Dumme's Aero-Soil-Aquaponics adventure

Hello, I’m the “Aquaponic Dumme”. I grow using the Aeroponic-Aquaponic method.

Recently I’ve been developing an aero-aqua-soil method, and will update as it becomes more stable. There’s a picture of my garden.


Early days…



Duel zoot zone project for Aquaponics with Aero&soil, for the seedlings.


Aquaponic cannabis at its finest.



at its finest indeed… i love your work


Hi Dumme! It’s great to see this topic here, so much inspiration! I’ve always seen Aquaponics as Holy Grail :crown: of growing. Also very tricky one. But once you reach ecological equilibrium you may justifiably see yourself as a master.

I have only limited experience with it on hobby level. I’ve tried to connect my 120 liter aquarium with cichlids to ebb&flow tub once. I’ve bred mostly cichlids family (Pelvicachromis Pulcher) because they are I think compatible with pH that also cannabis requires for nutrients. I’ve used “waterfall” filter sitting on aquarium edge to host bacteria and transform ammonia to nitrite. :fish: Plants were planted in water baskets filled with clay (so pure hydroponic).

But still I haven’t tried probably hard enough, experimenting only two rounds with it. I haven’t been satisfied with taste of buds, it just smelled like small pond :)… There must be some secret I haven’t found, probably to feed as much diverse food to the fish as possible. Or maybe to use soil like you (but I’ve been recirculating water back to aquarium).

Hats off to you! It’s great to see Aquaponics at this scale done right! :thumbsup:


The pH of Aquaponic cannabis gardens range from 6.4-6.8


Yes, pH about 6,5 is comfortable for the Krib (http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-chem.html)…

Can you please share what fish are you breeding and what are you feeding to them?

Do you have any experiences with recirculating water from plants back to fish and creating closed ecosystem?

Looks beautiful! This is organic? What nutrients are you using? I cant do any kind of hydro as the power in my town goes out a bunch

I havent bred any fish, I just buy them as need from the hatcheries.

I feed them aquaorganic fish feed. Here’s an excerpt from the site I buy the feed from:

"AquaOrganic – USDA Certified Organic Fish Feed
Now your fish can be as organic and sustainable as the rest of your aquaponics system!organic logo
This organic fish feed is formulated for Tilapia, Koi and other omnivorous pond fish by a team of aquaculture, organic pet food, and aquaponics experts.

Contains certified organic agricultural products or ingredients that conform to the NOP’s national list of materials acceptable for organic agriculture production. No GMO’s, no fish meal, and no soy! Can easily be crushed to a size that is suitable for fry and fingerlings.

Pellet size: 4mm-10mm (pellets are not uniform)

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein (min)………… 34.000 %
Crude Fat (min)………………. 3.0 %
Crude Fiber (max)…………… 10.0 %
Lysine (min)……………………. 1.7%
Calcium (Ca) (min)…………… 1.3 %
Calcium (Ca) (max)…………… 1.8 %
Phosphorus § (min)………. 0.8 %


Organic Rice Bran, Organic Canola Meal, Organic Whole Corn, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Organic Linseed Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sulfur, Organic Oat Groats, Organic Sugarcane Molasses, Reed-Sedge Peat, Diatomaceous Earth, Copper Sulfate, Attapulgite Clay, Calcium Pantothenate, Monosodium Phosphate, Salt, Organic Dried Kelp, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Bentonite, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Chloride, Yeast Culture, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Sodium Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Citric Acid, Vitamin B12, Organic Lecithin, Manganous Oxide, Magnesium Sulphate, Calcium Sulphate, Organic Garlic, Organic Fenugreek, Niacin, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Acetate, Organic Dried Feed Grade Milk, Organic Egg Product, Organic Rice Hulls, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Organic Cloves, Silicon Dioxide, Organic Barley, Glycine, Vitamin D3, Acetic Acid, Calcium Hydroxide, Organic Dandelion, Calcium Acetate, Organic Parsley, Organic Althea Root, Organic Dried Tomato Pomice, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Organic Horseradish, Organic Licorice, Organic Sweet Orange Peel, Organic Aloe Vera Gel Concentrate, Organic Peppermint, Organic Calendula, Organic Cayenne Pepper, Organic Ginger, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sage, Organic Common Fennel, Organic Thyme, Organic Lemon Grass, Organic Elder Flowers, Organic Papain, Organic Basil, Organic Violet Leaves, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Juniper Berries"


Yes this grow is basically organic, less a few experiments I’ve been doing with synthetic hormones.

