Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Aquaponics sprouting!

Some free cucumber seed being put to work

I planted some cucumbers and summer squash for the fall season in Phoenix. I was a bit hesitant to just throw the seeds in the hydroton (clay balls) as I thought they would just get washed down to the bottom, but lo and behold after three days, my cucumbers have sprouted. I planted 6 seeds each from two different varieties and every single seed sprouted, so apparently they do stay put fairly well. In a couple of months we'll see if the tiny seeds like lettuce and herbs perform the same.

I am still cycling the tank, so the fish are still indoors as I'm trying my best to not kill them. In order to prevent the tiny tilapia from getting sucked into the filter once they do go in, I've devised a simple and cheap mesh cage for my pump. I bought a small roll of fiberglass mesh used on window screens and sewed it into a tube shape. Using a couple of my zipties I tightened it around both the cord and the hose fitting.

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I will remove this after the fish get big enough to not get sucked through the normal 3/8" holes in the pump cage so I can pump some solids out. These will be filtered out using aquarium spongy filter media that will be placed underneath where the water comes out of the pump into the grow bed.
The progress so far is exciting!

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