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Compost Tea Brewing

Discussion in 'Fertiliser - mineral supplements. Aquaponics syste' started by Castaway, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Has anyone here made a compost tea brewer and applied the liquid over their plants in an aquaponics grow bed?

    If you don't know what a compost tea brewer is then you need to check out this you-tube clip below featuring this guy living in Alaska. He claims that the brew liquid is full of oxygenated micro-organisms that when you pour the liquid over your plants, the leaves are coated with a "bio-film" of microscopic bacteria that make it resistant to insects and the plants grow like crazy because the micro-organisms assist in feeding the plants the required nutrients.

    This clip shows you the basics of assembling a compost tea brewer and using it in your dirt garden. Amazing footage of giant vegetables!

    [youtube:2i6imfue]BXGqJbFZzCo[/youtube:2i6imfue]
     
  2. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    [​IMG]
    I have a couple of tanks, 20ltr and 150ltr. Air stones run all the time and I add to the mix frequently. You can pour it on the compost pile to give it a kick start. And over plants to help protect them from insects.
     

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  3. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    I had a visit from wormtec yesterday.
    Worm tea might not be the best part of the "worm output"
    It would appear that the "castings" might hold more goodies that "worm tea"
    I hope wormtec will come in here and post some info regarding "castings"
     
  4. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Hey Duff, So does it work? What ingredients are in your brew? It would be worth looking in a microscope to see what a drop of this stuff looks like and how long you need to oxygenate your bucket of compost tea before applying it onto your plants?
     
  5. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    I run the air all the time. What goes into this one is
    compost
    dipel
    worm juice
    worm castings
    sea salt
    seasol
    comfrey
    fish water
    fish solids(swirl filter)

    Works well on the dirt garden. For AP I tend to use it before I add too much to it. Or forget what went into it. :mrgreen:
     
  6. wormtec

    wormtec New Member

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    Hi Aquaponic Group
    I produce large volumes of worm extract every week, I use to produce Compost tea in very large volumes for application on to Agicultural crops and moved away from compost teas due to worm extracts been easier to produce with out the problems of compost teas. Are compost teas easy to produce (no) they are not, would i recomend compost teas for home production (no)
    Are compost teas suitable for Aquaponics, not really. I would rather see high grade worm castings used in your grow beds to introduce the required soil biology to cycle the nutrients and minerals in your system you also need to make sure the worm castings contain protozoa as these are the guys that release all the tied up nutrients and minerals from the bacteria in your system, if you have no protozoa the bacteria will consume all your minerals and nutrients making it un available for your plants.
    Compost tea is just a means of reproducing soil biology numbers in an aerobic environment, is this not what a grow bed is.
    what is the limiting factor in compost tea (o2) oxygen. How do you know the levels are ok use a meter for the 24 houre period of the brew, its not at the start or finish that you need to monitor. How do you know you have a good compost tea check it with a microscope,
    You can only produce a worth while compost tea from good compost that contains all the biology you require or you will only be producing brown water.
    I spent seven years developing my worm food recipy so that I could produce my high grade worm castings, if you use low quality castings or compost you will only have low quality teas.
    how do you get good quality compost or castings with the required biology, ask the producer for there test data.

    Why do your PH levels head into the acid side after they have been running for a while ?. This is the organic matter building up in your grow beds, how do you remove this organic matter, introduce as big a diverse set of soil biology as possible to break down this organic matter.
    Cycling a new Aquaponic set up can be fast tracked by introducing Worm castings into your grow beds at set up time, to get the biology working faster.
    Regards Wormtec
     
    eestrada1234 likes this.
  7. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    I like to use both. Worm casting are great. I use Compost tea more for pulling elements apart to make them more available.
     
  8. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Thanks for the good info Wormtec - Looks like I'll be looking around for a bathtub soon for the worm farm. What will the neighbours say?! :oops:
     
  9. Bidadisndat

    Bidadisndat Member

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    That you've got worms!
     
