Stuppy Aquaponics Blog

System update: Niles, 2/7/18

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Feb 7, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Niles

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

EC (mS)

1/08

6.22 -> 7.00

0

N/A

0

-

71

1.94

1/12

6.8

0

 

0

LAB

68.2

2.03

1/15

6.7

0

 

0

-

68

2.00

1/18

6.5 -> 6.95

0

 

0

-

68

2.08

1/24

6.85

0

 

0

-

71.2

2.07

1/30

7.2

0

 

0

-

70.4

2.15

2/01

7.14

0

 

0

-

73.6

2.22

image showing off the full height of the tomatoes which are all fruiting very well in the media bed.

The full height of the tomatoes which are all fruiting very well in the media bed.

 

Water Quality Overview:

Niles will now have it's pH automatically adjusted to maintain the ideal level of 7.2 on a consistent basis using a sensing unit called the pH Mini. The automatic injector uses a relay module, pH probe and peristaltic pump to input a defined amount of concentrated K2CO3 solution after a specific time interval as the pH drops below 7.0. The pH Mini is the third small scale sensor based unit to be tested as a potential Aqueduct accessory and the first to provide the advantage of water quality control. It has been functioning since 1/26 and is the most comprehensive unit to date.

In the image belowyou can see the unit installed just above the system sump which contains the input line for the concentrated K2CO3 buffer solution. The line has been anchored just below the float bed overflow drain to induce the immediate mixing of buffer and system solutions minimizing nutrient precipitation

controller.jpg 

The monthly supplement regiment will remain identical to last month since lab results indicate the system is maintaining ideal nutrients levels for reproductive growth:  200 g of STP (super triple phosphate) 20 g of Micro Mix, 70 g of Chelated iron and 50 grams of MnSO4

 

The results of the water sample from 1/12 reflect that most nutrients levels have reached an equilibrium:

Parameter

Concentration (ppm) (4/20)

Concentration (ppm) (6/20)

Concentration (8/22)

Conc. (10/27)

Conc, (12/06)

Conc.

(1/12)

E.C.

0.64 mS/cm

0.99

1.04

1.16

1.51

1.66

Ca

36.91

48.53

49.11

44.08

47.35

47.1

Mg

23.5

51.83

54.72

54.8

62.34

69.55

Na

60.39

70.27

87.75

100.47

109.65

109.49

Cl

35.31

56.76

49.39

67.52

73.39

73.15

B

0.17

0.44

0.33

0.5

0.69

0.77

Fe

0

2.65

3.76

7.03

7.98

7.65

Mn

0

0.05

0.01

0.04

0.06

0.06

S

64.36

68.65

76.63

96.8

110.28

117.14

Cu

0.01

0.28

0.19

0.34

0.68

0.71

Zn

0

1.16

1.19

1.74

2.62

2.67

Mo

0.01

0.07

0.2

0.03

0.05

0.04

NO3-N

0.02

31.47 (140 as NO3)

35.97

29.38

51.7

70.42

(313 as NO3)

NH4-N

6.73

0.78

0.9

2.77

0.79

0.13

P

0.9

3.96

0

12.19

28.06

32.02

K

10.77

32.87

12.27

36.15

143.37

142.85

The Sodium accumulation rate has actually decreased for the first time which means Na levels aren’t as significant an issue as previously anticipated. The system hasn’t been drained once since it was reset early April of last year and is therefore no longer a major requirement to keep water quality adequate for crops.

Phosphate and Potassium concentrations are remaining relatively stable. This  means the overall fruiting crop nutrient uptake is nearly identical to what is being supplemented. We can confidently conclude that K2CO3 combined with a simple monthly natural supplementation regiment can replicate ideal water quality conditions with a precision similar to that observed in hydroponic systems, and with less effort

Total Nitrogen content has continued to increase at a steady rate and has reached the optimal concentration given the concentrations of P and K.  The system is right around the ideal N:P:K ratio for maintaining reproductive production while maintaining enough vegetative production to continuously promote further growth.

Low Manganese levels continue to be an issue despite doubling the levels of MnSO4. The solubility is not great at higher pH’s and therefore a chelated Mn compound MUST be utilized when naturally available concentrations are negligible in the source water. These minute concentrations do not appear to be affecting many crops negatively, including all the tomato varieties. The only crop that has been affected is spaghetti squash which still has no problem producing viable fruit.

