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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '21, 11:11 

Joined: Apr 1st, '21, 11:09
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I have started two systems. One with soil in a raised bed and the other a small aquaponics system. I have noticed that the leaves on some of my plants in the aquaponics are discolored. And the growth has slowed. The strawberries had bloomed first in the aquaponics but the soil garden has leaped ahead in the last week or so.
All advice welcome.

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PostPosted: Apr 3rd, '21, 03:39 
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Greetings Kahldrogo and welcome to the forum. Such a simple question with so many possible answers. So, unfortunately you will not get an easy answer, rather many questions for you to answer.

Dirt is generally a balanced ecosystem with required nutrients, and all you need to do is get the sunlight and water right. Aquaponics is an artificial ecosystem that must have many variables correct in order to function properly.

Is your system new?
Is the nitrogen cycle fully established?
What is your water pH? Ammonia? Nitrite? Nitrate?
Do you have an API Pondmaster test kit?
How many gallons in your fish tank?
How many fish and what size?
What are you feeding the fish?
What are you using for growbeds, media, DWC, other?
How much growbed volume do you have?

As an example I have a mature system (5 years old) that has a 900 gallon FT, 900 gallons of media GBs and three 100 gallon DWCs with floating rafts. I have 150 catfish in the system but they are currently very small, only 3-6" long. So they won't eat much until they get bigger. Right now my plants are starving for nutrients because I'm only feeding a small amount of fish food daily. I have many fewer plants than normal, and several are struggling.

My nitrogen cycle is well established with ammonia and Nitrite at 0, but also my nitrate is low.

My other system is 250 gallon FT with 50 tilapia that average 1lb each. That system has 250 gal. of media growbeds, the fish are eating a lot of food and the plants are doing very well.

pH in both my systems is between 6.5 - 7. The pH affect how the plants absorb nutrients. But even within the same system different plants favor different conditions. I have snow peas that I planted all at the same time. Some are in the raft beds, and others in the media beds. The raft bed peas are doing very well and produce a basket full every few days. The media bed peas have struggled to stay alive and I have never picked more than 3 or 4 peas over the last few months.

So, aquaponics is not something that is set up in a day and suddenly grows plants. It takes the correct balance of fish tank, fish, growbeds, quality fish food, and healthy water parameters. It takes many weeks to establish a healthy nitrogen cycle.

In a new system most people start with leafy greens that don't need a lot of nutrients. Then as the fish mature and feed rates go up, they add other plants that need better nutrition to thrive. It is a learning experience and a journey. I hope you stick with it as it can be a rewarding experience. But like anything else, your benefits are directly related to your efforts (time, education, etc.).

800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

" nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.

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PostPosted: Apr 3rd, '21, 07:27 
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Good pictures would probably make this much easier to figure out :headbang:

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