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Pond Farming  RSS feed

 
Posts: 715
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Ok here is my chance to combine subjects and work on stacking functions...

Bird and I have been discussing Yabbies on the tire thread, Rose and I have been talking Step on Ponds.

Does anyone have a pond in use to help warm an out of zone tree?  I really want to try this!!!  I hope to make enough microclimate to grow the most I can.  I plan to spend the rest of my life working on this.

I saw the lovely photos of the hyacenth (Brenda's? or Leigh's, I get confused) lovely photos and I want to get a bit of that.  I am thinking I could over winter it in a tank in the house like the duckweed.  My tanks will be a nice addition but I want ponds!

How about raising fish?  I have always kept aquariums and when we got here I set up a little one with local caught stuff.  I plan to get some bigger.  In my tank I have duckweed and it is doing super... can't remember what thread  the discussion of using it for chicken feed, but I started scrambling it into their eggs...along with their egg shells.

See.... in permaculture everything runs together.
 
                          
Posts: 250
Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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Looks like a challenge

Are you trying to heat pond? - look into sola swimming pool heating, pinch their ideas make your own version? How large is the area you are thinking of?

What sort of tree? how far out of its normal zone?

As for fish its about the same as aquirium, maintain water quality, i realease my excess fish from yabbie pond unless i want fish fertilizer, can get better eating fish for a few vegies anywhere here

pond any dam on your property
 
Jennifer Smith
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I have all these little experiments around and always have.  Plants and animal stuff.  Today while watering my house plants I found a luffa growing up in some petunias I brought in back when we bought this place...they were about dead outside the front door. 

My yabbies already reproduced in the tank but that was before the duckweed and they all got ate I believe. 

I will drop in a piece or two of carrot and see what they think...know they love hotdog.  Chicken too. 

Thought I saw one munching duckweed but was not sure.  I have to put on my reading glasses and have a good look on occasion, really like a tank in the house.
 
pollinator
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at this time my medium size pond is a "groundwater" pond ..for now i have no fresh water inlet or outlet..but it does evidently have spring action as it doesn't get stale..we also put in mosquito donuts for them.

I have put in goldfish and we have the usual wildlife in it, frogs, tadpoles, turtles, water birds etc..but i haven't gotten fish that require fresh water yet, until we put in a flowing well..sometime in the future..we had flowing well at my mil's next door but sold that house..

i do however put some trees nearby the pond to reap the frost drainage so that they are more likely to grow well here..and i have also planted trees higher up on our banks to where there is more frost drainage..but closer to the house..

cherries and peach family trees are marginal here..but i can grow them up on the banks..where frost will quickly drain away..

we doubled the size of the pond last summer and haven't really gotten it landscaped or planted yet..as we weren't sure we were going to keep or remove the clay bank we have on the north..but some plants are put in now.

I also have lots of hardy water lilies and other water plants in the pond and they do well.
 
                          
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young got eaten- does your tank have a place foe them to hide, log, cave, pipe? maybe over crowding, they are territorial

yabbies are bottom dwellers ie: scavengers most info iv'e ever read sates they are vegitarian but when time to catch i load my trap with meat so they do eat anything. they do love rotting timber the main reason i dont feed meat is it can taint the water if its not all eaten

size or my pond = small swiming pool next one i spoke of in tyre thread will be spa size conected by small flowing creek.

plants in pond are local water lilly's, reeds and a floating cress, will be looking into edible plants soon, water chestnut and such

now its time to make me sound stupid! have never had to deal with cold- so i gather things freeze there? now would your ponds still freeze if the water was in constant movement, some sort of aggitation or retriculation to keep it moving, i have seen pool heaters that just pump the water through black poly pipe over their garage roof, sun heats pipe hence the water passing through the pipe

out of zone tree- have you reasearched it's normal growing climate, try to imitate that as far as possible NEVER SAY DIE! many plants around the world grow where they normaly shouldn't

one last thought some gardeners here (down south) stretch a single strand of copper wire over sesitive plants in times of frost they claim the cold goes to the wire and the plants survive ? never tried it myself but have often seen it done with the older gardeners


Good luck hope some of this is helpfull

Bird
 
Jennifer Smith
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So Cherry wants frost drainage and peach wants to stay cold as long as it can into spring, yes? 