Another water sample will be collected next week by 2/07

 

Fish Overview:

No changes have occurred in the fish feeding rate since the last post a month ago. 180 grams/day has been enough feed to provide the nitrate needed by all the fruiting crops is the media bed and the strawberries in the NFT channels. Total available nitrogen content has increased 20 mg/L since the previous water quality test. That is nearly 90 mg/L of nitrate which is good for maintaining vegetative structure during reproduction.

 

Crop Overview

Four tomato varieties, two pepper varieties and one large squash continue to grow very well under the powerful LED Plessely light fixtures. Reproductive growth continues to dominate all crops and fruit production is at its peak with regular harvests occurring weekly. The spaghetti squash has nearly finished forming its second fruit which is nearly a foot in length and several lbs (See next image)

media1.jpg

It has taken a while but the Jalapeno (firstimage) and Habanero (second image) varieties are making considerable progress on the formation of viable peppers.  These should be harvestable within the next couple weeks.

 media2.jpgmedia3.jpg

All tomato varieties are still producing flowers and have been harvested twice recently, with a 3rd harvest planned for 2/05. Production is identical to that observed in the hydroponic system and blind taste tests show that tomatoes of the same varieties grown in different systems are indistinguishable from each other.

media4.jpg

Above is an image showing off several varieties of tomatoes that have almost fully ripened.  

Strawberries.jpg

 

 NFT Strawberry Update:

Since the last update the number of flowering strawberry crops has increased to 12 crops. This is well over half and is fairly substantial. Of those crops nine of the flowering individuals are younger runners, while the older individuals only make up three of the flowering strawberry crops. It is becoming apparent that once any variety has flowered once, it is more difficult to flower again. Many of the crops now have ripe strawberries making their first appearances and almost ready for harvest.  

Overall, strawberries are best planted in the early spring allowing vegetative growth to fully form by the time the winter season starts and cool temperatures and/or artificial lighting schedule can induce flowering. Fruits are always best grown in cooler temperatures, and are often better tasting too. After the flowering stops the runners should be utilized and grown in the same manner.

 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Update:

Since transplanting several outdoor strawberry crops into the NFT channels connected to Nile the aphid population has begun to explode. Like thrips, aphids are hard to spot in the winter as they will produce deep within the strawberry canopy where it is warmer.

Pyrethrum, neem oil and spinosad were applied to only crops infested with the pests (5-6) but there was little effect. 

Similar to the thrips natural pesticides were simply not enough to remove the majority of populations hidden within the crops. So, for the first time Beneficials are being tested in the system to determine their effectiveness at removing large pest populations as well as observe how well the beneficial remain within the confines of the system grow area over time.

Ladybugs are the best candidate for testing trials as they are well known for their love of consuming aphids. They are also known to eat many other common pests including thrips. Approximately 300-350 ladybugs were released on 2/01 and were observed over a several hour period to find that they not only started feeding on the largest aphid populations immediately but also started mating vigorously. After 24 hours many ladybugs could be easily located among the leaves indicating individuals aren’t moving away from the system.

Strawberries2.jpg

Ladybugs are hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures. They are better suited for utilization in smaller systems like the Aqueduct when temperatures are lowerso they are less likely to migrate away over time.

Other Crops Affected? Recently after discovering aphids on the strawberries a huge population managed to manifest quickly under portions of the spaghetti squash crop in the media bed. This was of particular concern as the tomato crops are fairly close to the infestation. 

What’s the Next Step? Next is to observe the progress of the ladybugs removal over the course of this next week and determine whether more Beneficial’s are required or additional IPM steps need to be taken. In the unlikely event the ladybugs disperse quickly or can’t hold back the growth rate of the aphid population a different beneficial will be utilized and is the main active ingredient in “BotaniGaurd” which uses predatory fungi to destroy pest eggs and larvae.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Insect Control, Niles, Strawberries, Pest Management, Beneficials, Aquaponic Supplements

Tomato Experiments: 1/31/18 Results

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Jan 31, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Overview

The goal of this experiment is to determine whether the quality and yield of tomatoes grown in our aquaponic system can effectively compete with those grown in a traditional hydroponic system. Both systems use powerful LED fixtures with board spectrums ideal for fruit production.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Experiments

System Update: Frasier 1/9/18

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Jan 9, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Frasier

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

EC (mS)

12/6

6.45 ->7.2

0

N/A

0

190 mg/l

75

1.26

12/13

6.75

0

 

