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Old 05-25-2010, 07:26 AM   #9
erthlng
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Default Aquaponics project Update

So I ended up using what is know as Bubble-ponics for my aquaponics project.

I put a 14 inch long bubbler in the bottom of a fully cycled 5 gallon tank that is stocked with RCS and Ramshorn snails.



I placed a sheet of clear plexiglass over the tank and drilled five 3" holes for the net pots containing the strawberry plants. I wanted lots of light to encourage algae growth for the snails to feed on. I also supplement their diet with additional food.



I wrapped polyester fiberfill around the root bundles and still kept some of the soil on the plants then placed the entire bundle into the net pots, keeping them about 1/4" to 1/2" above the waterline in the tank to allow air to still reach the root bundles.



As the bubbles rise up through the tank from the bubbler, they stir the tank contents and when they burst at the top, a nutrient enriched mist is formed and collects on the fiberfill in the net pots, feeding the roots of the plants. They get plenty of moisture and air from this process.



The image above is about 1 week of root growth and the roots have extended down through the air gap directly into the snail and RCS enriched water. The plants are flowering and I already have strawberries showing up.



Here are some overall views the the entire setup.





I'm really impressed with the speed of growth. Depending on how this project progresses over the next month, I'm considering expanding this concept to the lid of my 125 gallon natural planted tank.
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