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Hello all,

I've recently built a new media bed/DWC system. It's supplied by an approx. 900 gal. pond system. I had great success with my initial set up which was just a 4' X 4' media bed with pea gravel and two zip grow towers. We had tons of Kale, Chards and Collards.

The new system is a 4' X 10' media bed with Viastone expanded clay for media, and the DWC is 4'X 8' with 4 air stones. As of tonight my pH was approx. 6.6, zero Nitrite and Ammonia, and my Nitrates were about 30. The temp is upper 60s and my fish are Koi/Goldfish.

My problem...essentially zero growth, I've had 75% die off and what has survived has barely grown over the course of a month. I added two decent sized Basil starts at about 2" high on Saturday and they are showing some yellowing on the leaves and not looking so hot already. I supplemented with Iron in Jan.

I would greatly appreciate any input as I really don't know what else to look at! Thank you in advance to anyone willing to try and help me out!

Don

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You might need to post some pictures.

Thanks Alex...good idea. Here's the Basil I just put in on Saturday...

Alex Veidel said:

You might need to post some pictures.

This is a sad Rainbow Chard thats been in a month...note the thinning stem...that's a recurrent theme this time around

Bok Choi...

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a Collard...but could be Lacinato Kale...

Have you gotten in there with a magnifying glass to look for mites?

No I sure haven't...never thought of mites. I'll check it out.

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

Have you gotten in there with a magnifying glass to look for mites?

They look like they're getting eaten by something. Could be mites as well (especially on that basil), but there looks as if there are a few sizeable bites on the chard and the kale. Have you noticed any other bugs running around your system? Caterpillars, earwigs, even those harmless roly-poly bugs can sometimes cause problems. Also, make sure your leaves aren't getting wet all of the time. Consistent exposure to water can cause the leaves to rot, which can sometimes look like bites.

Also, all of your plants are surrounded by quite a bit of algae. Is that rockwool or something?

Thanks Alex,

I haven't noticed any bugs at all and there is nowhere to hide at this point, unless of course they're tiny mites. Definitely no issues with the leaves getting wet other than from rain. Yeah that's rock wool cubes that have a little algae on the surface because they are not buried.

I appreciate your help!



Alex Veidel said:

They look like they're getting eaten by something. Could be mites as well (especially on that basil), but there looks as if there are a few sizeable bites on the chard and the kale. Have you noticed any other bugs running around your system? Caterpillars, earwigs, even those harmless roly-poly bugs can sometimes cause problems. Also, make sure your leaves aren't getting wet all of the time. Consistent exposure to water can cause the leaves to rot, which can sometimes look like bites.

Also, all of your plants are surrounded by quite a bit of algae. Is that rockwool or something?

You could try placing a white or yellow plastic object with some olive oil on the surface to see what small bugs are around. This will let you see the mobile critters that aren't there when you are.

Great. Thanks Jonathan!

Jonathan Kadish NYC AA Chair said:

You could try placing a white or yellow plastic object with some olive oil on the surface to see what small bugs are around. This will let you see the mobile critters that aren't there when you are.

Also, I've found that cutworms (along with a host of other critters) like to hide themselves in the media during the day. You might want to try checking everything over once the sun goes down.

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