0

-

65, 72

1.38

12/20

5.8 -> 7.02

0.5

 

0

-

66,77

1.52

12/23

6.5 -> 7.2

0

 

0

-

-

1.60

1/02

6.0 -> 7.1

0.5

 

0

-

57, 64.5

1.90

1/05

6.6

0

 

0

NEW Lab Sample

71.5

1.88

Above is what the media bed and float bed looked like before harvesting on 12/20. Both snap peas and beans grow exceptionally well within the Aqueduct’s media bed and are recommended for use in the curriculum. Below is an image of the media bed and float bed with the new seedlings on 1/02 (seeded 12/20). Nutrient accumulation has been allowed to build up during this seedling stage allowing for greater absorption for heavy feeding crops in the near future.

Water Quality

pH fluctuations are allowing for greater additions of the carbonate compound K2CO3, which has increased the concentration of K since the last lab test. The fluctuation has sometimes been extreme bringing the pH to as low as 5.8. This causes an increase in the ammonia concentration as the nitrying bacteria cannot function well at pH’s below 6.5. Between 100-150 gram K2CO3 has been required since the lab test on 12/20 and has been required on a near weekly basis. K2CO3 will need to be replaced by Mg and Ca carbonate based compounds to keep K from competing with cation based nutrient uptake. High K levels potentiate Mn deficiencies, given their similar charge, and have led to slight deficiencies observed in several string beans crops.

Super triple phosphate (STP), Micro Mix, Chelated Iron and MnSO4 have been added this month on 1/02 to speed up the production process. The following amounts of nutrients were added to the system the last month:

STP -> 100 grams, Chelated Iron -> 75 grams, MnSO4 -> 50 grams, Micro Mix -> 15 grams.

The values above have been increased since last month’s addition, notably Mn. These additions have helped increase the EC quickly. Below are the results of the lab sample taken on 12/06:

Parameter

Conc. (ppm)
(8/22)

Conc. (ppm)

10/27

Conc. (ppm)

12/06

E.C.

1.53

0.86

1.16

Ca

64

39.06

42.31

Mg

79.5

34.19

42.84

Na

148.31

73.57

86.19

Cl

98.68

47.76

57.83

B

0.51

0.32

0.48

Fe

6.15

3.53

4.31

Mn

0.08

0.03

0.04

S

138.65

67.79

81.11

Cu

0.46

0.43

0.59

Zn

2.35

0.81

1.22

Mo

0.23

0

0

NO3-N

29.53

26.98

43

NH4

1.18

3.26

0.97

PO4-P

10.58

8.6

13.53

K

28.34

25.48

97.04

The results above show there are several key nutrients that are having an impact on water quality conditions. The negative issues are results of low quality source water and high sodium feed which we currently use to run the system. Our 3.5mm catfish feed has a lower sodium content and has shown to produce lower sodium accumulation over time.

Positives:

Nitrate – As the fingerling have grown in size they have produced a large amount of ammonia based waste which has been converted into nitrate by the nitrifying bacteria in the media bed. This increase has put nitrate level at the lower end of the ideal range for aggressive vegetative growth.

Phosphate – Very important for fruiting crops, phosphate levels don’t need to be nearly as high as nitrate and potassium; in fact, very little P is required for the successful growth of leafy green and vegetative based crops within aquaponics. However, flower development and root growth rate is greatly affected by P concentrations, therefore when root growth is minimal it could be due to very low phosphorous levels.

Potassium – Probably the single most important nutrient for most fruiting crops, potassium is required in the highest concentration by varieties such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Higher levels of potassium are obtained from the compound K2CO3 which is added to buffer pH as well as add large doses of K. Thanks to the ideal water and air temperatures the pH has consistently decreased over time requiring regular carbonate additions. This will be useful for the growth of heavy feeding cold season crops that will be seeded in the near future, such as Brussel sprouts and cabbage varieties.

Negatives:

Sodium – Sourced from both the tap water and fingerling fish feed. The feed is the primary cause of higher sodium levels over time but decreases when it is changed to the 3.5 mm size catfish feed which is prepared with a lower sodium content. Some few crops, mainly light feeding herbs like oregano and thyme, cannot be seeded at these concentrations. It is recommended to seed crops in a small germination station outside the system with pure water when Na is >100 ppm before transplanting into the system.

