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Ice Tray Aquaculture

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Ice Tray Aquaculture Attempt

This was an ill-fated attempt to grow cactus seedlings in water. I decided to do this experiment so that I can formulate a system to grow seedlings at high density in aquaculture. Using 2" plastic hydroponic cups for small seedlings just did not make sense. If you have 500 seedlings, it is imperative that any aquaculture box used be able to hold more than 10 or 20 seedlings.

After browsing through the plastic container section in a supermarket, I decided to try to use an ice tray. I decided on an ice tray because it has a cover with separate 'holes' and a container. The translucent container was spray-painted brown. Lacquer spray paints adhere better to plastic than gloss paints, which tends to flake off after a while.

The test was done using Horti seedlings.

I used cotton threads as the growing medium. This medium is common in hydroponic vegetable kits. However, it does not work too well for these cacti seedlings as the threads can take up water, keeping the stem wet and promoting rotting. Water also evaporates from the threads, depositing salt on the plants and damaging the plants.

I believe gravel is a better alternative. Also, there is the issue of algae growth which may choke roots of small seedlings. If you use cotton threads, do not let the threads touch the nutrient solution.

The main problem with using an ice tray as an aquaculture container is that it is too small. In the hot Malaysian weather, the water in the container evaporates too fast -- the water has to be topped up every week or the seedlings will be high and dry. So it is not that good a system. A bigger container will be much better.

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  Last modified: 2002-08-26  Copyright © 1997-2002.  Kein-Hong Man.  all rights reserved