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Worms - In aquaponics - how useful ?

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

  1. SydneyChick

    SydneyChick New Member

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    I never said I was going to rush out & buy fish. I just find it kind of cool that Worm leachate may have helped establish my beneficial bacteria colony a bit faster than normal.

    I'm celebrating this weekend by planting some plants.
     
  2. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    .
    The leachate from a healthy worm farm would definitely contain beneficial nitrifying bacteria and other micro organisms that also assist with the processing of Ammonia, and in high concentrations I would imagine.

    I've never really thought about it before, but the leachate from a healthy, well established worm farm could possibly speed up the cycling process due to the fact that all the bacteria that are involved in the progression of the cycle would already be present in large numbers. Whereas when you cycle a system starting with clean water and an Ammonia source, such as Urea etc, only the first type of bacteria would start developing, ie: those that feed on Ammonia, and it would normally take about two weeks for those bacteria to start producing Nitrites enabling the second type of bacteria to start developing.

    The worm farm leachate would already have well established levels of these bacteria and some of the required Ammonia and Nitrites to keep them fed for a few days after adding it, but you would still need to be adding an Ammonia source to keep the process happening until you can determined the system is definitely cycled, ie: add a small amount of Ammonia that gives a reading somewhere between 0.5 - 1.0ppm, then see if it is fully converted by the bacteria within 24hrs... if it is, the system cycled.

    The only thing I would be worried about with using worm leachate is any other bacteria and micro organisms you be adding along with the beneficials, some may not be so beneficial, maybe the opposite. This is why people like to use clean water, and Urea or Seasol as their Ammonia source, the cycling process may take a week or two longer, but they have the peace of mind they haven't introduced something untoward into your system.
    .
     
  3. SydneyChick

    SydneyChick New Member

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    I totally agree.

    My decision to use the leachate was a misinformed one as at the time I mistakenly believed the leachate was the same as the miracle-working "worm tea" I had read so much about.

    Fortunately I only really feed my worm farm vegetable scraps so hopefully the chance of E Coli and Salmonella being introduced by that container of leachate is minimal.

    I also keep the tap on my worm farm open so the leachate is not building up inside the worm farm and getting anaerobic.

    Only time will tell if I've introduced anything harmful.

    How long would E Coli and/or Salmonella survive in an AP system?

    I threw the leachate into the system thinking it was the same as "worm tea".

    In future I will only use proper worm tea!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016

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