Aquaponics Update #10 – Balanced Tank & Basil from Kelly

On Monday night my friend Kelly gave me a small sprout of basil that had rooted in some water for her from a mother plant.  She gave it to me and wanted me to put it in my AP (aquaponics) tank.

Side view of the plant

It seems quite happy so far.  I was more than happy to put it in and see it progress, as ultimately I want to grow herbs and veggies

The leaves are full & firm, and the roots are already extending down in to the filter and feeding.

The really white parts of the root ball extending out to the sides and straight down are all new since putting it in the system since Monday night – keep in mind this post is being written on the following Friday morning.


These are a couple of shots from above the plant to document the leave growth as the weeks go on.  I’m excited to see what kind of production I can get from a single plant in my AP system.
The other news is I broke down and bought some test strips for my tank, found some that were a good price, because I thought I was having more O2 problems.  The water & plants looked fine, but my goldfish were still acting odd.  They were gulping at the top again and I thought maybe something else in the tank (pH, hardness, alkalinity or temp) was throwing off dissolved O2 in the water.

The good news was my tank was spot on for everything! The system has been running so well that everything was staying right where it needs to be, and my system – for being so small – has an excellent buffering capacity, meaning it’s protected (naturally) from wild swings in pH.  This meant O2 had to be on, so I couldn’t figure it out.  After consulting with a couple AP friends online, I decided to watch my tank from afar where the fish couldn’t see me – they follow me around the tank when I’m in the room and standing in front of it.  The greedy little buggers didn’t “gulp” at the surface once! Apparently goldfish have a habit of trying to train their caretakers to feed them more, and that’s what they were doing.

Since figuring out they were just gluttons, I’ve quit worrying about their O2 – the little fuckers.  Stay tuned for more updates on the basil.  I’m going to try to take pics every couple of days, or at least once a week, to track the growth.

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6 thoughts on “Aquaponics Update #10 – Balanced Tank & Basil from Kelly

  1. Thanks for the great laugh, Ricky! I can just hear the goldfish going from just hanging around the tank to saying “ok, ok, ok…here he comes, get ready, everyone pretend to be starving…”

  2. I’ve noticed my Goldfish doing the same thing. The thing is, my plants are doing really well. So well that I get ‘pearling’, meaning that there’s so much oxygen in the water that it bubbles out of the water like CO2 does in a fizzy pop. I was worried that my CO2 levels were too high, but after finding out about their efforts to ‘train’ the owner I think I’ll leave things as is. Time to watch from afar and see what they’re up to.

    Thanks Chef Ricky!

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