Aquaponic Gardening

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Sean Short's Blog (22)


I have moved to Hawaii so I have reached an end to operating my office aquaponic system. The system has been passed on to my family. It will be the first system that I built and is the first system that I have given away. I feel really good about being able to pass on aquaponics to another. I have realized that I like setting up systems. Odd, but satisfying. I never intended to donate it.  I have found pleasure in giving the system away as well. Perhaps I have a future in doing such a… Continue

Added by Sean Short on August 21, 2011 at 6:03am — 1 Comment

As Days Go By...Flowers Arrive

As the days go on the plants continue to thrive. The habaneros are getting larger. The tomato is growing like crazy. I continue to weave it down and within a couple days the plants are stretched out reaching towards the window. I feel they want better light than the shop light with aquarium bulbs.

The fish are feeding voraciously. I try to make sure to give enough flakes for 5 minutes of feeding. I still am doing this twice a day. I am going to switch to a different feed here…


Added by Sean Short on August 14, 2011 at 9:56pm — No Comments

The system has been running smoothly for the last month. There have been no issues or setbacks to deal with lately. The tomato has begun to cover the screen above it. I am starting to weave it throug…

The system has been running smoothly for the last month. There have been no issues or setbacks to deal with lately. The tomato has begun to cover the screen above it. I am starting to weave it through itself. The stems seem to take the curviest paths to their current locations. Aside from all the twists, the tomato is growing vigorously. I have to tamp down the vertical growth every couple of days. If not the tomato grows into the light, which may eventually burn the…

Added by Sean Short on July 22, 2011 at 9:32pm — 1 Comment


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

SCROG Added For Tomatoes

I have added a screen (made of 1" chicken wire and 1/2" PVC) above my tomato plants to create a canopy focused near my light. I am going to delicately weave the leaves of my tomato plants along the screen horizontally. I am trying to give the plants the maximum amount of light to their photosynthetic parts. Eventually I hope for the fruit to dangle below the screen for easy picking.



Added by Sean Short on May 15, 2011 at 3:12pm — No Comments

Up they grow

Time just seems to fly by. I can't believe it has been 10 days since I last posted. My tomatoes are doing great. The two in the system are about 8 inches tall now. They have started to become pungent. Its a nice smell to have indoors I must say. It is new to me because this is my first indoor tomato ever. The other young'ns are shorter and are still just in a rockwool cube. I am going to wait to plant them outside I think. The weather is getting nice and I think since they have had a good…


Added by Sean Short on April 29, 2011 at 5:29pm — No Comments

Mods, tomatoes and more..

All is going well in my system. I have noticed that the carrots that were once yellowing are now slightly greener. I am wondering if the worms are helping? Time will tell. I also put up a reflective surface along the walls behind my shop light. I am hoping the mylar will increase the captured light and therefore help increase photosynthesis. This is my system currently... Just to the left are seedlings of tomatoes and a spinach.



Added by Sean Short on April 18, 2011 at 9:32pm — No Comments

I Got Worms!

I have added red worms to my system. I was able to get a hold of some free worms thanks to a nice lady. I got about a large yogurt container full of worms and bedding. I put about 20 worms into my grow beds to see what happens. I have started a worm bin with the remaining worms. 

I learned a lot about red worms today. I showed up to a…

Added by Sean Short on March 31, 2011 at 3:41pm — 2 Comments

Tomatoes & Spinach

I have seeded some Italian Grape tomato and spinach a couple of different ways. I directly placed some spinach into the right growbed about 1/2" below soil line. This is slightly above the water's max fill. I have also planted some spinach and tomato seeds into some 1"x1"x1" rockwool cubes. It has been only about 4 days since I seeded so I expect to see sprouts soon. I placed the cubes in direct sunlight beneath a window to help expedite the growth.…


Added by Sean Short on March 29, 2011 at 3:35pm — No Comments

Running strong

The system is doing great. Been running for 85+ days now. My greens look very green and are getting bigger. Still no carrot mass under the medium. Oh well. I have some grape tomato seeds germinating and plan to plant those girls soon. I’m also going to look into getting some spinach because I’ve read that it grows well in a system that floods as often as mine.  


     My goldfish are doing great and they are slowly growing. There are eight left. It has been that way for the…


Added by Sean Short on March 25, 2011 at 12:42pm — No Comments

Days go by...

