Aquaponic Gardening

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The basement trout farm in 150 gallon stock tanks has been going for 17 weeks now and some of the fish are finally ready to harvest. I've had mixed success with this project, but I've learned a whole lot in the process. First thing, before you bring trout home, you need to have a secure cover ready to go. Our goldfish didn't do much exploring, but the trout apparently had a strong desire to see more of the basement. I lost six trout the first day because there were gaps in the cover around the plumbing and the darn fish found them. We lost six more later to various causes over the next four months...three looked like they were injured by other fish and three that went belly up for no obvious reason. I wasn't sure we could keep any trout alive for more than a couple weeks in our little tanks, so I feel pretty positive about this overall after the rough start.

We've also had mixed success with the plants. The tomato plants got very big, but only produced about 9 plum tomatoes. The snow peas did very well. The beans were overshadowed by the peas and tomatoes and didn't produce much. The biggest success has been the romaine lettuce. The arugula seedlings all died off, the broccoli takes up a lot of space for what you get, but the baby romaine has been great. We'll be harvesting lettuce, broccoli, and a few more fish this week and enjoying the taste of aquaponics success.

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