anyone ever tried real organic hydroponics?

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This was kick ass!!! Stutter my dude you are a G. I started reading this thread not even realizing it was going to turn into an aquaponics thread. Was looking for ideas on how to run a "dirty" rez for 10 weeks without complete melt down of my root systems. I have experimented by adding teas during last 2 weeks instead of straight flushing. Plants fade a lot nicer and bud tastes better imo. But have yet to do a full run of organic hydro
Anyway, organic hydro is something I want to do and do it right. While I love fish and if I was going greenhouse I would definitely consider aquaponics. Its not practical when I am trying to do trees indoors in already cramped spaces. I was more interested in how, if possible, I can feed my gals teas thru the 10 weeks of flowering. Maybe even eliminate the use of a chiller. ;)
So it dawned on me while reading this thread. When I was a kid and kept salt water tanks in Miami. I remember buying the salt water and these drops that I added every day for 45 days, supposedly to build up bacterial levels. At the end of the 45 days I would add a damsel and if it didnt die I'd stock my tank. The point I am trying to makes is; Why can't we attach a biofilter to our rdwc and build up a herd of bennies before adding plants? Then we can feed teas throughout the whole flowering cycle. The plants would practically just take what it needs. It might eliminate water changes too. As long as you maintain proper DO levels this might work. Someone has to be using a biofilter in their hydro system somewhere with no fish. -Keepz
 
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A lot of people in fact do this very thing in one way or another, but it doesn't amount to enough food for running a grow. To do that, you need a source of high grade bio material, and that's where the fish come in.

A few farmers here are already pointing the way, and I believe that such a system can provide more benefits than just ferts and fish, it can provide environmental control as well. I intend to kill a bunch of fish to find out, lol

Eventually, I believe it should be possible to raise both fish and plants in the same waterbed sized footprint.
 
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A lot of people in fact do this very thing in one way or another, but it doesn't amount to enough food for running a grow. To do that, you need a source of high grade bio material, and that's where the fish come in.

A few farmers here are already pointing the way, and I believe that such a system can provide more benefits than just ferts and fish, it can provide environmental control as well. I intend to kill a bunch of fish to find out, lol

Eventually, I believe it should be possible to raise both fish and plants in the same waterbed sized footprint.
I'm just spitballing here, but couldn't I input the high quality bio material in the form of guano (not mine lol) and kelp for example. If one makes the tea concentrated enough, the bennies in the biofilter should be breaking the inputs down into usable nutrients just like with the fish poo. Maybe inoculate the biofilter with Cap's bennies? Don't get me wrong, I love the aquaponics idea, but it seems to be on another level. I can't afford to do hands on research right now. -Keepz
 
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I'm just spitballing here, but couldn't I input the high quality bio material in the form of guano (not mine lol) and kelp for example. If one makes the tea concentrated enough, the bennies in the biofilter should be breaking the inputs down into usable nutrients just like with the fish poo. Maybe inoculate the biofilter with Cap's bennies? Don't get me wrong, I love the aquaponics idea, but it seems to be on another level. I can't afford to do hands on research right now. -Keepz
For a guy who doesn't want uncertainty, this seems like a big gamble- and quite a research project in its own right.

That said, I think this idea has serious potential, in a bennie fueled super composting kind of way. You're basically replacing fish poop and earthworm castings with bagged material, using a similar biofilter process and then feeding the plants with it.

I have no idea what could go wrong, or how... but if the components used are all organic and don't contain heavy metals, this at least sounds like one hell of a great way to kickstart an aquaponics system.
 

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
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Tweedy, that video's awesome! But I'm sitting here 2mins in and am watching him filter the very fish poo that is plant food. I don't know if I have the patience for almost 20mins of video, what does he do with the poo from there?

