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PostPosted: Mar 2nd, '16, 09:21 
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let me know what you think good or bad
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PostPosted: Mar 2nd, '16, 10:47 
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PostPosted: Mar 4th, '16, 09:25 
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good readings


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PostPosted: Mar 5th, '16, 05:46 
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Looks like you've got everything figured out for how you want it. Good work! :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Mar 5th, '16, 06:51 
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not really I am not getting the results I was hoping for. I talked to a guy today and he says I should forget aquaponics and do hydroponics

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '16, 00:36 
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Are you unhappy with growth or numbers or what?

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '16, 10:21 
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growth.

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '16, 10:41 
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so I tried lowering ph using vinegar didn't work so I used muratic acid. and added some maxicrop. I also added more plants(stevia, tomatoes, beans, squash and egg plant) even some vertical towers for the strawberrys.. ph has been holding around 6.4, 6.8 for about two weeks now . nirtites still 0 and nitrate still off the charts, ammonia is high now. prob from vinegar I hope, its hasn't been that high since I started. still no noticeable difference in the growth everything still looks like its lacking something. or maybe I am just to anxious to see results. will try to get some pictures up later on.

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '16, 11:28 
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think you are trying to do too much.
Need to tone it down a bit and relax - sounds a bit like you are going over the top.
...and vinegar would not really have helped.

Nitrates look much too high.
Leafy greens are the main users/likers of nitrates.
Maybe ease back into the more mundane vegetables for a bit and let system settle.

Fruiting veg may have issues until the system is better balanced as they need to access trace elements and potassium. Too many nitrates and they will put effort into growth but not flower/fruit. Too much of one type of element/mineral and you can get nutrient lock-out.

Looks to me like you have strawberries in most of that bed in picture ?
Never really had much success with them in grow beds myself and they don't like much salt/minerals.

There is nothing wrong with a pH of 7.6-8, particularly in a new system.
so leave it alone because you will be increasing salt/mineral load which does not help plants.

Make sure your maxicrop is the low/no Nitrogen variety - else that will be driving your nitrates up as well.
You should only be adding a little bit of seaweed extract to get your trace elements and potassium.
(and not going over board with it - just add a bit to the grow bed with a watering can).

I wonder that you may now have your chemistry and bacteria all out of balance.
And chucking lots of things in without a plan is not particularly fair on your fish.

as per many posts around here pH treatments should be done on the top up water not the FT.

>> I am not getting the results I was hoping for.

maybe your expectations are too high and maybe not realistic for a new system.
many of those woth good production are well balanced mature systems with large grow beds.

how deep are your grow beds and where is the water level below the surface ?

[edit] if nitrates stay high or get higher you may have to look at some water changes to bring them under 100.
as Gunagulla notes in other posts/threads readings like yours are basically off the scale and need to be diluted to get a reliable reading.

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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '16, 01:26 
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a month later with some vertical tower addition. plants still showing some problems

the system is 2 years old and has never been productive. my grow bed is a 4 foot by 8 foot by 16 inches deep. with 2 inches of dry gravel on the top, 14 inches of wet gravel.


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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '16, 14:36 
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if you dig down into the media is there much solids/organic matter (old roots, crud, soil etc) ?

If system has been going for 2 years then sounds like a chemistry issue - though your GB veg in pics looks OK.
IMG_2944.jpg does not seem to have a lot going in it. You might be able to get away with another grow bed.
Alternative maybe try some buckets for your tomatoes (search dutch buckets/bato buckets on forum).

You have heaps of nitrates according to your tests. But then may also have a build up of other things.
Maybe try some duckweed or aquatic veg - they suck up nutrients and may help restore a balance.

with one of my FT's that gets a little high in nitrates I throw in some COS Lettuce as it tends to grow quickly
(other lettuces tend to bolt). Silverbeet is a quick grower. I can also go duckweed or aquatic veg (in pots in FT).
Which has helped in past.


If you think you need to add something maybe try foliar spraying for a while.

Q. how good is your top-up/source water ? May be worth doing a higher volume water change.

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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '16, 23:39 
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Are you sure you are getting enough sunlight? No matter what I do, parts of my dirt garden does not perform well. It only gets morning light, and then dappled light throughout the day due to oak trees at the edge of the property. Especially this time of year, I would replace parts of the greenhouse cover or side with clear plastic to see if that helps.

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PostPosted: Mar 29th, '16, 06:29 
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dlf_perth solids build up in grow bed isn't really bad. there may be some left over roots in there. vegs in gb are this years plantings. strawberries are from last year. every thing on the left has been in there since around feb 5. the ones on the right have been there a couple to three weeks. had duck weed last year and didn't plant that back yet due to redesigning everything. my top up water source is from a neighbors well with a ph of about 7-6. which I have to lower or I use rain water. I have done multiple water changes consisting of about 200 gallons at a time. do you think the water changes are to much and my system has to keep recycling?


garyjr I think I am getting enough. It gets about 9 hours a day. Mainly morning thru early evening . the side you see in the picture is the north west side

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PostPosted: Mar 29th, '16, 11:02 
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think you are trying to do too much.
Need to tone it down a bit and relax - sounds a bit like you are going over the top.
...and vinegar would not really have helped.
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I agree with dlf on this,you need to leave things alone and let it find its own level,dont worry about the PH to much,i run 7.8 with minimal problems,foliar feeding is your best friend here,try to use something with low or no nitrogen as already said but with a good all mix of nutrients in it,you could even make your own,compost teas,sun teas,worm teas to name a few.
I see you have a RFF,what do you do with the solids collected here ? ideally you want an effiecient MT tank to mineralise the goodness out of the collect solids,daily inputs from the RFF,daily decanted nutrient rich water added back into the system.Google vortex brewer for a great MT design.
In my opinion your Nitrate level is way to high try adjusting your daily feed rate to reduce it until such time as your plant growth requires more nitrate then you can increase your feed ratio.

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PostPosted: Mar 30th, '16, 20:37 
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dlf_perth solids build up in grow bed isn't really bad.

thats sounds OK. In some systems water changes for high nitrates can be negated due to buffering by organic matter in the grow bed. Conversely in a new system without much organic matter veg growth can be a bit slow because breaking down organic matter (esp. with worms) provide additional goodness for the plants and in some systems it takes a while to build up. But yours sounds OK.

I think the best bet might be to try doing something on the side for a bit.
I would favour dutch buckets (bato buckets) as they are very simple to add (just need a few 20L buckets or containers) and they would suit your tomatoes and larger plants. You can also foliar feed quite easily.
And they can be as temporary or permanent as you like.

Then keep fast growing stuff that grows well in the grow bed.

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