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PostPosted: Aug 26th, '18, 16:32 
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Hi all,

I was thinking of converting one of my grow beds to a bit of a frog habitat. It's a about 2x1x0.35 m in size without any gravel (was using for DWC).

Obviously it's easy to find out what plants grow well in aquaponics, but there is less said about which ones to avoid.

Plants like duckweed are an obvious example as I can hear they take over the system. I would like to grow watercress, but understand this is also a problem.

If there is an existing list can someone point me to it, otherwise, if people can post plants (common name and scientific name would help) to avoid and the reason that would be great.

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PostPosted: Aug 26th, '18, 19:25 
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The big NO, NO, is Mint :upset:

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PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 02:19 
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Hi Dr.F & Joblow

>> The big NO, NO, is Mint

I disagree on both mint & watercress. Both watercress and mint are potential significant contributors to a yielding system - watercress is a quasi-superfood and mint is a staple for many applications (cooking and drinks).

in the "grows too easily" category not so much about avoiding these as ensuring you are growing them in a managed situation where their roots/seeds etc do not become invasive.

eg. I don't personally like watercress specifically but many people do and I have no problem growing it as a fast crop and giving it away. Great way to use up some nutrients, very cheap and easy to grow from seed, and if you harvest it as seedlings then no issue. Similarly all gardens should have a good supply of mint, but yes its ability to grow from spreader roots does create challenges *for some systems*.

Celery is another that gets mentioned (but same as above - just needs to be planned for and managed).
FWIW - I would actually put tomatoes in the same category.... because its roots are invasive...
(but no-one would not want to grow tomatoes - so case in point)

and this duckweed aslo falls into this category - in my case I struggle to keep duckweed going as fish eat it.
Only option is to grow it in a separate container/spare DWC-tub where yes it does go very well when not grazed.


The real [alternate] focus would be things that are poisonous to fish...
I am sure there are some but dont know of any off the top of my head.

so really come sdown to what you want from this thread:
(a) plants that shouldn't just be thrown into a large growbed without planning/consideration
ie. plants that grow well but need to be planned for and managed
(b) plants you shouldn't grow because they can harm your fish or have undesired consequences.
(ie. poisonous or incompatible with other plants or chemistry/nutrient balance)
and
(c) plants that can grow but are not really optimal for AP and typical nutrient/chemistry,
[ and/or there is an increased health risk from eating ]

eg. I put tubers in category (c) - so carrots and potatoes - but some people would disagree

quick search to add:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=27456&hilit=plants+mint
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=28047&hilit=plants+mint
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=27637&hilit=plants+mint

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PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 03:14 
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related threads (but slightly different purpose...)

"Plants that wont grow" >> viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24769&hilit=plants

"Best plants for types of systems?" >> viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24769&hilit=plants

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PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 08:08 
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Invasive plants like mint can be easilly managed using grow bags ("root pouch" or the like) to contain the roots.
I grow mint in my clay filled growbed and the plant cant stay very healthy and contained in a bag for over a year...

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PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 08:31 
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Great feedback so far. Thanks all. I would love to grow watercress, maybe I'll look into it.

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PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 10:14 
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I have mint in my DWC and it is running over the side and hanging down to the ground. Got huge. I don't even remember planting it so my wife doesn't want to use it because she isn't certain what it is... It's obviously in the mint family and smells minty so i don't see why not use it. Dwc seems to be a good way to grow and manage mint if you actually take cuttings, otherwise it just grows and grows.

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PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 12:24 
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rininger85 wrote:
I have mint in my DWC and it is running over the side and hanging down to the ground. Got huge. I don't even remember planting it so my wife doesn't want to use it because she isn't certain what it is... It's obviously in the mint family and smells minty so i don't see why not use it. Dwc seems to be a good way to grow and manage mint if you actually take cuttings, otherwise it just grows and grows.


+1

Mint will grow anywhere, there's no need to waste valuable grow bed space on Mint, I think Mint is just an edible weed.

I grow a lot of Celery, not because I like to eat that much of it, but it's a great heavy feeding plant that soaks up the nutrients and helps when your fish are reaching maturity.

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PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 21:08 
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>> Great feedback so far. Thanks all. I would love to grow watercress, maybe I'll look into it.

the DT Brown variety that Reject Shop / Red-Dot sell for $1.50 is fine and grows well.
If you pull it out before it goes to seed you will be fine - it tastes the best at that point anyway as you can eat the stems etc. Just don't let it stay in the bed for too long or let it develop seed (doesn't taste very good at that point anyway IMO).

Pic below is DT Brown Cress / WaterCress in a 70L tub, plant half of tub and then plant other half couple weeks later. Easily have a rotating production line.

Attachment:
Veg-Cress.jpg
Veg-Cress.jpg [ 103.3 KiB | Viewed 3423 times ]



>> I have mint in my DWC and it is running over the side and hanging down to the ground

yep, as my DWC use air gap method the roots actually floated across the surface and came out of the sides.
In that situation it is easy to pull out and get rid of - different story in a large grow bed.

My preference is actually to grow mint in a self water pot with soil.
(eg. half-drum sized mini-wicking bed is ideal, or something like below)

Attachment:
Veg-Mint.jpg
Veg-Mint.jpg [ 88.16 KiB | Viewed 3420 times ]

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '18, 11:50 
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Nitrogen fixers i.e. legumes may not be a good choice as they prefer to fix nitrogen from air rather than the water.

Celery has a large root ball and once I left it there for 2 seasons, it took over half of the grow bed.

Fig cuttings, if left uncontrolled may take over the grow beds and pipes.

I have perennial basil which grows like mint with root suckers but so far we managed to keep it under control.

Chocolate mint is also same. I thought I cleaned it while I transferred the grow beds emptying the media and washing it. It popped up again.

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PostPosted: Sep 27th, '18, 19:00 
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joblow wrote:
The big NO, NO, is Mint :upset:



no, no,no.

mint is just a slight no, no.

the real ones are Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium and Chrysanthemum coccineum..... ie. pyrethrum.


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PostPosted: Sep 30th, '18, 10:25 
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Celery is defiantly a pant to be cautious of I have had it clog GB's. It will take over DWC rafts & recently it has blocked NFT tubes in my AP system.
Attachment:
celery 50mm net pot.JPG
celery 50mm net pot.JPG [ 61.4 KiB | Viewed 2881 times ]

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