Aquaponics | Part One

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Like I needed another “thing” in my Kitchen, btw…
What’s Aquaponics, you may ask?

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We perched the tank amongst some big ole plants, so even though there’s natural light for the plants, it’s filtered and shady for the wee little fishies

That’d be a mighty fine question. One I asked years ago when it was introduced to me and the kiddo’s back when I was still homeschooling w the boys. We all thought it was SO.FREAKIN.COOL.!!!

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NOT EVEN KIDDING – this Thyme was half the size just a few days ago!!

What the heck is AQUAPONICS?!

BASICALLY, you have a mini-ecosystem with (edible) plants, fish, and water. The tank pumps push fishy poopy water (fertilizer) into a special lava rock bed (no dirt!) for the plant roots, which filter the water by absorbing all the nutriends, and send it off back into the fish tank.

Well, there’s probably a lot more to it than that, but that’s the jist. Fish fertilize the plants, the plants filter the water back for the fish, and around she goes.

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It’s annoyingly hard to photograph moving fish in a fuzzy tank… Where are those Algea eaters?!

The dinner guest recently who had introduced us to this years ago brought us a mini-starter Aquaponics tank and, well, Kid Tt – aka “Fish Man” was ‘hooked’ (LOL).

Our guest had an Aquaponics site we visited all those years ago that took up an entire warehouse, growing edible fish AND edible plants – I’m sure that’s Kid Tt’s ultimate dream, but for now it’s a small 5ga tank and some herbs on top.

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Flat AND curly leaf parsley, at my service and ready for winter garnishes!

I took the boys out for some guppies (which apparently poop as much as you are willing to feed them?!) and, unfortunately, some small frogs. We learned later – but soon enough – that amphibians can potentially spread salmonella to edible plants… As a result, we had to go out and get a second tank for these freaky new frogs… UGH.

Like we needed MORE things that poop in our house, btw…

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Creepy albino white froggy things… Not sure they can even jump out, but we covered it for now just in case (yes, they have growies and habitats inside. yes, they have a filter/pump/air. yes, they’re super weird and creepy...)

Apparently we don’t add snails or algea eaters until we actually have some algea for them to eat, so that’ll be our next step.

So, it seems like so far all is well! My Parsley and Thyme are GROWING!!! Time will tell how lush all my herbs get from this system, but sufficed to say I can’t seem to keep any herbs alive indoors so far. In the end, anything will be a small victory to carry me through until I can re-plant my garden outside.

The things I do for food, or at least for year-round fresh herbs…

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