I, for some reason, can not wrap my mind around where the trees would each be happy. 

I would like fig.  I hear of, and even bought, a hardy to my zone type to be here in the spring with my cherry trees. 

Pomagranite, avacodo, and citris, are dreams and will someday be houseplants if nothing else.

I can see the ponds in my mind, they are where the big puddles form now, mostly.  I am still shaping my land by spreading barn cleanings. 
 
Jennifer Smith
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Bird wrote:
young got eaten- does your tank have a place foe them to hide, log, cave, pipe? maybe over crowding, they are territorial

yabbies are bottom dwellers ie: scavengers most info iv'e ever read sates they are vegitarian but when time to catch i load my trap with meat so they do eat anything. they do love rotting timber the main reason i dont feed meat is it can taint the water if its not all eaten

size or my pond = small swiming pool next one i spoke of in tyre thread will be spa size conected by small flowing creek.

plants in pond are local water lilly's, reeds and a floating cress, will be looking into edible plants soon, water chestnut and such

now its time to make me sound stupid! have never had to deal with cold- so i gather things freeze there? now would your ponds still freeze if the water was in constant movement, some sort of aggitation or retriculation to keep it moving, i have seen pool heaters that just pump the water through black poly pipe over their garage roof, sun heats pipe hence the water passing through the pipe

out of zone tree- have you reasearched it's normal growing climate, try to imitate that as far as possible NEVER SAY DIE! many plants around the world grow where they normaly shouldn't

one last thought some gardeners here (down south) stretch a single strand of copper wire over sesitive plants in times of frost they claim the cold goes to the wire and the plants survive ? never tried it myself but have often seen it done with the older gardeners


Good luck hope some of this is helpfull

Bird


My tank is almost 2 gallons...not much but a night light really, but fun.  The young yabbies were only a few days old and smaller than a grain of salt.  I had to put on my reading glasses and still could not make out features, but could tell what they were by the way they would swim.  That was before the duckweed so I will do better next time. 

I dropped in a couple small chunks of carrot and they went right for it like hotdog, but left it and were sure happy to see hotdog a couple hours later.  Maybe it needs to rot a bit.  I do not feed them every day so they look forward to being fed when I do.  They have ate many of my snails and I am happy to see snail eggs as the tank is starting to get green again.  One yabbie shed his shell today, they do that fairly often and must eat the shells as they are usually gone in a day.  I am however getting a pretty good collection of snail shells.  My chickens love egg shells.

 
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Jennifer Hall wrote:
I saw the lovely photos of the hyacenth (Brenda's? or Leigh's, I get confused)



I believe the water hyacinth pic was of my garden pond. Thanks for the compliment, Jennifer! 

Water Hyacinth is one of the easiest things to grow. However, overwintering has presented it's problems. I have only overwintered it once. To this day, I don't understand why that 1 time was successful, and all other attempts have since failed. I've tried everything and the same thing, but to no avail. I have been pondering this a lot lately, as I've been scooping out frostbitten hyacinth from the ponds and adding it to the compost pile.  Winter is sooooo depressing for me.

All 3 of my ponds are ordinary fish ponds with liners, pumps and supplemented water, be it rain or city water. I have 4 good sized koi now, and a bunch of plain ol' goldfish in my 2 smaller ponds.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Gwen Lynn wrote:
I believe the water hyacinth pic was of my garden pond.


#-o Any good photos to share to brighten up this cold day?

Well Gwen, you have sent in some great photos and contributed much to my education, I thank you.  Did you bring in your hyacinth to try to over winter? 

That is my plan, to do just a tad of farming inside over the winter.  Mostly to study and experiment as I do with my other plants.  A great excuse for some nice fish tanks...really like my fish tanks and have kept at least one most of my life.
 
                          
Posts: 250
Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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Hi Jeniffer

An Aussie bit of yabbie info for you, sure you can find similar sites on your local ones

www.growfish.com.au/Grow/Files/fn082.pdf

Has info on feeding, canabilism ect will track down similar info on the breed i am useing

Found it- www.nt.gov.au/d/Content/File/p/Fishnote/FN32.pdf

Have a good day

Bird
 
Gwen Lynn
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Jennifer Hall wrote:
#-o Any good photos to share to brighten up this cold day?

