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Worms - In aquaponics - how useful ?

Discussion in 'Aquaponics Ideas' started by Murray, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Tonight I noticed a new member sign up - someone calls himself "Worm"
    At first glance I wondered who would choose to have a nick name like that ??? :eek:
    But, I just happen to know this bloke and he is a bit of an expert on worms. He recently gave me some pretty good ideas as to the use of worms and worm by-products in Aquaponics.
    one subject I would like him to share is how worms can help "cycle" a new system.... :?:
    I hope we can encourage Greg to "tell all" about worms...
     
  2. mikkey

    mikkey New Member

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    Would love him to tell us how we can successfully introduce them into grow beds and also techniques on getting worm farms working at an optimum....
     
  3. wild

    wild New Member

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    Can I put the liquid I drain from my worm farm into my system to help the plants? A bit like a seasol dosing... But what is actualy in the worm liquid and is it safe for the fish? My guess would be that it would be fine for the fish - but am unsure...

    Also, has anyone tried introducing worms into their growbeds to assist with the breakdown of the solids? Would there be enough solids produced by the fish to keep the worms going in the growbed?

    Cheers, Andrew.
     
  4. fishfood

    fishfood Active Member

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    Worms live under water these worms are living in the bottom of a 200 litre blue drum [yes there is an airstome in there]
    They migrated from the grow beds theres thousands of worms in my system
    This blue drum stays full all the time theres a pump in there for the nft
     

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  5. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    This is a very interesting topic. I've added worms into my Grow Beds as well as into the fish tank as live food. Any insight into their activity and how they influence nutrient exchanges in Aquaponics would be most appreciated.
     
  6. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    Worms are bacteria generators. I add the juice to compost tea and it seems to accelerate the brewing because of the sudden increase in bacteria. Also add the juice to grow beds.
     
  7. nick

    nick New Member

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    yeah I have worms in my growbeds, No idea how they got there but they seem to gather around my single outlet from my pipe. There are a heap of them so they must be doing something right. When I pulled apart my old system to move to the current location there were quite large ones in the bed, most of them did not survive the gravel shuffle that occurred but the babies obviously did as they were back at work in a couple of weeks after setting it all up again,
    Nick
     
  8. nocky

    nocky Guest

    Duff I have heaps of juice, does it stuff around with the pH Am etc, and is it really good for bacteria
     
  9. wormtec

    wormtec New Member

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    Hi Murry and group
    I just joined to see what I could learn from this Aquaponics knowledge base, I visited Murry last weekend, Thank you and your wife for makeing my family feel so welcome at your aquaponics garden. Loved it, thanks for your time
    Just a little about me, I have no aquaponics experience, but I did breed tropical fish for sale to aquarium shops for 8 years with 80 large fish tanks on a system with a central bio filter that I built, this is very close to the same as aquaponics, I am also an vegi gardner,
    I am a comercial worm farmer and have developed a organic worm extract fertiliser this is a totally biology based fertiliser that also contains plant available minerals, nutrients and growth hormones, I am about to set up a aquaponic system to test all my ideas on how worms can work in a aquaponics system to benifit both plants and fish.
    Worms are a great addition to your grow beds as they will help break down the fish waste into a plant available form. High grade worm castings or extracts, not worm leachates would be great for helping to cycle new grow beds or bio filters as they contain all the natural soil biology required.
    I am not here to sell products but to learn all i can about aquaponics, one of my favorite foods is fish and I work with organic farmers across Australia trying to raise brix levels in vegitable crops as the higher the brix level the better the vegitable or fruit to eat, also higher brix helps to repel disease and pests, one of the other advantages of high grade worm products is increased pest and disease resistance. Please google brix levels

    Worms eat soil biology not organic matter but they do consume both as they graze through your grow beds. Why are there no worms when you use synthetic fertilisers on your garden, synthetic fertilisers kill soil biology so there is no food supply for the worm, if you have good worm numbers in your grow beds it means you have healthy microbially active systems

    What do I think is the most important organisim to have in your grow bed is it worms. No its not.
    Protozoa is what we all need. If you are interested in soil biology and getting the most from your plants ask away.

