Aquaponic Gardening

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Assuming your system is cycled, fish are happy, and plants are "growing"...would this balance (at 7 pH) suggest a "perfectly" balanced system? I'm thinking I would want to see at least some excess nitrates...otherwise it appears plants are using all nitrates (and might want more?).

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Blue

I'm new to this community because I love the thought of aqua P. Been toying with it for 2 yrs with 2 different systems

Your readings are like mind except pH is 8.4 and plants need something more, not dead but not flourishing. I'm hoping more folks will jump in this blog. My situation is a little different then most because I using my 800 gal Koi pond as food. Koi and gold fish are crazy. All they want to do is knock over lights, lilies, and eat....:) But they are happy and healthy. Maybe I don't have enough of them.

Good luck will be looking back for more answer

Leonard

Yeah, your system needs more hydrogen ions. As in, your pH is too high. Really high. You've got it at a good level for bacteria and fish, but plants can experience nutrient lockout if your pH levels are past 7.6.

Leonard said:

Blue

I'm new to this community because I love the thought of aqua P. Been toying with it for 2 yrs with 2 different systems

Your readings are like mind except pH is 8.4 and plants need something more, not dead but not flourishing. I'm hoping more folks will jump in this blog. My situation is a little different then most because I using my 800 gal Koi pond as food. Koi and gold fish are crazy. All they want to do is knock over lights, lilies, and eat....:) But they are happy and healthy. Maybe I don't have enough of them.

Good luck will be looking back for more answer

Leonard

Cool...where do I get these??

Blue, it looks like balance to me, or close to it, depending upon how you define it.  Our system is much the same and in my view we need more fish waste to meet our plant production goals.  

If you have plenty of filtering and room for more plants, then you could add more fish - possibly as your fish grow, that will take care of itself.  In the meantime, you have an easy to manage system.

With more fish, you need more O2, more filtering, more PH adjustment.  If you can live with that, you might want to add fish.

Sorry, I meant to reply to this yesterday and the internet got turned off at work so I couldn't post my reply...Here's what I tried to send:

I was replying to Leonard. 7.0 is a great level for system pH.

The term pH stands for "potential hydrogen" (which is why you always capitalize the "H" in pH. Element symbols are capital) and is literally just a measure of a concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. Acids have more hydrogen ions, while things that are more alkaline have less. In order to adjust hydrogen ions simply add any acidic or alkaline material that is safe for your system. You know, raise or lower your pH.



Blue Hiller said:

Cool...where do I get these??
Hi everyone. This seems the discussion to pose my situation. Been very busy remodeling my AP set up. Racing to beat the snow in western NY. I have three 4'x 8'x 12" grow beds working with my 10'Wx17'Lx4.5'deep pond/tank. 15 channel catfish now about 10"-12" in size. Grow beds loaded with tomatoes,onions,lettuce,green/red peppers, broccoli. Whole system is enclosed in a newly constructed untested greenhouse. Grow beds seemed to be happy. Fish happy and growing but my water readings all spring and summer have been : ammonia-0, ph -7 to 7.6, nitrites- 0, nitrates-0. Hydrocorn grow media. My system was right at the cliff of fully cycled in the spring. Because of scheduling I had to add my fish then the temps dropped in our area and I lost my nitrates(was around 5). They never came back. I guess my question is are my grow beds eating up all my nitrates? Do I need to add more fish? Thanks.
I am hoping to hear more about this because I was planing to use cycled water from my goldfish pond to start my AP tank but all is at 0. Can I assume it is has all the proper bacteria? I have about 15 3+ inch goldfish in a 300 gal tank with no filtration. Any thoughts?
How long have they been in the tank w/o filtration?
I have had goldfish in there for years but only 5 small ones until about 2 months ago when I added the others. It is actually my horse water tank so the water gets refilled pretty frequently.
My understanding is that the cycling is to establish the bacteria for nitrification. This is done for several weeks using ammonia (store bought, fish poop, etc) and that ammonia is the fuel/food for the bacteria to cultivate. Once that bacteria is established, the flushing/changing of the water/tank will have far less impact. You now replenish the horse tank because they drink it or it gets dank. Either way, for 4-6 weeks you will want a higher % of ammonia in the water than your horse can use. So it seems you need to decide to dedicate the purpose of the tank: horse or aquaponics.

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