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"Help!  We placed goldfish and sucker fish in our system and they are dying from high acidity.  Veggies are dying, too.  I read some where that some lava rocks could contain minerals that can cause problems with the water quaility. Is there any truth to this PLEASE HELP

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Yes that is true, as is the fact that most lava rock in the continental US is used first in water and chemical treatment facilities before being sold to Home Depot, Lowes or lanscaping suppliers...

That being said though, lets not jump to conclusions. How is it that you think your fish and veggies are dying "from high acidity"? Which can easily be remedied by adding a buffer...most everyone has too after a while since nitrification is an 'acid producing' process... 

And what would lead you to believe it's your lava?

Listing things like...oh say, your water quality parameters:

pH

Ammonia

Nitrites

Nitrates

Water Temperature

Cycling status or how long your systems been running...

Type of system (I'm gonna take a wild guess and say media based).

would sure go quite a long ways in allowing anyone to help you out

pH is 6.2 or lower (do  not have digital ph tester yet using color strips)

Ammonia -> not sure will have to get a better testing kit

Nitrites -> not sure will have to get a better testing kit

Nitrates -> not sure will have to get a better testing kit

Water Temperature is any where between 65 F and 74 F

Cycling status -> drains in 12 min. fills in 20 min.. how long your systems been running ->Has been running for about 60 days. I have youtube video showing them look up rayesrelic516 "aquaponic beginning part 3"

Type of system is a media base (I have one grow bed with lava and one with river rock I am trying different types to see which is a best match for us. Was gonna try a deep water next.)

Thank You as you can tell I am very new to this putting what I've learned online to practical use.
Vlad Jovanovic said:

Yes that is true, as is the fact that most lava rock in the continental US is used first in water and chemical treatment facilities before being sold to Home Depot, Lowes or lanscaping suppliers...

That being said though, lets not jump to conclusions. How is it that you think your fish and veggies are dying "from high acidity"? Which can easily be remedied by adding a buffer...most everyone has too after a while since nitrification is an 'acid producing' process... 

And what would lead you to believe it's your lava?

Listing things like...oh say, your water quality parameters:

pH

Ammonia

Nitrites

Nitrates

Water Temperature

Cycling status or how long your systems been running...

Type of system (I'm gonna take a wild guess and say media based).

would sure go quite a long ways in allowing anyone to help you out

You will probably add a bit of some buffer to keep the pH from dropping too far.  However, I expect the fish could be dieing from ammonia or nitrite just as well as pH.  Time to get the freshwater master test kit.

A bit of calcium carbonate (lime) or potassium bicarbonate or even sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) could be used to buffer pH.  However, don't add too much at any one time as you don't want to change your pH by more than about .2 in any one day.  Baking soda should not be used regularly as a buffer, only rarely in a pinch since the plants don't use much sodium so it would build up if you used much of it.

I'm kinda having the same problem but my water is fine and my Chanel catfish are doing great !! But now after 4 months of running my plants are dying and I'm not sure why I have in my 2 grow beds cilantro parsley rosemary white sage red sage basil and mint

i use red lava rock and have no problems with the acid levels . 

soak some in vinegar

   Acetic acid reacts with lime (a base, which will raise your pH) in the rocks, which you see as fizzing, or bubbling. please be sure to wash your rocks (no soap!) quite thoroughly so as to be sure they do not absorb and retain your vinegar.

I am thinking of trying one bed with Lava Rock.  I have tested it with the vinegar test and it comes back clean.  Just a bit of sharp edges to work with.

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