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Six Months Into Aquaponics

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I have recently started my back yard Aquaponics Garden.

I am using my old 200 gallon Jacuzzi.

I have been stocking it with Goldfish to start with.

For the present time I am using Hydrotron balls for my grow medium. I am thinking about changing to small gravel when I add another 4x8 grow tray. The Hydrotron balls float and seem to get into every where that you don't want them to go.

I have about 100 Goldfish in my tank for the present. Looking into getting some Tilapia soon. I have a TOTE Container that I will cut in half to use for the Tilapia fingerlings when I get them.

I am currently growing Lettuce, cabbage, strawberries, Peppers, Tomatoes, bell peppers, brocolli, and various Herbs. I am preparing germinated seedlings of many of the above veggies.

Outside my Hydroponics and Aquaponics garden, I am growing Oranges, White Zapote, Mango, Avocado, Pommagranite, Black Walnut trees, and three varieties of Bananas.

I am having a challenge with my gold fish dying. they were dying at the rate of two to four per day until a week ago.

I was feeding them twice a day. Now I cut it down to one time a day.

I am still trying to figure out how to do a partial water change if and when necessary.

I also been having difficulty getting my purchased Bell Auto Siphon cycling properly. The grow tray fills up and the bell does not drain.

When my wife and I are not doing our gardening I am out towing vehicles, working my Online Marketing Business, and going to Church.

Well, that's about all for now. I hope to become a good contributing member in the future after I get this whole Aquaponic thing figured out. Thanks, Joe


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Hi Joe

Maybe you can contribute how you successfully germinate seedlings, growing plants,tips, would be interesting.

Keep updating.

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I use three methods for germinating seeds. While germinating the seeds keep out of bright lights and no direct sunlight. After they have started to get roots and begin growing you can use low wattage CFL grow lights.

a. put seeds in between a moist paper towel and cover up loosely and in about one to three days the roots will pop from the seeds and you gently pick them up with tweezers and put them into your grow medium to finish germinating and sprouting.

b. Put seeds into a container with some water. They will also sprout in 1-3 days.

c. I have had the most CONSISTENT success so far with my Frontier Specialty Products, "HYDRO PLANTER". I must admit that the information on the unit was a little bit short on how to make it work correctly.

However after some calls to the Manufacturer in Escondido, CA I got all the information on being more successfull in germinating seeds.

Essentially, it is like a cloner with a pump and spray emitters which spray your water onto the bottom of the tray which has square holes in the tray.

The tray accepts many type of grow medium "Plugs or cubes".

I have found that the Rock Wool type of cube work best.

They do not deteriorate with the water spraying on them.

If you use some kind of cube that will come apart it will plug your water pump, or the spray emitters.

The Challenge I over came was the seeds starting to germinate and then dying, or not germinating at all.

The solution was to set a timer on the sprayer pump. I set it for 15 minuets on every six hours and that seems to be the best ratio.

I use a mild root excelerator in the water and change it weekly.

I use the plastic dome over it to keep the inside moist and just crack the vents a very small amount.

In two to three days the seeds show signs of cracking and shortly after that you see them start to poke up through the surface of the rock wool.

Just lift up the tray a bit and you can see the roots developing.

After about 7 days the germinated seedlings have roots, and by 12 to 15 days they have lots of roots, and are usually tall and strong enough to remove the cube and plant them and the cube into your Aquaponics Grow garden, or Hydroponic system, or in the dirt.

Look at the roots and make sure you have a good set of roots before taking them out of the Frontier Hydro Planter.

Another reason I like the rock wool cubes is that if you want to grow the seedlings a bit taller you can just transfer the cube with the seedling into a larger planter bucket and hand water them with a mild nutrient solution till they get larger to put into your Aquaponics Grow tray.

When they go into the grow tray make sure the cube with the seedling is far enough into your grow medium that the cube and especially the roots are receiving moisture. I found the Frontier Hydro Planter at: Frontier Specialty Products - Welcome!

If you call them ask for Joe

Edited by Joecacatheragman42 (see edit history)

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Welcome, to the forum. As far as the siphon, if the siphon does not start than you probably don't have enough water flowing into the grow bed, if the siphon never stops than you have to much water flowing into the grow bed.

How big is your grow bed, it may not be enough filtration for 100 fish.

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Welcome aboard Joe! Great to have you with us. :)

If I can ever get the gold fish from dying and get the system running right, I will buy some talapia. Joe

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