Oooohh, ok. This is just aquaculture, not aquaponics. He NEEDS that shit outta there. Ok, I get it.
I'm just spitballing here, but couldn't I input the high quality bio material in the form of guano (not mine lol) and kelp for example. If one makes the tea concentrated enough, the bennies in the biofilter should be breaking the inputs down into usable nutrients just like with the fish poo. Maybe inoculate the biofilter with Cap's bennies? Don't get me wrong, I love the aquaponics idea, but it seems to be on another level. I can't afford to do hands on research right now. -Keepz
Cap's bennies are soil microbes, you want aquatic microbes. Also, the nitrifiers (those are the microbes I'm talking about here, and those are mostly what will be colonizing all surface areas within a given aquatic system) are like lemmings--the system can only support so many in relation to the available food. So, teas applied, say weekly, would be causing population bursts and crashes. This type of constant burst and crash, in my experience with aquatics (not aquaponics, in other words I grew fish, corals, clams, aquatic plants) causes problems in the short and long run, mostly with the fishes health, but it will also impact populations of nitrifiers because of some issues.

First issue, the bacteria that convert NH4 to NO2 *and* NO3 are killed by high levels of NH4. High levels of NH4 also causes suffocation in fish if it's sufficiently high. Putting in teas may cause decomposition that ups the amount of NH4 in the system and could possibly up it to a point where there are simply not enough microbes to oxidize it. So, that sort of thing should be worked with carefully, IMO.

Second issue would be pH stability. I'm not saying that kelp and the other products you're thinking of WILL cause pH fluctuation or high ammonia levels, but I believe they possibly could. The guano is the most problematic part of your equation here, especially because the goal in aquaponics is to have the living fish shit, not having to add some other animal's old shit. What will happen to the guano, and whatever else it's bringing along for the ride, once it's added to a living water system? This is something I don't know. But I do know how quickly high levels of NH4 kill fish, I know that all too well. As does bouncing pH.
facepalm.gif


I think that if you're going to try it, you might want to try on a small scale first, and with plants other than cannabis, so you get a feel for how it's working.



Stutter, buddy! Where ya at? You're the guy with real hands-on experience here. :)
 
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Thank you, Seamaiden! This helps me as far as a basic understanding of how things cycle in aquatic environments.
 

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
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I keep saying to myself I've gotta hit up the WWM crew and see if there's an aquaponic cat as a member yet. Or, start working with the Bobster again, maybe get to Nuremburg afterall for another round of Interzoo, but I don't think diving the Red Sea via Egypt would be in the cards this time. Fuck, talk about not gettin' while the gettin's good!
 
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hey guys been real sick with a kidney infection so been absent a while sorry.

i guess it time for that smoke report. well at first i didnt like the aquaponics buds, it turns out they just needed a little extra drying time than my normal buds. the buds are fairly loose but the actual plant material feels denser if that makes sense? high brix maybe? anyway the buds seem to hold moisture longer than my coco buds and have to be dried longer and slower to get an even dry and a clean burn.

the flavour is unbelievable. so much more complex and what smelled like a classic lemon OG in coco now tastes more like an orange candy with hints of cherry in the aqua. its really quite incredible. to put it in perspective i pride myself on growing what i think to be pretty nice buds yet most of the time the smokers i smoke with dont really have high appreciation levels. sometimes commenting on smoothness etc but when i handed out samples of the aqua bud my phone was swamped with compliments. most people are really loving this. i bet if i was a seller i could sell this at higher coin levels than coco grown.

the bad news is without plants in it my system crashed. i couldnt get new clones to start because the water was too rich. the PH went nuts the fish got sick and i was too sick to do much about it. so it is now outdoors and cranking out some awesome looking tomato plants and strawberries and spinach, kale. its going great. the poor goldfish are coming back around too. im really kicking myself for letting them poor fish who worked so hard for me get sick.

the good news is the results were strong enough that i think i may convert all my grow areas to aquaponics. this means we are going to see a mega aqua build from the ground up. its going to involve multiple grow beds with plants at different stages, i think thats crucial to prevent system crashes between grows.

im thinking a 200l fish tank underneath a large flood and drain table in the main area where i test strains and i will just grow out whole packs in there and remove males as they appear and probably 3 of the small scrog areas the same size as the one you all saw here in my last grow. these will contain my best cuts. there will also be a small flood and drain table with mothers.
the beauty of the aquaponics system is its just one res. auto feeding and suitable for all stages of growth. bring on the aqua!!
 

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
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Oh no! I'm so sorry you've been sick, I hope you get well with a quickness. I'm also very sorry to hear that the system crashed on you, but it's a great education, and it sounds like the results were worth it.
 
