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I added some water to my sump tank in the morning and forgot about it!!  It ran all day.....My ph is high off the charts now.  The fish seem ok (I use a chlorine filter on our tap water) and ate fairly well when I fed them.  And the water was clear, which it hasn't been for months :)  It was exciting to see all the fingerlings in the big tank that I didn't know existed...I'm guessing the effect on the fish may show up later?

Should I add anything to bring the ph down or just let it run?  I would say it was easily a 50%, maybe even 70% water change. 

My system: 275 IBC fish tank, Two 150 gallon IBC grow beds, 75 gallon sump tank, forty 6-8" tilapia, 20+ fingerlings in sump tank, lots of great plants, mostly tomatoes

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Hello Connie. I guess that your system should bring the PH down by itself (if your tap water isn't hard enough). However you can use phosphoric acid or sulfuric acid, but be careful, bring down one point per day.

You should bring your pH down (more for your plants than for your fish. Some important plant nutrients become unavailable to plants at a pH that is too high. Like iron, for instance). Just take it slow. Fish are less picky about their environment when it's stable/constant; rapid changes definitely stress them out however.

Don't lower your pH any more than .2-.4 per day.

Thanks, I am beginning to see the yellow leaves. The pH is coming down slowly, its at 6.8 now.  I have some chelated iron...do you think it would help to add? or they can't absorb it until the pH is lower?

Well, it depends on what form of chelated iron you are using. EDDHA, DTPA, etc. But yes, if you add iron, your plants will probably not be able to absorb it. How high does your test go?
It just goes to 7.8. I have some of Sylvia's AquaIron, which is DTPA. I saw the recommended dose of 1.5 tsp per 100 gallons every 3 weeks. 3 weeks between seems a long time with the leaves already yellow. Do you think since the water change has caused the yellowing...should I dose again sooner? Thanks for your help!!

Yeah, you can add some extra iron, that way when you finish readjusting the pH it will be available for the plants.

Good thing you had a chlorine filter in place. You flushed your system of nutrients that you have been building up until now. I'm pretty sure you will see some plant problems due to the lack of nutrients.Other than that if it were me I would just cuss a little and then let it go and continue on. If the fish are healthy, I would be happy.

With that said you gotta consider where I come from.I have swimming pool so it is difficult to get alot of nutrients for plants built up in the first place. Algae is a major problem that consumes some (or maybe alot) of those nutrients.

I still have plants growing and producing. Alot of leafy stuff, but no fruiting veggies that have produced..although they are there to do whatever they can. I'm happy to get a pretty good amount of fish meat to eat.

Thank you, Alex, I was hoping it was okay to add more iron.

Yes I did growl alot,  after recovering from my initial heart attack when my husband asked if I meant to have the water running, but the fish are okay.  The plants did suffer but the new leaves are green.  Pat, do you leave all your fry and small babies in the pool with the bigger fish?  If not, how do you catch them?  I have tons of babies in the sump tank, which is mostly under my grow bed...makes it hard to get to them out.  I have caught 5 of the probably 50 and started a nursery tank...

I sort of don't mind the babies being in the sump except that I no longer see any of the really tiny fry...the big ones are getting alot of protein meals!  I am not only a newbie (system is 7 months old) but I have found only one other person doing aquaponics in my area (Nashville) so I really have very little idea of what I'm doing, hah!

I have catfish and fathead minnows this year. I saved a few batches of minnow eggs and put them in my DWC beds, but the rest I left alone and I see fish of all sizes.

Last year I let my tilapia do their thing. They prospered. Yeah, if you leave the tiny fry where the slightly bigger ones can get them , you will lose some. But enough will survive.

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