Using Aquaponics Water For Worm/Compost Tea

John has written in with some great questions about a really interesting topic of discussion. Unlike the usual “Reader Questions” scenario where I actually feel qualified to provide the answer myself, this is going to be presented as an “open” topic for discussion. As I told John, we’ve had some lively compost tea discussions in the past, so I think this could be interesting!

Here is John’s original msg:

The tea would be for use in the soil garden and raised beds. I do have
red worms in the grow beds.

My questions are…

1. If the Aquaponics water is used will nitrifying bacteria compete
with those in the worm castings and compost during the brewing

2. Would this negatively impact optimal growth of optimal bacteria?

3. Are the 2 really that different?

4. Would the addition of the nitrifying bacteria be beneficial once
applied as a foliar spray or soil drench?

5. How would this effect the growth of fungi?

6. Has anyone ever compared worm tea with aquaponics water to regular
worm tea?

Please feel free to add your input in the comments section (and please “share” via social media if you’d like to help get others involved)!

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    • Bentley
    • August 6, 2014

    P.S. Don’t forget to join the new RWC Facebook discussion group as well if you have not already done so!

    • Mikael
    • August 29, 2014

    I had a multi-tank 3000 gallon aquaponics rig in my basement for a couple years… I always put some water on my worm bin and they THRIVED. It’s good quality water; REverse Osmosus filtered then loaded up with microorganisms from the tanks.

    Then, some of the worms got fed to the fish ad infinitum.

    Can’t wait to set up a system again.

    • Evan
    • September 5, 2014

    We are currently testing worm / aquaponic based compost teas in a vortex brewer of our own design. If you’re looking for pics, I’d be happy to supply, but I don’t know how to attach them here.

    If you’re on Instagram, check #herbalalchemy.

  1. Great questions, and wish there were more people commenting on them. Are there any universities that are doing worm / aquaponics / compost studies that might answer these questions?

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