Thursday, September 15, 2011

Corn is Tasseling, but...

The corn is tasseling, but I don't expect good ears. The system is extremely nutrient deficient right now, since there is so little fish biomass. The system is designed to handle around 800 lbs of fish, but there's only around 10-15 lb of fish in there right now. So since the fish part is running at about 2% of capacity, and since I'm not adding fertilizer, the plant part is extremely nutrient starved. Since it takes lots and lots of nutrients to make good ears of corn, the ears probably won't develop into anything worth eating.

If you're wondering why I'm not using fertilizer, here's why: the cheap stuff is toxic to aquaponics systems, and an adequate supply of the safe stuff (Maxicrop, aka Seasol) is tremendously expensive for a system as large as mine. I've considered dumping a bunch of phosphoric acid (which would yield phosphates as it decomposed) and nitric acid (which would yield nitrates), but it would still cost a sizable amount for the quantities I'd need. Therefore, I'm choosing to just wait until the fish can do their job. The fish are brooding now, so if there's a good hatch and good survival, the tank should be up to capacity in 4-6 months.