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Looking for a little help. I have been experiencing some issues with my system. Some are bone-headed mistakes and others remain a mystery.

I definitely have a nutrient deficiency...calcium I am almost positive. I have started feeding the fish more often.

I am wondering if I don't have enough fish. I have probably 20 goldfish (that are quite large) and 3 smallish butterfly Koi (who are just visiting for the winter.) The tank is 110 gallons.

My nitrate reading is at the top of the chart. Would adding more fish increase the availability of nutrients for the plants?

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How large is your growing area? Media DWC Vertical? Do you have nitrates?  Young systems will show deficiencies, foliar sprays are a better way to deal with many of them. Are you buffering with calcium?

My growing area is two 55 gallon barrels cut in half so my grow beds and tank are 1:1.

Media is a mix of gravel, lava rock and hydroton.

The system is three years old. I rebuilt it in Sept. I was able to quickly change over the system so that I didn't lose any bacteria. The previous system grew just about anything that I put in it. This one grows kale and that's it. Frustrating to say the least.

Nitrates are at the top of the shortage there.

Not entirely sure what you mean by buffering with calcium.

Many of us alternate between Calcium Hydroxide and Potassium Bicarbonate to both raise the PH which will and supply calcium and potassium. If your nitrates are high then you have plenty of fish. What makes you so sure of a deficiency? Do you have pictures of the leaves you could post?

This pepper plant has been like this forever! It flowers and then nothing. I've never experienced this problem before. I used to grow an abundance of peppers.


It could be calcium but it could also be pests like mites, try some calcium hydroxide.

where can I get that? And is it topical or does it get mixed into the water.

I really appreciate your help!

ebay is great for raw materials and yes in the water

You don't need to add much to raise the PH so add with caution. You don't want to raise the PH more than .5 in a day

I don't believe calcium does well as a foliar spray, so definitely in the water. I usually use calcium carbonate from kelp4less. It's a little bit gentler than hydroxide. Kelp4less also has a Cal Mag Organic that contains no nitrogen (which is usually the case with cal-mag products)

The levels of fish food you would need to supplement enough calcium for your plants would cause your nitrates to go through the roof (which is unhealthy for your fish). I would say it's better to cut back on feeding your fish and supplement with calcium instead.

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