    Thanks for allowing me into this group as I can hardly wait to get a system up and running.
    Regards Worm
     
  10. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    Not sure how if effects ph. I've got too much water to see a change. When the worms are in the gb's the juice ends up in the system. Why a lot of people that apply compost tea and worm juice as a foliar fertilizer don't have a lot of insect problems is because of the micro activity(bacteria) that it leaves on the plants. BT(dipel) is a naturaly occuring bacteria as are the ones that help mineralize or convert Am, Ni etc. I've heard that more bacteria comes out of a worm than goes in because of the enviroment inside them allows for the bacteria to reproduce. If your system is new and your testing reguarly I'd add some worm juice(fresh).
     
  11. wild

    wild New Member

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    Does worm juice go off after a certain amount of time?

    In a few weeks I will be starting my system so after reading this thread I am stockpiling my worm juice - just want to make sure it wont grow nasties in that time...

    Has anyone tried running PH/Am tests on worm juice? If so, please share your results!
     
  12. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    No, just the bacteria count will drop over time. Bit like the bottles of bacteria places sell to help cycle a system. Unless its fresh the bacteria would of died back. I'd only ever get if from places that have running systems so the bacteria is fresh.
     
  13. Castaway

    Castaway Senior Member

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    Hey Duff - Someone else mentioned this to me recently but I didn't quite get the point how leaves covered in bacteria are more resistant to pests. Must taste funny?
     
  14. wormtec

    wormtec New Member

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    Duff and group
    Worm products are normally around PH 6.5, you must use worm or compost leachate fresh don't let it go off, old leachate is toxic and will kill your fish and have a negative affect on your grow beds, We must always work with aerobic organisims not anaerobic ones as pathogens live in anaerobic conditions and will contaminate your vegis and then you.

    can you store leachates, no, it will go anaerobic. You will be growing the bad guys.

    If you spray your plants with a high grade liquid worm product the biology will colinate the leaf surface eating off all the food resources, the biology then goes dormant, the plant also protects this biology by coating it to protect it from ultra violet light, when a pathogen blows onto the leaf surface the biology wakes up and eats it as it is then a food resource, when all food resources are gone the biology goes dormant again.

    You will also notice the healther your plants or crop the less disease and pest pressure you will recieve, the sicker your plants the more pest disease you will have. Nature is geared up to take out both sick plants and animals, how do you combate disease and pest problems, give your plants what they require to grow and have a bio-diverse mix of natural soil biology to help.
    Hope this helps. Worm
     
  15. fishfood

    fishfood Active Member

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    So let me understand this as soon as wormjuce has been through a bed mix it with water and use on the soil garden
    see you learn something every day i have always tipped the juice back through the bed a few times before using
     
  16. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Greg,
    I would like to set up a really big worm farm. I would like to move my fish off commercially produced fish food pellets to a diet that I can produce at home.

    Whwn you were visiting here I suggested to you that I would like to turn one of my 5m long grow troughs into a worm farm. Can you tell me if that is a good idea and if so how can I go about that.
     

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  17. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    A lot of insect will leave plants alone if there is too much micro activity on the leaves.


    Murray can you make up dividers for the grow bed. 3 or 4 with holes so the worms can go through them. Fill a section and add worms then start to fill another section. When you get to the end the worms will have finished with the first part and moved on. You will need somthing to cover the top.
     
  18. wormtec

    wormtec New Member

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    Hi Fishfood
    Have seen photos of your system great job. Continue to do as you do but dont let the leachate sit in a bucket for days before useing it on your garden, if it smells bad throw it on your compost heap.

    Hi Murry
    Fiberglass and shovels, garden forks don't mix, too much damage to the gelcoat and the the moisture will get into the fiberglass causing rot. next time im up your way i will bring some photos and drawings and you can build one like I use, you can then list them here if there is enough interest. I will be working on the Banana farm near you next Sunday will see if your home for a Quik visit,

    Hi dufflight
    Insects won't go to high brix plants or very healthy plants, if you apply high grade worm extract to rose plants infected with aphids the aphids will leave and dont return, if you can increase the desolved solids (sugar) content of the plant sap it turns to alcohol when the aphids try to suck the sap there system carn't handle this and they move on to a easier plant.
    Regards worm
     
  19. dufflight

    dufflight Member

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    Cool, drunk insects. :cool:
     
  20. Julia

    Julia New Member

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    Hi Duff,

    Do you add worm tea to your grow beds regularly? How much and how often?
     

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