Rousing success or unmitigated disaster

water-mintThe question we faced was how to run an aquaponics greenhouse without spending a lot of time or effort on the fish part of the equation. With last winter’s -20 lows trying to keeping most fish year round a costly proposition at best.

Talapia aren’t a great option for us since we have such a short spring – we seem to go from freezing to burning in a couple of weeks. We thought of bluegill or koi but licensing and cost seemed to be too much effort – so we went with feeder goldfish.

One of the main reasons that I built the aquaponics setup was so that I could leave the greenhouse alone for weeks at a time without worrying about it – so having to feed daily was quickly a real pain.

So, I came up with the idea of feeding them plants/plant roots. It started with a planting basket suspended into the fish tank with some gravel and a little bit of mint.


soon it had grown a lot and I couldn’t really check on the fish


Today this is the jungle of mint.


I won’t be able to see the fish until I bring in a chainsaw. They have become sort of a “schrodinger’s goldfish”, but I am going to believe that they are alive and doing their job and I just add a little “fish fertilizer” to the sump tank from time to time to help them out.

The one good thing about the mint tank is that no matter what else I manage to kill in the greenhouse at least I have one nice leafy green plant doing great!

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