Friday, January 30, 2015

Sprouting Seeds and Aquaponics Experiments

Two posts in one day. Who'd thunk it? Well, it'll technically be the next day by the time I finish this post. But anyway...

I said I'd update you guys when the seeds in the baggies started sprouting. I was getting ready to go to bed and realized I hadn't checked on the seeds today. The guava seeds looked normal. But when I went to look at the Morinaga seeds, they looked slightly bigger than they were before. So I took them out of the baggie and unfolded the paper towel and sure enough..... ROOTS!

I'd read that these can take some time to sprout so I wasn't expecting them to be doing so already. It's only been a little over a week. But I guess the paper towel in baggie method works really well with these. I think it also might have helped that I scraped the edge of the seeds with my finger nail. It's called scarification and it's meant to slightly damage the shell of the seed to help it absorb water and sprout. Too bad the guava seeds are so tiny or I could have tried it with those too.

Here's a closer look at the little baby roots. Only 4 of the 5 seeds have actually sprouted but I'm sure the 5th one won't be far behind.

Since I wasn't expecting these to be ready yet, I didn't really have any planters ready for them. So instead I grabbed two planters that weren't being used at the moment. One was one of the planters from the greens container that a spinach plant had sprouted in but died. The other was the planter that my old swee pepper had been growing in until it finally gave up the ghost. (For anybody that doesn't know, the swee pepper is just a sweet pepper but I forgot the T when I wrote the label. That lost T must have been a sign because it was the plant that has lasted the longest out of the 4 I planted that year.)

I've had that swee pepper plant for about 2 years and it had done pretty good in just a window sill. I wanted to continue those genetics and see how well the next generation did. So I saved seeds from the last couple of peppers it had produced.

I'll be trying out one or two of these some time this summer. Possibly in my next experiment.

Speaking of which, hubby has ok'd me getting some fish for my little 10 gallon fish tank so I can run a little aquaponics experiment. I'm wanting to see if plants will do better with the aquaponics water wicking up from the bottom, being dripped on top of the media or if it has to be delivered as close to the root zone as possible. Mainly this experiment will be to see if the nutrients can be wicked up from the bottom or if it just wicks up the water.

 I will be using coconut coir as the media 1) for it's absorptive factor to provide the wicking and 2) because it's known as a neutral media and won't affect the plants or water chemistry. The only nutrients the plants will get will be from the fish waste. The first plants in the experiment will be red Russian kale as just a greens trial. Then next I'll try a fruiting plant. That's when I'll try the swee pepper seeds.

As for fish, I'll be using swordtails. Mostly because I later plan on breeding them as food/treat for the tilapia I'll have in the big aquaponics. Getting the swordtails now will give me a head start. And also because I had swordtails when I was a kid and they hold fond memories for me.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway. I really need to get to bed. So good night (or morning) and I will see you later. *waves*

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