Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Indoor Growing | The Organic Garden Center

Posts tagged ‘aquaponics’

Want to Learn More About Aquaponics?

Aquaponics Set-Up 2We have been running an aquaponics set up for 6 months now with some very good results. Because this store is connected to Old Orchard Aquarium, we designed our aquaponic system for the fish’s health and vitality. Our 75 gallon fish tank uses a sump system to provide continuous filtration and water flow for the fish; we then use a separate pump,operated on a timer, to push nutrient rich, particulate free water up to flood troughs where the plants grow. The return water from the flood troughs is filtered again before returning to the fish tank sump. Our system allows the flexibility to turn on or off the fish tank flow or the plant watering side. We can grow plants requiring very wet or dry conditions or anything in between, without sacrificing the fish’s water quality.

Many aquaponic operators will keep tilapia, an African cichlid fish that is often bred as food, because we don’t propose to eat our fish (especially because we sell tropical fish as pets) this store is keeping simple comet goldfish in our system. Goldfish are relatively easy to keep, live well with each other, make a lot of waste (plant nutrient) and are always happy to see you.

Aquaponics Set-Up 1What I like about aquaponics is that once set up and properly cycled, it is quite easy to operate. You feed the fish, the fish feed the plants, light makes the plants grow, the plants remove waste from the fish water, you harvest the delicious cucumbers.

I could tell you more, but I’ve got to go,


Welcome to our new blog!

My name is Paul, I’m only telling you this because I want to start sharing with you some of my experiences working a Organic Garden Center in Skokie Illinois.While there are other people you may encounter here at 9223 Skokie Blvd, I’m the one you’ll most probably see.
A little background is in order; I had been working for many years at Old Orchard Aquarium when the ownership of  that, well known, tropical fish store decided to open an attached store as Organic Garden Center. How hard could that be? We knew so much about lighting indoor coral reefs, lighting fresh water, live planted fish tanks, how to pump and move water, and so much about adding supplements and minerals to keep those systems healthy and thriving. Even some of our wholesale suppliers could be the same. It should be a snap. Right? But there was, and is, a lot to learn, not as easy as we thought.
The one thing about indoor growing is that if you are a hobbyist, or a professional grower, it’s a lot of fun, and you get a reward when you harvest your crop, whether it’s peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, or whatever. Even here in Chicago you can grow and harvest year round.
There are many ways to learn and grow, to learn I’ve read books, some publications (online and print published), got my hands-on experience, and learned a lot from my customers through helping them solve their problems and asking them questions (what have you tried? How did that work?) etc. To grow, just to name a few methods, there is hydroponics or soiless media, HID lighting, T-5 HO Fluorescents, or LED. As might be expected from an aquarium store, we have a nice aquaponics system, we let our fish do the work.
In the future, I won’t go on and on like this, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, telling you which system I’m working on in the store, what kind of nutrients I’m using etc.
Well, that’s it for now, I’ll try to tell you more on a regular, on going basis.
– Paul