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PostPosted: Apr 21st, '17, 10:36 
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First off i want to say thank you to all that responds with the intent to assist. I just recently signed up on the forum but have been a long lime lurker going through various threads on the forum and want to say that the group here are very knowledgeable bunch and there is a vast array of information here. However I cant seem to pin point what my problem is, so that i may be able to find the answer in the the archives of the site. Here's the breakdown of my system and everything i have done to it from day one:

I built the system in begining of Febuary, filled up the system with tap water. Let it fully run for a week and then added 2 dozen feeder goldfish in the FT. I let it go for 2 weeks with regular feedings of flakes and then added lava rocks to the GB let it go 2 weeks, added 2 dozen more feeder gold fish into the FT since i had lost about 1 dozen in the cycling process. I added my set of plants into the system on March 5th I added Zucchini, Cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, strawberry in my GB and in my sump i created a float bed and added 6 pots(4 with romaine lettuce and 2 with kale). Everything seemed to be going good but everything was growing slow with the exception of the lettuce... FAST FORWARD a month, now begining of April I harvested the romaine and started to notice the new growth on most of plants was turning yellow and the tips of all the leafs were also turning yellow. During the first full month with plants in the system i lost maybe 6 fish so I still have about 30 feeder goldfish. I added epsom salt to the system and was using it as a foliar spray and they seemed to be reviving for the first couple days then the leafs turned brown and died back. I added iron to the system last week and i haven't noticed any improvements so as of right now my system has 30 fish in it, 1 almost dead cucumber, 1 almost dead zucchini, 1 almost dead tomato, bell pepper pant seems to be doing OK but not growing, rosemary hasn't grown any, orangino and thyme look burnt, most of the garlic died, 2 out of the 4 cups of romaine died after I did a harvest, the other 2 and now struggling, and the 2 cups of kale are struggling.

I got a test kit last week and it reads

PH 7.4
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 5.0
Nitrite 0.1


So now you know the history of my system here is my questions, why are my plants dying? and how to stop it. and if i add worms to my GB would they help the system and be able to survive in the lava rocks? Sorry I don't have current pic of system but can upload some if it helps.


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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '17, 01:37 
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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '17, 03:54 
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Foliar feed weekly or twice weekly with a complete , soluble fertiliser maybe ? How's the ph ?

I'm new to aquaponics , but have been growing plants since the old days . I see almost every aquaponic system has plants that are hungry .

Here's pics of my cucumbers at planting ( March 5 ) and at April 14 . These are getting foliar fed as above , twice weekly , complete fertiliser .

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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '17, 15:50 
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PH is currently at 7.4. Does the foliar fertilizer not effect the fish? I was concerned the over spray would get into the water and cause deaths


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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '17, 18:39 
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It sounds like at the very least you have an iron deficiency based on the yellow new growth description. Post up some pictures if you can.

Iron can be unavailable to plants at certain pH values - it depends on the form you supply it. At your pH of 7.4 you'll need to either spray apply the iron or provide an iron chelate, either DTPA or EDDHA. Any of these (regular ferrous iron (usually available as ferrous sulfate), DTPA or EDDHA) can be spray applied because this avoids the pH lockout but only the DTPA or EDDHA will work in your system water.

It's important to note that many of these ions compete for uptake by the plants so if you add too much of one to your system water it can affect the uptake of another.

If the tips of the older leaves are turning yellow this would be a sign of potassium deficiency. Seaweed extract like maxicrop (in the US) or Seasol (in Australia) contains about 2% potassium and could help. It's usually applied as a foliar spray on a regular basis (it also contains growth promoters). Other soluble fertilizers probably contain higher amounts of potassium if the deficiency is really bad.

Most fertilizers give instructions for foliar application on the bottle and that's what I would follow. I wouldn't rely on them as a regular source of food for the plants most of your nutrients should come from the fish but when enough nutrients aren't present something like this or adding Blood and Bone to the media in the beds is OK. The main thing with the fertilizers is that you don't want to spike the ammonia in your system so check the ingredients to see what form the nitrogen in the fertilizer takes.

Iron and Potassium are common nutrient deficiencies in AP and you'll probably need to supplement for these even with a good supply of fish nutrients coming through but every system is a bit different. I rarely have to supplement magnesium.

You mentioned lettuce in cups is this a raft system? Pic would really help :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '17, 11:36 
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Float bed in the sump tank

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Growbed w/ lava rocks


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Overall system before it was planted


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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '17, 15:57 
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Take a look at how the lettuce roots are doing. Might be getting some root rot.

The lettuce has fallen over and looks a bit leggy to me that suggests either that there is not enough light in that location OR that it's getting too much sun and warmth which seems more likely since it's against a house wall in a container with black sides.

You're system is showing enough nitrates but I really think some of this is nutrient related. It's a new system and you've put a lot of plants that are heavy feeders in. The plants doing the worst are the ones furthest from the inflow into the grow beds and these get second crack at the food. Flake food is usually not formulated for good growth and it's better to go with a commercial pellet type chow with a decent protein content so that you can get good plant growth. You can go with the foliar feeding as suggested earlier as a way to temporarily deal with this until the fish pick up the slack.

I would start over on most of the plants on the left side of the media bed - just pull them and get some others they'll take too long to recover. Depending on how sunny and warm it's getting in that location it may be too hot for another crop of lettuce in the sump. Watch the temp and see what's going on and also if the surface of the black totes is getting really hot when it's in the sun. Using black pots works well early in the season for starting things like tomatoes but later the roots or other plant parts can bake against the sides if there isn't some protection.

This will get easier but there's a little bit of a learning curve.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '17, 20:32 
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You are correct the roots on the lettuce and kale are almost nonexistent. The system gets about 6 hours of direct sunlight and 3 to 4 hours of indirect. But I don't notice it being too hot, I will monitor that more closely. As far as a commercial pellet feed what do you recommend?


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PostPosted: Apr 25th, '17, 12:27 
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Hi MTank411,

From your picture i am assuming you are plumbed with a SLO from your FT to SUMP/DWC and pump back up into your GB and flood and drain back into your FT?

You would need to add a filter after your FT to capture all/most of the solids before the water enters your SUMP/DWC so they won't cling to the roots.

Do a search on suspended solids or radial flow filter, you will get more information on the roots rotting away in your DWC.

I would suggest if possible you plumb FT>SLO>RFF>GB>SUMP/DWC>Pump>FT.

Take a look at this thread, Scotty did provide alot of information on root rot.

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=28429


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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '17, 20:52 
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MTank411, what is the temperature of your water ?
Also what is the size of the 30 fishes you have in your FT ?
And how much food are you providing every day ?

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '17, 07:35 
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Water temp ranges throughout the day but averages 65. The fish are just feeder gold fish and are about 1in and I feed them a large pinch in the morning and a small pinch at night of flake food


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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '17, 14:27 
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MTank411 wrote:
As far as a commercial pellet feed what do you recommend?


Purina AquaMax is probably the standard feed in the USA. You can get it at any feed store or at least be able to order it through them if they don't have it in stock.

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PostPosted: May 26th, '17, 05:49 
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I think your DWC may be oxygen deficient. This will only get worse as the weather heats up. You may need air stones?


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