Well Gwen, you have sent in some great photos and contributed much to my education, I thank you.  Did you bring in your hyacinth to try to over winter? 



Well, thank you Jennifer, & I truly appreciate your complimentary feedback!  Here is a pic of my koi, just to stay on topic. Starting from the bottom, their names are Limpet, Ladyfish & Eggbert, who is my mom's fish. She named him that because we got him the day before Easter. Limpet is the oldest fish, he's 11 now. Koi can live hundreds of years. The record for one known fish is 226 years.

This is an older pic, I now have another koi named Edgar that Leah gave me. He is really beautiful, I should take a pic of him too. Maybe later, when the sun is hitting the pond.

I haven't brought any hyacinth in yet. Yes, we've had some frost, but the water temps are still in the 50's, so I've procrastinated. I have some small pieces that are still in the ponds. I will probably bring some in today. Was considering blowing that off (kinda frustrates me that it doesn't make it!  ) but I should try again I guess.

I'll look thru some of my saved pix and post more in a different thread.


koi.JPG
[Thumbnail for koi.JPG]
 
                          
Posts: 250
Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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Gwen your fish look great, and the pond looks healthy, do you have any airation in it or just the plants working for you and the fish. those fish are worth a fortune in Japan

Jennifer on your micro climate issue, how would a sun trap work? semi circular garden wide opening facing the sun ( south facing over there? i must do some research on your zoneing in America) pond in front of it to bounce light/heat into garden area maybe use a sun facing wall as heat trap behind it all? I have a couple that i use to hide tree trimming piles just north faceing (in my case) semi circles of palms, slow working compst piles for stuff i've been to lazy to chop up

I am currently preparing another area for more fruit trees, rare and exotic tropicals, about 20 or so trees looking into Black Sapote (chocolate pudding trees), Mangosteen, these take approx 20yrs to fruit and have just discovered another called a Magic Berry Tree, so lots of reasearch to do the more variety the better i reckon

Bird
 
Jennifer Smith
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Would dying Hyacinth make for yabbie food? 

My parents have some koi in a small deep pond in Northern CA.  They are quite large and mom is not allowed to feed them in the winter.

I think I was about 15 years old when we all got big into fish.  Every one of us kids had tanks though I was the only one young enough to still be living at home.  Dad had ponds, several he built in the back yard, not all at once.

Your fish are lovely. 

I just was looking at my tank and see that I have a second type of crawfish.  I will identify him today...next thing
 
Gwen Lynn
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Bird wrote:
Gwen your fish look great, and the pond looks healthy, do you have any airation in it or just the plants working for you and the fish. those fish are worth a fortune in Japan



I think my fish are mutts!    Undocumented, no papers...bought 2 of them at petsmart. They'd probably eat them in Japan! They were tiny when I got them Maybe 3" long? Edgar was bigger, but he lived at Leah's for a while, before I got him. I'm maxed out fish size, pond size, etc. If I went by all the rules, I probably have too many fish for the amount of water. Consequently, I do have a filter & good sized pump & try to carefully maintain water quality. Pump runs 24/7. I run it over waterfall rocks 75% of the year, during colder times I move the outlet hose off the rocks, closer to the water level. This really helps keep it from freezing over. I never let it freeze over if I can help it. Fight winter tooth & nail is my motto! I really should move to a warmer climate. Would probably be much happier this time of the year. 

I do keep plants in the pond as well. I have a lotus that doesn't bloom anymore. Have no clue why. It might not be getting chilled enough. That is often a problem with certain plants around here. I have water lilies, cattails & anarchris, which is a great oxygenator.

I don't know what eats water hyacinth (besides certain caterpillars!) but as prolific as it gets, you'd think something would benefit from it! Are yabbies just called that because they come from Australia?