I supplement nutrients using organic:

Rock Phosphate
Calcium Sulfate
Potassium Sulfate
Magnesium Sulfate
Galvanize Steel (Zinc)
Borax Soap (Boron)
Tap Water (Calcium & Chlorine)
Worm Castings ^^
Copper Pex rings (copper)


Hi Dumme, thanks for info… I can now see clearly from your other video that the system you have is recirculating. I’ve been misled by the word “soil” you have in first post and though that you are just irrigating flowers planted in soil with water from the fish, now I see that it is closed ecosystem.

How hard is to create balance there? What are usual EC values (if it is measurable)? Is there any need to correct pH? How much work to maintain whole system is it compared to traditional say aero systems without any hooked aquarium?
Thanks it is very informative!


After the system is setup, it takes a bit for the system to cycle, but when thats done, it’s very easy to maintain.

I just took both of these pictures, and as you can see, I’m a little low on buffers right now. EC is also a bit low, so I’ll probably add a little tap water for Calcium & Chlorine, to bring up the pH to about 6.8

Generally, the only thing needed is tap water, as the system and nitrification process keeps driving pH down. Again tap water also adds nutrients I use and they free :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t recommend using Aero-Aqua, simply because off time off. I’m constantly in my garden anyways, but it would be a pain in the ass if I didn’t have the life style that I currently live.

Most of the time it runs great, but the spin heads get clogged daily. Snails are always an issue. Daily fish feedings, and of course, with any recirculating, testing the PPM’s each independently for every nutrient type is time consuming.


Hello Dumme, thanks for explanation. I hope you don’t mind me asking. It is very inspirational!

You are not aiming for 5.5 as probably majority of hydroponic cannabis growers? Are you aiming for 6.5 to have some room where to go when pH is driving down all the time?

Yeah snails… :snail::boom: they are every fish hobbyist’s nightmare. It is impossible to eliminate them completely and they multiply exponentially.

I had a copy of an article (I hope to find it somewhere) called “Guppy ponics” back in 2002 I think (at the time there was not so much information about aquaponics around). But I remember phrase that I really loved…

Balance is created automatically. It has to work because the nature works. :slight_smile:

But of course I understand that it is a lot of work as you describe it, you can’t just let the nature do its magic.

What about fish feeding, how long does it take it to be readable on the PPM reading if you for example raise amount? What you mean by testing PPM independently for every nutrient type? I thought you are using that USDA AquaOrganic Feed Pellets you mentioned above as the only feeding. Or do you mean you need to re-measure PPM after adding those supplements listed above (Rock Phosphate, Calcium sulfate, etc).

As I see it there is lot of your knowhow about how to create final nutrient mix. Did you come to this knowledge by experimenting for many rounds?

Thanks for ton of great info!

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This system just works out where, when the nitrification brings the pH down, I add tap water to bring it up. It works well, because my plants drink (evaporate) about 5-7 gallons a day. So by adding the tap water (with high pH), I don’t have to worry about pH up. I plants received a full range of pH, from as high as 6.8 to 6.4 each week. Anything outside this range would hurt my fish.

With PPM’s, I measure averages overy time, and test weekly. Fish get feed daily. Fish feed is a constant, so if I want th adjust to “Nitrates”, I generally do it by adding fish, and not the feed.

Yes, when I test PPM, I test just “Nitrates”. It takes about 10 mins. After that I test just Potassium (another 10 mins…) in a separate test. Then just Phosphates… and so on. Each nutrient test is only that nutrient and no other; all independent from eachother.


So I guess it really takes a lot of experience to tune pH (take into account amount evaporated). I think this was part of my failure with these systems - the pH got really out of control and I had to sacrifice the plants (fish must prevail! :slight_smile: ). I must say that I haven’t tried hard enough. I’ve made only one grow/bloom cycle.

In my case I was really fighting it through pH adjustment and never got it right as it fluctuated wildly (much more than 6,4-6,8).

I’ve heard many times of fish keepers that “overfeed” fish and that leads to spread of algae (and that it can poison fish in high doses).

What tester do you use to test Nitrates and Potassium separately? Do you use that one-time chemical tests?

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Nitrate tester:

Potassium Test:

Im constantly changing my test methods as I upgrade…

Heres a new video of the swirl filter:


A little update on the aqua-soil-aero prototype…

Yup, ignore the thrips damage, as I am aware.


Nicely documented!

If I understand it correctly swirl filter removes hard particles (solid filter) and provides area for bacteria to grow. What medium do you use inside swirl filter?

And thanks for tips on meter!

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Swirl and radial flow filters are passive means of separating any solids as clean water is skimmed off the top. Water goes in, is swirled around and anything that has weight drops to the bottom.

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