Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

does anyone know if I need to have carnivore type fish in order to grow peppers and tomatoes ? I haven't seen anything mentioned other than a well established system or possibly a densely stocked fish tank no matter the fish type to grow these type veggies ,also the ph level problem as I also intend to keep growing herbs and things at the same time .I will start cycling my system this week ,just got the shale yesterday and just trying to stay ahead of the curve .My desire is herbal fed fish (tilapia) but do want to have veggies down the road .Thank you again . 

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Mid,  If anything Aquaponics is all about balance and comprimise.  In terms of your fish diet, i'll defer to the many posts on that subject and recommend looking to the moderators on sorting out the variables.  I do know your fish need protien, and micronutirents, etc as do your plants.  Since we rely on bacteria in our system, and maybe worms to take the fish waste and produce food for our plants, we have to ensure our fish have the right raw materials to get the job done.  When it comes to tilapia (I don't grow it so can't provide any experience), I see two firmly rooted camps out here.  One pushes hard for a Ph of 7-7.2 while another is hard over 6.0-6.5.  I have no idea who is right...  But maybe if I share my hydroponics info you can find your own happy medium.  One thing I have learned though...  You're fish will let you know when they are happy and when they are not.  In my hydro system, lettuce, herbs and other leafy greens like a Ph of 5.5-6, and about 600PPM of nutrient solution.  Anything more and they tend to bolt.  Fruiting plants, on the other hand (tomatoes, peppers, cukes), like a Ph between 6.0 and 6.5 and a nutrient solution of about 850 PPM.  I'm using game fish in my aquaponics system (catfish, bass, walleye, bluegill) and I feed them a high protien pellet (don't know name brand as I bought it from the hatchery) along with minnows.  I have Hysynths in the tanks that they like to nibble on as well, but staying away from duckweed for fear of pipe clogs.  With that said, my aquaponics system has been running a ph between 6.2 and 6.8.  My herbs and leafy greens are doing fine, and though a bit slower, my tomatoes and peppers are doing fine.  I do have worms in all my growbeds and I do treat my water with phyotosynthesis plus and nourish L. 

Sorry, there's no real answer in here--but maybe some data points that can help you decide your course.  In both my systems, I do like to add some worm tea about once a month, but my aquaponics system is designed so that I can send nutrients into my plant beds first, and then that output of the beds is what feeds my fish tanks.

thanks for your response ,I will stop getting ahead of myself then , healthy fish and plants will be my first goal and I can always experiment down the road as the system gets established .I'm going to start with Tilapia and leafy greens and go from there ,it's a small system ,250 gal ft and 22 cu ft of gb which I'll add to once established .Back to washing rocks ,thanks again .

Mid,  It was not my intent to discourage you.  Just to point out that there are differeing opinions.  And what makes it more challenging is all of those with hard over opinions are successful...  So yes, its hard to choose a course of action. 


It wasn't discouraging at all ,it actually put me back on track .I've been reading way to much material ,what I need to do is get it up and running for a few months with tilapia and greens then I could experiment down the road .I appreciate your response .The shale is in and did some test runs yesterday ,should be able to start cycling today with a couple of more adjustments .Thanks again

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