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About PTMentats

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  • Biography
    Beginner to Aquaponics
  • Interests
    Aquaponic how-to's, ornamental plants, small scale aquaculture

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    United States

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  1. I'm sure I'm posting this in the wrong place since I'm still a noob but well... here's my rambling. For starters, I did do a couple of things right- I bought some red wigglers online and kept them contained, well watered with a great supply of shredded cardboard. I have two bins I use for vermiculture (raising worms to improve soil and process waste into nutrients). When I got my worms, I thought it'd be a good idea to split them into two groups so if I botched one, I didn't need to loose all my cute?, wiggly lil friends. My first bin was a styrafoam container, about 18 gallons- using styafoam was my first mistake. I suppose it can be toxic to a degree, but it is also terrible at transferring gas exchange. My second bin was an older (well washed) bucket that once held kitty litter (clean stuff, heh). The plastic transfers heat better and the holes I made in the side of that bin worked much better- I guess I'm learning. In order to avoid freaking the worms out and making them try to crawl out of their bin, I've tried not to put too much starch or any kind of kitchen scraps that aren't well processed. I saw a video on youtube of a man going to interesting lengths to grow happy worms. He'd let bread get stale and then put it on top of the piles. He'd process his food scraps with a juicer, feeding the worms the juice right away and then letting the pulp rot for about a week in a kitchen composter. His worms looked healthy and it was nice small scale stuff, so I'm going to try this myself (well, with a cheaper blender and a couple of mesh wire colanders?) The first bin created a much darker, well processed pile of dirt. The second batch was initially much smaller so I think this outdoors batch was more experimental. I fed them a lot of cardboard, wood chips, a few fruits and veggies (and a cherry tomato from a Wendy's salad which just dried up and kept it's color. It still hasn't decomposed, after about two months. No one's paying me to say this but... yeah, hehe kinda scary right? In the middle of a really humid Virginia Summer, the worms were loving the outdoors and their bedding was only mildly damp, so having recently read a bit about aquaponics, I decided to test out something by pouring my Beta's waste water into the bin. I really wish I could have informative polls filled out by my worms... in English, emailed to me. No, I don't ask for much do I? The worms didn't seem to mind the fishy water, in some ways I think they liked it. The second bin was indoors mostly, it was a mixed of old coconut husk and LECA from hydroponics, a good deal of banana peels, some potting soil and stale bread crumbled into teeny tiny bits. This second soil batch is way too wet, but warm and teeming with life. With the coconut husk, I've noticed that my dirt had a 'shredded wheat in a bowl for 30 mins' look to it. The worms love the husk for bedding and I managed to actually become a grandworm! YAY, I successfully achieved keeping some red wigglers alive long enough to produce a second generation. Since I've rambled for a while, I'll just ask a couple of questions and go back to lurking the forums for a bit... What's the best material for vermiculture bins? Did I post this in the wrong place? Should I have posted it elsewhere? Well... where then? Huh? Oh!! Okay, thanks! Is anyone else around more experienced with vemiculture? I need to take a picture of one of my fatter worms and post it, just to creep some people out but also to ask if anyone knows if she's just big into Mcdonalds or pregnant. Thank you for your time!
  2. Thanks for such a well thought out reply! Great work and good luck, I like the way things are looking in your latest video. I appreciate you sharing your ideas, it's great that you are taking on the challenge of an NFT system with aquaponics.
  3. That's really an amazing setup Jobney, way to go! I love all the pictures showing your progress but most of all, the sketch up of your system design. That's great! I've tried something similar, it involves a number two pencil and paper, nothing quite as pretty but it seems to help me work through the cobwebs in my brain I had a newbie question I should probably post elsewhere, but I really like your NFT system in particular and was wondering- does this swirl filter help sort out algae and bigger chunks of organic matter? Also, have you had any issues with root rot? Do you use airpumps /airstones or is the water flow consistent enough to keep things well aerated? This is probably one of the most comprehensive designs I've seen for a home-built NFT system and the first I've seen of an NFT aquaponic system. I really love your creation, great work!
  4. Thank you Kellen I don't know a tremendous amount about aquaculture but my pet fish are fat and happy- no where near as pretty as the white fish on your avatar though
  5. Hey folks! I'm Patrick, a mycologist from Northern Virginia. I'm interested in learning more about aquaculture and how it can be used in conjunction with hydroponics. When I first read about aquaponics, something hook into me and I've felt a desire to build an aquaponic system since. I've done some small hydroponic deals in the past and created a few raised garden beds outside (which led me to 'farming' red wiggler worms for composting). There are still a lot of things for me to learn, especially about marine life and I love what I've seen so far.
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