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About Keightley

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    New Member

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  • Location
    salt lake city, ut

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  • Interests
    gold fish, urban gardening, sustainable living, minimalism, hiking, camping, fishing, music
  1. Oh wow, thank you for clearing up some of my confusion. This is FINALLY making more since now. But I do have a question about the worms. Can the worms live in the grow bed doing the magic that they do if I have the water mechanically filter through say a canister filter filled with sponges before being placed into the grow bed? Will the worms have enough to eat and flourish? If not, what would I need to do to make that happen with the water being mechanically filtered before going to the grow bed? I am reading that there are more benefits to worms than just processing solid fish waste and I would like to take advantage of these benefits: 1) Worms, in addition to breaking down fish waste, break down excess roots and other materials that plants slough off making them more bio-available to the plants through their excrement: vermicompost. This additional metabolic layer in media based systems is what allow me to avoid the requirement to frequently clean out my grow bed. A 12″ (300 mm) deep grow bed with a healthy population of worms will probably only need to be cleaned out every five years or so, if then. 2) Vermicompost and the corresponding ‘tea’ are tremendously beneficial because they suppress plant disease, suppress plant parasitic nematode, and suppress plant insect pests. 3) Besides helping battle plant diseases, worms have also been shown to mitigate pathogens that affect humans. 4) Worms make a tasty snack for the fish I am raising thus a cheep food source. Maybe I can have water flow directly from the aquarium to the bed with an external water pump utilizing a solids lifting overflow. That way some solids, mainly sinking solids such as fish poo, are making it to the grow bed to keep the worms happy and healthy. And then I can have a separate intake and return for the canister filter which will include the uv sterilizer. I am thinking the canister / uv sterilizer filter would remove floating solids such as fish food, other floates, harmful bacteria and virus. Maybe a fluidized sand bed would be the way to go here instead of a canister filter? If the canister or fluidized sand bed filter is the way to go, would I return the water from the canister/fluidized sand bed directly back into the aquarium or would I return the water to the grow bed? Thanks again for your thoughts and comments. I really do appreciate them more than you can possibly imagine. Cheers, Keightley
  2. Hi all. I am new building my first aquaponics system. I have been posting on other sites and I think I am getting some strange answers to my questions. Actually the answer at one particular board was quite confrontational. How dare I overstock my aquarium! Anyway, this person did raise some questions for me that i thought I would ask here. If I put worms in my grow bed, do I need to run a biofilter between the grow bed and the aquarium? Don't the worms eat solid wastes from the fish converting it to a more usable form for the plants? Also do worms produce ammonia? If so, is it high enough that I need to take that into account? Or is it negligible? This is what the person stated that made me question whether or not I should use a grow bed as my sole source of removing ammonia and nitrates from the water column. Before I read this person's reply, I thought that all I would need was my grow bed. Now I am not so sure. Maybe the real problem here is that her fish were not producing enough waste to feed the plants? Or maybe her grow beds were too small for the 100 gallon aquarium? Maybe it was because she did not include worms in her grow bed? Or maybe this person is right. A biofilter ( I am assuming this person means a mechanical filter such as a canister) between the tank and grow bed is necessary in a small aquaponic system. What do you all say? Is this person right? Here are the basics of my aquaponics system. My aquarium is 200 gallons. I will be raising fancy goldfish (Lionheads, Orandas, and Ryukins). The grow bed size I think I have settled on is 96"L x 12"H x 30"D. I think I can stock the aquarium with 28 goldfish. Even if these fish grow to record sizes the total pounds of 28 large goldfish will be approximately 28 pounds. Each goldfish will have to reach 12" in length. But realistically orandas, lionheads, and ryukins will grow to approximately 7 to 8 inches. Six seven inch goldfish will approximately equal one pound of fish. So that means I will have approximately 4.7 pounds of fish. As I am more interested in the fish than I am with edible plants for this system, I am going to fill the grow bed with tropical house plants. I am thinking pathos and lucky bamboo. I just cannot image this system producing enough spinach, kale, or basil for me to eat a salad every day. I hope to one day be in a place where I can have an aquaponics garden that will be able to sustain my family with all the veggies we can consume. But alas for the time being it shall be a dream of mine. Afterall, I am still a family of one (well if you include my dog, we are a family of 2) If anything, I want to learn with this aquaponics set up. At least the plants will keep the water column clean for my fish and perhaps act as an air filter for my musty basement apartment. Cheers!