1500 gallon koi pond and fish waste

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by daa007, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Hi,

    Plan to do spring outdoor small lot growing-personal use only. I have 17 large Koi-two plus feet that produce prodigious waste in a gallon filter basket each week. Also, I backwash about 200 gallons a week from the sand filter which is 50 gallons in size. This goes straight into the other plant beds. I have a long hose.

    The pump and whole system could manage a backyard pool.

    I just realized the place I empty the bucket of fish waste form the basket is on a japanese maple that was 3 feet four years ago, and now is over 30 feet tall and bigger than my other two who didn't get the fish shit weekly.

    Which brings me to the obvious-how to use this nitro nutrient stuff without burning a plant up. The maple loves wet feet and loves the nutes. Not sure about a half dozen Kush's who will be in pots and not soil/clay like the maple.

    I am going organic (38.5 parallel-lots of good products in town) but would love to use the fish backwash and or media filter basket.

    anyone figure out how to dilute this stuff? I am so tempted to use it next year and if no one has done this from a koi pond, I will experiment. I guess I should get a good test kit and figure out the starting level of basic nutes in the basket to see where I need to go.

    And I did read the aquaculture material which lead me to believe that the basket of solid waste and the backwash from the sand filter both contain some amazing nutes.
  2. sounds awesome...aquaponics
    I cant wait to get a yard and get something large scale like that so I can grow everything and even harvest fish (tilapia and catfish).
    For now, I am planning on building a small scale system using a fish tank with either bubble buckets or a flood and drain grow bed. would love to see pics or a vid of your set up.
    What I am wondering is if I can get away with out even using a filter and have the fish water circulate through a grow bed providing a constant stream of nutrients.
  3. oh and Japanese maple are awesome:)
  4. Hi. Thanks for the response. If you are putting Koi (or any derivative of carp, which they all are) they are extremely hardy fish. When I had no idea of what I was doing, my filter stopped working for 7 months. The only thing the fish got was food, air from bubblers and some ignornance from me. The water was mud. The fish not only thrived but bred!

    I now have the system dialed in. Use Koi. They are indestructable, and then you can try to filter out the fish poop by using plants. You still might need a filter bucket to get the solids out. If you don't use a filter bucket, let me know. There is a product from Canada that is very eco friendly and uses enzymes to break down solid matter in ponds that, if left alone, suck the oxygen out of the water. What you are trying to avoid with fish is the amonia that results from lack of the break down of the organics.

    I still would like to know if anyone has used the solid matter from the fish filter (about a gallon of it) diluted to feed plants.

    Oh, and all my maples have been fed by the fish poop filter. My maple guy says these trees should not be this big and healthy outside of water environments. Where I live, we get 38 inches of rain a year, but only within three months. Then, the other nine we get about a quarter inch. I supply the irrigation water and the backwash from the pond.

    Oh, and Koi are like dogs, but fish. They recognize you. And if you get a good setup, they are a great investment. My $25 koi I purchased four years ago are work about a grand apiece. And they breed!!
  5. Theres been a few threads previously on using Aquarium water as a liquid fertiliser, having trouble finding the linkies, but its assentially what your doing (just on some super crazy scale)
  6. Why don't you try this?

    I've had this idea for a while, but no pond to try it in....

    Get a round foam life preserver or pool toy and a black 5 gallon bucket.

    Get you one of those 5 gallon bucket lids with the built in heavy duty net pot to put on it.

    Cut the bottom off of the bucket (to hide roots from sunlight).

    Attach the life preserver to the bucket so that it will float the bucket at water level. You may need to use long rods of some sort so you can attach additional flotation devices if necessary.

    Start a nice healthy clone in a 6" cocoa cylinder or a 6" "Sure to Grow" cylinder made for net pots. Once you see roots obviously pop it into your net pot bucket and float it a few feet from the bank, anchor it. Get a really strong aquarium air pump (online, way way cheaper than in a shop) and a roll of black air tubing. The air pump should have 2-4 air outlets. Get 2-4 24" flexible bubble wands.

