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We have tried everything....had the water tested and it came back fine just a little high in sodium....added some salt to the system, cleaned out the tanks....for a short while we thought it was fish bullying so we put a terra cotta pot in the bottom of each tank and created housing out of 3  5 inch wide pvc pipes strapped together and no deaths for a few days and now 4 were dead yesterday and 3 today.....we have had our systmem for about nine months and all was perfect until I forgot I was filling the sump tank and it flooded the greenhouse. Our Ammonia is 0 and we ahave 0 nitrates now, PH is 8 which was 7.4 and Nitrites are 0.....I just took out a huge cherry tomato plant/tree because of our nitrate levels. The roots were huge......could roots be getting in the tanks and the fish eating them? The fish are not eating either....feed the organic pellets from Aquaponics Source....could the food be bad???  Also, the fish tanks are the commercial agricultural black tubs (150 gallons each) from Rubbermaid.....could the tanks be offing a toxic chemical???? Our system is 3 150 gallon tanks and about 600 gallon sump tank that feeds into 4 4x8 media beds......did I mention all was perfect for about 6 months. The over fill happened a couple months ago now....HELP!!!! What could it be/ I cannot stand to see my fish dying. we probably only have about 30 left out of the 50-60 we started with....Anyone have any ideas on what to do??

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What kind of fish do you have?  Is your water temp right for them?

What is your water source? Are you filtering it?

I would try to slowly lower the pH to the low 7's.

My best guess is the addition of water after you flooded the sump messed up your bacterial colonies. 

I have tilapia and our temp is in the low 70's. Water is from our well and we had it tested...they were fine in it before....we naturally have high PH so I add a little muratic acid when I fill. Do you know how to get the bacterial colonies back up? I am at a point where I want to rip out all of the plants and empty the tanks a start over :( ......hope there is another solution. I was lulled into believing this was easy since it went so well at first. Thanks for your feedback

I would try cycling it again. You can leave the plants in, and maybe add some sea kelp or other natural fish-safe nutrient to keep your plants alive.  I would try some AquaCycle, and follow the cycling instructions.

Ditto on the recycling, if thats it you should see improvement in a week or two. Where are you located ? 

We are in Clarkdale AZ



Yaacov Levi said:

Ditto on the recycling, if thats it you should see improvement in a week or two. Where are you located ? 

Have you looked into disease ?

I have the Rubbermaid tubs, big ones also, once rinsed well they are inert.

Your setup sounds great.

Well, it must have been some kind of bacterial infection.......today it was a massive die off ; ( .....very heart breaking!!

Cleaning everything out and starting over .......UGH!!!!

Good luck on the restart.

Christine Carlton said:

Well, it must have been some kind of bacterial infection.......today it was a massive die off ; ( .....very heart breaking!!

Cleaning everything out and starting over .......UGH!!!!

I was told to clean out everything and run pool chlorine through the entire system to kill any bacteria or parasites.....have you ever heard of this?

Yaacov Levi said:

Good luck on the restart.

Christine Carlton said:

Well, it must have been some kind of bacterial infection.......today it was a massive die off ; ( .....very heart breaking!!

Cleaning everything out and starting over .......UGH!!!!

If you do its back to square one for sure, if, the fish are gone you could do it but its literally start over time.  You can do it, but you need to find out what happened, and correct it before restocking, and the restocking  needs to include a new bioloading.  You might also consider adding UV protection.  Is there a vet or college lab that can do a bio check for you ? 

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