Aquaponics – Quick update

A lot of hard work is going into setting up a new growbed that will be powered by the fish tank under the chicken enclosure (“three in one” I posted earlier).

Since this system is some what like a new design, challenges are expected and working through those now. Everything is looking good, except that the syphon is not working properly due to the lack of height difference between the growbed and sump tank. However it will work fine in a constant flood configuration. I’ll post more on these different systems and how to set those up once I have the current system up and running.

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New growbed being setup

On the plants side, no pest challenges since the last snake gourd attack (not that I am loking for one 🙂 ). Snake gourd looks like is slowly getting back to life and starting to have flowers again.

Aquaponics – Snake gourd (Padavalanga) first harvest

Despite all the pest challenges we just got our first snake gourd harvested today. Very encouraging!

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Happy young farmer (my two year old with his new toy)

Snake gourd first harvest

Infestation now seems to be under control, but it made serious damage to the plant and slowed down growth and flowers. But I am hopeful that it will thrive again.

Aquaponics – Update on Semi Looper Caterpillar on Snake Gourd (Padavalanga)

Continuing from my last post. This issue is now more or less under control. Phew! that was a lot of bugs to battle out!

I caught at least a couple of dozens of Semi Loopers. Usually you will find very small ones at the tip of the plant. It seems they start with soft leaves before they have their teeth grown to eat the bigger harder leaves :-).

Small ones are real problem makers. They pretty much kill the growth of the plant and are hard find and catch.

I am convinced that it is possible to manual control Semi Loopers by hand picking in a small farm provided we identify the infestation early enough. If not controlled aggressively, it takes only three to four days for the plant to go bald with all its leaves gone.
If you start seeing a sudden reduction in the number of flowers, that’s an indication of an infestation.

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Semi Looper

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Semi Looper kiddos

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Indication of Semi Looper infestation

Aquaponics – Infestation in snake gourd plant

Just found out an infestation on the snake gourd plant. I looked up on the Internet and it is a specific pest that attacks snake gourd called Semi Looper Caterpillar. There are a whole bunch of them on the plant.

I am going to try manual control initially and see how well I can manage.

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Semi Looper Caterpillar on snake gourd plant

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Semi Looper Caterpillar - tiny ones are hard to see

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Semi Looper Caterpillar

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Semi Looper Caterpillar