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InvisibleZombi3
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Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics?
    #759016 - 11/25/14 09:09 PM (2 years, 8 days ago)

Yes Aquaponics, not hydroponics.



Aquaponics wiki
Hydroponics wiki


I imagine it would be a challenge to keep an appropriatly high nutrient level. Also would be challenging to modify nutrients for vegetative / flowering.

But still, anyone give it a try yet?


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Invisibleskippy
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Registered: 09/22/14
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: Zombi3]
    #759022 - 11/25/14 09:39 PM (2 years, 8 days ago)

I was planning on setting something up for the veggies as soon as I get power out to the shed. I'll throw an auto in there if I get it running properly by the end of summer and report back. Nutrient level wise I was thinking of using fish that produces heaps of waste and is easy to care for e.g goldfish.


Edited by skippy (11/25/14 09:46 PM)


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: skippy]
    #759095 - 11/26/14 04:01 AM (2 years, 8 days ago)

I was asking a researcher about aquaponics at my campus.  He is currently collaborating with some botanists about growing kalo with aquaponics.  Seems that the biggest challenge is salt buildup from what he said.  Since kalo is really sensitive to salt levels, it is more difficult.  He did say that it is extremely promising though.  Kind of funny since it was just this evening that this went on lol. 

I didn't have much time to speak with him but it kind of makes sense.  You cant really flush it out because you would be getting rid of the nutrients that are being naturally supplied.  If you have to add the nutrients back in, it kind of defeats the purpose and would then be considered plain hydroponics.   

As far as bringing nutrient levels up higher, you would need more fish and a bigger tank/pond for them, or you can have another tank/pond to hold the plant purified water while the fish dirty up their tank again.  To be able to have different nutrients for bloom and flower, you would need separate setups for each. 

Honestly, this method greatly interests me.  Mostly as something for sustainability rather than buds, but it would be cool if they hammer out the kinks.  I hear aqua works great for small plants like lettuce, basil, ect...


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Offlinewebster10


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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: Zombi3]
    #759097 - 11/26/14 06:22 AM (2 years, 8 days ago)

Care to outline how you think you'd grow aquaponically?


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InvisibleZombi3
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: webster10]
    #759130 - 11/26/14 10:06 AM (2 years, 7 days ago)

Quote:

webster10 said:
Care to outline how you think you'd grow aquaponically?



I havent even considered it yet. Hence this thread.
All my experience with aquaponics is in vegetable production.


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OfflineGoonerHeClips
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: Zombi3]
    #759720 - 11/29/14 09:47 AM (2 years, 4 days ago)

My goal is to make a huge pond near the top of my property for starters.  Then add some ducks as I like ducks, and duck eggs, and ducks love water and ponds and look cool swimming on the top of the water.  Along side the pond will be some big ass fresh water tanks that will be fed from a solar powered pump in my shallow well alongside the river.  The one with the perfect 31 ppm sweet water not some public water poison.  I mean really, how do you get RO water with a pH of 8.6 for starters?  A while back they had the pH up to 9!  But I digress.

Anyway, to stock the pond I want for some reason crawdads but that may be a wrong bet or maybe I can have crawdads, frogs, and fish all happy in their pond.  For fish, I'd really like plain old bass and perch from local lakes.  Bring them in and let them go after catching a few.  I mean tilapia maybe would be a thing, but damn that sounds like work.  Throw in a few koi just for their beauty and hardiness.  But to eat, a bass or croppie or perch something small and you could have in a pond.  Sure you could try tilapia in their own place, but then you have to deal with spawn and learning to be a fish person too and they need warm water.  I don't want to dick with that part of the aquaponics "equation".

After that, it would be a matter of deciding how much pond water to other water from the fresh water and then add other stuff too make an appropriate nutrient mix for what plants you are trying to grow and at what stage.  Then let that mix flow down the hill with a NFT system along the way and down to the garden.  A waterfall near the bottom with a separate pond down below just for fun.


