SantaMonica
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Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Being the only vegetable from the sea, I thought there would have been many more gardeners growing their own to use for ferts, pet feed, skin wraps, teas, and of course eating, but I've found practically nothing. Has anyone grown their own seaweed, such as in aquariums, trash cans, etc?

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I know it's rare, but is it non-existant?

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I never thought about it. But wouldn't you have to have a fairly sophisticated and large saltwater tanks to make this work? And Kelp would be impossible since they are deep water "trees" of the ocean. I've only seen them in huge marine aquarium -- you know, like zoos except they have fish and marine animals -- tanks.

So nori and agar maybe? But if I remember correctly, nori needs to be in suspension -- I'm trying to remember images of nori "farms" but I'm getting confused with pearl oyster farms. LOL

I think of the three types, The kind that grows on shallow rocks (such as agar and dulse are the most likely).

I do know there are laboratories that research them and I think grow them artificially in tanks, so I suppose its not entirely impossible. I'm curious now. Have you researched some more? What have you found? 8)

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Ha. I had to find out more about nori. :wink: I had images of frames being lowered into the sea for "farming"
To grow, nori needs seawater nutrients and sunlight. It is cultured on nets lowered to optimum depths with poles inserted into the seabed. The frames of the nets serve a purpose much like the ridges along the edges of rice paddies. Cultured nori needs to be dried for several hours each day, and this was once done as the nets appeared above water during low tide.
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rainbowgardener
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Since you made me curious too, I did a google search on "growing seaweed at home." The top article was about if you live on the beach and have your own little section of ocean you can farm! Not what you were looking for, I presume.

I did find this:

https://www.oceanvegetables.com/can-i-grow-my-own-seaweed-in-a-tank-at-home-in-the-city.html

which suggests that it can be done in an aerated tank. But it is just one person's opinion, not authoritative. And it doesn't say anything about what kind of seaweed they were growing.
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Correct, no kelp, since they also need chilled water.

Nori in suspension? Maybe you mean how they dry them out each day to remove other types of algae (like hair algae). I do know that nori is not technically in suspension, since that would be similar to phytoplankton or spirulina. Nor is actually attached, like the article you found says. I've ready about the the dulse thing before too, on rocks.

I did see the ocean vegetable site, and others. Don't want to have to go to the ocean (although it's close)... I'm trying to find an "easy for everyone" way to do it. I have indeed been researching... not that hard to figure out, it's just making it simple for the kitchen that's the challenge.

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If you could grow it relatively easily, do you see some uses for it?

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

SantaMonica wrote:to use for ferts, pet feed, skin wraps, teas, and of course eating,
makes good fertilizer with lots of trace minerals and nutrients
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Is it worth growing fresh, just to use for fertilizer?

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I try to do a test growth, and post the info.

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growing one's own seaweed/kelp

I would be TOTALLY interested in growing my own. Saltwater aquarium, I can do.
Am absolutely hooked on Trader Joe's "roasted seaweed snack" but am concerned about the added salt, even tho' it's sea salt (sodium is sodium -- high blood pressure).

Used to live in San Diego, where kelp would wash up on the beach to the point of being a nuisance, but couldn't make myself chance the "Gunk" that was likely to be in/on it... so close to Mexico's open sewage, both countries' oil spills, and even more locally, Sea Lion "infestations" of tidal pools... Any help as to sources of CLEAN "wild-caught" (so to speak) kelp or other sea veggies would be MUCH appreciated!

BTW, now living in SF bay area.
Muchas gracias!
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RE: Browing one's seaweed

Hi: my name is Tim and I found this forum by searching for something else. I don't know if anyone is even still looking @ this thread anymore judging by the last entry but I felt that I should add this for everyone interested in growing sea vegetables...

Yes it can be done. I have been growing several different varieties on a commercial level for 10 YRS. For over six years I grew by myself; 23 metric tons/yr on a small 40' by 100' footprint; while phyto-remediating over 100K gallons/day of fish farm effluent and a eutrophic watershed. Our sea vegetables were considered organic quality. I grew eight varieties including green, red and brown macroalgae.

