[permaculture] pc aquaponics

venaurafarm venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Sat Oct 13 16:49:55 EDT 2012

On 10/13/2012 1:34 PM, georg parlow wrote:
> Thank you folks, for the numerous responses. I learned a dramatic
> amount in this discussion. To sum up my personal learning highlights:
> *) AP is an ecosystem of it's own right, with even bigger numbers of
> invisible life forms than soilbased ag;
> *) The high oxigenation is a major key to the high plant growth in APs;
> *) The permaculture-ness of AP is not in the method, but how I
> integrate it with the rest of my system, e. g. production of fish-food
> [plant waste, red wrigglers, mealworms, maggots], the needed energy,
> how I insulate [dug-in, lean-on or free-standing greenhouse], how I
> market, what other uses I find for my greenhouse, etc.
> Thank you all who contributed.
> Questions I do have now are:
> *) What about foliar feeding the nutrients that might be short in
> supply in the water? Some of this was covered in the excellent
> compilation about comost teas, etc. - Thx, Lawrence! - but I am
> lacking the information how to choose my EM or tea ingredients in
> order to target specific lacks.

What would you choose if you needed to balance nutrition in your garden 
soil, i.e. correct any nutrient/trace nutrient deficiencies or 
imbalances (a big order; Michael Astera is into mineral balancing 
through soil testing and accurate amounts of mineral supplements applied 
to your soil for nutrient/balance correction)?

The challenge would be to create a supplement containing those "missing 
nutrients" that is compatible with your hydroponics or aquaponics 
system. Of course, the same would apply to _any_ nutrients used in such 
systems, that which is added to irrigation water. In an aquaponics 
system you would need to test for plant available nutrients and trace 
minerals then add what is missing.

Back to square one and Georg's integrated permacultural whole systems 
approach: what are you feeding the fish? What fish varieties are you 
growing? Some are vegetarian, others not.

The big challenge would be to produce nearly all inputs on your 
permaculture homestead or farm, assuming a diversified operation with 
animals. Grains can be dried and ground for fish food, extra eggs can be 
hardboiled and ground up (will fish eat them?), some varieties of 
duckweed are  very high protein; dry it and mix with milled grain, dry 
in sun, grind it up then feed it. Sawfly maggots and many other insect 
larvae could be fed to fish. Is there any research on any of this?

Disclaimer: I am just speculating, never having had any experience with 
aquap/hydrop, but I am intrigued with complex integrated indoor/outdoor
self regenerating food production systems using a minimum of external 
inputs. Use of site produced compost tea types can be a starting point 
for amending your hyd/aqua nutrient delivery system, You have a wide 
range to pick from and that includes fermented plant extracts which can 
come from weeds and other plant material grown in your carefully 
maintained biointensive garden which is nutrient and mineral balanced,
i.e. Ultimate Soil maxed out with black gold organic matter. The more 
you use materials for compost tea and compost and soil improvement that 
are grown on site the better off you will be. I am assuming you have 
obtained natural fartilizers from off site to build the quality of your 
garden soil, things such as azomite, aragonite, hi-cal lime, dehydrated 
granular seaweed, fresh or extracts from, greensand, colloidal 
phosphate, rock phosphate, possibly sulphur, borax, sul-po-mag, humates, 
whatever is required to achieve maximum soil fertility using natural 

> Any information on that available?
> *) I do not grok the seawater growing thing. a) I believed that most
> plants are not salt tolerant. Yet I read that they lushly thrived on
> seawater. Is either advocate lying or is there a synthesis to this
> that I do not grasp? b) If salt is good for plant health (and I also
> know that some salt is good for fish health, for they tolerate more
> salt than some of their parasites) - why not simply dump seasalt into
> the AP?

IF i had access to sea water I would apply a little of it on my gardens 
on a regular basis. Bagged, dried, granulated seaweed is better than 
nothing. Here is another option for those not near the sea: culture 
various types of algae and a variety of aquatic plants, expecially 
duckweed. Harvest and use these instead of seaweed or sea water. If you 
build catchment ponds or pools that fill with runoff from gardens and 
fields the pond will have nutrient rich water to grow those aquatic 
plants to add to your gardens or make compost or compost tea with.
If your only water impoundment is a constructed wetland inside your 
aqua/hydro greenhouse then you can grow an amazing variety of water 
plants that will not only purify your irrigation water but supply food 
for fish and materials to make compost tea with that, in turn, is 
introduced into your aqua/hydro plant production system, If you are not 
growing fish or shrimp then you can still make great use of an indoor 
constructed wetland (lagoons, shallows, solar powered pump to send 
system water over a wade, natural gravel bed that empties into the lagoons.

There are endless possibilities and your questions are top priority 
important, Georg. Have you been to Sepp Holzer's permaculture site?

Here is one of many more questions to ask: Could you use clean water 
from a pond on your property in an aqua/hydro system? If so then that
might be a good base on which to build fertility and microbe colonies.

It seems that if you are using compost tea in such a system then 
creation of it could be started in a brewer, leaving the final aeration 
stage to the liquid circulation/aeration equipment in the aqua/hydro 
system, delivering the water/nutrient mix to plants and fish in as fresh 
and biologically active a state as possible.

Unlimited possibilities.


> Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
> Georg Parlow
> ************
> g.parlow at gmx.at
> 1230 Wien, A-Baumgartnerstr. 4/B1/013
> +43-650-8899345

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