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Container Aquaponics - Is Buried Fish Animal Abuse?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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I'm kicking around a ton of ideas to try next season.  
That's what half of the fun is, right?

Because I am on land that is non optimal for farming,
I have been looking into some genius planting techniques.

One that grabbed my attention was a partial hydroponic
solution for gardening in 5 gallon buckets outdoors.
For her long term grow, she places a milk jug into the bucket.
A PVC pipe extends almost all the way to the bottom of the jug.
Soil is packed around the sides of the jug.  
Holes are then drilled in the top of the jug, for root penetration.
The jug is buried in soil, and planted directly above it.
After time, the plant's roots will descend into the soil.

Okay, this technique likely has a name that is unknown to me.  
My thought this morning was adding a fish species in the jug.

BUT, Is this animal abuse???

-----------------------------------------------------------------

I am split on this, and let me explain why.

We are not talking about a long term planted solution, just one season.
The jug will always overflow extra water into the soil in the bucket.
Extra water in the bucket will always drain out through holes drilled.
So you could have a trickle of water flowing into the pvc pipe,
and it would act as an aeration tool.  
Feed would be simply dropped down the tube,
but without a way to check on the health of the fish.

The water in the jug will get dirty and that could hurt the fish.
Dirty water partially mitigated by change in soil medium above the jug.
Can normal fish live without sunlight?  Cave fish species would be expensive.
Would a solo fish species be torture, or preferred like a beta?

----------------------------------------------

Is there a way that this can be accomplished, without it being abusive?
Would one small fish make a difference for one plant in one 5 gallon bucket?
If the fish died, would that even be bad for the plant, or extra nutrients?
With the only manual water given to the plant is poured through the pvc pipe,
would the holes at the top of the jug be sufficient to spread the fish's waste nutrients?


It's probably abusive, and a waste of time thinking about it.  
Maybe it wouldn't be too bad on a short harvest time crop.
Then, filter that list for roots that will reach the water inside the jug.

Would 2 months underground add stress to the fish, or keep it cool?
Would the pvc pipe provide any light for the fish?  Maybe ambient?

Anyways, such an odd thought of a system ....
I'm probably a horrible person for considering it

 
Mother Tree
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I'm not entirely sure how big a 'milk jug' is - a gallon?  Five litres?

If so, I wouldn't be comfortable expecting a fish to live in something so small.  

Maybe tadpoles?  Something really small that will grow up and let itself out when it's ready?  Or are there wild critters where you live that would make good use of the water?  Newts that need breeding holes, maybe?
 
William Wallace
pollinator
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The smallest size of tank recommended for a beta fish is 1 gallon.
That is the size of the milk jugs, 3.78 liters.
I am curious if there are species that require less.

I am now considering a trial of ghost shrimp.  
They enjoy it cool and dark, and are scavenge feeders.
They also could nibble plant material off the roots.

There's not really a way to crawl into or out of this system.
The pvc pipe is vertical, and the holes in the jug are small drill bit size.

I don't think a fish would be comfortable.....
then again, it may be the perfect environment for one.  

Here are some other suggested species that I haven't looked into:
Bloodfin Tetra
Guppy
White Cloud
Platy
Zebra Danio
 
pollinator
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problem is I dont think any of those fish are big enough to eat usually folks I know think of one inch of fish to one gallon and for so few fish I would question is this worth the bother for you and the fish
 
gardener
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Fish are weird animals. The more time I spend practicing the art of fly fishing, the more I realize they really just care about having a safe place to hide and plentiful food. Given an entire river to explore, they will happily stay behind the same rock their entire life should it protect them from ospreys and provide ample insects to eat. In terms of stress to the fish, I don't think burying them underground would have much effect.

But I don't think any of that matters with the setup you proposed. Maybe I'm misinterpreting your proposal, but it seems like surefire way to acquire a buried bucket full of rotten fish. It doesn't sound like they would get anywhere near enough air, and the fish would die of sitting in toxic water. If only the surface overflows, how does the fish excrement collecting at the bottom get cleaned out? How would you know if you were overfeeding the fish without being able to see them? It seems to me it lacks the basic needs of the fish. Do you have a diagram or something to help explain your idea more?
 
pollinator
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I think adding fish to the basic setup would end up with great fertilizer, if you like fish emulsion.

An above ground pond, barrel or bucket stocked with fish and azolle(protected from the fish) would be a great source of fertilizer.
Fill your watering can with fishy water and replenish the sub-irrigated resoivar.

You could even have hose,pipes or tubes that do this automatically when you  add fresh water to the fishtank.

I've used the same kind if sub irrigation setup in large containers  that were not water tight, to good effect.
The effect of having a resoivar that can collect and hold rain water for later is powerful.
Delivering water and nutrients to the root zone ishandy too. It's a great way to feed plantswirh urine.
My version had a 3 gallon bucket inverted inside of a 5 gallon bucket.
I've not tried it in-ground yet.
I would add peat or coir to the bucket, the resulting wicking action means the water spreads further,faster.
 
William Wallace
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Great responses, and they point out some of the questions that I had. Would a trickle of new water be enough to flush the contaminants? This is tricky, because the only exit for water is the holes drilled in the jug.

Aquaponics usually creates fish for food, but I am simply looking to use the nutrients of the system, and not for eating the fish. We are talking about a period of two months. I know that fish live longer in dirty water than two months, from my own inept parenting of fish.

Would one small fish with one plant make a difference? Would the cost of the fish be worth the effort? Do you think the fish would die within two months? If dead, do you feel the emulsion would be healthy or harmful?

The benefit to ghost shrimp is that they molt. These molting a break down to help fertilize the plants, but I haven't seen much info on aquaponic shrimp. It's often fish.
 
pollinator
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Aquaponics usually creates fish for food, but I am simply looking to use the nutrients of the system, and not for eating the fish. We are talking about a period of two months. I know that fish live longer in dirty water than two months, from my own inept parenting of fish.



In that case, I'd just add the fish food to the water; it will rot and turn into plant fertilizer without the help of the fish. The fish won't add anything.
 
William Wallace
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It's not fish good that provides nutrients, but the fishes poop. Adding fish flakes is just dirtying the water. Simply because I am not eating the fish? Does not mean that the fish aren't contributing to they system. That's ridiculous, and against the entire fundamentals of aquaponics.
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
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It's not fish good that provides nutrients, but the fishes poop. Adding fish flakes is just dirtying the water. Simply because I am not eating the fish? Does not mean that the fish aren't contributing to they system. That's ridiculous, and against the entire fundamentals of aquaponics.



The fish flakes will be digested by bacteria, just as they would have been digested by a fish, with the difference that the bacteria are more likely to survive in low oxygen environments.

For instance; a good fertilizer for in ground plants is soy meal. Soy meal can also be fish feed; so in aquaponics, the soy meal is used to feed the fish before becoming plant food. Of course, some of the nitrogen in the soy meal becomes part of the fish (and some becomes part of the soil bacteria if it is put in the soil.)
 
Seriously Rick? Seriously? You might as well just read this tiny ad:
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