It has been a few…


The system seems to be getting stable. I am currently at 8 fish and some underdeveloped carrots. The roots of my carrots are not forming into a tuber.  I have Italian grape tomato seeds en route and hope to have better luck with above ground fruit. I am able to see that the carrot greens are a nice green color with only traces of light green on a few leaves.  I have confidence that the plant food is available in abundance for tomatoes. 




Added by Sean Short on March 18, 2011 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Practice makes perfect

All is well in my system. I have only had 2 fish die since my last post. I am not sure as to why, but it is promising. I had to relocate my system to another room because the room it was in needed to be used for storage space. I couldn't fathom showing people my system in a room full of other things. I have begun to notice the lack of growth with my carrots and onions. The greens of the plants are nicely colored but have lost their turgidity and seem to not be producing a larger root. I…


Added by Sean Short on March 8, 2011 at 4:08pm — No Comments

Attack of the Gato!

I went into my room yesterday morning and noticed something odd. My carrots were trampled down in my right grow bed. I looked and discovered that my catnip was devastated by one or both of my cats. I found the stalks chewed down to the hydroton. One could also notice little paw prints in the grow beds.

I got a good little laugh as I thought what it must have been like to be a cat and discover a fresh catnip stash. I can see two little sprouts below the clay pebbles. Hopefully…


Added by Sean Short on February 22, 2011 at 11:58am — 4 Comments

More oxygen...

All is well. I have added a second airstone into my system. The other day it was noticed that a couple of the fish were gasping for air at the surface as well as eating air bubbles. Thoughts were that perhaps there may not be enough oxygen in the water, and that could be another reason for my fish dying.

The fish look happy and seem to be swimming better. They don't surface nearly as much as before and like to chase each other around.

As the days go on I am zeroing in on… Continue

Added by Sean Short on February 14, 2011 at 12:51pm — 2 Comments

Minnows no more :(

I found out in one night that minnows may not be suitable in my system. I found seven dead little fish this morning. They didn't even get a chance to float. I can think of many reasons as to why they may have perished. Temperature, stress, differing water quality than the fish store, etc... In the end what ultimately matters is minnows are too fragile for my aquaponic system. I take every fish death as a lesson. I haven't lost a fish in a few days before these new ones. I see that as an…


Added by Sean Short on February 11, 2011 at 11:30am — No Comments

New Fish!

I have purchased 30 new community fish. The fish are floating in their store baggies as I write. I decided to stick with inexpensive fish until I can prove my worth as an aquaponicist. This time I bought the fish from a different store than the previous ones. The 30 fish are a mix of red minnows as well as small and medium comet goldfish. I think this is a good choice for me as a hobbyist. The goldfish seemed to not be the best fit for my system until I re-evaluated the cost of typical…


Added by Sean Short on February 10, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Steady but Slow

Things have been going well in the system. I have had a few more fish deaths. The fish all appear to seem fine when i observe them in the tank. In the last week I have found a floating fish every other morning when I do my first daily check and feed. I am not sure what is going on but I see that the gold fish may not be hardy enough. It is apparent. My water quality has seemed to stay stable. I have not noticed an increase in ammonia, nitrite or nitrate and my pH is stable somewhere between…


Added by Sean Short on February 7, 2011 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Poor fish, I'm just an amateur

I have managed to kill several fish. It saddens me to see them die. I have made some mistakes with running my system and I believe that my lack of paying enough attention has caused this drama. I left the window above the system open until the wee hours of the night. Sometime around 2 a.m. I remembered I had opened a window on a 60 degree day to let my plants get fresh air. What I forgot was to close the window when the sun started to drop. It dropped to just above freezing outside. My tank…


Added by Sean Short on January 31, 2011 at 8:00pm — 10 Comments

System and Fish Update

I have had some issues the last few days. I have developed poor pH testing habits and failed to see my pH drop below 6. I was using an electronic meter to test samples of water in 5mL test tubes. I would submerge the meter into the test tube until it sat on the bottom. I believe the meter was reading the pH of the glass rather than the aquarium water. I say this because when I cross referenced it with the pH test dye I got staggeringly lower results.


 I have started to see…


Added by Sean Short on January 27, 2011 at 8:00pm — 5 Comments

More Sprouts; Shop Light Added

As of last week I have begun to see more sprouted vegetables. My carrots and scallions are alive! They have stretched quite a bit in only a couple days.


Since the plants have sprouted I decided to hang a shop light with plant/aquarium bulbs. It is about 8 inches above the plants. 

My hopes are that…


Added by Sean Short on January 27, 2011 at 6:34pm — No Comments

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