Aquaponics… The Other ‘White’ Meat…
Alright… what’s that title got to do about AP? Just that if you’re into gardening of any kind.. this is definitely THE best alternative way to go (I’m biased, so sue me) ;
The system provides both plant and animal harvests, you deal with less headaches usually associated with traditional dirt based farming (weeds, pesticides, herbicides, making sure you water regularly, etc.) Plus its scalable, can be used inside and out and pays for itself in self satisfaction.
To whit, I bring to you some humble images from my garden as it currently stands. Growth has been great, although I will admit that the one thing I wasn’t ready for was the fish and water temperature. Now that Winter is fast approaching, the key for me was to keep the water temperature up as high as possible. To do so, I’m mainly relying on a couple of large aquarium heaters rated at 300 watts a piece. Not the ideal, as I’d prefer a solar water heater option and not have to pay for the electricity, but that will come in a few months time when time and funds permit. So in the interim, the heaters will have to do. So far, water temps have not dropped below 64 degrees at night.
With a drop in temp, the Talapia are not as voracious with their food, so their growth has slowed down as a result. I get into this in more detail on my previous post.
The plants on the other hand are doing quite well. Everything in the AP is thriving. I’ve got a couple of plants with some nutrient deficiencies (corn and lemon balm). I’ve made efforts using Seaweed Extract to help give the system a nutrient boost once every nine days, but I feel this has more to do with the waters Ph and the reduction of the roots ability to absorb the nutrients. Its not a deal killer as far as the plants go, but definitely something I’m going to stay on top of to see if it can be remedied down the road.
I took the liberty to buy a batch of lady bugs as of late to help with a small infestation of some tiny black bug that creeped up on our squash plant. We released these at night as this helps them stay put longer and hopefully hang out for a while to feast on whatever our AP has to offer. I’m happy to say that they eliminated most of the pest problem (the rest we simply snipped off and fed to the chickens). The hope is that they will reproduce in the system and make it their permanent home for a while. But I must say, they do a great job chowing down on anything that might be an issue.
Another item that was recommended was to add in a few Marigolds to the system. Apparently bugs do not like the smell of them. So we placed them evenly down the length of the beds and they also add a nice splash of color.
All in all, the experiment seems to be chugging along quite nicely!
Posted on November 18, 2012, in Aquaponics, Garden, Get Motivated, Greenhouse, Inspiration and tagged agriculture, aquaculture, aquaponics, aquaponics greenhouse, gardening, greenhouse, Talapia. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.