kirk_m

Skimmate as fertilizer?

Recommended Posts

I haven't had a freshwater aquarium in 14 years now.  But, when I did, I utilized my weekly water changes as fertilizer in my vegetable garden.  Ever since I left the fresh water hobby, my plant growth and production have never been the same.  


I have always assumed that skimmate would be inappropriate for use as fertilizer because of the salt content.  Maybe the "mud" from the cup might be OK, but, I would think the liquid would be too high in salt content to consider using.  

 

Is anyone  using it in this fashion, without it killing your plants?  I dump salt water into the front garden of my house every time I do a water change, and, over the 11 year period I've lived in this house, nothing's died, so, it makes me wonder if my fears of killing vegetable plants with saltwater are unfounded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like you I've always dumped my salt water in the front yard for water changes. Never an issue. But for some reason about a month ago I did it and killed a ten by ten foot of grass right in front of the house. The wife isn't happy at all. As far as the skimmate, today I dumped out some black, nasty  black coffee looking liquid that smelled like dog poop. I made sure I brought it well away from any plants or grass to be sure I didn't push my wife over the edge. I'd love to know how it works out for you if you decide to try it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would start  composting yard waste. You can buy bins that you can tumble. Very easy. I would throw the skimate in there to dilute it before pouring it directly on the veggie plants.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a place away from the house(for odor obviously) you could dump it in a bucket, with some additional water and something to bubble it making in effect diluted waste, or compost tea from the skimmer gunk.  This would also allow you to add to the bucket however often you have to clean the skimmer, and/or control the dilution rate to determine what is the best amount.

Isn't this basically what fish emulsion fertilizers are anyway? I never researched that item previously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like stoned said, composting yard debris and putting the skimmate on top would be a good idea.  However, there are very few plants that can handle almost any salt and over time salt will accumulate in the soil.  Not sure how well this would work, but I'd try pouring out any water in the cup, then put the skimmate in an old jug or something first with some rodi fresh water and shake it.   After it settles out (if it does), dump the water down the drain and use the thick stuff that's left.  I'm thinking that any salt that would be left in the skimmate would dissolve more easily into the ro water than into a bunch of protein, leaving the protein mostly free of salt. Maybe worth a shot to see if that works?

Edited by Jrodinnola

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.