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: GoonerHeClips]
    #760558 - 12/06/14 12:00 AM (1 year, 11 months ago)

There's a couple of things you can do.

Method 1 = reduce fish count a couple weeks into flowering to offset the N in flowering, you can also do a 50% water change and treat the water with flowering nutrients. You can first reduce fish counts, and do the 50% water change at a later date to take advantage of the stretch in early flowering. The later you do the water change the longer lasting the effect will have relative to the crop coming down. Assuming you only plan to do a single water change.
Method 2 = you have a balance of veg and flowering biomass, if you veg your plants for 1/2 the time of flowering ie. 8 week flower = 4 week veg and have areas harvested say every 4 weeks you'll have one crop at peak vegetative growth when you're harvesting which will offset the available N considerably. Also consider keeping large moms in veg. You can also treat your water constantly with P and K.

If you go for method 1, I'd strongly consider using very hearty species of fish like tilapia or goldfish.

I opt for method 2 as I use a community tank and it would be far too problematic to deal with removing fish and putting them in a another aquarium for any period of time. You're also going to only really benefit from method 1 if you're not doing a staggered harvest.

When you're running your aquaponics setup near capacity (ie. supporting about as much plant biomass as you possible can off of the biomass of fish) you will find that the amount of N available is likely not going to inhibit flowering but will increase stretch. I treat my water, but very mildly. You can do 6kw of flowering/veg and another kw or so of moms easily with a stocked 80-90gal aquarium. I run a very high stocking density and have a bunch of aquariums dedicated to adding hundreds of feeders per week. I add so many snails, bristlenose plecos, crawfish, and shrimp that it looks like they'r are welcome residents in the aquarium. There's just so many hiding spots in my aquarium that I need to add considerably more that that comfortably hide so they're treated as prey.

I'm writing a few articles on the subject, originally intended on being back to back installments for a magazine. Said magazine doesn't seem to be interested anymore. So once I'm done with the last article of 3 I'll decide the fate of where they will be view able. I'll probably just contact a bunch of magazines and ask if they want to publish me and give priority to anyone who can send me free shit to endorse, if not I'll probably post it all for free.


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: captain.koons]
    #761002 - 12/09/14 12:51 AM (1 year, 11 months ago)

That's pretty interesting.  I haven't thought about it on a smaller scale like that.  The only ones I've seen are very large scale outdoor and I haven't seen cannabis grown with it.  I wish I would have had more time to ask him questions. 

Now that I think back on it, my uncle had these massive aquariums built into the walls almost all the way around his living room.  That would be fun to have 2 projects like that going at once.


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: cheezymold]
    #761028 - 12/09/14 10:05 AM (1 year, 11 months ago)

It works best on a large scale, keeping your plant biomass high relative to the amount of plants you can support on your aquarium is key that way your water conditions more or less stay constant. The way I designed my aquaponics loop with expansion in mind. more plants = more aeration and bio filter so my pH and ppm stay more cosntant than if I were to go smaller scale. the very large bio filter not only buffers the pH but I think they're playing a huge part in breaking down the uneaten food to provide a very constant and available supply of nutrients to the plants, which is why you can get away with the very low ppms.

You could scale it down for a 800w-2k setup using a 40-50 gal aquarium but you're going to be far more limited to the fish you can stock. I have a 55 gal long and my oscar wouldn't even be able to turn in it. I'd probably get 2 x 50 gal aquariums and try to get a bang up deal on a bunch of large gold fish and do the fish reduction + water treatment  method for flowering. On a lower scale I'd probably also build additional bio filters or run some hob style filters without charcoal.

I've been keeping aquariums for 17 years or so now and all of my aquariums are being filtered via aquaponics except for my crawdads which have plants in the tank but they're just too fucking messy so I'm forced to clean the tank every week. The most simple I'm doing sponge filters to provide some mechanical, lots of bio filtration, and aeration to the aquarium and using aquatic plants when the plants take over the tank I just scoop them out and put them into my community tank and my crawfish, tilapia, and loaches pick them apart in a couple days.

