Saturday, July 20, 2013

Composting Red Worms in Aquaponics

I went to Bass Pro Shops to see if they had red worms and they did!  I got a small container of thirty red worms for $5.00.  I counted to see if I actually got thirty and I was counting past thirty. I counted to thirty-eight and stopped with plenty more to count.  I put about ten of them in my grow bed and fed ten of them to the tilapia.  I had the rest in a five gallon bucket i was going to use for composting.  My lovely wife hated the worms and dumped the bucket in the trash.  The worms are good for breaking down solids and create good chemical waste for the plants.  They also clean the solids out of the grow bed and keep everything flowing.  My fish love them and as the worms cycle through the system they'll be picked off by the fish.  The worms should lay a lot of eggs every week.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sweet Banana, Green and Jalapeno Peppers

     Saturday I added the breeding tank underneath the grow bed and three pepper plants!  

 I've got the sweet banana pepper, a green bell and a jalapeno plant getting used to their new location.  The heirloom tomato is doing really well growing new leaves and branches.  Growing a few buds as well!  My banana pepper came with three buds on it so hopefully they don't drop off and I can get some peppers soon! I harvested the red bell pepper off to let the plant focus of getting it's leaves back and growing larger.  The pepper was bruised and dried out on top anyway.  I lost my onion due to being too deep in the water.  I cut a tip off to taste it and the next days later It started wilting a lot.  I was curious and was pulling it up to see how deep it was and the whole top just came off.  The stock was just a mushy jelly.  I was experimenting with some baby carrots that turned out to be like the mushy onion. I planted them half in the water with just their tops showing I checked them when I checked the onion.  Live and learn, work on that green thumb!
 I went to Lowes's and got a 50 gallon tote to build this breeding tank it's kinda flimsy I had to zip tie the lid on for a support to keep it together.  I hope it lasts a while.  I had a problem with the tank filling too quickly, and I spent all night sunday trying to figure out a way to regulate the water flow into the tank while still having the siphon work normally. I ended up with what you see in this picture above with some of the water going off into the tank and a majority just going into the sump.  The water in the tank is being replaced about every three hours with this set up. Now I'm waiting for these guys bellow to grow a bit larger so I can start breeding.  I put a couple 4" PVC pipes 6" long to give them somewhere to hide from each other.  They seem to be constantly chasing each other around.