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PostPosted: Aug 9th, '18, 20:25 
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I think it deserves a video, lol! That way you can hear the raspy mechanical voice of the nutrient bucket head

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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '18, 09:45 
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Hi ive been following your progress , well done for keeping on trying until you get results with your test system .

As you've found out Tomatoes need lots of nutrient your pond readings havnt been enough fruiting plants need lots of feed.

Couple of thoughts running with what you have if you want to try Aquaponics again

Maybe you could "Fence off" a section of your pond with say a cut off rain water tank giving you a water volume of say 500 to 1000 gallon , catch some of your fish and put into enclosure and feed them to crank up your nitrates , pump to plants and return to "Fish Tank" as water is used replacement would just seep under the walls , would be a very cheap simple system.

Another option construction is similar to what your running but at ground level and the water supply comes from your pond instead of a Tank or Mains water supply . The (Rain gutter grow system) that is now evolved into using large pipe to deal with mosquito and evaporation issues.

Im going to build one of these to grow blueberries (our soil Ph is way tooo high for them)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVnDfV ... EM0BOypsLg

Set up at ground level and build a strong trellis as once you get the problems sorted your tomato plants can get 10ft high , you will also find the local creatures that like to snack on your plants / fruits will turn up with their friends . So a fence may be needed.

Sounds like you need bullet proof wind protection as well

Look forward to watching your progress

Have fun

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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '18, 09:49 
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Terra "Sounds like you need bullet proof wind protection as well"

Well that's to say nothing of the black bears that wander the woods. However they seem to leave my tomatoes alone. Perhaps it's the hum of the motor? :dontknow:

Picked another tomato! Sliced it up for dinner and served it on toasted seed bread with a chicken patty, fresh spinach, and mayo. Yum! Man the fresh grown tomato's add so much flavor! The store ones taste nothing like a real tomato at all.
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As I was driving through town today I stopped by the local farmers market. Tomatoes were running $1 each. As much as I like to eat tomatoes this experimental garden though expensive with learning mistakes will likely still pay for itself or come close.


Speaking of mistakes (being new to this and not planning on emergency hydroponics) I had never tested the nutrient bucket PH. Got a digital water tester and after calibrating it tested the bucket PH. It came in at 6.06 PH which seems to be fine. So using the pond water I may not need to PH up or down.

My tomato plants are growing VERY fast. So much so I can notice it each day. As far as when to add nutrients? That is a bigger question I am not so sure about. After doing a little reading most go by topping off the nutrient bucket with fresh water. When 1/2 the nutrient bucket is replaced with fresh water then flush your system and start over with new nutrients and water. For most that is every two weeks. For me however my system is tight and recovers most of it's evaporation. I made the switch to a nutrient bucket on July 26th just 15 days ago (amazing growth from grey plants). In that time I have replaced 2.5 gallons of water on my 20 gallon bucket nutrient tank. This makes me wonder if I should wait the estimated 2 months to change water or do so earlier? Unless someone here knows this answer, I may have to wait and watch carefully?

Pictures from today my tomato plant babies are growing fast!
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Cherry tomato has outgrown it's garden stake. I plan to make a rope hoop and train the tomato back down the stake next to it like you would a vine rose bush. Never trellised a tomato! But there is a first for everything!
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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '18, 11:07 
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Ive trellised mine horizontal before at my previous place in my little tank stand greenhouse ended up a jungle

In my shadehouse I have a little system at the moment with tomatoes hanging down (No wind to wreck them) these plants are finished no leaves still about 20 tomatoes slowly ripening on the vine they taste terrific 2 each morning with bacon and eggs.

We are in our cold season here so not much happening , starting to get peas , plenty silverbeet , brassicas are in the ground , broccoli is great , cauliflower bit disappointing should have fed them a couple more times (new soil garden )

Fruit trees starting to flower so spring not far away

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PostPosted: Aug 13th, '18, 04:41 
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More mystery saga. The last couple days have been very hot bright and sunny. I noticed some of the leaves started to look slightly darker with a little bit of curl to some of them. I am not sure there is a issue? But if there is I want to jump on it quick. First thing is I inspected the system which looked OK and in working order. But I noticed where I had used two clear plastic pipes I noticed they were greenish. I read last night algae is very bad for plant roots. Looking in the nutrient tank it looked nice and clean. No algae though the water had a slight green tint. However as I recall the Masterblend gives the water a green tint? To try and prevent further algae buildup I took some metal tape I had around the house and covered the hoses to block out light (hoping that would kill the green algae). After more reading I also ordered a EC tester which should be here in a few days.

So what do you think? Do the tomato leaves look ok for the weather or do you think there is a problem? I am of the mind right now to go out tomorrow morning and do a complete system flush and add fresh nutrients to try and reset the system. Ideas/thoughts? Am I over reacting? ;)


Here is the hoses now covered with metal tape.
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Here is a picture of what my leaves on a few of my plants are looking like:
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