Aquaponic Gardening

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TCLynx's Blog (61)

I'm Home

I've been out of town for the past week but I'm home now and can share some updates about my trip, I'll need to write up some stories to post in My site blog here over the next few days but just to wet your appetites...


I visited with Philip Wolf up near Chicago and his home system as well as the new System he has running at We Grow Dreams in West Chicago.


Then we went up to Milwaukee where we attended the tour at Growing Power and later that evening we went…


Added by TCLynx on December 25, 2010 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Cooler weater and lower nitrates

My systems have normally run fairly high nitrate levels but in the winter when the fish don't eat as much, my nitrate readings do normally drop down into the orange.


Even after removing the bananas, a week of the fish not eating much quickly brings my nitrate levels down into an easily readable range and I suddenly don't feel like my system is too heavily loaded anymore.


I expect that if I didn't have the washed shells in my system (and therefore the high pH)…


Added by TCLynx on December 18, 2010 at 6:34pm — No Comments

Home Food Production

It isn't Just Aquaponics to me.

I'm also into many other things surrounding all sorts of home food production. I've spent much of the past several days canning and preserving. The need was twofold we need to make space in the deep freeze since citrus season is coming on and we need the space to freeze juice but also my stock of canned soup and chile was getting low. See when the cook is not around, I tend to warm up a jar of soup and make my meal that… Continue

Added by TCLynx on December 5, 2010 at 1:20pm — 6 Comments

A blog about blogs from the one who didn't want to blog in the first place

Crazy right, I don't really like writing and never thought I was very good at it being dyslexic and spelling challenged but luckily the dyslexia (what a terrible work to expect some one who is to write) I have is very mild and I've been able to cope and work around it (only thing I've never been able to cope with is flash cards,) especially with the advent of spell checking. I do like sharing and this is why I write things, to help teach those who are interested.

Actually, this isn't… Continue

Added by TCLynx on November 21, 2010 at 7:27am — No Comments

More About Indexing Valves

So I got some more questions about these indexing valve things so I figured I should go ahead and write a bit more about them. They may not be appropriate for every situation but they do have their place.

Want to sequence the flow of water into your grow beds to only flood one at a time? Want to avoid extra wiring and control electronics? Then consider an aquaponics indexing valve. All that…


Added by TCLynx on November 14, 2010 at 4:30pm — 8 Comments

Raft Bed Saga, New Liner

Raft Bed Saga Part 5

So Friday Afternoon I went down and picked up the new liner for the bed.

Yesterday, I spent the day installing that new liner.

First I drained the existing liner (involved setting all the grow beds to constant flood to hold the extra water so I didn't waste it all. I also filled up some other tubs with water to try and conserve. Even so, I of course lost some.…


Added by TCLynx on November 14, 2010 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Raft bed saga continues part 4

Raft bed saga part 4

Got up this morning to check on the new bed, still leaking but the bowing problem seems solved.

I used the time while that part of the garden was sunny this morning to add the rest of the arches over the bed for holding netting or frost blanket to keep the leave out.

I fear the leaks are not going to be slime healed and the used billboard liner is just so brittle and easy to abrade that I'm either gonna have to… Continue

Added by TCLynx on November 8, 2010 at 8:00pm — 11 Comments

Raft bed saga continues Part 3

Raft Bed Saga Part 3

Grrrr, Here is what I found this morning when I cam out to see how the raft bed did filled over night. The Stays didn't, stay that is, they sprung off. I must admit I didn't secured them very well.

The bed was bowing out even wider than before. So I set the pump to draining it to the sump tank. I set the main grow beds to hold water so hopefully I wouldn't loose too much to the sump tank overflowing and I headed to… Continue

Added by TCLynx on November 7, 2010 at 7:00pm — 7 Comments

My first AP winter without a greenhouse

My first two years doing Aquaponics, I had my structure over my main Aquaponic system which provided handy support for plastic to turn it essentially into a greenhouse.

However, as many know, last spring code enforcement came around and said I had to take it down unless I got a building permeit for it (to get a building permit requires drawings stamped by an architect or engineer.) I could have made drawings but I never figured out how to get the proper stamps. So, the "greenhouse"… Continue

Added by TCLynx on November 6, 2010 at 7:11pm — No Comments

Twas a little chilly Raft Bed Saga Part 2

Raft Bed Saga Part 2

This day in November, to be plumbing wet liner and splashing in water.

But once a project thus started, it must be completed, unless paying work is what is competing.

I'm sorry my poetry may not be compelling but here are some pictures to quell your misgivings.