I have a tank with 14 piranhas, a few cat fish, crawdads, and snails that's filtered with aquaponics but I'm growing edibles with it. I'm going to start testing out how much I can feed the tank and what it will cost and I might convert this one to canna. I'm feeding this one organic grass fed beef heart, crawdads, shrimp, krill, and pickerel fillets so they're eating pretty good. I bet these guys could handle 3-3.5 lbs a week if I got their appetites up, they ate a 2lb pickerel in one sitting and were fed 6 days before hand.

I also have a tilapia tank I'm growing tomatoes, bell peppers, and habaneros with. Originally got into tilapia for my mom so she doesn't eat the gross farm raised fish. I decided to get my mom to fillet a couple of them and I fried them in butter with garlic and herbs and it was beyond delish. I fucking hate eating white fish too, typically speaking.


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: captain.koons]
    #761128 - 12/09/14 09:33 PM (1 year, 11 months ago)

I didn't get a chance to ask but I could see the koi they were using for theirs.  Not sure if there was anything else in there. Just a shame that you cannot eat them even though they are so huge lol.  I find tilapia to be rubbish fish though.  Pretty much tastes like whatever you cook them in. 

What method are you using to get the nutrients to the plants?  I'm sure that unless I get a house, I won't ever be able to try it out but I would really love to be able to grow all of my own produce with little expense.  Food costs here are some of the worst in the states. 

Have you done any successful Cannabis grows with the aquaponics?  Or just larger plants in general?


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: cheezymold]
    #761155 - 12/09/14 11:58 PM (1 year, 11 months ago)

My first aquaponic experience was with canna.

My main setup is a 80 gal tank with cichlids, tilapia, catfish, loaches, crawdads, snails, bichirs, etc very stocked tank that provides the nutrients for 6kw of production and 2kw of mothers, etc I do my testing for plants to see if they will grow well in my low pH of 6-6.5 (usually 6.2 constant) if not they go to my 7.5-8 (usually 7.8 constant) tilapia tank. Canna always goes in the prior tank. My piranha tank has similar parameters to my community tank.

Tilapia is a fairly neutral fish, however compared to other white fish it's considered a sweet meat. White fish isn't supposed to taste strong and is used to capture the flavor added to it. You also can't compare quality tilapia to virtually any tilapia you can buy in a store. My tilapia at the very least are going to be raised on 2-3lbs of "live" food, compare that to at best the same amount of dog food if not manure they're being fed else where. Even wild caught tilapia isn't going to taste close to as good unless it comes from a very remote area with superb water conditions.

When I switch to my 110 gal setup and bump the production area to 10kw I'm probably going to look into raising a clown ghost knife and several bay snooks. The bay snooks are a very interesting fish, easy to breed, easy to hybridize with other cichlids, and they grow quick enough to fit my needs and up to 16", they also have an incredible appetite and make a lot of waste. Only issue I have is, I need to pick my tank mates very wisely as a full grown 12-16" snook can eat a 6" fish and are ambush predators. So anything smaller than 6" has to be easily replaced and preferably bred on site.

I have two hydroponic systems, one is more akin to a SoG and the other is to grow trees to keep up with the biomass needs. Both are continuous flow active hydroponics which is necessary and attributes to the aeration and biofilter load of the system which will keep your ppm, pH, aeration, and even temperature constant. I don't want to give out my designs in this case as I'm looking to publish some work on the subject.

Keep in mind, I've designed my system to pursue the limitations of aquaponics, I didn't look to make the most simple nutrient delivery system I could think about or I'd just go with ebb and flow and increase the feed times or go mediumless ebb and flow under a tarp and do 24 feeds a day to keep the roots wet. I haven't done indoor production models nor have I grown a monocrop but the amount of food you can produce vs the cost is quite good. I'm certain I could feed myself cheaper than the grocery store and I use quality feed. I have a contact who runs a year round greenhouse and has a 20 000 gal lagoon, he originally built it as a hobby as he's disabled and fairly well off so he wanted something to occupy his time. He started running the greenhouse for the normal 5 month season here in Canada and started extending it a month or two each year by insulating and heating it until it just became year round. I'm not sure how much profit it's making but it's cash positive and he gives much of the bounty away for free to charity.

