Welcome back to the beautiful growing season… Sort of. I managed to grow through the winter, in my living room. Many a salad and many a sandwich gleaned from my indoor aquaponics system. I even have some tomatoes just about to ripen. Yeah, new lesson learnt, don’t plant indeterminate tomatoes indoors.
I’ve gone on and built a demo turnkey aquaponocs system for Alberta Aquaponics and am currently building the full version, with hopes of making my indoor system less industrial/ water world looking, as well as possibly selling a few or helping other build the same.
I’ve taken lessons from building this AP system and am now implementing them with all my aquaponics system. Trying to make them all easier on the eyes as well as functional!
Here’s a brief video of my indoor system. So, to all those out there who say I’m terrible at speaking on camera, watch this and know that you were right. Lol.
Outside of this, I have dozens of projects on the go… Ok, several projects on the go, and I may be putting on my big boy pants and buying a real home! In which case I will have dozens of projects on the go. Including but not limited to, a greenhouse that I can grow in year round!
This year is going to be very exciting!!
So i decided to try some carrots in my AP system not too long ago. This complex system of relearning how to grow each plant in this new medium, can sometimes be long and super annoying!
I’m going to take it in my stride, look at it as the learning curve that it was and develop a different way.
That different way, does not involve rock wool. Starting carrots in rock wool may seem like a good idea, and they did sat well, just like the other plants. However, root vegetables are always a challenge in an AP system. Potatoes are nay on impossible!
Carrots work. Rock wool and carrots… Its my belief, and feel free to disagree, but based on my experiences, the rock wool retains too much moisture for too long. The carrots start out great! Grow tall luxurious green leaves, and even set. After that, things start to go wrong. All of my carrots, bar two, have had there problems and died.
Some looked great via the greens, but as soon as you looked deeper, the root vegetable itself had completely rotted out and was just a gooey mess. Others, the greens slowly died off, the plant continued to sprout more greens, but seemed unable to keep them alive. Then mould at the roots became visible.
I’m not going to give up though! I’m sure they’re a vegetable i can master!
The last one to give out on me showed signs of mould, so i pulled it, sliced off the mould and had a delicious little carrot about an inch and a half diameter and two inches long. This convinces me that carrots are possible. For my next attempt, i’m going to sow directly into the media. Maybe use some tissue paper so stop the seeds from sinking to far down in the ebb and flow of water.
Another problem i noticed and should mention with the rock wool, the carrot grow through the rock wool, as you would expect, however the rock wool itself get stuck in the skin of the carrot and forces you too skin it. Not a major problem, but one i choose to avoid.
May the flow of fish poop, be forever in your favour!
Hahaha. (Yes,i think i’m way funnier that I may actually be.)
Peace good people.
Thought I’d check in as I haven’t written in some time.
A lot has been going on. I had a small malfunction and lost my largest fish. They knocked out my aeration and he suffocated. I managed to save the rest. I harvested my first tilapia, haven’t eaten him yet, but I will!
Had a large fruit fly infestation, it’s slowly coming under control, but man is it a pain in the rear end.
I also have a couple side projects on the go as well, if I can ever find a free minute to get them done!
Anyway that’s the quick catchup for now. I’ll get back to you all really soon!!
Ok. So I have had this change over planned for a few months now, however I seemed to have fallen into a bit of a slump and couldn’t get motivated to do a thing. I spent days and weeks staring at my aquaponics system, as it slowly turned a bit yellow and plants didn’t develop quickly, or stopped growing all together. Plus my collection of grow beds was… Eclectic and hap hazard.
In walks the good old AA meeting. Alberta Aquaponics. Where I met some new people. Had some good conversations and became reinvigorated. That night, I went home and worked till it was to dark to see. It was messy, I couldn’t work in the house.
Anyway, I switched out my old grow beds and 45gallon barrel, over severaldays, because my new system was going right where my old one was.
I kept a 2’x3’x6″ grow bed from my outside system and moved it in. Then I built a second grow bed from 3/4″ ply wood and 2″x12″ boards. The grow bed is 2’x6′. I painted it with sharkskin paint. Then lined it with Duraskrim, food safe liner.
I upgraded my barrel to a 55gallon barrel, which I had cut the side out and installed a plexiglass window.
I set the whole system up as a constant height one pump system. The grow beds will drain into a 45 gallon sump and the water will be pumped up into my barrel via a Venturi jet. Which will then overflow back into my grow beds.
Right now, I don’t have a strong enough pump to make it run as well as I want, and I still have to run an air pump until I get a strong enough water pump to run the venturi. However, it’s all flowing, working and keeping the plants and fish alive!!! Plus the bonus that it’s not an eyesore like my last crazy setup.
if you have any questions, pleas feel free to ask. Or come down to the next AA meeting and hang out and discuss!!
P.S. Well, I still can’t figure out these pictures into my blogs. I can do videos, but pictures…
I’ll have to figure it out one day.
I wrote this post
last week, but due to me vs. technology, problems… I didn’t manage to get it up.
Ok, so I’m a slow runner with my blog, and this may be a weird one cause I’m gonna try and put a pic in it.
A lot of things have happened outside of aquaponics that have kept me busy. So I haven’t had anytime to play.
But here’s the gist.
my outside system went bat crazy. Through much fiddle and farting around and mucho advice from gord and Donna, I determined that temperature fluctuations were the culprit. My system was too small and too black, the holding tank that is, was black and absorbed too much heat in the day, hence temp fluctuations. It slaughtered my poor fishies before their time. Despite that, I managed to get two spaghetti squash, several small jars of pickles and a strawberry out of it. Doesn’t seem like much, but they were my first aquaponics harvest that wasn’t just leafy greens. Not that leafy greens are bad. Haha.
My inside system has taken a small beating, as I knew it would after attending the course that Gord and Donna taught. Everything was going well, but my six inch deep grow beds caught up to me and are cause all sorts of problems.
Also, an invasion of spider mites tore through my carrots. No losses on my side, the spider mites weren’t so lucky.
So, with the help of Gord and Donna, I am devising a new aquaponics system for in my home. Bigger, better, stronger, faster, more awesomer!!! Er?! Yeah!
Hopefully work will give me some time to relax in the soonish future so I can put it all together. Including custom shaped grow beds made with food and fishy friendly duraskrim, 12″ deep of course, and a little window to view my fishies from the side!
But first!!! The makers fair tomorrow! Should be a blast! Hope to see everyone there.
oh yeah. And now the pictures.
Ok. I got nothing. I’ll have to get another tutorial from Gord on the weekend. I used to be so good with computers. Bit then I stopped using them, more or less, two years ago.
anyway, peace out!
Sean Morrish has been working hard on building up his aquaponic gardens and attempting to help people around his local area in Rocky Mountain House.
We have decided to give him an area on Alberta Aquaponics to post up his updates and blogs in a new area on the site.
Please help us in welcoming Sean to the site and cheering him on in his updates and successes!