Beneficial microbes are arguably the unsung heroes of aquaponics. While lush greens and the often charismatic fish get most of the attention, microorganisms in the system really keep things going. If they’re not happy, no one is. Of course it is a mutualistic relationship: fish produce waste, nitrifying bacteria turn the waste into nitrates, and the plants clean up the water for the fish. At Flourish Farms, we think of our water as a fourth organism, keeping our water healthy and “alive”. While we’re not certified as organic, in practice we operate as such, using OMRI-certified pest and disease controls and supplements as needed. In fact, most of the products we use are not simply organic but biological. This means that the treatment itself is also a living organism. A variety of microorganisms have beneficial effects in aquaponics. Certain species of Bacillus, a group of naturally-occurring soil bacteria, are effective at controlling aphids and powdery mildew, red and purple photosynthetic bacteria reduce algae blooms, and other fungal and yeast species eat up the fish solids that settle out in fish tanks and grow beds. All of this without spraying a single chemical or harming our fish, plants, or water. As a result, our plants and fish flourish in a thriving freshwater ecosystem rich with just the right amount of nutrients and minerals.
We want to share! Bring in a vessel of your choice and take some of our AquaTonic © home to your garden or compost pile. Our water contains nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium among scores of micronutrients and, of course, alive with all the microbes that make these nutrients even more available to your plants and help speed up breakdown of composting materials. Every Friday and Saturday, after The GrowHaus public tour, come in and share the bounty. $3 per gallon or fill up a 5-gallon bucket for just $12. Keep growing!