Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Aquaponics Experiment

My dear husbands latest hobby is aquaponics. Aquaponics is a way of growing both plants and fish in one system. It is described as a symbiotic relationship between fish and plants where the fish help plants and the plants help fish.

Aquaponics doesn’t use chemicals, requires one tenth of the water needed for field plant production and only a fraction of the water that is used for fish culture.

The word aquaponics is a blend between aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in a chemical based liquid).

So having explained exactly what aquaponics is let me show you what we are doing with it.

For a beginning experimental set up, we have connected a grow bed to our goldfish tank in the corner of our kitchen. No, seriously…

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We have a UV light.

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The tank filter pumps water up into the grow bed and an auto siphon (that’s the white pipe there at the back) drains the grow bed back into the tank when it reaches a certain level.

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This is a pretty small grow bed so we have only planted a couple of lettuce seeds and basil and parsley.

This is day 1, planting the seeds.

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On day 4, we have 5 little lettuce seedlings.

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On day 6 they are an inch tall.

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This is day 8.

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Sadly four of these seedling did not survive an encounter with Georgia that left the floor covered in fish water and four seedling up rooted.

But also on day 8 I noticed the first basil or parsley( I’m not sure which) seedling.

I was really surprised at how quickly the seedlings have sprouted. The lettuce packet said the seeds should sprout in about 10 days and the herbs usually take 25 to 30 days.

I can’t wait to start harvesting these little guys.

For more information on aquaponics check out this site Practical Aquaponics For Everyone

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