    Put one wand in a circle shape inside of the bucket using the supplied suction cup, make a ring right around the bottom of the netpot. Pre-drill a hole in the bucket to let the air lines into.

    Put the other wand in a circle shape at the bottom of the bucket and attach to the side as well.

    There you have it, outdoor DWC bubble pond.:hello:

    A bubble bucket in sunlight would probably grow the biggest plant ever.... ever. Given unlimited root space and sufficient nutes.
  7. Besides being blown away by the idea, most of which I will need to research in order to visualize, I think you will amazed by this stat: I have two big pots in the pond with purple stalked elephant ear plants. These plants are supposed to grow about 4 fee high with ears about 12 inches long and 8 wide.

    Mine are 9 feet tall and the ears are 2.5 feet by 1.5 feet. In fact, today the entire cluster of them fell over. Too tall. This is a 200 pound bucket. These things are supposed to die out every winter. Mine just keep growing, the frond dies, I cut it off at the base, and two more grow...year round. Since this is a formal raised pond and not installed in the ground, it is a little bit harder to work in. But the fish love the attention of being in their pond. It is block walled, rectagular-15 feet by 5 feet and 29 inches of water (this was chosen so if my dogs got in they wouldn't drown. The walls are vertical)

    If I could get the right amount of light, your idea is killer. Light is my problem because the two maples have grown over the pond for amazing effect, but depleting the sunlight.

    Maybe back to the pots on the south side of the house.

    I still want to figure out a way to empty the filter of fish shit, figure out how to mix it into a tea that doesn't fry the plant, and use this available nute. I have it year round.
  8. If those lilly pad things are getting that huge, your plants going to get enough light.

    I say trim the maples and do the max plants you can legally in that pond :)

    No ones ever done this that I can find, and I would be willing to bet whoever successfully does it first will be a legend.
  9. Hi,

    As much as I would agree that the science of this and the attendant import of the results would not only probably astound myself and the forum readers, but probably all pot-kind, the problem here is ... my wife.

    The maple next to the pond cost over $5k to find and install. Just one of them. The other three combined are over $10k. Thus, I am sure you can see the competing interests of science and the wifes garden will tip the scales in her favor..or at least in favor of divorce if she finds them 'trimmed' by me. Hell, I have to pay a specialist to come out and trim them when they do get trimmed. Can't hurt her babies.

    The problem with the elephant leaves is that they are stretching to get the sun, which is just out of reach. They create the huge leaf surfaces to maximize what they do get and then the nutes in the pond allow them to grow huge stalks to compete with the trees. But they lost. I now have to pull out a 200 pound pot, cut them down (they will grow back fast) and try for more light. Fortunately I am big enough to get it out by myself.

    Still, if there was a low-lite plant out there...the pond idea is too much to pass by.
  10. running your plants on floats would give you killer results. If your pond is private enough, this would be a killer way to grow a plant or few; however obviously cannabis grows pretty tall so you would need a fairly wide flotation device, as well as support 'stakes' to ensure that your plant doesn't tip (it would get huge!). And as as long as there is water able to circulate through your potters and not stagnate the pond aeration will do the trick.

    However, as for the roots, you would certainly want to make sure that a good portion of them are completely hidden from light, however, it would also be quite advantageous for another portion of them to be exposed to koi, as they would eat all the dead root material away, and this stimulates killer root growth. (kinda like always pruning your roots, but they do a better job than you ever could). What I've heard is that they suck on the live roots ass well, and this helps the roots function.

