Those of you who have been following this blog know that I love aquaponics systems and I love locally produced, organic food. The two phenomenal women in my life bought me a pair of aquaponics setups for Christmas last year, and I have learned a great deal from them and have a much better idea of what is needed to be successful with an aquaponics setup. The system limitations taught me the following lessons (Except number 6 - Google taught me that one):
Lesson #1 - Grow bed flooding needs to be intermittent - not constant. Constantly flooded roots = root rot. So, your plant that shot up and thrived for a month will quickly drop dead.
Lesson #2 - You still need convenient access to the fish tank. You still get algae and other detritus that needs to be cleaned.
Lesson #3 - the fish still need supplememental aeration - apologies to the brave little guys who gave their lives for me to learn this one.
Lesson #4 - 3 gallons of water is not enough for a stable aquatic environment. See apology in Lesson #3.
Lesson #5 - LED grow lights are a game changer and encourage the plants to grow up straight rather than leaning toward the window light.
Lesson #6 - There are mystery crawdads that exist and have the ability to clone themselves. (No - I learned this is a real thing - not just a movie starring Tara Reid on the Sci-Fi channel.) They were somewhat randomly discovered in a German pet shop several years ago. Now you can buy them on Ebay - but you probably should not mess with things like that - especially the mad scientist guy that reads this blog. You know who you are.
Today, I learned about another modular aquaponics system that seems to address lessons 1-5 to some extent, and it looks cool in your Manhattan apartment. And it's got that vaguely hourglass shape that made a big cola company lots of money...
I don't think I'll ask for this one for Christmas - I want to build an ugly one that uses reclaimed materials and has absolutely no visual appeal - so I'll let you judge for yourself.
By the way - the random business idea for the week - the Tupperware brand needs to be resurrected if we are going to keep popping out these modular aquaponics systems. :-#
May your food be pesticide free and may you know the joy of seeing something in your care thrive!