I have gone a little bonkers with the fish keeping. I have 3 ponds total, and a 55 gal aquarium in the house. I know, they say not to feed the koi when the water drops to a certain temp. I try to follow this rule, but not rigidly. Sometimes, we have crazy temp. swings here. We've had 90 degrees in February. I watch my fish and monitor temps. Sometimes, if they seem active (for wintertime)...they just wanna eat! So I may give them a little...especially when they are begging a lot!  Thanks again for the compliments!  Here is a pic from today, w/Edgar. Can you hear them they're saying,
"Please feed us...it's not too cold!" Scaly beggars! 
000_1290.JPG
[Thumbnail for 000_1290.JPG]
 
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wow! edgar has really grown!!! you have a knack for fish and ponds thats for sure. they are always so beautiful. 

chickens ate my hyacinth
 
Jennifer Smith
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Leah Sattler wrote:
chickens ate my hyacinth


So maybe  some promise as chicken feed...another addition to chi?cken yard
 
Brenda Groth
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Gwen, your babies are beautiful..i love them.

we will get to doing KOI when we get a good fresh water supply moving in our ponds.

we have never had a problem with our water hyacinth overwintering..they do find even frozen solid..in our zone 4/5 area.

we have lotus and water lilies that do fine as well as all of our other water plants in our cold weather..but we only buy hardies.
 
Gwen Lynn
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Well, Brenda you must have some extremely tough water hyacinth! Thanks for the fishy compliment!  I honestly didn't realize the commitment of keeping koi when I started. Had no idea they could likely outlive me!

The plant I'm talking about is a non-native, invasive tropical plant that (fortunately) dies in winter. It floats on the water surface and can really create problems in areas where it doesn't freeze. I wouldn't keep it in my ponds if winter didn't kill it. Once it gets cold, it gets really ugly and turns to nasty slimy muck in the water if I don't get it out fast enough.

Does your plant look like the pic I've posted here?

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/2047_0/critter-care/this-is-my-pond

 
Leah Sattler
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Jennifer Hall wrote:
So maybe  some promise as chicken feed...another addition to chi?cken yard



I've considered it and tossed the idea around somewhere on this forum but now I can't remember where. don't know the nutritional value but my chickens waded into a small retaining ditch I built and pulled out all the hyacinth gwen gave me and ate it. 
 
Gwen Lynn
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Last night, I was googling water hyacinth and saw where it's been used for cattle feed, but it didn't say what it's nutritional value was. Hey Jennifer, I posted a couple cute pix of a pony and a little girl on that hunter/jumper thread. Dunno if you saw them.

I lose track of threads on here sometimes. I forget to look at the whole topic; I'm in the habit of just looking at them most recent posts.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Bird wrote:

Jennifer on your micro climate issue, how would a sun trap work? semi circular garden wide opening facing the sun ( south facing over there? i must do some research on your zoneing in America) pond in front of it to bounce light/heat into garden area maybe use a sun facing wall as heat trap behind it all? I have a couple that i use to hide tree trimming piles just north faceing (in my case) semi circles of palms, slow working compst piles for stuff i've been to lazy to chop up

I am currently preparing another area for more fruit trees, rare and exotic tropicals, about 20 or so trees looking into Black Sapote (chocolate pudding trees), Mangosteen, these take approx 20yrs to fruit and have just discovered another called a Magic Berry Tree, so lots of reasearch to do the more variety the better i reckon

Bird



To be honest Bird, you ALL are way ahead of me on this.  You sound like you have it going on... would sure like to see photos. 

I am soaking up so much knowladge here from you and others... I just keep listening and waiting for the day I can watch the videos.  I think I can mostly thank Rose for this bit.  I know I can thank the permie forum for even hearing the term "sun trap" as it pertains to gardening
 
                          
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Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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Hi Jennifer

As i have said before i cant post photo's from my work place sorry. And now cant even retrieve any on my home computer as last night while at work i had some unwanted visiters at my property sadly they decided that they needed quite a few of my belongings more than me. things can be replaced but the photos and all my gardening journels cant. at least i dont have to get internet connection now until i replace computer anyway. am tired as spent big part of day doing police reports ect so if i fall asleep at the keyboard just poke me with a sharp stick, only 7 1/2 hrs work to go then 4 nights off.

