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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '17, 08:25 
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I read somewhere that plants grow faster in aquaponics this is actually what prompt me to look into this. This should have been my first question here, dont know why I am asking it only now :dontknow:

Do plants grow faster in aquaponics compared to container or soil gardening, provided its given same nutrient and sun? If so what makes it do so. faster nutrient transfer more oxygen or anything that hasn't come to my imagination yet?

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julian


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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '17, 11:19 
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I live in a place that is quite dry and I think a good deal of the "faster" or "better" growth comes from the plants having plenty of water

Just a theory, mostly born out of the fact that when I water plants in my garden they grow better.

I'm sure people will have done tests, I've done some highly unscientific ones whereby I've planted some lettuce seedlings in an AP bed and some in a container with soil. The ones in the AP got bigger faster and tasted better.

The container had a dripper that watered it twice a day.


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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '17, 16:12 
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Thanks was it soil as in dirt or some form of potting mix?


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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '17, 19:32 
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my experience is that they don't grow faster - some grow a bit slower but I get much more sustained yields. eg. Basil & spinach etc goes beserk in my self watering pots ('home mixed' quality mix with added organics) but they grow large and flowers quickly as well - I can get sustained harvests from AP.

As Sean notes the big issue for many of us is regular watering, many areas of Australia have restricted watering and the soil dries out very fast in hot weather. The AP tends to make things nice and steady. I feel this is a benefit for those in hot areas where many plants get heat/water stressed easily.

I find that lettuce etc grow much better in AP, but not necessarily faster.
If you were focused on strawberries for example you would probably get better yields from a manure tower like Food&Fish has or hydroponics. But you can grow them in AP.
Another member Brian indicates that he gets less growth from AP over hydroponics but the hydroponics was costing him quite a bit.

It will depend a lot on your situation - light, air temperature, water temperature, system nutrients and even system design are all big factors that vary for each person.

so simple answer is while there may be situations, in many cases things wont grow quicker.
in cases they may grow slower.

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '17, 23:34 
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Thanks Darren i guess have to try. Its hot over here and my lettuce on the SWC seems to be malnourished.


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '17, 07:18 
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Wicking beds are a good way to save water while being able to provide the optimum nutrients for certain plants.

I believe you can grow more plants in the same space for less work in an AP system because the plants don't need to compete so much for nutrients as they're delivered via the water every 45 min or so. And as Darren implies the type and age of the system will have an effect on the outcome.

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '17, 08:39 
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Thanks Pete, I almost forgot the time for eco system to establish. Think I have to make the system already and put whatever plants in there. I already planted some lettuce and others on SWC thinking that they will be ready for transplant when system is constructed.


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '17, 12:11 
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Yes its a good idea to get heaps of seedlings up to about 4-5 inches in the GBs before and while cycling because once you've got the fish they will be producing waste for conversion the second they arrive.

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '17, 14:15 
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they CAN grow faster, it isnt a definite.
if they do grow faster it is likely from having constant nutrient supply to all roots - plants can only absorb nutrients dissolved in water, so any time a plant in soil doesnt have the perfect amount of moisture (or has depleted the nutrient levels next to the roots) it will slow in growth, the next watering bringing it some respite.

there is obviously the oxygen concern too, which is why its so important to keep water well oxygenated in AP and why not over watering / having free draining soil is so important in normal gardens.

basically you already knew the reasons, there are no other magical things about AP that allow plants to grow faster.


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '17, 21:53 
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So it all boils down to efficient nutrient and oxygen transfer. provided there is same amount of light. But isn't moving water constantly can deliver more nutrients than the nearly stagnant water in SWC. anyway your experience is more proof.
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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '17, 07:50 
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Stagnant water is not much chop.

Most people use either flood and drain (F&D) or constant flow (CF) (meaning the water level remains the same height). Although CF works and is simpler it can have issues with dead zones where refreshed water doesn't flow to on it's way to the overflow.
To avoid that, F&D via siphon or timer reduces the chance of it happening by draining the water from the media dragging air in behind it for a given time then replacing the whole GB with fresh fish water.

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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '17, 12:02 
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Oxygen is important - particularly in a DWC.
In small systems you get that by regular circulation and 'splash' (also turbulent flows in pipe sections etc)
But fast flowing or aggressive water is not very efficient (presumably roots don't like waving around a lot).

Mostly in a large DWC setup (eg. commercial) additional aeration is provided by bubblers.
This provides circulation and aeration of slower moving water.

Plants don't suck nutrients at great rates - so circulation of a tank per hour etc is more than enough.

the suggested benefit of bubbler aeration in large systems is raised in other threads.
eg. viewtopic.phpf=1&t=20822&p=450123&hilit=aeration#p450123
Andreas (DasBoot) also discusses it in his thread - Crappy Basil Growers R Us.
(around pages 80-110 when he discusses new setup) viewtopic.php?f=18&t=16235&hilit=crappy+basil+growers

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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '17, 22:08 
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The "one hour turn out" which seem to be the accepted norm. Is this fro the fish or plants or both. I mean is this to protect fish from ammonia build up or to deliver enough nutrients and oxygen to plants or both? Say I have a separate water cleaning system for the fish tank can I cut back on water circulation for the plants?


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PostPosted: Aug 20th, '17, 06:52 
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Its mainly for the fish but it also depends on the climate - if it's say sunny 33-43+ C I want to reduce the cycle time to 15/60-75 min on/off because the GBs act as solar panels heating up the water which elevates the FT water. Trout begin to suffer over 24 C.
In cooler weather when the fish are at or near optimal growth temps I would be running 15/45 as they'll be eating and producing more.
If it's below optimal 11 -2 C I reduce again to 15/75 as they're not eating much again.

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PostPosted: Aug 20th, '17, 07:09 
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Petesake wrote:
Its mainly for the fish but it also depends on the climate - if it's say sunny 33-43+ C I want to reduce the cycle time to 15/60-75 min on/off because the GBs act as solar panels heating up the water which elevates the FT water. Trout begin to suffer over 24 C.
In cooler weather when the fish are at or near optimal growth temps I would be running 15/45 as they'll be eating and producing more.
If it's below optimal 11 -2 C I reduce again to 15/75 as they're not eating much again.


Thanks may i know how much fish you keep per 1 cu mtr water, by weight?


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