Simple & Easy Home Aquaponics - Hydroponics ?

Nifty

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Ok, I know this is probably a slippery slope, but I thought I'd DABBLE in this a little bit. I guess technically I already am.... ;)

A few months ago I had some green onions from the store and ended up putting them in water. I was SHOCKED at how fast they grew!!! :ep

green-onion.jpg


So, I got to thinking it might be fun to take this to a slightly higher level. Nothing crazy, but just a fun little project.

I LOVE the idea of aquaponics (fish + plants + carbon-cycle = FOOD). I'm just worried this may be a bit more commitment than I'm ready for right now... but that depends on how much "work" it is.

Remember, I'm going from "put plants in jar with water" to something a little bit more interesting, but I can't commit to a big ol' project.

This video on basic hydroponics was helpful in making me think "yeah, I can do this"



... or maybe I just KISS and stick with putting some onions and romaine lettuce into a few cups of water. ;)
 

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@Nifty, I've been doing kratky hydroponics for the last 2 winters. It's stupid simple. Right now, I have an entire shelf full of lettuce plants that are huge, succulent, and require no care aside from initially planting the seedlings, and (Possibly... if needed) topping off their nutrient solution after 5 - 6 weeks of growth. Not bad to be able to plant it and forget it until harvest... in the middle of the winter. Not to mention: While the wind is whistling around the house, rattling the window panes. While the snow is piling up in drifts, I can go into my office and indulge in the sight, smell, feel, and taste of fresh green growing things! A single plastic shoe box can grow 6 full size leaf lettuce plants. Add 2 more boxes, and you have a continuous supply.
 

Nifty

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BRILLIANT!!!

I've been doing kratky hydroponics for the last 2 winters. It's stupid simple.
Stupid simple!?!? You're speaking my language!!! ;)

Right now, I have an entire shelf full of lettuce plants that are huge, succulent, and require no care aside from initially planting the seedlings
Ok, I really want to see pics!!! :)

What's funny is that I'm always complaining about how quickly leafy greens go bad when in my fridge, but if I'm growing them in the house, I can just pick off and eat as I want :D

(at least that's my dream)
 

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And it's a good dream to have. I'm a techno idiot when it comes to getting pics posted. But, I'll see what I can do.

My set up involves: 2" net pots, hydroton clay pellets, empty plastic coffee cans, and several plastic shoe boxes. I use Foxfarm Grow Big hydroponic concentrate. A single bottle of that will last for YEARS at the rate that I'm using it. A 1 qt mason jar is a good size for a single lettuce plant. I have 5 - 6 holes drilled in the lids of the shoe boxes. Those work well, but need to have more solution added towards the end of the growth cycle. A South facing window will suffice, BUT, if you really want good growth, it's best to provide supplemental lighting. I have a shelf unit with flourescent shop lights, and have recently bought some LED's but not yet hung them. Warm spectrum light is best for plant growth. I'm thinking about planting a sugar snap pea plant this week. I recently started a patio tomato, and a bush cucumber.

Last year, I had some cucumbers growing in a coffee can. I harvested a few before my efforts were ended abruptly due to spider mite infestation. ( a few hitch hikers arrived when I moved plants inside that fall.) This year... so far... so good.

I assume you have some shop tools to work with. A 2" hole saw makes a perfect hole for the 2" net pots. I learned the hard way. Start the hole with the drill in forward mode until the drill bit pierces the plastic. Then shift to reverse to complete the hole.
 
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Nifty

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Lots of great info, thanks! (would love to see pics, so let me know if you need help loading them)
I assume you have some shop tools to work with.
Yup, lots of tools... and a 3D printer, so I can make most stuff :)
 

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I have dabbled a little in this too, but not with great results so far. I am not the most organised gardener and my containers dried out or were attacked by bugs. I used perlite and vermiculite and some of the containers were blown over 😣 My positioning of them was perhaps not great, my plans to cover it did not happen and they were in full afternoon sun. I did well with sprouting lettuce but it all bolted to seed very quickly. I have a pond but not yet set up for fish and the pump seems expensive. I was hoping to find an alternative to an electric pump but I just havent got there yet. I have had some minor success with growing in buckets of water but have not been able to maintain the correct nutrient level with the stuff I brought. I would have a lot to learn before attempting to do this with fish!

I wanted to try inside but was concerned about mould or disease. I am wondering about the nutrients of the food grown in water, and how much of the concentrate to use. I want to feed my house bunnies so need it to be nutritious enough to have them live on it.
 

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Do a google search for Kratky Hydroponics. Super easy. I recommend doing it inside. No insects and you can more easily regulate the temperature. If you have a good ?North facing (in your hemisphere!) window, that may be all the light your plants need.
 
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