I'm interested in looking into monocrop production but that's likely not going to be until summer, as I want to contrast the costs and quality using the outdoor sunlight vs indoor. Keep in mind you can't compare the quality to anything you can find unless you get local organic vine ripened produce, this simply isn't an option in Canada during the winter. I'm certain it's affordable compared to grocery store prices even when using indoor lighting and painfully obvious if using natural light. You could even use natural light in the summer and extent your direct light by using HID or increase the intensity overall using HID and you would save money. If you had a sun room and used a 1kw to cover a 6x6-8x8' area that would be very efficient.


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: captain.koons]
    #761177 - 12/10/14 04:52 AM (1 year, 11 months ago)

I guess the idea of eating it is still a little strange since it is such a soft fish.  That and all of the fish I eat is either raw or citrus.  It is all very meaty ocean fish though.  At least you know exactly what goes into your fish. Here you see tilapia by the thousands in all of the sewers and runoffs, so it leaves a bad image lol. 

Sounds like you have had a lot of fun with this.  Thanks for all the info btw.  I love reading about this kind of stuff.  Unfortunately for me, I won't be able to mess with it until I buy my own house which isn't anytime soon.  I have a two bedroom apartment that I share with a roommate that is 840 square feet.  Sorry I don't know much about Canada, but are you familiar with the idiot measuring system we have in the states?  It is a super tiny place.  Costs $1350 a month with no utilities and electric is $.35 kw.  Outdoors would be my only real option if I really want to save.  Plus the heat is a big issue too since it is winter and an average of 30C during the day. 

This kind of gives me an idea for once I finally graduate though.  I'm putting together ideas for community projects or high school clubs to get young people interested in science based careers. Medical and Engineering seem to be the most popular here, but Horticulture and Marine Biology aren't too far behind considering the local culture.


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Registered: 06/25/08
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: cheezymold]
    #761183 - 12/10/14 08:04 AM (1 year, 11 months ago)

I actually overlooked cooling costs, as I've never had to run a AC really.

I do have a lot of fun with aquaponics, it takes 2 of my favorite hobbies and improves upon both of them. Sustainability is also a topic that is close to my heart. In 2050 it's estimated that we're going to be down to 10% of our green forests to make way for agriculture to feed the world and the cost of meat will be tremendous. Eating insects will likely be inevitable for western civilization within the next 20-30 years as the production costs per kilo are much better than raising cattle. I've actually experimented eating cricket flour mixed into protein bars and it wasn't bad at all.

More and more people need to work towards feeding their loved ones in the future, let's not forget that food production will be a more and more profitable industry.

Food for thought.


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OfflineFalcor
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: Zombi3]
    #774582 - 03/31/15 05:30 PM (1 year, 7 months ago)



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Offlineashfiken
im home
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: captain.koons]
    #774602 - 03/31/15 07:21 PM (1 year, 7 months ago)

Just looked into this thread on a whim and I gotta say, I am impressed cap coons. I hope you publish your paper BC you got some cool shit going on, the sustainability factor def makes this rockin, if not just cool as all shit.

Cheers


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Edited by ashfiken (03/31/15 07:21 PM)


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 6,163
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Re: Anyone ever grow cannabis in aquaponics? [Re: ashfiken]
    #774988 - 04/03/15 11:39 AM (1 year, 7 months ago)

Thank you.

The magazine I was looking to publish with dicked me around so I'm going to finish the articles and then decide what to do with them. I may release them for free somewhere or I may hang onto them until I run into someone connected in the canna publishing industry. No idea yet.

In the future sometime, I'll for sure contribute somewhere at least on the initial setup of aquaponics. Getting it going is the trick, expanding greatly simplifies things in aquaponics especially when you're aeration and bio filter increase with your fish mass.


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