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Old 07-13-2017, 12:10 PM   #1
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ISO: Aquaponics

I now live in a small apartment and my window doesn't get enough light to support a plant. I want to grow basil indoors probably in a terrarium with its own grow light(s).

Think there used to be a guy here who had a couple very nice high-end terrariums, large enough to support several plants. He had a few different herbs growing in each and sort of put you in mind of a miniature garden. At the time I thought they were too expensive to consider. Looking for them now though and can't find anything suitable at any price. Used the forum search tool best I could but didn't find anything.

Any ideas?

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Old 07-13-2017, 12:57 PM   #2
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Do you actually mean a terrarium, or are you looking for something more along the lines of a hydroponic setup? I think of terrariums being something that's more decorative, hence my question.

As for growing basil, I purchased an AeroGarden (photo below) about three weeks ago. In that short amount of time, I've already harvested basil and thyme. Basil seems to do especially well. Other plants do not. The two pods on either side in the front are curly parsley and mint. The parsley only germinated a few days ago. The mint is just not growing very quickly at all.

The AeroGarden has its pros and cons. Pros are that you can put it almost anywhere, and it even looks nice enough to sit in the kitchen. Cons are that not everything grows real well in this environment.

I have one of the higher end units, which cost me about $230 on sale. But you can get some models for less than $70. Link below.

Shop for Indoor Gardens of All Sizes and Colors - AeroGarden

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Old 07-13-2017, 01:54 PM   #3
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Thanks, Steve. The ones I remembered were terrariums and the guy seemed at least as proud of how decorative they were as the production he got from them.

I'd never seen the Aerogarden site. They look nice. I guess you have to buy the seed pods from them but don't seem exorbitantly priced. Lettuce and cherry tomatoes are also available I see and have heard they both grow well hydroponically. Really gives me something else to think about.

Was also considering a wire rack with one or more hanging fixtures.
Like this.

And these.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:19 PM   #4
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Aerogarden looks neat.

Many eons ago, I had a lot of terrariums going. Any glass container can be used, I'd put a layer of aquarium gravel, a layer of charcoal, a layer of potting soil in the bottom, and plant. An old aquarium works well and gives easy access. Put under grow lights.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:01 AM   #5
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At one point I had 3 aero gardens growing at the same time.
Ive tried lettuce, many herbs and even cherry tomatoes.
Ive found that Basil, by far, is the crop of choice.
Towards the end of my aero garden route, I was only growing basil.
It would keep me going for months.
( Reason I had 3 was for the amount, and to stagger the growing cycles so I would never be 'basil-less', especially during the winter. Also, when growing things like romaine lettuce, after you cut the head off, its done. It grows really well, but limited to 6 or 7 heads then you have to wait a month or two for time to regrow.

I then switched to aquaponics, a system that grows on top of an aquarium. Has its own adjustable grow light. Has like 14 hydroponic cups to grow things in. Can use your own seeds, don't have to buy the seed pods from anyone ( which is good ,cause the aero garden pods cost about $15 per set +/-).

So far (year 3), I ve been doing really well with the aquaponics. I just get some cheap feeder goldfish ( 20 cents each) , and put them to work. The roots of the plants ( primarily basil), filters the tank beautifully, and the gold fish fertilize the plants, in return.
The basil plants last me throughout the winter ( off season). Nothing like picking fresh basil when there is a foot of snow outside.
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
At one point I had 3 aero gardens growing at the same time.
Ive tried lettuce, many herbs and even cherry tomatoes.
Ive found that Basil, by far, is the crop of choice.
Towards the end of my aero garden route, I was only growing basil.
It would keep me going for months.
( Reason I had 3 was for the amount, and to stagger the growing cycles so I would never be 'basil-less', especially during the winter. Also, when growing things like romaine lettuce, after you cut the head off, its done. It grows really well, but limited to 6 or 7 heads then you have to wait a month or two for time to regrow.

I then switched to aquaponics, a system that grows on top of an aquarium. Has its own adjustable grow light. Has like 14 hydroponic cups to grow things in. Can use your own seeds, don't have to buy the seed pods from anyone ( which is good ,cause the aero garden pods cost about $15 per set +/-).

So far (year 3), I ve been doing really well with the aquaponics. I just get some cheap feeder goldfish ( 20 cents each) , and put them to work. The roots of the plants ( primarily basil), filters the tank beautifully, and the gold fish fertilize the plants, in return.
The basil plants last me throughout the winter ( off season). Nothing like picking fresh basil when there is a foot of snow outside.
Hmm. ... ... Aquaponics is a subject that gets deep quick. You've got me listening to a series of webinars from Iowa State University.
If you don't mind very much, I'd be interested in more details of your aquaponic experience and equipment.
I shouldn't have a dog due to health problems. Thought of fish but seemed boring. Maybe a pet ecosystem is on the horizon.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:31 PM   #7
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Skilletlicker, your shelf/shop light system is what I use to start my plants for the garden. Works great, and no need to buy the expensive grow light bulbs.

I don't keep mine growing all year long, but the thought of having fresh lettuce all the time is tempting.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:49 PM   #8
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Any old fish tank can be turned into a terrarium. Have you looked on ebay?
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
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Aquaponics

Was thinking about terrariums because the ones I was talking about came with grow lights. If I have to buy the lights, why not just use pots?

But...

Did some more reading about aquaponics today. Would take a lot more research and planning before starting but it seems possible one guy could eat tilapia once or twice a week and grow all the basil, lettuce, and tomatoes he could eat plus some different herbs and vegetable to boot; using less floor space than a small couch.

What about the smell? Aquariums don't usually stink much but this might be different?

Did somebody mention over-thinking the other day?
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:40 PM   #10
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Our FFA kids aquafarm tilapia in a huge tank in their greenhouse, along with plants. I never noticed an odor, they kept the tank scrupiously clean.
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