420 Magazine Background

Growing: 3 lessons from aquariums


New Member
Aquariums keepers have been around a while, and some have highly complex systems for those more complex species. And, yes, I have been keeping livestock for come 10 years. Having obtained lots of information on growing from some very experienced growers on this and other sites, I thought it's time to give something back. So here are some quick thoughts, and they are random, and I may be wrong on their transferability to growing, but those more wise will soon say (I'm just not that experienced a grower as yet):

1. Bubbles! Okay, read lots of stuff about airstones and bubble-making in hydroponics. As a breeder of Lake Victoria Chiclids which require highly oxygenated water at higher temperatures, this was an early lesson for me. It is really easy to think that those lovely little bubbles supply the oxygen to the roots. However, any experienced aquarist will tell you that it is not the bubbles that supply the oxygen, but the surface water disturbance that the bubbles cause which is important. In basic terms, water oxygenation is directly related to water surface movement. The more water that hits the surface, the more oxygen in the water. For aquarists, a flow of water that disturbs the surface of the water (through a pump usually), is far more effective than an airstone! Also remember, the higher the temperature, the lower the oxygen as a general rule.

2. PH down. Yes, lots of chemicals out there, and aquarists use them too. There is lots of conjecture about the validity of using such chemicals with livestock. It can cause shock to fish, and maybe to plants too. A bag of 'peat moss' functions well in maintaining PH and is controllable simply through the amount in the bag. It is also more gradual than a chemical dosage. An interesting thread that explains this is www.kcfishclub.org/forum/74.../54733-ph-levels.html and there are many others. This stops fish shock, and probably will do the same for plants.

3. Final one, and it's a bit way out, and is just a thought. When we begin to keep fish, and we introduce them to a new tank set-up, we get casualties. Undue stress typically caused by the immaturity of the tank. Fish rely heavily on bacteria (culture). In a new tank, things are sterile (like the soil we purchase from distributors). We have to mature the tank in order to breed the beneficial bacteria which actually help the livestock. Typically this is done by introducing a hardy fish that can stand the maturation process. Their excrement then helps breed the bacteria which we capture in filter sponges which provide a permanent home for them. Seeing the need, manufacturers have developed ready made bottles of beneficial bacteria to introduce into new set-ups. The question is, if soil also breeds bacteria (which it will), could we manufacture this to kick-start grows?

Anyway, maybe there is nothing worthwhile here, but hope that it at least gives others that really know their growing some ideas to take things further, and hope I put something back. Thanks for all the great posts that helped me get started.

Tom Bombodil

New Member
I am motivated to respond because I like the idea of transferring knowledge from one craft to another.

1. Bubbles! Ive heard this before a couple times on growers forums, but as you indicate we growers seam freakishly devoted to our BUBBLES! I guess that speaks to our underlying harmlessness, what other subculture of 'criminals' love bubbles and munchies as much as we? Ive thought maybe i should do a sans-bubble DWC grow, but it seems that air pumps are so cheap and easy to set up in addition to any other circulation technique that i dont think theyll be disappearing from my grow anytime soon. Plus there is an undeniable feeling that SOMETHING IS HAPPENING when you open the lid to a churning bubble maelstrom. There i go with the bubble-love again! But seriously i think we can learn the following from this multidisciplinary info sharing: use bubbles if you want, but the real DO will come from water breaking the surface of water. Question: ive heard people say all u want is a 'bulge' of water on the surface, maY notnot even need an upright pipe, while others swear that it needs to 'break the surface' like a powerhead/filter in an aquarium. Any thoughts on this?

2. Biodynamics
I have been seeing alot of new info and products in recent years catering to this idea. What the true science.behind it is, or whether these products/techniques work in the field, is beyond my experience but i would love to see this thread continue with some ideas from more knowledgeable folks. Seems like most of what i see revolves.around specific beneficial fungi... But there may be info put there re: beneficial bacteria or other organisms.

Tom Bombodil

New Member
Oh and i meant to ask about peat moss... Are u saying that the peat moss itself makes a good ph down agent, or that it acts as a buffer to regulate the effects of other ph agents? Sounds like great idea, if only because i have many bales of peat moss in my barn right now. This does remind my of an old farmer's trick to mitigating algea growth in watering troughs for horses and cows: hang a sack of barley in the trough.

jhonson smith

New Member
No need to stressed about the fishes if you are not putting the harsh chemicals in the aquarium.Just put the water in and some aquatic plants , make the habitat for living and maintain it so that fish can have an perfect environment to stay in the fish tank.
Top Bottom