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not SFG, different gardening method you may like

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not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  bpbdrummer on 3/20/2010, 7:07 pm

Aquaponics- The cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a recirculating environment.

Fish waste accumulates in water as a by product of keeping them in a closed system or tank The effluent-rich water becomes high in plant nutrients but this is correspondingly toxic to the aquatic animal.
Plants are grown in a way that enables them to utilize the nutrient-rich water. The
plants take up the nutrients, reducing or eliminating the water's
toxicity for the aquatic animal.

The water, now clean, is returned to the aquatic animal environment
and the cycle continues. Aquaponic systems do not discharge or exchange
water. The systems rely on the relationship between the aquatic animals
and the plants to maintain the environment. Water is only added to
replace water loss from absorption by the plants, evaporation into the
air, or the removal of biomass from the system.
heres a few intro videos, plants grow like crazy in these systems http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baLp1neHomE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur7hUUWmSFY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV9CCxdkOng


and the most popular aquaponics website/forum
http://backyardaquaponics.com/

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  choksaw on 3/20/2010, 8:47 pm

i just read an article in my local paper about this 2 weeks ago pretty simplistic method and you get 2 sources of food but the cost has got to be up there

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  timwardell on 3/20/2010, 9:53 pm

It makes perfect sense. I've had water gardens for years (mostly goldfish, koi get too big for my taste). Most water gardeners use plants - in the form of a bog - for what we call biological filtration. Fish pee & poop becomes fertilizer for the waterlilies, iris, or other aquatic plants. The plants consume the fish waste and purify the water. It's a win/win scenario. In a properly balanced pond, you need virtually no maintenance or intervention beyond feeding the fish. The water will stay clear and the plants healthy.

I find it interesting that there are so many new ideas and changes coming about in regards to our food supply. SFG, aquaponics, EarthBoxes, hydroponics, sky farms, SPIN, etc. are emerging as viable alternatives and it is very much needed. I also note that it seems to be people on the fringes so to speak - outliers - who are making the innovations. I can't get a tomato on a hamburger from any fast food place right now because of the sever winter weather that recently took out most of the tomato crops in the south east. Yet one of the YouTube videos shows a guy growing a TON of food 365 days a year in a greenhouse. Why aren't the giant agribusiness doing this? Isn't that what economies of scale is supposed to accomplish. Turns out the scale isn't GIANT but small. Give me a 1000 micro farms using innovative technology and ideas over a giant, centralized corporate set up any day.


Last edited by timwardell on 3/21/2010, 12:40 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  bpbdrummer on 3/20/2010, 10:53 pm

The reason I think that there arent more commercial ag. companies doing this is the same reason hemp wasnt accepted as a viable substitute for plastics ,really just boils down to $$. Think about how much money the chemical companies make each year, billions on pesticides and fertilizers. If big farming were to move to closed systems like aquaponics they would have no use for these chemicals.

I wont go on the hemp rant but Ford built a car in the 40's, the body was made from processed hemp and it was so strong it could take a beating by a baseball bat with no signs of damage. Dow chemical and Randolph Hearst were a big influence with deep pockets who managed to sway things the way they wanted so hemp remained an untapped natural resource.

anyway, I've been looking at these systems for probably 3-4 yrs now and I've been planning on building one, I just dont have anywhere to set one up right now. Our house is too small, my garage is more of a music studio than a garage and I've considered putting a greenhouse in the yard but here in florida summers average 90-100 degrees and winters get down to freezing. The heat will probably kill anything in the greenhouse even with ventilation and shade cloth.

I've kept salt water reef tanks for years and my current system is pretty much like a self sustained bio system. the live rock filters the waste from the water so no need for a filtration system. the only thing I have close to a filter is a skimmer, it just pumps air into the water as it passes through the chambers which creates foam, same as the foam coming in off the ocean, the residual waste is suspended in the foam and rises above the water and is collected in a skimmer cup.

Sine I've been keeping fish for years I have a lot of extra tanks, old filters, pumps etc. it wouldnt take much to create a small aquaponic test system. I also have a few hundred pounds of hydroton clay balls for growing media. Like I said i was looking into doing a system and scored the clay on craigslist. I paid $30 for probably $300 worth. The people who sold it had been renting out a house and apparently the guy who was living there was running a hydroponic marijuana grow op. So when he moved out he left the grow media and these people just wanted it gone.

Epcot center has a large commercial hydroponic system, apparently they look at you like you're insane when you tell them they need to attach the fish water to the hydroponic system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbdID0Sokhk

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  SirTravers on 3/20/2010, 11:01 pm

Here's a good video showing hydro Lettuce production. By the time it's full grown it's in a Square Foot hydro garden!

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  choksaw on 3/20/2010, 11:12 pm

lol a merging of the 2 systems i love it

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  timwardell on 3/21/2010, 12:51 am

@SirTravers wrote:Here's a good video showing hydro Lettuce production. By the time it's full grown it's in a Square Foot hydro garden! <snip>
Glad to see this being done a large scale. I gotta say though, it seems like Aquaponics is an evolution of Hydroponics. With hydro - as in the video - you only get one crop and you have to add fertilizer. With Aquaponics the fish provide the fertilizer and you get two crops - the veggies and the fish. That's an example of the permaculture principle of multiple yields.

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

Post  timwardell on 3/21/2010, 12:57 am

@bpbdrummer wrote:The reason I think that there arent more commercial ag. companies doing this is the same reason hemp wasnt accepted as a viable substitute for plastics ,really just boils down to $$. Think about how much money the chemical companies make each year, billions on pesticides and fertilizers. If big farming were to move to closed systems like aquaponics they would have no use for these chemicals. <snip>
You'll get no argument from me regarding the collusion of big oil, big chemical, and big agribusiness. They can do what they want, as many of us realize their system and their practices are unsustainable. Eventually they will have to adapt, change, or die. Hopefully their chemical laden and unsustainable practices will end before we all do. One of things I enjoy most about gardening is that to garden one must be an optimist. If you don't believe the plants will grow, why plant them. Gardening gives me a sense of hope. We are not powerless. So long as we can grow what we want and feed ourselves (at least to some extent) we are not mere cogs in the consumer machine. Seeing ideas like SFG, Earth Boxes, Aquaponics, and others take hold leads me to believe that we just might make 'round the next bend in the road.

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Re: not SFG, different gardening method you may like

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