Theoretically no one indoors grows in soil. Peat moss or the better potting "soils" made with coco (imo) are not soils. They are soil amendments. Inert themselves but can hold cations. The process of growing hydroponics is growing in an inert medium and giving it physically giving it nutrients. So growing in a potting soil whether the nutrients are mixed in the media or irrigated in is hydroponic in essence. This irrigation can be manually applied or automatically from a reservoir. In the case of undigested (insoluble) organic nutrients microbes are relied upon to provide inorganic molecules to the rhizosphere. Orchids are epiphytes. They naturally grow in no soil. Crooks of trees or on branch limbs. Many orchid growers grow in inert media and put the amendments right in the media and water in mircobe rich brews or just plain water. Sounds a lot like working in potting soil. Now I don't see how the product can taste or be any different if the same nutrients are predigested by microbes and automatically irrigated to the same plants. Now in the case of pure blend pro. It is soluble but not even totally organic. It has mineral sources for many of its nutrients in its profile. I grew in potting soil for years (not by many peoples opinion but in essence, hydro-organic). I now grow hydro-organically with automatic fertigation via 1/4 feed line held by tube stakes (watering til about 50-100% run off via timer 3x daily) in layered pot. coco chips and diatomaceous rock (50/50) ((hygromite being the preferred rock but dynarokII works in a pinch)) for the top 3-4" and bottom 3-4" with a layer of coco-peat in the middle mixed with a bit of mykos for good measure. Start in 5 1/4" squares of the 50/50 for a few weeks and transplant to 5 gal of "the sandwitch mix). The rootzone is colonized by glomus intraradices (mykos) for a few weeks before real biodiversity is introduced via a microbal rich extraction (tea). The nutrient is provided by an anaerobicly digested organic concoction containing ascophyllum nodosum, seabird guano and bat guano, glacial rock dust, crab shell, shrimp meal, and fish meal in varying amounts depending on the stage of growth, and add earthworm castings, molasses and compost during the aerobic process. It is then lowered to a pH of 4.0 with citric acid crystals and can be stored up to a couple months in plastic bottles. I never have any after a month as I use it all up. The process takes almost three weeks so im always making it. It is soluble and I use it in my reservoir. Change every 7- 10 days and add my tea 3 days after I fill the res and add nutes. I always clean my res so I never worry about debris or muck. I have quite a bit of experience in potting soil and grew outdoors in real soil 4 seasons. I have never gotten the kind of genetic expression or hulking plant structure out of potting soil like I do now out of my method I currently employ. Potting soil comes pretty darn close but cant match my veg structure or times. And its PURE organic. Tastes so fine and burns so clean, just like proper organics should. Except I have more control. In CEA you try to play god and create the perfect environment where your plants just consume constantly and I can create that environment and control it better with the set up ive explained. Ive harvested 15 ounces off a plant out of a 5 gal with a 7 week veg before. 6 under 2 1000 watt hps. The rest were average 7-8 a piece. Occasionally ill get those big girls that just got everything right and get 10 or 13 off them. Theyre usually always right in that sweet spot in the room. I think everyone has one.To those who are willing to try give it a shot. You will not regret it!
 
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@QuantumGen Nice write-up! I'm going to study your recipe carefully, as I'm working towards a similar goal from the opposite end; I'm planning an aquaponics approach to continuously provide soluble nutrients.
 
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@Seamaiden I'll second that. I just found the article explaining his vertical grow towers, fascinating stuff- and interestingly convergent to some of the work I'm seeing Farmers trying in their own setups!

What's even wilder is that his greenhouse and research lab is in... Laramie, Wyoming?! Not the first place I'd have guessed, yer darn tootin'!
 
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...maybe our Cowboy (Seriously, the UW mascot is a cowboy) is making veggies for Pace Picante Sauce... because that shore ain't New York City!
 
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Alright, I'm in. This thread is just too damned inspiring. I cant not try it. Im gonna get crazy and try craw dads too. Ill start small with just two meters.I'm thinking 100 gal tank with catfish and airstone. Pots of soilless mix for bio filtering and plant propagation. I'll have a few extra pots just filtering and not propagating. That way I can keep the water filtering for the fish but still keep the plants dry enough to avoid root rot. My pot grow is legal in my state but a fish grow is not. Kind of ironic. "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in".
 
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