Fish-less Systems

This is a group for people who have any kinds of fish-less systems, but yet are not doing classical hydroponics. Where we can share what we have come to find about making-home made nutrients, oganic-hydro, pee-ponics, worm tea hydro, bio-ponics, home-made buffers, water chemistry or anything else that is perhaps inappropriate for fish. As well as experimenting and sharing results for  things that might be alright for our aquatic critters.

Members: 56
Latest Activity: on Wednesday

Warning... Much of what may be contained here may, or may not be a good idea to apply to a system populated with living, breathing, happy fish, crustaceans or any other aquatic life. So be smart...

Discussion Forum

Dual Root Zone (possible for AP)

Started by Vlad Jovanovic. Last reply by Tony L Apr 29. 66 Replies

Here is an idea that I believe if done PROPERLY could be used in an AP system with fish…I first described what I've done in Wil’s ‘Medicinal Plants Any Luck’ discussion (there is some encouraging…Continue

A variety of plants vs multiple systems

Started by Mike E. Last reply by Vlad Jovanovic Apr 27. 4 Replies

I started a fishless system about 6 weeks ago. I only have greens in it at this stage.…Continue

Straw bale "drain-to-waste" Bioponic system

Started by Meir Lazar. Last reply by TCLynx Jul 18, 2013. 8 Replies

Recently I saw a lot of information on straw bale gardening. It seems that people have been getting great results with this type of gardening. But it looks like to make it work, you need to add some…Continue

Tags: bales, straw, bioponics, peeponics

Organic or Otherwise "Home-made" Inputs

Started by Vlad Jovanovic. Last reply by Bob Campbell Apr 30, 2013. 64 Replies

Found some interesting recipes and/or info on the various N-P-K values of some common organic compounds. What do you use for inputs for your fish-less systems?"Instructions for Preparing Organic…Continue

Tags: N-P-K, Inputs, fertilizer, Organic

Comment Wall


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Comment by TCLynx on September 27, 2013 at 11:45am

I would say mix up your stuff minus the extra calcium carbonate, let it bubble and mix for a day and then check the pH before you worry too much about adding any extra buffer.

Comment by Safwat Zaki on September 26, 2013 at 5:22pm


    I am using a city tap water which has Total Alkalinity of 202 mg/l as CaCo3 and Total hardness of 372 mg/l as CaCo3



Comment by TCLynx on September 26, 2013 at 10:22am


      Before you add too much calcium carbonate to neutralize acidity, check to see how much carbonate your tap water has.  In some locations the tap water can be acidic and require more buffering but in other locations the more common problem is that the tap water is way too hard (full of calcium carbonate) and you may have absolutely not need or only very little need to use calcium carbonate and you may actually find you need to use a different source of calcium so that your pH can come down to a useful range for your plants.  This balance may change over time depending on the stage of the filters for your system as well as your other sources of phosphorus and potassium and even the season since well and tap water will have some natural variation in hardness depending on what the treatment plant is adding or the amount of rainfall reaching the aquifer if you have a well.

Comment by Safwat Zaki on September 25, 2013 at 8:39pm

I am designing a liquid organic fertilizer using blood meal as a source of nitrogen, seaweed extract as a source of micronutrients and K, adding phosphorous, more potassium and a carbon source to balance C/N ratio to 20/1 so heterotrophic bacteria will be able to digest the organic matter to ammonia and nitrate.I will add calcium carbonate to neutralize the acidity of blood meal.

Using dechlorinated tap water since it provides more nutrients for plants.

The nutrient reservoir will be oxygenated continiously and inoculated with beneficial bacteria, a drip system will be used to irregate grow beds which have a mixture of 1:1 perlite to vermiculite.

I appreciate any input or suggestions.

Comment by Ralph Anderson on April 30, 2013 at 7:04am

Thank loads folks lots to think about.  For now most of the berries go in the composting bin then tilled into the garden in the spring.  Tried small constant flow fish system last year.  Small fish tank to hot a summer all died.  Going to try fish less this year. 

Comment by Jim Fisk on April 28, 2013 at 3:35pm

Points well taken. Hi JonI see you read the fine details.

I should mention that's a major reason I went to my long tumbler tunnel design. Very well mixed and goes to 160+F which will kill pathogens as well. Some say those temps can hurt some good bacteria but the results speak for themselves. Good compost will kill most pathogens whether wet or dry done properly.

Comment by Jon Parr on April 28, 2013 at 1:50pm
I'll throw my opinion in here as well, gentlemen. Brewing an aerated compost tea IS composting, and a remarkably fast method of composting. If you are using freh manure, you may want to brew it longer, but it is still composting, and a more predicable way to get the job done thoroughly. A compost pile has so many variables and corners that may not get composted properly, that I fin it hypocritical to say that tea can be made from compost, and manure may be composted, but tea may not be brewed from manure? Where is the logic?
And...Ralph's wife wanted the concoction for houseplants, so we don't have to worry about ecoli anyway. Now, there is a safe and legal method for doing what Ralph and Jim are after, and that is to dessicate the rabbit berries first (solar kiln), which breaks the pathogen life cycle and the berries can be used for whatever you want, including fish food.
Comment by Jim Fisk on April 28, 2013 at 7:46am

Good advice Vlad. Compost everything including add the sludge to the compost or the worm bin. Keep it out of any closed loop system in it's raw state. That should work fine.

The worm tea (run off from the worm bin) should be fine? or should that be composted first as well? I have been collecting it and treating the plants in the GBs with it. They love it and it helped with the fungus gnats a lot.

Ralph, I kept my worm bin in the GH over the winter and that was great. You must have one hell of a worm bin with that many rabbits. I grind all our household garbage to make compost along with chicken manure, etc. and give the worms their fare share of that as well. Now I have to move that sucker to finish digging out the rest of the GH in a few weeks. Glad it is only 55 gal size. Probably use the loader anyway. Producing lots of worms for the trout. Now I need to learn just how much worms to feed the trout. They (the trout) tell me they will eat all I will give them but I heard that the flavor can be neg. affected if too much.

Comment by Ralph Anderson on April 28, 2013 at 6:44am

Thanks alot.  Let you know how thing shape up.  I already compost and worm bed alot of poo (50 bunnies).  Lost most of my worms to cold this winter small heater problem.

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on April 27, 2013 at 3:07pm

Well no, you would definitely want to either compost the rabbit manure first, or put it through a worm reactor...Not so much for the plants sake (burn), but just because rabbits are warm blooded critters. IMO it's potentially a very, very bad idea to use such manure (from any warm blooded animals) without properly composting. 'Bunny berries' make great worm food however, and those castings can then be used with less potential for any negative effects...plant, human or otherwise...

The run off me anal retentive, but I'd not use it. I'm not saying that you shouldn't,...just that I wouldn't. In the dirt garden, sure. In a closed loop, re-circulating food production system...not a chance.

If you're hard up for an N source there are other totally free and safer options...


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