    As for just using the waste on your plants, it wouldn't be much different than your maple; just adjust the amount that you use to the size of your plants. I have never burnt my plants using organic ferts. I'm sure it's possible, but far more difficult. organic ferts require micro-organisms to break down the waste, before it's usable, so in effect the ferts are naturally regulated; I personally find it so much easier to grow with, as I've never had to worry about PH with organics; and also you can't really measure how much ppm or anything you have in organics, an NPK meter will show you nothing, just don't go crazy with adding it, and it will work it's own magic.
  11. Great observation, along with the others. I will start using the filter nutes diluted now since the one little kush I have has been flowering nicely for 8 weeks. In the spring I will use the fish nutes for the vegging of the new plants in higher concentrations.

    I guess I need to see a picture of the design of the bubbler system. Any site to recommend? Since I have never done it, I am having a hard time picturing it.

    The roots would be out of the sun and the fish would dig the dead roots. They are aggressive fish and can tip over plants when they climb up onto the top of the buckets. Amazing to watch them get completely out of the water and then back in. This would have to be a stable device. Some of these fish are 5 to ten pounders.

    I assume it would be possible to trim the top at the growing stage to bush it out rather than have it be too tall? Tipping over would be my main concern. I have that problem with plants that have 100 pounds or rock and another hundred pounds of saturated soil. They still tip over. And anything I use to stabilize cannot harm the liner.

    Since I am at the 38.5 parallel and have a long growing season, maybe I could start with a naturally low growing plant so as not to have to push the envelope of stablization the first time out. Any suggestions?
  12. Will there be any concern about the koi eating the rafted plants roots? If that is not a problem then I may consider creating a "bubble bucket-aquarium"...if that makes sense. Curious to hear about your plans...if you cant grow pot, try growing some floating lettuce or other herbs for experimental purposes :)
  13. My koi will eat anything. If small birds land too close to them, they will attack them like a shark. Found bird skeletons in the bottom of the pond several times. They are rather voracious when they get over two feet long. Good idea on the other types of growing if the light won't support pot.

    I still have no way to picture the above mentioned design. I don't know anything about bubble growing, but will start my research today!!
  14. #14 halitzor, Sep 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2009
    Ill draw you a diagram when I get home from work in MS paint, It won't be pretty but it should work. Would really help if you could post a pic of your pond.
  15. check out this guys aquaponics set up. Sick!
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjJVTXr6lXU]YouTube - AP 7.24[/ame]

    you could set up grow beds in the sunlight with everything! I wish I had the space. I live in an apartment in downtown san jose. The set up I have in mind looks more like this:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh0nVlUVV24]YouTube - Aquaponics with Oscar fish[/ame]
    except why bother with the extra bucket, have the grow bed directly n top of the tank with roots dangling into the tank. Do you guys think this would work?
    And the Koi sound awesome, can they live in a large aquarium?
  16. wouldnt introducing more oxygen from the BB setup harm the fish? i mean i know they need a certain mount of oxygen in the pond to live, but there must be a piont where it becomes deadly, just as humans can overdose on oxygen...
  17. Very nice drawing. I get it. I actually have two of the stone bubblers in the pond now. No problem to add more.

    The pictures I have attached are not sequential. The first one is the finished product a few years ago. Baby plants and the dragon looked big. The dragon is 6 feet long, bronze with a green patina. The second pic is the elephant plant described above after being clipped down to the pot. This is three weeks later. By October those stalks will be over ten feet high.

    The third pic is the little maple-three feet-that is now thirty feet after four years. This pic is year two. I backwashed into this tree.

    Pic four is before the pond was installed facing s-sw. Where the elm is there now is a thirty foot by thirty foot maple as well on this side.

    Fifth pic are fish. The large one in the center is now 2.5 feet long and weighs about 10 pounds. These 17 fish produce a gallon of waste every 5 days that gets captured by the plastic filter bucket. The sand filter gets matter that makes it through the bucket. That is probably another 10 pounds of matter I hose my land plants with. It is why my maples are so huge.
    Pond dimensions are 15 by 8 by about 30 inches high.

    Attached Files:

  18. Great price on the bubbler. I will buy a few as backups for my pond. I posted pics below. Thanks for the input.

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