Manganese (Mn) – Mn can often be sourced directly from the water being used, nut unfortunately our tap water doesn’t contain sufficient levels of dissolved Mn. While MnSO4 does appear to add some Mn to the solution it is very minimal due to the compounds lower solubility at higher pHs. For this reason, double the amount of MnSO4 (50 grams) was added during the most recent addition.

The higher temperatures during the summer months caused pH to remain consistently high, lowering carbonate addition required. Lower temperatures over the winter, coupled with inline water heating, has led to the appropriate pH response of decreasing overtime. This is due to the water temperature staying within a more ideal range for the nitrifying bacteria. Based on experimentation and observations in the summer and winter it is clear that clogging is far more likely to occur when the water temperature is EITHER higher or lower than the ideal range of between 70-78 F.

A water sample was taken on 1/05 for JR laboratories and will be discussed in the next update.

Fish Update:

The last fish weighing was taken on 12/23 before the holiday break and each fish weighed an average of 100 grams, up 20 grams compared with what they were two weeks before. According to our fish growing schedule the tilapia are slightly above where they should be in terms of size, while being lower in anticipated feeding rate. The fish were fed a max of 145 grams of feed per day before weighing, according to the tilapia grow schedule they should require 180 grams per day at their current size.

Water temps are falling further below the ideal level due to the low air temperatures in the warehouse and therefore the feeding rate had to be further decreased from the max of 156 grams per day, set after weighing, to a minimum of 120 grams per day. Whether this will affect the growth rate of the tilapia will be determined during the next weighing.

Despite the low feeding rate, the fish are of adequate size to switch over to the 3.5mm catfish feed starting next week.  

 

Crop Update:

The entire system has been filled with new cold season crops. The float beds contain both iceberg and green/red cabbage varieties while the media bed contains more string bean and snap pea varieties. This time far more snap peas were seeded as they were found to take up far less space than the beans.

The crops are growing but unfortunately the thrip infestation came back over the holidays and nearly destroyed all the new seedlings. The area was treated with neem oil before seeding but thrips have been known to survive below the surface of media and given the cold air environment I wouldn’t be surprised if the thrips find this preferable, making them even more difficult to kill off. I have switched the natural pesticide to a pyrethrum/sulfur mix which is known for being fairly potent but is proving to be less effective than anticipated. The crops will continue to be sprayed until the infestation is depleted and other crops surrounding the area will be treated with the mix as well to help ensure they do not spread. If the mix doesn’t kill the thrips within the next week or two, a new pesticide will need to be sourced.

Brussel sprouts will be one of the large crops seeded in the media bed next as the cooler temps are ideal for their production. String beans and snap peas will continue to be seeded as well.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, Pest Management, Frasier, Aquaponic Supplements, Potassium

Special Post: Advantages of Potassium Carbonate and Potassium Hydroxide for Aquaponics

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Dec 27, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Potassium (K+) is one of the most limited nutrients in aquaponics and the bulk of K+ must be added in the form of a supplemental compound to bring the concentration to adequate levels, even for lettuce production which requires relatively little K. When growing fruiting crops, particularly tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, much larger amounts of K are required to produce adequate fruit.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aquaponic Supplements, Potassium

Stuppy Aquaponics Curriculum Part 6: Nitrogen cycle and colonization of bacteria

Posted by Scott Moore on Dec 14, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Welcome to our ongoing series highlighting our Aquaponics Curriculum!

Over the coming weeks, we will be posting a series of articles covering the basics of each Curriculum Topic. Today, we are covering Topic 2, Lesson 2, The Nitrogen Cycle and Colonization of Bacteria. Each of these blog posts is aimed to give an overview of the subject and provide one or more critical thinking questions. You can find our first post in this series here. Enjoy!

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aquaponics Curriculum

System Update: Niles 12/13/17

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Dec 13, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Niles

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

EC (mS)

11/01

6.5 -> 6.6

0

N/A

0

120

Act. test

64.2

1.38

11/08

6.5

0

 

0

-

64

1.49

11/10

6.58

0

 

0

-

63

1.40

11/13

6.25 -> 6.8

0

 

0

150

73.8

1.48

11/15

6.6

0

 

0

-

75

1.57

11/22

6.5 -> 7.0

0

 

0

-

75.2

1.7

11/27

6.8 -> 7.2

0

 

0

200

70

1.6

11/30

6.95

0

 

0

-

73.6

1.58

12/4

6.6

0

 

