Growing Veggies with Fish Waste | Field & Stream

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Growing Veggies with Fish Waste

Following up last fridays post on farmed salmon I couldn't resist this story from New York Times reporter, Michael Tortorello about a growing trend in the do-it-yourself gardening realm called "Aquaponics".

Here's how it works in a nutshell. You build a fish tank and fill it with anything from tilapia to trout. You feed the fish. The fish naturally have to make waste. Fish waste and and water is pumped from the fish tank to what's called a "flood tank" - much like the holding tank on the back of a toilet. The nutrient rich water from the flood tank is fed to a small garden or grow bed of pea gravel and whatever type of edibles you'd like to eat. The plants use the water and nutrient-rich fish waste to grow. The oxygenated and cleaned water is then drained back to the fish tank as clean water, starting the process all over again. Check out this slide show on the process. Or you can watch a video here.

Not only can you grow veggies, but say you want to have fresh fish every once and a while all you'd have to do is reach into the fish tank and whack a trout for dinner.

The people participating in this style of gardening is growing and setups can be the size of a dinner table to an entire greenhouse that's several hundred square feet. The author writes about, "a day when aquaponics set-ups could be built into new apartment complexes and be fed by municipal waste and geothermal power".

Does gardening with goldfish seem like it's worth the hassle or just a passing fad? - TR

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