I have developed (patent pending) specialized growing system using a greenhouse, tanks, lighting, etc; to attain growth rates per day of 35% MINIMUM- up to exponential/day.

My Farm was called Umami Sea Vegetables LLC and were sold farm-fresh; ocean produce. NOT DRIED.


Anyhow; I thought I'd add that into this thread,,,I hope everyone had a good 4th of July today!

Tim Visi

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

rainbowgardener wrote:
SantaMonica wrote:to use for ferts, pet feed, skin wraps, teas, and of course eating,
makes good fertilizer with lots of trace minerals and nutrients
Considering you'd probably have to add so many minerals to the water in order for the seaweed to actually obtain them, I would think it would be easier to just put the minerals directly into the ground via compost or some other organic fertilizer.
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or you could ask me to go to the beach and mail you some LOL! :)
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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RE: Growing your own seaweed

Hi;
Actually they do not need the minerals like you think...they get all they need to grow from the effluent stream so all I have to do is tend to their evry little needs sort of speak.

As for going to collect the seaweed off the beach its totally different from what you my think.

What I achieved by my system is that I found a way to "jump" over the regeneration stage and knowing their lifecycvle; I have been able to "trick" them into a vegetable state and they grow year round....this is HUGE for a commercial grower like myself or anybody who wants to do this type of farm.

Also; the farm structure allows high growth rates and better quality of product. Growing it on ropes; etc; is "old technology"....Mine is the new technology using "Tumble Culture".

It's the future.

Tim

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One should not go into business with family or friends. :wink:


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Tim, I noticed in your 7:41 am post you spoke in past tense. Are you still doing this? I live in a rented townhouse so your "modest footprint" is impossible for me. I was just interested in growing enough for my own personal use (can't get the rest of the fam interested). I was hoping for guidance for a few varieties I might buy in -- oh, say, a pet store -- and grow in a household aquarium to eat. Am I dreaming? Are you in the U.S.? Do you have a website?
Thanks for any/all advice.
BonnieSue

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https://www.manta.com/c/mt12hsw/umami-sea-vegetables-llc

https://www.sequimgazette.com/news/article.exm/2009-10-07_sea_vegetable_firm_draws_suit

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RE: growing seaweed

Hi again;

I wanted to address Bonnie Sue and then Double Dog Farm.

First; Bonnie Sue;

I can't get into too much particular's because the patent pending design can be reduced into a small residential size. The commercial application can be "shrunk".

I am finding myself having a hard time relating how to go about doing it because back in 2002-no one was doing what I was doing...and they still aren't doing it...but I had to learn and FAST about how to grow these plants. It took me almost 2 yrs to hybridize the plants and have them grow year round unlike they do in nature...this is BIG..especially for a commercial farm like the ones I had.

The only thing I can say in general terms is to collect what you want; clean off all debris; preferably get a plant that does not have any or low amounts of epiphytes (animals & colonial animals attached to the plant). Next make sure the water in the tank (20-gallon aquarium) is filtered and clean; make sure you have a light bulb equivalent to full spectrum @ noontime in the tropics (this is general lighting); get an air stone and place in back of aquarium and let the current cause a rotation effect; let the plant tumble & feed it w/ Alaskan Fish Fertilizer you can get @ Home Depot-every day or so until you eat it. Wash it off in cold water. Keep temps close to temps found where the plant is collected; colder the better.

That is all I can say. I said enough in general terms that will allow you to keep your plants alive w/o the ability to grow for profit...That's my dept; It took me almost 8 yrs out of the last 10 yrs to figure it all out.
I hope I helped in some ways. Let me know how it goes.

As for Double Dog Farms; The farm is closed until I can find more funding.

As for the lawsuit in the 2nd site you listed; we just finished in court and it was found that Mr. Baldwin had no evidence supporting his accusations and the lawsuit has been dropped. I should get a story out to answer what some people may think about me or my farm.

Have a good day;
Tim

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Would like more info about your system Tim!