0

-

76

1.6

12/6

6.5 -> 7.0

0

 

0

Awaiting Results

75

1.65

10/27:
Calcium Level: 44.08 mg/L     Magnesium level: 54.8 mg/L
P = 12.19 mg/L            K= 36.15 mg/L

Water Quality Overview

The change in air temperature to a range between 60-70 F has had a positive effect on water quality, particularly pH. The pH now fluctuates regularly, requiring weekly additions of K2CO3. This is very good for the tomatoes and peppers being grown in the media bed of the system; 150 grams are required about once a week. This was added along with a mix of other vital nutrients to keep nutrients levels up for the tomatoes. Super triple phosphate or STP(200g), Micro Mix(20g), Chelated Iron(70g), and MnSO4(30g) are now being added on a monthly basis. When the lab results of the water sample taken return the phosphate and potassium levels are expected to increase significantly. This will lead to a more ideal N:P:K ratio for all crops but particularly the tomatoes.

The more ideal water conditions, while promoting ideal pH fluctuations, also has significantly lowered the amount of clogging that occurs over time for unknown reasons.

Fish Overview

The Skretting feed still appears to be the best for solidifying waste.  However the fish feed was switched over to the Aquamax 4000 feed one last time to determine if the more optimal water conditions affect the waste accumulation. The switch occurred on 12/4.

The fish are continuing to grow at the anticipated rate and weigh 795 grams/fish(1.75lbs), a 115 gram increase since the last weighing on 11/7. It has been 8 months since tilapia introduction and the tilapia have surpassed the anticipated size for the given time frame. The fish can be harvested at any time from this point and will be done after the tomato crops have completed their grow cycle.

Crop Overview

Four tomato varieties and three pepper varieties continue to grow very well under the powerful LED Plessely light fixtures. There are no deficiencies detected and even the leaf curling has subsided in the Washington cherry variety. The thrip population has been brought down to reasonable levels and neem oil continues to be sprayed throughout the canopy once per week to keep the population under control. 

The first tomato fruits started to form a little over a week ago and all the varieties now have some fruit formed. It will be only a couple weeks now until the first tomato fruits are ready for harvest. Below is an image of the hybrid cherry tomato crop with formed fruit.

The first image below is from 11/7 when the seedling were producing their first flower trusses.The second image was taken on 12/06, 42 days after the transplanting occurred. The change in size is very dramatic.

 The float bed was completely harvested and will be replaced by iceberg lettuce and green and red cabbage which are cold season crops.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Insect Control, Niles, Aquaponic Supplements

System Update: Frasier 12/12/17

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Dec 12, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Frasier

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

EC (mS)

11/01

6.8

0

N/A

0.5

120

Act. test

63.5

1.00

11/08

6.8

0

 

0

-

63

0.99

11/10

6.94

0

 

0.25

-

73.5

Heater ON

1.07

11/13

6.7->7.1

0

 

0

150

73.5

1.08

11/15

6.91

0

 

0

-

76.6

1.12

11/22

6.45->6.9

0

 

0

-

75

1.22

11/27

6.5->7.1

0

 

0

200

75

1.25

11/30

6.9

0

 

0

-

76

1.30

12/4

6.7

0

 

0

-

75

1.20

12/6

6.45 ->7.2

0

 

0

Awaiting results

75

1.26

10/27:
Calcium Level: 39.06 mg/L            Magnesium level: 34.19 mg/L
Phosphate Level: 8.6 mg/L           Potassium: 25.5 mg/L

Above the top image is of system on 11/1 and the bottom image is the system on 12/06, filled with beans and peas in the media bed and mustards and romaine in the float bed both of which have been harvested toughly. Bean and peas both grow extremely well in aquaponics conditions and require relatively little supplementation.

Water Quality: It has been 3.5 months since the system was reset and nutrient content is now sufficient for heavy fruiting crop production such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. The lower air temperature (b/t 60-70 F) and the consistent water temperature provided by the inline heater have greatly improved overall water quality condition and chemistry. pH fluctuations are far more common allowing far greater additions of the carbonate compound K2CO3 which enables more effective fruit production. Between 100-125 grams of K2CO3 can be added at a time and maintains pH for about a week. STP(100g), Micro Mix(10g), Chelated Iron(50g) and MnSO4(25g) have been added over the past month as well to speed up the production process.  A water sample was sent in to JR labs on 12/11 which was taken on 12/8. The potassium and phosphate levels are expected to increase greatly because of the higher additions of K2CO3 and STP. This will maintain better fruit production throughout the system life cycle and will even allow feeding rates to be lowered creating a more ideal N:P:K ratio for all crops.

