organic hydroponics

daisy81(QLD AUST)August 5, 2007

We are currently researching how to create an organic system.

Is it possible for the system to completely rely on liquid fertilizer feeds of a fish product (made up of minced and cooked pest carps found in our aussie waterways) seaweed fert and worm juice?

How much would you recommend per 1 litre of water?

Also we have unlimited supply of decomposed granite. Would this be a suitable to use as as part of the growing media?

Many many thanks for your help and advice Emily

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So far I know of no actual complete comercially available organic hydroponic nutrient solutions.

I think the reason is probably that most organic sources of nutrients require soil microbes (or perhaps aquatic biofilter bacteria can do this as well since aquaponics works) would to help convert it into plant usable form.

I suppose it depends on how simple or complex you need the system to be. Simple might be to turn to a more compost based gardening with the materials you have. Complex might be to set up an aquaponics like biofilter to process your fish product into plant usable nutrient. There may still be nutrients missing and finding hydroponic appropriate and organic products to provide those nutrients might be the trick.

I have heard of people using granite as media but I'm not sure if it might need some sort of treatment before use to help with pH?

Good luck, please share what you find out in your research.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 1:42PM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

This has now become the topic in three threads. [LOL]
IÂm beginning to realize that some of the benefits of compost/worm tea may well be lost on hydroponics, in which case it may be better to stick to soil-based cultures.

On the other hand, there are plenty of reports showing the response to foliar sprays. This means that the tea contains organic compounds that are readily absorbable by the plants. Compounds that are absent in base-chemical nutrient solutions.
This makes me believe that there is still merit in pursuing this.

In any case, I realized that it would have to be a two-step system.
1. A bin producing compost.
2. A system to leach-out the beneficial compounds, and sterilizer (UV?)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 12:47AM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

PS: Accidentally posted the above in the wrong thread! Old age I suppose.

You can try "stripping", which is frequently done with urine. It relies on the breakdown of proteins/urea into ammonia under unaerobic conditions. A steady stream of air from an aquarium bubbler will then "blow-off" the ammonia, which you catch in diluted suphuric acid.

Granite chips,
I use that as a top layer to give the plants support. I have used it as medium in a 1:1 mixture with sawdust, which works well. I now use mostly riversand and sawdust

Good luck

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 1:07AM
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I expect that it's time again to point out that plants don't care what the physical form the orgainc chemicals come in.

Commercial Hydro nutrients are organic.......

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 8:58AM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

I'm not sure plants can assimilate urea, certainly not proteins, while some dont even like ammonia. They rely on soil bacteria to break the organic N-source down into nitrates.
But hydroponics is a "soil-less" culture, so you will have to do this "breakdown" for them.
Commercially available hydroponic nutrients are ALL inorganic. At least in this country.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 2:04AM
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Anyone hear ever heard of Earth Juice? This stuff is omri listed for organic production, and its suitable for soil and hydro. The only thing is you have circulate the mix for at least 24 hours before you use it, (ph is extremly low outta the bottle, around 4) the longer it mixes the higher the ph will rise. The only true organic hydroponic system, requires a large digester, basically a tank the holds a medium for beneficial microbes. The solution is aerrated to keep the microbes alive. The organisms break down the nutes in the solution, and with rather expensive testing equiptment, when the solution reaches the correct levels, the tank is ready to be used in the hydro set-up, and the process starts over again. The digester has to be sized right meaning proportionatly equal to the size of the hydro system. Extremly expensive set up to run and operate, but its the next step for organic hydro. ( I saw this system being ran with a NFT system in maximun yield all though I dont recall which issue)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 4:19PM
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The commercially produced organic hydroponic nutrients are a better solution to merging organics and hydroponics, in my opinion. The biggest issues in my mind with the more DIY methods are that you get a lot of very unpleasant smells and don't have a lot of control over the microbial populations.

Well you never have a lot of control over the microbes in organic hydroponics, but with a more controlled starting point there's less to go wrong. Companies like Advanced Nutrients have 100% organic hydroponic nutrient lines that perfectly blend the best of both worlds.

I've used their Iguana Juice a lot and it's just as easy to use as any regular hydroponic nutrient while still being 100% organic. Plus it doesn't smell like something died. Just a mild earthy aroma that, to me at least, is actually pretty nice.

It's worth checking out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Advanced Nutrients Organic Products

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 3:27PM
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What is the consistency of the granite? Are the particles really small? You might need to add some larger particles like pebbles.

So what is organic? Are you referring to the philosophy that has been perverted into a mass marketing campaign preying on the uneducated (like any good thing usually does) or the actual meaning of the word in regard to materials? When it comes down to it, there is no plant food that I am aware of that is completely organic. Organic means it is carbon based. The only other meaning of the word that has been around longer than the new fad philosophy is that it's something that comes from something else that once lived. In nature, plants don't just eat compounds from something that once lived, so I guess plants in the woods not fed by humans aren't organically fed. Often people believe the misleading hype that organic and natural are synonymous terms. Some synthetics are approved for organic use. Some natural compounds are not. Some very dangerous natural products like Neem and Pyrethrins are approved, too. The main problem with the word came when environmentally conscious farmers chose to make an official distinction from themselves and those that apparently couldn't care less. The problem was that those farmers weren't imaginative enough to come up with their own term, so they loosely redefined a largely unrelated one and got the OFPA passed. Of course, that has little to do with Australia unless you are exporting.

The point of all that: Unless you plan to sell more than $5,000 worth of food product a year in the US, you have to decide what you consider organic. I'm curious what everyone's definition is here. My concern is for what goes into my food and less with the processes for making the nutrients. In that way, many nutrients are organic. If your concern is more for what the processes of manufacturing are doing for the environment then you have to decide how much impact is acceptable. I use Botanicare and I don't use pesticides that are harmful to humans or are damaging to our environment as far as we know today. That satisfies my desire for going organic. In my ground garden I use compost, worm castings, and manure. I soon plan to experiment with compost and worm castings for nutrients and media.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 4:18PM
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If it's an organic chemical, it's organic....sometimes comes in a bottle from Indiana, sometimes from a compost heap.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 11:44AM
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I agree with willard. all hydro formulas are technically organic. I read it somewhere else previously. the main difficulty hydroponic farms have with being certified organic is disposal of the waste water. I believe if you learn to recycle that 100% you can actually get certified organic.
I'm sure you'll encounter the same waste water removal problems if you use teas instead of nutes in a bottle. plus your neighbors will complain about the smell a lot more too.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 4:04PM
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