Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

OldHobo

Practical Hydroponics

Recommended Posts

Note: This discussion was split from the Can hydroponic or aquaponic = organic? topic.

 

I'm about a year late here but this thread caught my eye because I'm setting up a very small aquaponic system inside my tiny apartment. I don't think hydroponic systems are typically organic but aquaponic systems certainly could be. The reason is organic fertilizers promote the development of life; all kinds of life; like algae. So controlling algae and other flora and fauna, much of it microscopic, is a real problem. Aquaponic systems, however, are little ecosystems in which people theoretically only add fish food. The fish consume the food and produce ammonia which is consumed by bacteria and microbes which produce nitrites, which are consumed by other bacteria and microbes which produce nitrates, which are consumed by basil and lettuce plants, producing salad and pizza topping for people, decaying leaves and roots for worms, and clean water for the fish. So far, I'm only growing microbes but hope to grow herbs and vegetables in half a dozen square feet of indoor garden by Christmas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for asking TicTac. As I said, I'm just growing microbes so far. The grow bed (busing tub) will be filled with clay pellets and continuously fed water from the fish tank. It will be a flood and drain type system, automatically draining completely every 20 minutes or so, using a bell siphoning setup. I've been procrastinating on the plumbing. Once the system balances, I'll add a second bed on a higher shelf. Each bed will have it's own indoor grow lights. Haven't decided if the second bed will be drain and flood.

 

20 gal tank 002.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting.  I look forward to seeing your progress on this.

 

Also if it is a cost effective solution based on what you are able to produce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, TicTac said:

 

Very interesting.  I look forward to seeing your progress on this.

 

Also if it is a cost effective solution based on what you are able to produce.

 

Thanks, TicTac.

I don't expect such a small indoor system to pay for itself any more than a pet dog or cat does. I think of it as a hobby and a pet ecosystem that, as a side benefit, produces herbs and greens, and maybe tomatoes and peppers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an example of scale, I'm starting with a 20-gallon aquarium. Most aquaponic hobbyists have backyard systems with many hundred to a few thousand gallons. They typically harvest fish as well as vegetables. Much more information is available from more knowledgeable and experienced people at the Backyard Aquaponics Forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been away from the forum a while. An update in case anybody is interested. Fish in the aquarium and grow-bed planted first of February.

18-02-12-001.JPG.5f413c153954473d2e1735f4e90ee308.JPG5a9188420684b_18-02-03A003.JPG.efbfeda964153e8a9602d2808952c226.JPG

Sweet Baby Romaine Lettuce(8) on the far right and Sea of Red cutting lettuce(5) next to it.  Surrounding the big pipe in the middle are 5 basil plants. The lettuce in the left rear corner are thinnings, tossed to the side, that took root and grew. In the next picture, Sara and Maybelle provide all the nourishment for the plants. Sara is the shy smaller gold fantail. She mostly defers to Maybelle, the larger, yellow, gold Calico with black markings. Maybelle's name may get changed to A.P. since she seems to show decidedly male tendencies. 

18-02-12-002.JPG.4dec29e4df10d0501ab4e02d72ff8f8b.JPG18-02-12001.JPG.46873dee2bdc5d6409f350da2c6d6027.JPG

A better view of the newer plants on the left side of the grow bed including (rear to front) thyme(4), basil(5), cilantro(3), and parsley(2). Spinach and radishes haven't sprouted yet. On the right is a more recent picture of the tank with some live plants and two mystery snails added. Sara and Maybelle are better at providing the fertilizer than actually tending the plants. It's fine they eat them, only fair really, but just out of pure devilment, they tear them up and pull smaller plants out of the gravel by the roots.


Edited by OldHobo (log)
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×