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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 15th, '11, 09:00 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I don't try to keep my pH so high, I would love it if my pH were down between 6.5-7.
However, I made a mistake back in the beginning and about 40% of my media is shells which buffer my pH to about 7.6 most of the time.

And then I have this incredibly hard well water from out nice Florida limestone aquifers so even in a system without shells, simply topping up my systems with well water during the dry season will usually keep my pH up around 7.6. I'm trying to collect more rain water so I can get the pH in a couple of my systems down a little lower but since I got my RainSaucers, we have only gotten a couple inches of rain.

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 15th, '11, 11:33 
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Oh, i was just confused when u were putting in the shell bed as it seemed like it would keep the ph up really high. But i'm definately a newb and only kind of know the theory of things :).

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 15th, '11, 20:31 
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I was a newb once too. The shells are a great way to buffer a system but I now know it is better to have them in a bag or some stockings so you can remove them if the pH goes up too high.

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 15th, '11, 22:57 
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I drop goat dung into my duckweed and run an air stone in it.

I like the idea of adding a bit of duckweed because it means the fish get a bit of variety and also, because it floats for ever, can never cause problems be being uneaten.

So I feed my fish pellets, and always have duckweed floating around.

I also get the feeling that, because its not as popular as the fish feed, the runts actually get to eat at their leisure, rather than having to compete.

It also means I can dump a stack of feed into the tank If I'm going away for a few days.

They never seem to over feed on it. Probably because it's all water and fills them up. Its hard to get fat eating cabbage.

But its feed variety, it lasts, doesn't foul the water, lets the runts get more food, and allows me to convert goat dung into table fare. Not a bad trade really.

The 2 minutes a month I spend on keeping duckweed might not translate well to the bottom line in a commercial fish farm, but it works a treat in my little back yard aquaponics system. No doubt it's a lot easer to harvest with a coffee in hand while sitting in the sun watching your fish than it is dragging a net through a lake with a tractor or whatever you need to do commercially.

I like the stuff. It's pretty.

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 01:43 
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Friendlies actually had some terrible problems with duckweed but they were dealing with tilapia that were used to eating pellets and turned their noses up at the duckweed and the real problem is they had put it into a fish tank with a happas net and the duckweed got between the tank wall and the net and died/rotted and caused a depletion in dissolved oxygen killing the fish in the tank.

Duckweed can be wonderful stuff but it isn't very helpful in some situations (like I'm sure Friendlies also had issues with the duckweed that escaped into the raft beds and being a problem.)

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 04:53 
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TCLynx wrote:
Friendlies actually had some terrible problems with duckweed but they were dealing with tilapia that were used to eating pellets and turned their noses up at the duckweed and the real problem is they had put it into a fish tank with a happas net and the duckweed got between the tank wall and the net and died/rotted and caused a depletion in dissolved oxygen killing the fish in the tank.

Duckweed can be wonderful stuff but it isn't very helpful in some situations (like I'm sure Friendlies also had issues with the duckweed that escaped into the raft beds and being a problem.)


I guess thats another thing in my favour. If it came to the crunch, I could spend 15 minutes and be 100% sure I had removed every bit from my single blue barrel system if for some reason I felt the need to do so.

But that's my point. I think duckweed has a place in aquaponics.

It's pretty :)

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 04:57 
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I definitely like duckweed. I'm really hoping it will help balance out my super small system. If it does it'll be a miracle plant :).

I don't have enough growbed space, and probably 1 fish too many (i expected by now to have lost at least 1 more fish) for things to really stabilize, so this will hopefully help level it out. It's a small grow bed, but my fish definitely eat whatever duckweed finds its way to their part of the world.

Even if it never feeds them completely (or even much at all).

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 05:00 
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Duckweed certainly is a great ammonia sink

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 05:16 
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does it eat ammonia directly? ie ammonia rather than nitrates

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Last edited by BullwinkleII on Jun 16th, '11, 05:18, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 05:17 
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Yes

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 05:21 
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But its feed variety, it lasts, doesn't foul the water, lets the runts get more food, and allows me to convert goat dung into table fare, and it even eats ammonia directly. Not a bad trade really, and the ammonia thing means its a pretty cool thing to have on hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 05:24 
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It's got plenty of challenges but it has some great uses as well.

I'm not sure how keen I am about the goat dung fed duckweed going directly into an aquaponics system unless you are doing something to sterilize or compost the goat dung first though.

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 05:35 
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TCLynx wrote:
It's got plenty of challenges but it has some great uses as well.

I'm not sure how keen I am about the goat dung fed duckweed going directly into an aquaponics system unless you are doing something to sterilize or compost the goat dung first though.


Really?

Actually since we moved I haven't even fed my duckweed (no more goat), but I'm interested to know why?

I wouldnt have thought there would be anything dangerous in a goat.

I figured the next time I need to feed my duckweed I'd just drop some fish feed into it. Would that be a bad idea as well? (I base feeding my duckweed on looking at the leaf colour at the "need more nutrient" end of the spectrum, and the smell of the water at the "just about right" (earthy nice compost smell, but I wouldnt give it to my mum to drink, unless she was really really thirsty)

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 05:52 
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Goat dung comes from a warm blooded animal and as such could have pathogens that we share. (E. coli and salmonella being the main ones of concern.)

In general any warm blooded animal manure should be properly composted before use in a food system of any sort.

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 Post subject: Re: Duckweed PeePonics
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '11, 07:50 
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"off topic" question - how do you get your duckweed pond to be still? I've got such a small duckweed container and it just moves around all over the place. I've tried to build little contraptions to help it and nothing has worked so far :). Any ideas? (do i need to upload a video/photos?)

The other trick is that i'd like to get as much water as possible moving through the water, but without much current at the surface.

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