I’m sure some of you must be wondering how my vermiponics system is coming along these days. I haven’t written an update since Feb 19. Well, after what seemed to be a very smooth start, things kinda went downhill rather quickly. The water in the reservoir became ‘muddy’ looking and started to really stink!
This is what the water was starting to look like prior to me making some changes to the system
It was pretty obvious that the biological oxygen demand (BOD) was far beyond what the trickling water (and air stone) could provide. The radishes started looking really sickly as well – almost certainly due to the fact that grow bed was receiving reservoir water in the zone where they were growing.
Rather than throw in the towel, or wait around to see if the plants would start filtering the water a bit better, I decided to change things up a bit. I removed the water tube altogether and cranked up the output (it is adjustable) of the pump, basically creating a aeration fountain right in the reservoir. I also did some partial water changes, and ended up raising the level of water in the reservoir so as to make contact with the bottom of the grow bed.
Things have certainly improved a great deal since then. The water no longer stinks, and it also just looks a lot cleaner in general. The radishes made a nice comeback, and the lettuce has continued to grow as well (although, as mentioned, I think it would help to have a more powerful lighting system), so they are probably doing a better job of cleansing the water. Apart from relying on the wicking of water up from the bottom, I have also been manually pouring reservoir water into the grow bed from time to time as well.
I’m not 100% sure how the worm population is doing, but it should be interesting to find out once I decide to dismantle the system.
I am definitely looking forward to trying this on a larger scale outside on my deck this year once the weather is warm enough!