The plants are getting bigger, too.
The fish are getting larger.
The Hawaiian lettuce is thriving, and the tomatoes are growing out of control. All without soil.
Even the geraniums thrive in aquaponics!
Aquaponic strawberries are easy to grow. This is the only one I could find after the granddaughters paid a visit.
If let to do so, climbing (indeterminate) tomatoes will grow 20′ long!
Because the microbes are critical in converting fish waste into plant nutrient, you must never put raw city water into the system. The chlorine would kill them. That is why we use a rain barrel with and an air stone to condition the water before it is introduced into the system. Crayfish (crawdads) are very hardy and reside at the bottom of the barrel. When they molt, they leave behind a slimy coating which is wonderful for plants. Add some duckweed and a water hyacinth to sweeten the water even more and the water is ready to top of the system when needed with wonderful conditioned water that will not harsh the microbial mellow.
Totally enclosed system. No pesticides, herbicides or soil. Just gravel and red worms. Hydroponics is not really organic and wastes a lot of water. However, aquaponics is totally organic. A closed loop that uses only a few gallons of water a week. Just add fish food!
One Year Later
Here is an “after” shot. One year later, we have lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, herbs, Valencia oranges, broccoli and much more. All with NO SOIL, nourished with fish poop.
Learn About Aquaponics
This is required reading if you are curious about Aquaponics.
Aquaponics is a great way to grow your own veggies without any chemicals whatsoever. Fish water is pumped into your soilless grow bed and the good microbes and red wigglers convert the fish waste into plant nutrient. That’s right, no dirt just rock. Whatever you feed the fish is the only addition into the system. Water is continuously recycled. The grow bed filters the waste out and it falls back into your fish container. You never change the water. Just top it off. Aquaponics uses a fraction of the water that a conventional garden uses. In the following weeks we will show you how to build one or where to buy one. It can be as small as a planter over your aquarium or as large as a pond. The one I built is 250 gallons and it is growing like crazy. My Valencia Oranges just popped out and I had fresh salads and herbs all winter long. Totally pure veggies with the added bonus of eating fresh fish. The tilapia will be ready to harvest in a few months. Stay tuned. There is a lot more to come.
Aquaponics is like having an aquarium and the growing media is the filter. The water runs through the grow beds and the gravel in the grow bed filters the waste out. The water is returned to the aquarium/pond clean of waste. The waste that was left in the grow beds gets broken down by the good microbes and red wiggler worms for the plant nutrient. Totally enclosed system, no soil. As organic as you can get.
Maggie, Layla and my lovely wife Vicki are saying goodbye to their sunroom which they reluctantly surrendered to my Aquaponic Project with my promise of organic produce all year long. That was a year ago. How we built it and how it looks now is next. Stay tuned.
Chapter 2 on Aquaponics
Aquaponics is like having an aquarium and the growing media is the filter. The water runs through the grow beds and the gravel in the grow bed filters the waste out. The water is returned to the aquarium/pond clean of waste. The waste that was left in the grow beds gets broken down by the good microbes and red wiggler worms for the plant nutrient. Totally enclosed system, no soil. As organic as you can get