Aquaponic Gardening

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I had been talking to TC Lynx about my plants still looking pale and growing slowly even after using Maxicrop.  I had ordered some iron chelate but it hadn't arrived yet.  Someone suggested using some Blood meal since it was high in iron and also nitrates. 

Part of my problem was the nitrate levels in my water seemed to be consistently low... like around 10 ppm even with 10 large tilapia helping out.  I started the experiment on Feb 13 adding about a teaspoon of blood meal to each of 5 grow beds.  On the afternoon of the 14th, the nitrate levels had already shot up to about 80 ppm or higher.  It's hard to tell with this test kit.  TC cautioned me to be careful and monitor the Nitrites and ammonia levels so I kept a close watch.  The nitrite level did come up but the ammonia seemed stable around 0 ppm.  After the nitrites came down close to zero again, I added another teaspoon to each grow bed and that has been it for the dosing.  I only used one other dose of Maxicrop during this experiment.

I did receive the iron chelate around the 18th and added a teaspoon of that to each grow bed.

Anyway here is a before and after picture... one from Feb 14 and one from Feb 27 of the same growbed.

Feb 14:

Feb 27:

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I'm having the same issue with my indoor setup.  The lettuce is growing, but its stringy and quite pale.  much paler than yours are

Insufficient light could be the issue there too.

I've got a 55 watt 6500K cfl bulb centered about 2 sqf.  Thats not enough?

Seems like it should be but I don't have a lot of experience with cfl's. I did try to grow romaine seedlings in direct winter sun which grew the same way you describe. Supplementing with a 6500k cfl to extend the light cycle didn't seem to help.

Anyway, trying some bloodmeal couldn't hurt.

I'd have to say that a 55Watt CFL of the "spiral" variety is not going to be enough to grow much of anything. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Tony...It's a bummer, but lighting is usually one of the biggest expenses when growing any kind of food stuffs indoors, weather aquaponically, hydroponically or otherwise.

What are the dimensions of your grow area (length width, not just sq.footage) and what are you trying to grow?

Hi, As blood meal here in Botswana is not on the market and can be only imported from SA after +1000 licences,permits etc.,I dig the net and found that  blood meal is JUST dried blood more sites are giving similar recipes. Is there any difference between using dried(blood)meal and just poring the fresh liquid blood in FD grow bed?    

i am having the same problem with my plants (pale green looking leaves) i will try the blood meal in my system

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