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Vermiponics Deep Water Culture Bubbler System

I knew it wouldn't take too long to start missing the extended growing season in Florida.  It's only my third month in Michigan and with temperatures in the 40s during my morning comute, I spend the 30 minute drive trying to figure how to grow vegetables in my basement.

I took a trip to the hydroponics store this afternoon. I have no interest in growing "medicinal" plants, but the guy was helpful in explaining how to build a hydroponic bubbler system using 5 gallon buckets, an air pump, and a manifold to evenly distribute the air to all buckets. He told me they recently sold the parts to construct an 8 bucket system.  These types of systems sell online for $250-$350.  Buying the parts and assembling it myself should keep the costs to $100 or possibly less because I already have some of the stuff I need on hand.

But instead of typical hydroponic nutrients I am trying to figure out how to incoporate worms and make it a vermiponic bubbler system. 

I built a mini-bubbler last spring and it worked well, but I'm ready to kick it up a notch and reduce the costs of the inputs. The biggest expense in hydroponics is the cost of nutrients. I've got plenty of worms and they replenish themselves automatically so I would have the ultimate sustainable system.  And if I use solar power, I wouldn't even need to use electricity except for back up purposes. But in my basement I would need to use a grow light and those things draw a lot of current.

I'm not quite sure how to incoporate the worms and how to feed them without getting the food supply gunked up in my air bubblers.I've read about some people burying the food in PVC pipe and drilling holes in the pipe so worms can get in but food can't get out. 

Incorporating a "raft" system and some Dow Blue Board, I think I could grow enough lettuce in my basement to keep my wife and I in salad all winter.

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Comment by Rich Feiller on October 2, 2011 at 9:47pm

i just shut down my vermiponics system connected to my outdoor aquaponics, it consisted of (27)-5gal buckets interacting with the 600 gal biopond containing about 200 4-5" goldfish. first attempt, discovered the shortcomings and will correct those before next attempt.

join the group aquaponics vermiponics.

Comment by Rich Feiller on October 8, 2011 at 7:46pm
there are guys doing aquaponics that combine severaly home depot shop lites with cheap fluorescent home depot 4' lights and grow year round in their basements. check out www.diyaquaponics.com  for more info on that. any bioponics set up will have problems with drip or spray systems the bacterial and other little critters love to form colonies in the equipment. 
Comment by bpearcy10 on October 8, 2011 at 8:30pm
Thanks. Will do.
Comment by Rich Feiller on November 12, 2011 at 8:30pm

how's your project coming? have you had a chance to do anything with it? i tend to spend much of my time tripping over life trying to get my projects underway. :-)

Comment by bpearcy10 on November 13, 2011 at 6:14am

I haven't done much with the vermiponics experiment, but I am ramping up a hydroponics system that should provide plenty of lettuce, kale, collards,and spinach this winter. You can read more about it at www.backyardurbangardening.com. Here's a basic picture I took. The lights can be raised and lowered to within 12 inches of the net pots.

 

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