VermiPonics System-03-10-10

I decided to record a video featuring my vermiponics system today. For those of you who have been following along from the beginning (when I first started writing about the topic of vermiponics, and the set up of this system), a lot of this won’t be new information. You may still find it interesting though since you will see the system up close and personal (not just via photos) and actually get to listen to my (awe-inspiring – HaHa) commentary as well.

I should mention that while my lettuce doesn’t look as good as it would in an outdoor system (or at least a system with better lighting), I can assure you that it doesn’t actually look as bad as it does in the video. As always, I am using my trusty point-and-shoot digital camera here, so the video quality isn’t exactly top notch. Those poor lettuce plants looked downright yellow, when in actuality they are a lot greener.

As you will see, I made an interesting discovery when I opened up the feeding tube and looked inside the burlap bag!

Previous Vermiponics Posts
Mini VermiPonics System
VermiPonics System – 02-09-10
VermiPonics System – 02-12-10
VermiPonics System-02-19-10
VermiPonics System-03-08-10

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  1. I enjoyed the video. When I read your earlier post, I was curious how you were going to solve the anaerobic water conditions. In a way you have created a vermiponic grow box.

    I wonder if fish could grow in the water basin at this point.

    Another option I thought you could have done to improve the aerobic conditions. It would be to raise the grow tray higher so that as the water drops fell in the catch basin they would become oxygenated. But I guess that might lead to problems with increased evaporation. Though it might be a great sounding set-up – like the rain sound effects that people buy in order to fall asleep or maybe it would sound like someone taking a too long

    • Bentley
    • March 11, 2010

    Hi John,
    Good question re: the fish! Not really sure.
    When I set up my outdoor system I plan to add other critters such as snails and water fleas to further assist with nutrient cycling.

    Raising the bed certainly would have helped – my limitations there however were 1) finding pedestals tall enough (I simply used some mason jars) and 2) the fact that I have a grow light fairly close to the bed.
    The outdoor system will almost certainly be a continuous flow system (with a greater drop into the reservoir)

    The sound the water makes now is quite soothing – too bad it isn’t close to where I do most of my work

  2. Great video Bentley!
    Thank you for sharing your ongoing (and on-growing) knowledge and experiences.

    Keep on Squirming,

    • Bentley
    • March 13, 2010

    Hi Cathy,
    Thanks for stopping by, and for the nice comment!

  3. Nice video. Thanks for sharing.

    Instead of pumping water into the air, you can pump air into the water with an air pump. That is how it is done in aquariums.

    I’m wondering how you might test the water to see what the balance of nutrients is. You might have too much Nitrogen (which might burn the roots) and not enough Potassium and Potalassium, since your food source is so limited in diversity.

    Again, thanks for sharing. You’re a real pioneer for the rest of us.

    • Jeanne
    • March 23, 2010

    Your video was very interesting. I had written you a while back about having red worms in my filter media for my Koi pond. Expanding on that a little, I think trays with filter material and flowing water from a pond source with fish waste and algae as food/fertilizer might work also. Plants could be inserted in the media and the roots and media would trap the nutient/food rich fish poo/algae. You got me thinking now. Just might have to try that. Interesting stuff on your siye, really enjoy it. Anouther thought for increasing the oxygen in the water. You can hook up a small venturi air bubbler on a small pump, still move water, but injects a lot of air.
    Thanks for letting me ramble.

    • Michael E
    • March 23, 2010

    That is a great looking System.
    I too have been using Vermicomposter leechent (the liquid collecting below the working vermicomposter) as a nutrient addative for my Bubbleponic System.
    The idea behind bubbleponics is that the roots remain submerged in the nutrient water using a simple aquarium style aeriator to keep the roots healthy.

    • Len
    • March 23, 2010

    Hi Bentley,
    I’ve been following your website for a couple of years now and really appreciate what you have done to get the word out on vermicomposting. You encouraged me to take the plunge a little over a year ago with a small rubbermaid set up, which has “morphed” into a 7.5 cubic foot home-built flow thru. Just started collecting the vermicompost out of it and does it ever look good.

    The way the vermiponics system is set up, almost looks like an earth box, what with the planting medium just touching the water and using capillary action. I was wondering if the way the system first started out was too wet for the worms.

    Regarding having the system outdoors, I think John H. has good idea about having fish in the water, what with those famous Canadian mosquitoes! Perhaps some small goldfish/carp that don’t mind “dirty water”.

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