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Aquaponics.. tomAto-tomato

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So my tomato seedling is growing like a weed, I want to try aquaponics with it (hook it up to get water flow from my 55 gallon tank to give it nutrients and reduce nitrates in the tank). Lights: 2x double bright marineland leds, Pump: sunsun canister filter outflow. Still need a tray/bucket to hang on the tank, media for the plant, and a system to raise lights/grow vine on as it gets big. My hope is that if this does well I can change over to growing zuchini (green squash) which is what my pleco eats most so I can have him help grow his own food.

I've done a little research so far into it and keep seeing [strike]"Use growing media" but haven't' found something specific for what growing media is? I'm guessing these article writers don't mean strait soil since it could wash into the tank. Sooo what is a good simple "growing media" for this?[/strike] answered
There's also mention of use of worms "red wigglers".. around here I only find night crawlers naturally.. So where would I get these red guys and are they really necessary? If they're just for extra organic waste nutrients I think my pleco and his poop factory rear will be plenty. Added question:how do these worms deal with the constant flowing water?

I'm curious about others experiences growing harvest foods with aquaponics and what you all have done for set up of these systems? I personally want to keep is simple. Main thing is finding a box/tray/hob thing-y for the tomatos to grow in, I'd prefer setting it up behind the aquarium, but there's not a lot of room for that, so might have to do it partially over the tank (pleco will love the extra shade).
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I know little about hydroponics but the red wigglers can be purchased at a locally nursery(usually a seasonal item) or online. I know this because I looked into vermicomposting for my kitchen waste. I've never heard of them being used in hydroponics before... I'd imagine they would drown? Hope this helps.
 

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Clay pebbles, gravel, vermiculite.
Pretty much anything inert and appropriately sized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I know little about hydroponics but the red wigglers can be purchased at a locally nursery(usually a seasonal item) or online. I know this because I looked into vermicomposting for my kitchen waste. I've never heard of them being used in hydroponics before... I'd imagine they would drown? Hope this helps.
I'd thought so too (drown) or end up getting washed out into the tank and eaten (depending on fish).

Clay pebbles, gravel, vermiculite.
Pretty much anything inert and appropriately sized.
K,thank you.
 

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the down side to this is that any chemicals put into the tank make the veggies where you shouldnt eat them. even dechlor states not to use it with fish that will become food. same goes for plants. if you use anything other than salt to treat your fish it wont be safe to eat. as for veggies for the fish im not sure if that applies. we use the meds on the fish so not sure how it would do to feed them the meds in the plants. i would think it would be like over using antibiotics where what ever you are treating for builds up immunity to the med since its given to them all the time
 

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tomatos need a ton of plant food and light; enough to be toxic to most aquatic life.. I know people who keep crayfish in there hydroponic tanks. You can use your Tank water from a PWC in your hydro system but you'll still need to add chemical nutrients to it... At full bloom I often have tomato plant's food over an EC of 2.0, thats 1400ppm of the 6 base nutrients (N/P/K/Ca/Mg/S)

Ebb/Flo Buckets are best Hydroponic system for Tomato's and large fruiting plants, they support the massive root system needed and are reliable and less prone to failure than other hydroponic systems Ive tried.. the transfer pumps only run for less than 15mins twice a day, Ive got one setup that will be on its 4th season this year without any problems.



Any plants that produce fruit are going to require too much energy to combine with a thriving aquarium; too many compromises would be needed and I dont think it's viable.. a single large Tomato plant will need at least 250w of HID lighting indoor... 400w would likely be more efficient and double the yield
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
please note my responses contain a lot of "if"s as nothing is final yet ^^

the down side to this is that any chemicals put into the tank make the veggies where you shouldnt eat them. even dechlor states not to use it with fish that will become food. same goes for plants. if you use anything other than salt to treat your fish it wont be safe to eat. as for veggies for the fish im not sure if that applies. we use the meds on the fish so not sure how it would do to feed them the meds in the plants. i would think it would be like over using antibiotics where what ever you are treating for builds up immunity to the med since its given to them all the time
Wow I didn't think de-chlorinators would be harmful o_O This tank is fairly newly set up and has had no meds added to it. I use Tetra AqauSafe + (will be switching to Prime once the bottle is empty, very mad at tetra for a different sub par product and customer support on it), I read over the bottle just now and see no mention of no using on fish that will be food.. but I'll try contacting their lack luster customer supp rot and see if I can get a definite answer. Its the only chemical that's been introduced to this set up.
The tank has gravel, a river stone holding down a red cedar driftwood (very well aged, pleco rasps on and and both fish have no issues from resin so its safe), then a heater and canister filter hook up (has bioballs, biomax, activated charcoal, and foam pads)
Food that goes in the tank include: Hikari algae wafers, green squash, and fish flake food (will have to look into that for the color enhancers and such).. If I got an aquaponic system going I'd probably switch over to a live cutler like dalfina (spelling?) and/or a safe fish food without hormones, colro enhancers, etc.
Fish are a pleco (main nutrient source for plants.. if I can ever get any) and a Madagascar rainbow fish.
Amusingly.. I don't eat tomatoes (though my family does) but if its not safe I won't feed them to anyone. (some for squash if i can get it growing)

tomatos need a ton of plant food and light; enough to be toxic to most aquatic life.. I know people who keep crayfish in there hydroponic tanks. You can use your Tank water from a PWC in your hydro system but you'll still need to add chemical nutrients to it... At full bloom I often have tomato plant's food over an EC of 2.0, thats 1400ppm of the 6 base nutrients (N/P/K/Ca/Mg/S)

Ebb/Flo Buckets are best Hydroponic system for Tomato's and large fruiting plants, they support the massive root system needed and are reliable and less prone to failure than other hydroponic systems Ive tried.. the transfer pumps only run for less than 15mins twice a day, Ive got one setup that will be on its 4th season this year without any problems.



Any plants that produce fruit are going to require too much energy to combine with a thriving aquarium; too many compromises would be needed and I dont think it's viable.. a single large Tomato plant will need at least 250w of HID lighting indoor... 400w would likely be more efficient and double the yield
Thank you for the images and details, .
Wow I didn't know it would take that much work/light/nutrients, but again I've only just started researching.. I'd assumed since many sites said tomatoes are a great started for this that they were very undemanding.
Honestly I could care less if the tomato never produces, I'd rather just have a plant that absorbs nitrates (pleco won't let me keep plants in the tank so I wanted to grow something onto of the tank).. but if I have to add more nutrients to get it to survive... that might make me nix the plan.
If (if being key here) I was able to have a simple aquaponics system sucessfully going, the only thing I'd really want to grow with the intention of feeding to something would be green squash for the pleco.. but with the mention of de-cholinators being if-y I'd have to look into that.


i did have a friend grow a tomato plant in her hob and i think she got tomatoes a time or two but cant find the pics any more. if i come across them i will try and post
I'd read that somewhere on this forum (can't find original post now) and its what originally gave me the idea to look into this!
 
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