Hi Tim,

I would like more information regarding your system. I live in vancouver BC and I'm interested in creating an aquaponic system, growing fish, seaweed and utilizing the effluent for plants. Nothing major but I want to regorganize my whole back yard to create a beautiful self-sustainable garden! We already have chicken and I just finished an beekeeping course, we just harvested about 100L of sweet honey and I'm currently building my beehive.

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I have plated some carrot my garden and I agree that the vegetable that you grown is much fresh than the supermaket but I disagree that it is a hard work growing your own vegetable.
kingfai mok

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If you live near the ocean, you can just go out an get it, it grows near shore. It does not grow in deep water because it needs light. In Hawaii, foreign seaweed is a sea "weed". It arrives on the hulls of boats from other parts of the world and is a menace. There are ocean clean ups done and the seaweed is hauled on shore and some of the organic farms are using it. The organizations that pull it out of the ocean give it away, but usually to farms and botanical gardens. There are all kinds of requirements to make sure it does not get back into the ocean again.
One of the problems is the salt. The seaweed has to be washed and dried before being added to the compost pile. The first time compost was made, too much seaweed was used, the compost tested too high in salt. It had to be leached before it was good to use.
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Maybe we could just rake up some of the green slime from our farm ponds. I'm sure it would be good, but very labor intensive. Not so good for us old folks with our sore backs and high blood pressure.

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Ok it's been a year, but I finally have a DIY setup that I'll post in a new thread. It will grow seaweed in a saltwater reservoir at a pretty fast rate, and you can just reach in and harvest it without turning anything off and without taking anything apart.

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

SantaMonica - wow, sounds great!

estorms - re the pond scum. I do that, not with algae, scum but with the duckweed/ watermeal that covers the surface. Scoop it out with a net and use it for the compost pile. Great for heating up the pile, very N rich. But you are right, very hard labor, especially since our pond is at the bottom of a long steep hill.
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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

I'm putting together some drawings. Meanwhile, you'll need a large black plastic 5 or 10 gallon waterproof container, a small black plastic shoebox size box, a 42 watt CFL bulb that is 2700k (warm), a 10+ lpm air pump, some white aquarium gravel, and some white 1mm diameter nylon cord.

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Most people here usually just go to the beach at low tide early in the morning and pick it from the ocean. It used to be plentiful, but people started using boats and pulled the roots out of the reef and other people started throwing bleach in the water to catch more fish. The seaweed that grows back after the reef is polluted like that grows back toxic.

Seaweed is farmed here. It is seeded on ropes ans submerged in the ocean. It is pretty much the same way it is done in Japan. I don't know if the same species of kelp is used.

https://www.extension.org/pages/67031/se ... ture:-kelp
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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

SantaMonica wrote:I'm putting together some drawings. Meanwhile, you'll need a large black plastic 5 or 10 gallon waterproof container, a small black plastic shoebox size box, a 42 watt CFL bulb that is 2700k (warm), a 10+ lpm air pump, some white aquarium gravel, and some white 1mm diameter nylon cord.
(Taking Notes :wink: )
Thanks, SantaMonica. :D
Can't wait to see your set up. 8)
You'll explain why "black" later, right? :?:
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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Seaweedguru what you are doing sounds very interesting for two reasons, one you are growing a product in a new way and the second is that you are using the waste from your fish farm. I so think that we need to be finding creative ways to use waste effluents and recycle them instead of dumping them into the rivers and the sea. Very cool my friend, I wish you could get a grant for research.
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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

" other people started throwing bleach in the water to catch more fish" :twisted: :( :shock:

OMG who could DO that!?

Any one seen the movie "The East" ?? Very well done and powerful. Eco-activists (not eco-terrorists, because they don't blow anything up or kill people) with the interesting tactic of trying to hold some people individually responsible for things they are doing, literally give them a taste of their own medicine -- as in case of CEO & execs of big pharmaceutical co that was knowingly promoting a new medication with really bad side effects, doping their drinks with their own drug. As in you claim this stuff is safe, you take it.

I don't know that I would make those people eat bleach, but somehow people should be held responsible. That is just so incredibly ... I don't know the right word, stupid, selfish, irresponsible ..
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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

The black is just to keep the light from escaping; I guess if it were outside or in a basement, it would not be needed.

