Growth Update: Week 3.5

I’m a little late this week with the update as I was in San Francisco longer than I was expecting. Exciting things happened with the unit!


radishes 12.09.10

While the radishes doubled in size, from 1″ to 2″, they are still way behind the curve in terms of expected growth. According to the package of seeds I got, I should be able to harvest on Dec. 13th, a scant 4 days from now. As you can see, there are no radishes appearing yet.

radish leaves 12.09.10

This happened in San Francisco as well. It probably has something to do with the overall weather as well as the fact that I’m using goldfish for nutrients as opposed to the more common tilapia. With a larger setup, of say a solar-powered water heater for the fish tank I would switch to tilapia, but it’s just too cold right now.


romaine 12.09.10

Well… it’s growing. It’s up to a full 1″ height. I got nothing else about this one. I’m a stones throw from chucking it for something that grows better. Like….


The garlic seems to be doing reeeeeally well. It’s nearly doubled in size in the last week and a half from 3″ to 6″. I’m debating replacing the romaine lettuce with garlic bulbs. I have no idea what kind of garlic my Mom gave me to plant, but she told me it was the standard white Christopher Ranch garlic she buys at Safeway. If only I knew someone who could tell me what that kind of garlic it is QUESTION MARK QUESTION MARK EXCLAMATION POINT

garlic 12.09.10


It’s growing mold. So I turned it. It’s been a while since I did that. Obviously, that needs to happen more often.

compost 12.09.10


Probably going to get a third fish in the next say or two, much to the joy of the niece. Hoping the increase in “nutrients” from an additional fish gets us some more growth.

When it starts to get warm in Sac, I’m planning on switching to tilapia. This comes with its own host of issues, namely: where do I get them and rigging a feeder on a timer so I don’t have to remember to feed them 3 times a day (or whatever is required). I’ve read that they eat quite a bit/often so we’ll have to see about that one. The cost is mostly what concerns me about it.



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2 responses to “Growth Update: Week 3.5

  1. jkak

    Hey man, what is the real planting growing times of radishes, are they in season right now? I thought they are out of season for planting. so non the less they look okay I suppose. plus has the weather not been very sunny?
    are you concerned with the algea growing along the walls in the blue container. I can see it on the pipe in picture one. which also shows me the water level, do you think it is too high, it might be flooding the tank to high and might cause issues with the plants growth. clearly not the Garlic. don’t let Ken know.
    Tilapia can be bought alive in tanks at Geary and 20th at the Chinese grocer there. I thought that was cool. I am sure there is one in Sac., but if all else fails there is one there. I am pretty sure Tilapia eat everything. so you could feed them some vegetable food scraps and yard trimmings. don’t quote me on that though.
    also, compost should be turned a ton, thats why they make those big plastic ball ones or the turny handle ones. sucks but necessary. I know you aren’t there often. get your niece into it, that’d be awesome. maybe have her help report on it one day? GO Maddy!(sp)
    -ps, I am gonna try and check out the aquaponic set-up at a ladies house in Santee and get pics, I’ll try and send it in to you.

    • dfvillere

      Seeds: According to my little pouch of seeds, September to May is the prime time for the seeds in this part of the country, so it probably has something to do with the nutrient levels and weird sun levels. We’ll what happens when I add a 3rd fish.

      Algae: The algae is cause I had issues with the timer. It was doing this weird thing of flipping the time, from 2:30 on, 20 min off, to 20 min on 2:30 off. It has been fixed though. And I’m continually messing with the valves that control the drainage into the fish tank so control the levels.

      I’ll check out that tilapia source. Still pretty sure though that it would be too cold for them. I’ll look into it once the weather gets better.

      Compost: probably. And it would be awesome, but as cool as everyone finds this there is little interest in helping in that capacity.

      Let me know if you check out Santee. That would be neat.

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