Fish Garden, an aquaponics journal
This journals purpose is to make a log of my adventures in aquaponics, the amazing combination of gardening and fish keeping! I am an anthropology student only because being a naturalist is not "really" a career choice now a days...
I keep a lot of "tropical" and or "difficult" plants in my home and love taking care of them :) I also love betta fish! It was time for my two loves to meet. After doing some research I decided the best tanks for my apartment (under 4 gallons per tank or I am breaking my lease) are the Water Garden from Back to The Roots. That being said I am not going into this as a no maintiance/ no risk system. I have seen a lot of mis-information on these tanks and this system and I want to see if they can really be a viable tank and herb garden.
My set up:
Two Water Gardens with the new pump
Two male betta fish, rescued from petco
Two Nirite Snails
Two grow lights that shine only on the plant area
A handful of natural products to prevent infection and general poor health of the fish!
Two heater and thermometer set ups to help regulate temperature
I have had my first tank set up, fish and all for over a week now, and just got my last tank completed with fish. So that is two tanks for room to experiment!
Background on me and Betta fish:
My fist fish was a poor little guy that had been bought as a decoration piece for my grandparents 40th anniversary... he lived in a vase with a plant (but I did feed him) for about a year. I was around 8 at the time. At some point all the fish in our 55 gallon had died due to a bad infection brought home from the fish store :( all except for the GIANT pleco that lurked in the tank all alone, after a few months of him being alone and apparently healthy my dad got tired of helping me change the vases water and dumped in my betta. Amazing he survived some of the worst possible conditions only to be given a giant home with a giant roommate. I don't remember if the tank was actually warm enough for him but he lived another five years and died shortly before we moved, we never bought any other fish for the tank even after the pleco passed.
In college my roommate and I decided fish were a must for our dorm, went out and bought a 3 gallon tank kit at walmart and set it up, went to the petstore and were sold two of those glass fish that were popular a few years back. They died, we replaced them and they died. We went back and a knowledgeable employee taught us about cycling a tank and ammonia build up, we followed his instructions to clean and cycle the tank and were sold two smaller fish (I don't remember the type) that would be better suited to our set up. They lived until an unfortunate tank exploding incident while getting our dorm ready for break.
My next fish was another betta in a vase, poor guy lived for 6 months before he jumped out and died.
This year for my birthday my mom got me an aqua garden. In researching the tank I started learning about the actual requirements for bettas and immediately felt horrible about my vase betta from 3 years ago... honestly I should have known better and could and should have done more research before impulse buying him.
I am still learning and the health of my fish is priority number one in this system, which means water changes and heaters and a soon to be set up hospital tank in case of emergency. I am also looking into other aquaponics set ups and ways to modify this tank so it is better for the fish.
I will try to keep this updated with my experiences and experiments.