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

To Super Green Thumb; Thank you for your support! That is exactly what I am trying to do right now. I developed a new smaller system that comes from 11 years of research @ NOAA and my own little farm. During the years @ NOAA when I had a 24-1,500 gal tank farm; I grew a total of 23 metric tons per year for 6 plus years; while cleaning 206 million gallons of eutrophic effluent from fish farms and from my own little farm of 8 million gallons out of a eutrophic watersheds up here in the Olympic Peninsula.

This new modular system of 320 sq ft can clean 10 million gallons per year while growing $450,000 worth of organic certified sea vegetables. I am looking for funding for this....anybody knows where I could get this; I would be more than gracious for it.

Oh and by the way; the was a comment about growing kelp in tanks...it may be possible to do so...but I need further $$ for new tank design. I have been able to sustainably grow wakame in my "normal" tank design but to make it commercially viable...I need a different design.

I also have a design for cleaning up floating fish farms..but that that I will need serious funding...but it would allow us to take a TREMENDOUS amount of organic waste & carbon compounds out of the over taxed system already!

Interested people could go to my website to learn more about this...www.seaplantssolutions.com

But the point I want to make is that there IS a new technology out there that could supply everything for all of our needs.

I don't know how many people know this but; the US imports 190,000 metric tons of dried seaweed every year that supports a thriving $2.5 billion worth of businesses...there are 350 compounds that are found in seaweed and there are 50,000 proprietary products sold in the world today that rely on compounds that are fund nowhere else.

I got into this because I was federal marine biologist specializing in fisheries and during a 11 year period; I saw my share of destructive fishery practices and destruction to habitat & diversity that the federal govt allowed to happen because of the lobbyist....I wanted to help figure out how to do it in a responsible way...I found cultivating seaweed by cleaning "dirty water" before it negatively impacts the environment. everything else just fell into place. This is the future!

I am beginning to build a system for backyard growing...I have had inquires from many people for this from this forum and others and I think is an additional way to allow people to grow seaweed in ways they have never thought of doing. That said; yes it grows in tanks; but definitely not what most people think and I can't get too much into it at this time because of intellectual property and I am in the middle of patenting all of it.

Eventually; I hope to find the right person who could write a grant for me and the project.

Everyone have a GREAT FOURTH of July!

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Ok, I'm a few month late :0

It does not help that the original tank (where this was developed) cracked. Nevertheless, here are some growth videos of the aquarium version; It hopefully will be obvious how to build it using the materials stated above. I'll still be posting plans soon, however.


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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Spirulina is a micro algae that is extremely nutritious and easy to grow indoors.
There are several tutorials on YouTube, and related "how to" books on Amazon.
Can be done in an aquarium (or using bottles) connected to an air pump.

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Yes but this is not seaweed.

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Ok here is a larger version. You can build it with the same materials as the smaller one posted earlier:


[youtudotbe]https://youtu.be/0lcHakmG604[/youtudotbe]

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Wow thanks for coming back and posting this. :D

I only got to see first part of it so far, but it looks very impressive. Amazing how fast and how much grows -- production looks excellent. :cool:
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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Thanks.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is "low" nutrient reef aquarium water. With higher nutrient water in a dedicated cultivator (adding N,P,K, Fe), production should be more. Not too much higher though, because high nutrients will make the growth darken.

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Ok finally a drawing/diagram on building a seaweed cultivator; don't mind the term "algae scrubber" since that what these are called in the aquarium world. Also, you'd probably want a substantially larger version in order to cultivate handfuls of seaweed per week. But you should get the idea.

To run one in your garage, you might make it 12" x 12" x 3" deep, and put a 30 watt "UFO" plant-grow LED over it. It could sit in a 5 or 10 gallon tank or plastic container with saltwater and fertilizer. An air bubbler outlet every 2 or 3" should be good:

Image

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Re: Growing your own seaweed (sea vegetables)

Thanks for posting this!
I wonder if this could be considered saltwater aquaponics? 8)

You grow yours to feed your fish, right? Do you think it's possible to grow them for human consumption? Is yours same species as nori? Have you tried different species of algae?
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