The effects on pH appear to be influenced by crop nutrient uptake which is stimulated mainly by the air temperature surrounding the crops. Temperatures between 60-70 F cause the ratio of cations up taken by the root to increase thus resulting the output of more positively charged particles creating the acidic environment we need to add potassium bases carbonate compounds. This illustrates, from an experimental perspective, how significant and vital it is to maintain ideal crop parameters when utilizing aquaponic or hydroponic growing procedures. The higher temperatures observed during the summer months caused pH to remain higher lowering carbonate addition. Clogging was also more likely to occur for reasons currently not well understood.

 

Fish Update: The high grade tilapias have grown substantially over the past month and were weighed on 12/06 to determine an average weight of 80 grams/fish, an increase of 45 grams per fish since the last weighing on 11/08. This brings the feeding rate up to 170 grams/day at a 3% body weight fed. According to our fish growing schedule we are about 10 weeks into the grow cycle and the tilapia are exactly where they should be in terms of size and a little further along in feeding rate which should be at 160 g/day. These tilapias have had no problem keeping up with growing requirements even when water temperature dropped well below the optimal for several days.

The 2.5 mm feed continues to be used and will be switched once the fish are 14 weeks old.  

 

Crop Update: The system is full of crops now with the float bed supporting various mustard greens and romaine lettuce and the media bed utilizing lighter feeding fruiting crops including beans and peas which are fully mature and have produced several pounds of fruit. Squash have also been placed in the media bed to determine if the nutrient concentration is sufficient enough to support heavier feeding crops at the front of the system. Thus far the vegetative production is perfect but the PAR is not high enough to support fruit development. Crops were allowed to grow to substantial size to show off the growing power of the system and can be seen in our images. 

The romaine and mustards in the float bed were all harvested on 12/06 and will be replaced in a staggered manner by iceberg lettuce and green and red cabbage varieties in the month to come.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Leafy Greens, Frasier, Aquaponic Supplements

The Stuppy Aquaponics Curriculum, Part 5: types of bacteria in aquaponics

Posted by Scott Moore on Dec 7, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Welcome to our ongoing series highlighting our Aquaponics Curriculum!

Over the coming weeks, we will be posting a series of articles covering the basics of each Curriculum Topic. Today, we are covering Topic 2, Lesson 1, Types of bacteria in Aquaponics. Each of these blog posts is aimed to give an overview of the subject and provide one or more critical thinking questions. You can find our first post in this series here. Enjoy!

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aquaponics Curriculum

The Stuppy Aquaponics Curriculum Part 4: Hydroponic and aquaponic designs

Posted by Scott Moore on Nov 22, 2017 3:30:00 PM

Welcome to our ongoing series highlighting our Aquaponics Curriculum!

Over the coming weeks, we will be posting a series of articles covering the basics of each Curriculum Topic. Today, we are covering Topic 1, Lesson 4, Hydroponc and Aquaponics Designs. Each of these blog posts is aimed to give an overview of the subject and provide one or more critical thinking questions. You can find our first post in this series here. Enjoy!

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Topics: Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Aquaponics Curriculum

The Stuppy Aquaponics Curriculum Part 3: Substrates for Hydroponics and Aquaponics

Posted by Scott Moore on Nov 16, 2017 3:30:00 PM

Welcome to our ongoing series highlighting our Aquaponics Curriculum!

Over the coming weeks, we will be posting a series of articles covering the basics of each Curriculum Topic. Today, we are covering Topic 1, Lesson 3, Substrates for Hydroponic and Aquaponics. Each of these blog posts is aimed to give an overview of the subject and provide one or more critical thinking questions. You can find our first post in this series here. Enjoy!

 

A substrate, also called a medium or media, is a supporting material or base on which a plant can grow. The most commonly used substrates are: Rockwool, lightweight expanded clay aggregate, coco coir, coco chips, perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, lava rock, river rock, and sand. Some uncommonly used substrates include: oasis cubes, floral foam, growstones, pine shavings, pine bark, polyurethane foam, water-absorbing polymers and rice hulls. A good substrate supports the plant, allows for air flow, and is porous.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aquaponics Curriculum, Substrates