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PostPosted: Nov 27th, '16, 09:41 
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Hello! I'm in Vietnam and have a small aquaponic set-up (about 0.5m2) that's been running for about 2 months. I noticed that most of my plants are dying - new leaves shriveling, spots on old leaves, and just about every nutrient deficiency you can spot. I pulled up one plant and noticed that it was covered with root aphids and their eggs.

My AP system is in a patio with a bunch of potted plants. I've noticed that many of the pots also have tons of root aphids - they crawl to the surface or fly away when I water the plant. :cry:

From what I've learned on the internet - it sounds like I have to pretty much nuke my whole patio to get rid of these guys. Which includes getting rid of most of my potted plants. I've already moved the fish to a different tank in another location and have said good bye to my little veggies that are growing. Now I'm not sure what the best method is for actually killing them. I don't want to use any toxic chemicals since I want to be able to use this AP system again - does anyone have any advice?

Also, if anyone knows of a good way to save any plants that are infected - I have a nice avocado tree that has them and it would suck to just throw it away....

One more tricky thing is that I'm living in vietnam where access to good pesticides is very hard to come by - I haven't even been able to find neem seed oil!

Thanks for your help!


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File comment: Deficiencies from root aphids
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PostPosted: Nov 27th, '16, 16:44 
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I haven't had to deal with these so take my answer with a grain of salt. I'd probably pitch all but the plants you want the most but I think it's going to take some drastic measures to get rid of these in the plants you do want to keep. I have dealt with root mealy bugs successfully using horticultural spray oil on phaelanopsis orchids. You have to spray the entire plant, top and roots with the horticultural spray oil mix making sure to spray every portion but especially the areas where you can see the pests. This should work on the aphids because they are also soft bodied insects. Basically the oil coats them and prevents them from breathing. You have to be careful not to inhale the spray as you're doing this because it can coat your lungs and make breathing difficult.

For the concentrate mix
1 cup Vegetable oil (canola oil is often used) or mineral oil
1 Tablespoon liquid dish detergent
(Can be stored as concentrate for a few months)


To use - Shake concentrate well then Mix 1 Tablespoon of concentrate per quart of water in a spray bottle. Apply as mentioned earlier. You may have to repeat this a few times to wipe out the aphids (probably weekly or bi-weekly intervals). You may find that they come back either because you miss some or because there is a reservoir of these pests nearby.

NOTES: some plants are sensitive to this treatment and it could cause them to drop their leaves and/or possibly die. Don't spray if the temp is really cold or really hot. Don't spray if the plants are in direct sunlight and don't leave sprayed plants in direct sunlight. The leaves are coated and will have difficulty cooling off so they burn. I usually spray just before nightfall and try to reduce the chance of them burning for several days. The lighter the oil the better - commercially available horticultural spray oils are highly refined.

Hope this helps.

Before trying this, wait and see if someone has a better alternative :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Nov 28th, '16, 01:09 
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You may need to add some iron as well (based on the picture). If you are suffering from deficiencies, the more bugs will invade your plants...

I think Scotty's idea is best if you don't have access to other pesticides. Safer soap is useful for aphids if you can get your hands on it.

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PostPosted: Nov 28th, '16, 09:54 
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Thanks for the advice Scotty & Eddie!

I'll try to find a cool place but it's in the 90's here everyday. Cheers!


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