Did you understand my explanation of how sun traps work,

love that salt thread- a good one for research, gives me a break from rare and bizare tropical fruit

YAWN
Bird
 
Brenda Groth
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no ..the variety i have roots into the soil and the leaves are much different but the flower is very very similar..it blooms mid summer..and then goes dormant in the fall.

it doesn't leave a mess in the pond at all..

i wish i had saved the information that came with it when i bought it..as then i would be able to give you latni names or whatever..it was just called "blue water hyacinth"..

it is a purplish blue like yours but has strapppier leaves and roots in the soil..

if i go back through my old computers files i might be able to find a photo..
 
Gwen Lynn
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Maybe "Blue Water" was the name of your hyacinth? I'm going to google it that way & see what I come up with. The coolest thing about this tropical water hyacinth is you don't have to plant it in dirt. You just throw it on the pond & that's it!
 
steward
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So how big do they get? We have langostinos, which get at least 10 inches long, really resembles a small lobster.

 
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  those photos fo fish are absolutley beautifull i reckon thats really good fotography though the fidsh are nice an dthe pond well cared for.
   
On making ponds that are heat traps .
     Sepp holzers heat trap pond have the south sunny side open to the light  and the north side with a screen of trees like a masonary heat trap wall to the north, open to the south and the sun .makeks a good place to enjoy th esun in a coldsih and not to sunny place like iengland.   So the pond works as the reflectors of a solar cooker works, reflceting light on to the things around it.
  The ponds surface must work like a mirror it should work relfecting a lot of sunlight on to the trees and the trees reflecting some back. Trees aren't so cool as reflectors as water is but i suppose they reflcet some light back 
   The abilityn of trees to store light heat as masonary does must be much lower than their ability to relfect light back on the ponds.
  I think sep holzer has a south facing mountainside so he can have pond heat trap on top of pond heat trap. HIs situation  has that advantage, in the normal course of things your trees would make shade and you would have to space your ponds out quite away behind the first pond.
if you had a stone or brick wall on the north side of the ponds instead of trees recieving the light of the sun and that reflected from the ponds, as masonary is an storer of heat, the stone wall which could be concave to protect the plants more would store heat and let it off at night when the heat differential is bigger. Objects lose more more heat when they are in a atmosphere that is colder than themselves. Obviously it would not be easy to cool your pizza in an oven as hot as the p¡zza was. So the wall woudl be good for plants that like heat as much beacasue it reflected heat on the plants during the day as much because the wall woudl reflect sun on the plants as because it would reduce nihgtly temperature differences. 
     Sepp had a lemon growing on his mountain slope.

  There is a program about survival with an ex-british special services  soldier as the protagonist, droppd for a few days without provisions in places that are hard to survive in and in one he is in the desert and he lookes for some stoens before night falls to sleep between and arrages a few more so as to  sleesurrounded by a wall of rock . so as to benefit from the heat they let off at night.  I have lain on warm granite tors at night in summer whatching shooting stars, at about one at night. agri rose macaskie.     
 
 
Jennifer Smith
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Bird wrote:
looking into Black Sapote (chocolate pudding trees), Mangosteen, these take approx 20yrs to fruit and have just discovered another called a Magic Berry Tree, so lots of reasearch to do the more variety the better i reckon


I reckon too.  I am still in the planning stage of my place and taking baby steps.

Care to share your research on why you want to grow these trees and what zone you are in?  Are you growing them for exotic and cool, or yummy and useful?
 
master steward
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Rose covered what I was gonna say. 

A well placed pond and cliff face can do wonders to make a cold spot much warmer.

Also, another thing that Sepp does to grow citrus in the alps:  Protect the tree from the first hour of sunrise.

 
                              
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Back to Pond Farming.
So who here has heard of Aquaponics?  My side yard aquaponics system is producing 100s of lbs of fish a year and growing veggies to use up the nitrates from the water.  I just wish I could afford a solar electric system big enough to run the pumps off grid.
Here is a forum that has tons of info about Aquaponics.
http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/index.php
 
Jennifer Smith
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I had not heard of Aquaponics.  I checked out the link to see what there was to learn... So much information!!!
 
                              
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!!!BEWARE!!!
Aquaponics can be addicting and that Forum is HUGE
Yep I'm shouting here.
There is tons of info there and overload is likely for a while but there are people on there doing AP system from as small as a few gallons so they don't have to do water changes for the goldfish in the aquarium to huge commercial operations that provide salads and fish for market and just about every size in between.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Yes too much, way beyound my little 2 gal tank on the kitchen counter ... but someday I will have ponds to play with as well as a bigger tank in the house.
 
