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Useing Latic Acid Bacteria (LAB) to jump start aquaponics.

“It’s incorrect to think of bacteria as these asocial, single cells. They are individual cells, but they act in communities, exactly the way people do.”

Bonnie Bassler

Let’s start copying nature in aquaponic design

Chemicals not necessary

Most people cannot believe how easy it is to grow plants without Miracle Grow or any other type of chemical fertilizer. Once you get your soil alive the micro-herd in the soil keeps plants growing very healthy. The actually types and numbers of bacteria are of little concern to the home grower.

You don’t need to be a bio chemist

All we need to know is how to harvest them and encourage them to work for us.

If all the different types of bacteria went to school, lactic acid bacteria would have attended UWI. They have the job of managers in the micro-herd and are a good starting tool when transitioning to organic. They are very easy to extract and only require household inputs to culture. Better yet, they are anaerobic, (meaning can survive without air) so they can be keep in a pep bottle for up to a year without opening.

These bacteria are not only used in farming but also have many uses like keeping pond water crystal clear,

Algae benefits in aquaponics

have the ability to keep the scent of animals very low, also help keep your kitchen sink drain unclogged and it kills Candida (yeast) on contact. Some people drink it daily.

These guys are the first choice when transitioning into the organic life style – easy to extract, store and apply the procedure is as follows:

Stage 1 of 3

  • After washing a starch in the kitchen (bread fruit, potato, rice);
  • Pour the water in a large pet bottle with the funnel part cut off;
  • Leave this in a cool dark place that gets plenty air flowing (the corner of the gallery [patio]),

This stage is general bacteria you are harvesting from the air and will take 1-2 weeks until they use up all the starch as food. At this stage you will see a transparent cast floating on the top and the heavy particles sinking to the bottom – this is the first stage. You want the clear liquid in the middle.

Stage 2 of 3

Separate and pour the clear liquid into a whole large pet bottle;

The myth of cycling aquaponic systems

Add 2 cups of milk, the fresher milk the better but even evaporated milk will do, this is the same process as making cheese;

Over the next 1-2 weeks you will see a cheese type substance form on the top and a yellow serum form on the bottom, what has happen is the lactic acid in the milk has killed all the unwanted bacteria and you are left with just the helpful guys, in the yellow serum, (depending on materials used it will be slight yellow to very yellow).

Stage 3 of 3

Harvest the serum and add 1 cup of sugar, this is the food source that will keep them alive indefinitely at room temp, now this is very concentrated, 3 table spoons to a large pet bottle un-chlorinated water is the serum you should use, one cup of this diluted serum is used to one gallon of water then you can apply this to your plants and surrounding areas at any stage of life, it helps a lot with the black smut that kills fruit trees.

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