BT is pretty safe in systems. Of course you always want to spray a portion
of your system initially and allow the system to adjust. We’ve used BT
drenches before (to kill drain flies and fungus gnats). Haven’t ever had
any issues, but every system is different. BT can be a great control though!
Worst case scenario.. if your plants get all eaten by pests will the fish
When it comes to aphids, there is a bio-control that entirely viable, even
if the aphids are way out of control. I’ve done it before in my
permacultured backyard. You buy a bunch of ladybugs and then set them free
in the evening. They don’t fly at night, so they’ll mate and eat wherever
you let them out. They love aphids and they’ll eat them all right up. The
only trick is that with a major outbreak you’ll need to release multiple
batches, and also, you need a seller source of ladybugs.
But What about garlic? Isn’t that used often?
Again, as Nate says, follow the labels and use some caution early on when
using any new product. BT products for use against leaf eating caterpillars
must be sprayed on the plant leaves and the caterpillars have to eat some
of it for it to work against them. It is actually a bacteria that gives
them a bad stomach infection that will stop them from eating and eventually
kill them in a few days, it does not work to put it in your system
water!!!!! It must be sprayed.
Nate, another product that might be worth checking out that seems to be
fairly fish safe (though you need to wear goggles when spraying it) is
SucraSheild. It is good against soft bodied insects and seems to be very
safe for everything else except eyes if the spray gets in them.
Not sure if I saw that other video yet. I’ve been watching so many videos
on aquaponics. I really believe it can be a huge part of the solution to
over-energy consumption, but does aquaponics solve anything if we’re still
using commercial (even if organic) pesticides? How much
land/energy/labor/resources goes into the production of those pesticides?
Perhaps it doesn’t work in large systems because most large systems are too
much of a mono-crop. Permaculture needs to meet aquaponics. 🙂
Another good bio control is nematodes. I’ve been using “nematode sf” to
control root aphids, an under the soil pest, but they’re also effective on
surface pests if applied by spray. “Nematode sf” are effective on root
aphids first and third stages of their life cycles. “Nematode sf” are safe
for fish, and ones that get washed out and end up in the fish tank become
tasty treats for the fish, they love them. One application of nematodes can
last two years, as they continue to breed.
what’s your take on the GMO foods? it looks like they will contaminate
crops through cross pollination so some day lots of stuff will be GMO. None
of it sounds good but do you think it is as bad some are saying?
Nate, are you able to do all of this spraying because of the ziptower
design? It would seem that just hitting the plant surface and not your
water supply would make spraying a much more viable option. I have been
under the impression that flood and drain bed systems tend to allow
whatever you spray to directly enter into your water source? Is it still
safe to use some of these in a hydroton bed set up? Any feedback is
appreciated. Great video!
Why would mosquitoes be a problem? Fish eat the larva. I have four rain
collection barrels and they each have a couple goldfish. No problems with
mosquitoes and the water is CLEAN, NO algae. Same in my koi pond. I throw
caterpillars in the koi pond and they don’t even last 5 minutes, maybe I’m
It’s used, but it isn’t always effective. We only use things that we know
will work all the time.
You’re right- BT is awesome stuff and really fish safe.
Well, any time you want to produce enough to feed a lot of people you end
up having to use some kind of pest control- and honestly most of the stuff
we use is super safe, and represents minimal energy consumption as far as
manufacturing goes. It’s a necessary evil. Trust me, we wouldn’t be staying
late to spray for aphids if we didn’t have to. That’s not to say that there
aren’t better options or opportunities out there- it just takes a while to
You’re right Aaron- I’ve heard of a number of folks using nematodes to
control root aphids, fungus gnats and drain flies.
Hi Jeff, I’d love to answer your question but I’m afraid that it will
likely start a flame-war. Shoot me a private message if you want my opinion.
I have watched so many of your videos now I feel like I know you! great job
Have you ever used a product called Liquid Ladybug?
like weeds on bare ground, insects attack, less than healthy, foliage.
pesticides are counter to the market we are courting, those that want clean
insecticide and pesticide free produce. I am still researching aquaponics
and have found no one else, suggesting the use of insecticides and
herbicides which are metabolized and held in the organs and tissues of the
fish. again this is contrary to our purpose. what is the source of your
disease or deficiency in the plants that the insects are attacking?
In this video, Dr. Nate Storey outlines some of the best controls suitable
for aquaponic production. For more information, visit
Does aquaponics solve anything if we’re still using commercial (even if
Cool informative video
How do these liquid spray controls interact with the other bio controls you
are using in the green house? ie. ladybugs and aphid wasps
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