  10. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Well all this discussion in Worms on this forum has made me finally go out to the local rubbish tip recycling depot and buy a second hand bathtub ($10) for a worm farm. I got 4 concrete blocks from Bunnings to sit the thing on and I'm ready for some worm action. I want to multiply my number of worms - not to feed the dirt garden necessarily although thats a bonus - but to build up enough numbers of worms so I can give the fish a bonus meal every now and then. I was going to throw into the tub a couple of bags of horse poo, some straw and and a small bucket of compost worms. Anything else I should be aware of?
     
  11. fishfood

    fishfood Active Member

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    Yep no onions or citrus and let it free drain and dont tip the leachie back through [only use the water once ]
     
  12. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    They love newspaper and cardboard, soaked in water.
     
  13. Bidadisndat

    Bidadisndat Member

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    Bucket under the outlet to collect the 'worm oil'. Constant supply of food. Damp hessian or carpet on top so food doesn't dry out. Escape proof lid, (Most important, especially at night.) Regularly harvest the stock, extremely important if you don't want breeding to come to a non-grinding halt. (No worms = no grinding. :mrgreen: )
    ......Bid...
     
  14. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the good responses. I was reading a little about how other people build their worm farms in bath tubs and this person actually uses a little timber frame inside the tub to allow excess worm juice to drain down the plug hole. Its easier to watch the YouTube clip than have me explaining it.

    [youtube:2jvdi78k]gUzSihlYC_0[/youtube:2jvdi78k]

    I have some chicken wire and flyscreen/ Might give it a go and so how it all works out.
     
  15. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    I wouldn't worry about the wood or mesh. 90mm PVC cut in half length ways running the length of the tub with some fine holes. If the tub is on an angle and allowed to drain the worms should not be able to drowned. Dividers and a lid also help.
     
  16. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Thats a good idea too Duff. You get to put all that excess PVC tubing to good use.
     
  17. Bidadisndat

    Bidadisndat Member

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    Having dividers is a good idea, especially if they have a mesh that is large enough for juveniles, but small enough to prevent the mature adults from going through. Makes it easier to harvest in sections. There is a dual compartment compost bin on the market that incorporates that idea.
     
  18. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Too late - My wife just went and got about 1000 worms from the worm guy in Nambour. I took Murrays advice and shred up some cardboard, newspaper and a heap of rotted leaves at the base. One bag of Horse poo over that. Then the worms. Small little red worms. Not very big at all. Not like garden worms. Anyway spread them out and then put another bag of horse poo over them. That filled the bath tub right to the brim. Then flattened it all out with a fork. Then an old towel over the whole thing. Gave it a decent spray with the hose. Not too wet and then put some old corrugated iron over the top and a big weight to keep it in place. By the way Duff - I made a little ladder like the YouTube video above and threw some old chicken wire and fly screen I had and used that so I'll see if we get any worm juice. I like your pipe idea more but I have no pipe available. Anyway I hope the horse poo doesnt kill the worms as it was pretty fresh stuff. Ready for some worm action now as the Jades need a decent feed.
     
  19. Bidadisndat

    Bidadisndat Member

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    Don't worry about the manure being too fresh: The worms will handle it. Compost worms are usually known as Tiger, Red or Blue, depending on the species, with the red being the most common. These worms do not survive well in the garden unless there is a lot of moist organic matter that they can munch through. The opposite is also true of the native worms that you find in the garden, and it's reall not worth he effort of digging those up to add to your worm bin as they invariably cark it. I think you've been a bit ambitious filling the tub up completely, but this may only be borne out when you come to harvesting the stock.
    Fish Tanks, Grow Beds, Worm Farms, Duck Ponds, Dog Wash.... Those tubs have a multitude of uses don't they? I've even heard of people having a bath in them!
     
  20. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    What sort of weirdo would do that? :lol:
     

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