Last night I did fill the liner with water to see what would happen.

Come morning I found that… Continue

Added by TCLynx on November 6, 2010 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

Uh Oh, I have another bit of material I probably won't resist trying to use. Raft Bed Saga Part 1

Raft Bed Saga Part 1

On my Visit to Cosmo Back in October to witness the install of the indexing valve in the Man Cave, Michael bestowed upon me one of his used billboard liners.

I'm often not good at leaving useful items just sit by taking up space, I tend to try and make use of them when I can. Anyway, we will see how it does for me.

The liner is folded in half in the picture below. …


Added by TCLynx on November 4, 2010 at 3:00pm — 8 Comments

Duck-A-Ponic Update

Sorry no pictures today but I just want to share a little update about my duck system.

First a refresher.

The duck system is based on a 7 foot dia, 2 foot deep galvanized stock tank that a neighbor got for free and dropped off to us. Had a bunch of holes but patched those easily with silicone. Figured the galvanized stock tank would not be appropriate for fish but the ducks need a pool and what better way to keep the water filtered and fresh than a ponics system.

So the duck… Continue

Added by TCLynx on October 22, 2010 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Mixing Methods

I have lately had people ask me for advice on if a particular set up will work and in a few cases it is obvious that they have done some research but have mixed their methods and are using the stocking/feeding rates for one method but trying to apply them to a totally different situation.

For example,

A combo media/raft system which retains it's solids in the media beds should be using the recommended stocking/feeding rates for media systems and low density raft culture with no… Continue

Added by TCLynx on October 22, 2010 at 3:40pm — No Comments

Ya don't need so many fish.

Another TCLynx Public Service Announcement. Or perhaps that should be Fish Service Announcement?

There is a common Aquaponic condition that causes many people to feel the urge to add more fish. This urge should be fought and quashed ruthlessly unless you actually don't have any fish at all.

Just because your system could possibly support a certain MAX amount of fish mass, does not mean that it needs that much. Especially any system that retains it's solids.

During… Continue

Added by TCLynx on October 12, 2010 at 4:30pm — 5 Comments

Ducks on a roof top, bloop bloop bloop, what shale I do with all this poop.

So, the young muscovy ducklings have learned to fly, well at least the females have.

I came out of the house last night and found the three females of the latest clutch up on the roof snacking on the banana leaves.

They are not nearly so cute now as they were two months ago.

As you can see, female muscovy ducks are very able to fly. The chickens were a little… Continue

Added by TCLynx on October 10, 2010 at 2:28pm — 3 Comments

What to do with all the seedlings!

Has anyone else experienced this? You go planting all the seed trays you have and then when the seedlings are outgrowing the seed trays or pellets and need to be placed in a more permanent position, you are at a loss as to where to put them all?

I'm guilty of this on a regular basis.

However, I'm happy to report that the capillary matting seems to be a good way to keep peat pellets moist for seed starting.…


Added by TCLynx on October 9, 2010 at 3:27pm — 4 Comments

Dead Fish

Figuring out what to do when something is going wrong.

There is little nastier than fish that have been dead for a while floating in your fish tank.


How to even tell if the problems with surviving fish are due to the same thing that killed the first fish or if the first dead fish just tainted the water causing poor water quality to weaken the later fish letting them sicken from opportunistic infections.


Here is what I pulled from my fish tank when I got home… Continue

Added by TCLynx on October 9, 2010 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

Indexing Valves, Sequential flooding of grow beds.

Aquaponics Indexing valves.

They are a means to sequentially flood grow beds.

They are purely passive mechanical devices. Only plumbing connected to them.

The flow of water operates the indexing valve. When the flow starts, the valve engages to feed…


Added by TCLynx on September 25, 2010 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Solenoid Valves

I want to make everyone aware that those inexpensive solenoid valves like used for irrigation are not necessarily the simple way to control water flow to grow beds.

See those solenoid valve require a certain amount of water pressure to operate properly. If there isn't enough pressure behind them, they may not open to let water flow through at all. Very few aquaponics systems are likely to run pumps at high enough pressure to effectively operate these valves.

For example: many… Continue

Added by TCLynx on September 25, 2010 at 8:43pm — No Comments

Gonna Have Bananas, Gonna Have Bananas, Nah nah nah nah naah.

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Anyway, yesterday there was a big chunk of plant matter laying on the grow bed right by the front porch and the cook said, ya know what that is? Part of a Banana Flower.

Now this banana was a fairly small transplant when placed in this grow bed this past spring.…


Added by TCLynx on September 24, 2010 at 4:29pm — No Comments

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