Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello everyone! 

I am about 2 months into aquaponics and I am learning as I go.  I am having a problem with some of my plants.  I am wondering if someone could tell me what is causing that and what I can do to fix it.  I attached some pictures but to describe it, it looks like small little line marks on the leaves.  Then the leaves start to change color, turn brown and then disintegrate.  I now, have two small squash plants that have completely died because of this.  They were even flowering before and are now dead.  I would greatly appreciate any information and advice.  

Thanks a lot!

Erinn

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I think you have leaf miners, salt burn or excess sun exposure. If leaf miners just break off the leaves with the squigly lines in them and thow them away. Excess sun then transplant. Salt burn has two main sources, either something applied or from coastal salt exposure. I hope this helps - let me know.

Leaf miners don't usually kill the plants, just make some of the leaves ugly.  I think you may have more than one issue going on like perhaps some deficiencies along with it being a new system.  Have you used salt for any reason?  How much, some plants don't like it more than others.  Also, I've personally never had much luck with squash or cucumbers in aquaponics so far, they seem to be extra needy for potassium and Iron is about all I can guess for my poor luck with them.

Thanks for the advice you guys.  I went ahead and cut off all the leaves with the markings.  They are on my tomatoes too.  I haven't used salt at all in my system.  It's crazy because the squash plants look great and then all of a sudden their leaves get the marks, turn brown and crumble and the flowers that were once so pretty just fall off.  Is there anything else I should be checking?  I noticed some super small ants around the outside of the bed.  Would this cause any problem?  Thanks again for your help.

What are your temperatures like?

What do your water tests say?

What plants are doing well?

What plants are just dieing?

And have you ever added seaweed extract?

Or Chelated Iron?

What kind of bed? Flood and drain with a bell syphon or a constant flow? I noticed that some plants really need a good amount of water drainage in a bed rather than a constant flow or shallow drain cycle. My cukes responded similar and my friend(tradional grower with soil) said it looks like too much water. Although maybe not the case at least a consideration. I was using the small size concrete mixing tub and the flood and drain cycle was fast.

I had some of what the second and third photo looked like.



Jonathan Farrand said:

What kind of bed? Flood and drain with a bell syphon or a constant flow? I noticed that some plants really need a good amount of water drainage in a bed rather than a constant flow or shallow drain cycle. My cukes responded similar and my friend(tradional grower with soil) said it looks like too much water. Although maybe not the case at least a consideration. I was using the small size concrete mixing tub and the flood and drain cycle was fast.

OK, I will do my best to answer correctly!!!  I haven't done a water check, my friend is going to let me borrow his set so I can post the results later.  My water temperature is about 75F.  Tomatoes, lettuce, radicchio, kale, basil, parsley, cilantro, arugula, broccoli rabe, and cauliflower are all doing well. My butternut squash keeps growing and making new leaves, but the squash family plants are all struggling.  Which is strange because I have two friends with aquaponics systems who live on the same road as me and their squash and cucumbers are doing great.  They have the markings on their leaves too but their plants are growing and producing.  What does seaweed extract do?  And Chelated iron?  

I have 2 small grow beds that total 2x4.  I use the clay balls and my system is one where the water fills up in the grow beds and then drains back into the fish tank, I am not sure what that is called!!!  

Seaweed extract provides potassium and trace elements that are often missing in a new aquaponics system and the Squash family plants seem to need quite a bit of potassium.  And Chelated Iron stays available to the plants better even if the pH is higher and I know that cucumbers are supposed to need a good bit of iron while they are young or they struggle too.

 

I have hard water and so I've had issues with both iron and potassium in my systems which seems to be why my squash family plants haven't done well in aquaponics for me.  The exception seems to be Lufa, the lufa vine did great in my 300 gallon system.

It looks to me like anthracnose fungus.  It's very common.  We had it in our squash and cucumbers this past season. We continued to harvest cucumbers and squash after it started but obviously the growth rate and yield decreased. It's very difficult to correct once it starts. I have discussed this with the farm manager at the CSA where my wife worked. He said it most likely came from the seed. They experience it quite often in commercial growing.

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