberriy runners and the fishless system

Sometimes we learn more from our systems when they are not exactly operating at their best than when they are running at their peak.  It is currently winter over here in South Africa, and for the first time in years, El Nino’s grip has been broken and we are seeing rain and cold fronts aplenty.  So much so that I decided to move my aquaculture-sourced tilapia into the larger greenhouse.  The mixed system is essentially running fishless, with a dab of ammonia every now and then.  It usually…


Added by Kobus Jooste on June 18, 2011 at 6:39am — 5 Comments

Time for some more fish.

It has been a while since my catfish died and I think it is time for another try. I think this time I am going to try Bluegill. After gathering information from others I think they may be more fitted to my system. I hope to have some in the next day or so.

I took a look at my biofilter today and noticed there are many little snails zipping around eating stuff from the side of the barrel. I guess this is a good thing.

I ordered a new air pump and some air stones in hope to…


Added by Steve Stark on June 15, 2011 at 10:04am — No Comments


The system is running nice and smoothly. No dramas so far. The fish are getting bigger and are becoming ferocious eaters. I am feeding them Aqueon goldfish flakes that I bought at PetCo. They seem to like it.

The tomatoes are weaving well along the chicken wire canopy I have given them. I haven't had to coax them much through the… Continue

Added by Sean Short on June 14, 2011 at 11:28am — No Comments

2011/06/12 - A bit of rearranging

I got a little work done this weekend.

I discovered that the drain holes of my standpipe had gotten pretty restricted and the growbed was barely draining at all between flood cycles. So everything has been living in 8-10" of water all the time for I-don't-know how long. That certainly explains why the tomatoes were splitting. I twisted the media guard to break off some roots, and I scrubbed inside the standpipe with an old toothbrush, and that seems to have done the trick. The better… Continue

Added by Andrea on June 12, 2011 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Coping with a Suspected Potassium Deficiency

I have an aquaponics install that is currently "fishless" in that I am in the final phases of getting it to cycle ammonia into nitrogen.  After transplanting a bunch of sickly plants started during cold weather, I was encouraged when even sickly bean plants recovered and grew thick, deep emerald green leaves.

Soon, though, I noted the same spotty yellowy mottling was coming back.  I thought this was fungus and following the advice of a local hydroponic store sprayed a $14.00 fruit…


Added by Tim McNabb on June 11, 2011 at 9:44pm — 13 Comments

Fish were added yesterday.

I finally got my fish. 30 Bluegill and 10 channel cats. They have been in the tank for 24 hours now with no apparent issues. The catfish started eating immediately after release and the Bluegill were eating after a few minutes. Both groups were very busy swimming and didn't seem to have a preference of water depth. 


Today the BG are still eating very well but the catfish have become reclusive. Did some water checks to make sure everything is in spec.


  • PH…

Added by Wayne on June 11, 2011 at 8:45am — 2 Comments

K.I.S.S. Redesign

Decided my initial design was too complicated and sprawling for a first go.  I've decided to just use the IBC and do flood/drain with a bell siphon.  I'm eliminating 1/3 of my GB space so will have to stock a little lighter and/or do water changes, but I am okay with this compromise and will a have a little wiggle room in the apartment for alterations/additions. I'm busy at work and will be for several months - I'm hoping this redesign means I'll actually be able to get the system up and…


Added by Ellen Roelofs on June 4, 2011 at 2:54pm — 3 Comments

2011/06/04 - Everything's coming up... tomatoes

The new fish are settled in and eating like crazy.  I had planned to move the barrel-tomatoes to a new stand and put rafts on the existing stand since fiance was here for a week... but we found so much other stuff to do that we didn't get any construction done.  On the other hand, we did discuss the wicking beds we'll put in to the dirt garden when he moves in.

Radishes will evidently grow just fine in AP, despite being root veggies.  This gives me great hope for the carrots, as they… Continue

Added by Andrea on June 4, 2011 at 1:00pm — 8 Comments

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