                              
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Nice thing about aquaponics, you don't usually have to do water changes to keep the nitrates in check, you use them to grow some additional useful plants!  Can work for a counter top system as well as a pond.
 
Jennifer Smith
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TCLynx, there is so much information and they are so advanced on that forum, could you maybe explain a simple system?  Right now I have about 2 gallons of water, 3 small minnows, 5 small crayfish, several snails, and some duckweed.  I catch and feed my fish water bugs (not sure what they are) out of my puddle and I am sure some survive to live in the gravel. 

One small pump with filter is all it has for a system now.  Every so often I pull out about half of the duckweed so as to have a place to drop foodthe  in for minnows.  I am feeding them a fish flake and the crayfish I feed hotdog to the crayfish.  I have recently started trying alternaive feeds (like the bugs) and veggies for crayfish.
 
                          
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Jennifer Hall wrote:
I reckon too.   I am still in the planning stage of my place and taking baby steps.

Care to share your research on why you want to grow these trees and what zone you are in?  Are you growing them for exotic and cool, or yummy and useful?



Am trying for all the above plus preservation of rare, also want bizzare like a cannon ball tree. The Black Sapote just like the idea of chocolate pudding thats healthy, it must be it's fruit

Am in tropical North Australia not sure what zone that would =
 
Jennifer Smith
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The Black Sapote is a persimmon of some sort...interesting. 
http://www.thefruitpages.com/chocolatefruit.shtml
I think my brother may be, or has tryed, growing them in CA, way too cold here.  I will have to ask him abut it.
 
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Since TCLynx hasn't checked in yet, I'll do the quick rundown on aquaponics.

Essentially you have a fish tank and a gravel bed.

Feed the fish.  The fish poop in the water.  Pump the water to the gravel bed.  Bacteria that live on the gravel convert fish poop (ammonia) to nitrate.  Plants that are planted in the gravel then suck up the nitrate for food.  The water (now cleaned of fish poop) goes back to the fish.

There are lots of particular details, but that's the basic premise.  The fish and plants live in a loop of symbiosis - each helping the other.  The only inputs to an aquaponic system are fish food, light, and pumping energy.
 
                              
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Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Hay Tamo, I didn't know you were on this forum.

Anyway, Tamo got the basics of it.  Essentially aquaponics is a cross of raising fish, growing plants, and the bio-filtration to make them work together. 

Since you already have a filter on the little tank and you have duckweed growing in the tank, you already have a form of aquaponics going on in the simplest sense of it.

You could probably expand a little by adding another container with gravel to the counter top system and a few more plants.

I think I made a power point that does some explaining of Aquaponics.  Perhaps I should upload it to my web site so people can view it.  I'll have to see if that is easy to do.
 
Jennifer Smith
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TCLynx wrote:
Since you already have a filter on the little tank and you have duckweed growing in the tank, you already have a form of aquaponics going on in the simplest sense of it.

You could probably expand a little by adding another container with gravel to the counter top system and a few more plants.



There is what I was looking for.  I can get another container and some gravel, what kind of plants?  I can and will assemble the parts (just let me know what, low shallow dish or deep pot etc) but I will have to put it all together after I return as I don't want my father to do any more than he has to to watch this place while I am away. 

My father is coming out from CA to house-sit. 

I use water from the tank to water my house plants, but if I understand the advancement is to return clean water back to the tank.
 
                              
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Since you are working with a rather small tank you will probably not be able to easily do a flood and drain set up with your current configuration.

And yes, I agree you shouldn't go changing anything right before leaving town, best to leave things as they are so long as the system is stable.

Anyway, you might simply set up a bucket that has some gravel and you pump water through it and it can flow back into the fish tank.  Then house plants that like lots of water and can survive in a wet situation would probably be fine.  Otherwise you might need more lighting.

If you want to go more, you add two containers  One for the gravel and the plants, another to handle the water level fluctuation but that would probably require a different pump and probably also plumbing through the existing fish tank so maybe not an easy option.
 
Oh, sure, you could do that. Or you could eat some pie. While reading this tiny ad:
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