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By no means am I an expert. Long story short, I live in NY. 3,000 gal in-ground pond 4.5 feet deep covered with a heated greenhouse. 1st winter with the greenhouse. around 40 channel catfish. Five 4'x8'x12" grow beds in Hydrocorn media (baked clay). thought my 80,000 b.t. u. ceiling furnace would keep my water temp warm enough. No way. water slowly approached 49 degrees F. noticed fish were backing off eating and my plants started slowing in growth. tomatoes were dieting off. 0ppm on everything. I took emergency measures and installed a 50 gal. conventional gas water tank. water heater brought the water temp gradually up. fish are eating like starving sharks and my water is 80 degrees. again, my bio filter is 0 on all readings, plants not growing like they should. I assume I lost my bio-filter when the water got into the 40's so I need to re-cycle with my catfish in the pond. Its probably me and not Mrs. Bernstein's book but to me it seems the book focuses more on fish less cycle. can anyone give me guidance in re-cycling my water (bio-filter) with fish? I hate to lose any. their getting to be a nice size. Thank You! Happy new year!

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Green peppers.
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Tomatoes in back, along the north wall. The biggest plants are to the right (east- most sun)smallest are to the northwest. Swiss chard, Then lettuce (very small, can't see) carrots in middle then radishes front row.
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Next up is strawberries, some Swiss chard and small green peppers.
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3 week old new grow bed. Doing poor. A few beets sprouting, one cabbage and a few lettuce doing poor. All sowed from seed.
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Most recent grow bed added 4 days ago. Loaded it up with carrots and broccoli (seed). So I now have a total of 5 4'x8'x12" deep grow beds. Two of which are new.
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Now I'd like to share with the group how stupid I am. Just for the sake of being sure, I re-read the instructions for my water test kit because of the advice given to closely monitor the water and guess what?! Where it says Very Important regarding the nitrate drops to shake bottle 2 for 30 sec. Before adding....I have never done this!!! I feel like a fool. So, here is my water test this morning: ph- 7.4 (FYI I added 1 gal of liquid seaweed a few days ago because I thought the plants / seeds were not getting any food-3,000 gal fish tank/pond) ammonia-.25, nitrite-0, NITRATE 80-100PPM!!!
I'm throwing myself to the dogs here because I am very greatfull for all the help I get here on this blog and if my errors help someone else it is worth it. Given what I have just said above and the photos of my plants I'd love any advice on how to move forward. I'm hoping the new grow beds will help. I'm gonna hold off on feeding for a bit as I monitor the water. FYI h2o temp. 86 degrees f.

I can testify to that ;) Remember those pics of my tomatoes Rob? Powdery mildew's so much fun...

Rob Nash said:

... any over grown plants will harbor molds, funguses, etc.

Hmm, your tomatoes are lookin' like they've got some powdery mildew. 1 tbsp. of baking soda in a couple quarts of water as a foliar spray works pretty well as a temporary fix. I've been hearing a lot about compost teas as a good preventative, but haven't gotten around to harvesting my worm castings and trying it myself.

Gregory J. Showalter said:

Tomatoes in back, along the north wall. The biggest plants are to the right (east- most sun)smallest are to the northwest. Swiss chard, Then lettuce (very small, can't see) carrots in middle then radishes front row.

Lol, that stuff happens man. I would recommend doing a water change, since catfish are kinda sensitive to water quality (at least, that's what I've read). Some of the plants in the growbed with the strawberries are showing signs of a slight iron defiency. As far as I can tell anyway. Have you kept up with adding iron to your system from time to time? It's possible your pH level could be locking out the iron from your plants....try to bring your pH down closer to the 7.0ish range.

Your nitrate levels are likely from the liquid seaweed. First time I added that stuff it skyrocketed my nitrates off the chart and it took several water changes just to get them readable again.

Gregory J. Showalter said:

Now I'd like to share with the group how stupid I am. Just for the sake of being sure, I re-read the instructions for my water test kit because of the advice given to closely monitor the water and guess what?! Where it says Very Important regarding the nitrate drops to shake bottle 2 for 30 sec. Before adding....I have never done this!!! I feel like a fool. So, here is my water test this morning: ph- 7.4 (FYI I added 1 gal of liquid seaweed a few days ago because I thought the plants / seeds were not getting any food-3,000 gal fish tank/pond) ammonia-.25, nitrite-0, NITRATE 80-100PPM!!!
I'm throwing myself to the dogs here because I am very greatfull for all the help I get here on this blog and if my errors help someone else it is worth it. Given what I have just said above and the photos of my plants I'd love any advice on how to move forward. I'm hoping the new grow beds will help. I'm gonna hold off on feeding for a bit as I monitor the water. FYI h2o temp. 86 degrees f.

Thanks Alex!

Alex Veidel said:

Lol, that stuff happens man. I would recommend doing a water change, since catfish are kinda sensitive to water quality (at least, that's what I've read). Some of the plants in the growbed with the strawberries are showing signs of a slight iron defiency. As far as I can tell anyway. Have you kept up with adding iron to your system from time to time? It's possible your pH level could be locking out the iron from your plants....try to bring your pH down closer to the 7.0ish range.

Your nitrate levels are likely from the liquid seaweed. First time I added that stuff it skyrocketed my nitrates off the chart and it took several water changes just to get them readable again.

Gregory J. Showalter said:

Now I'd like to share with the group how stupid I am. Just for the sake of being sure, I re-read the instructions for my water test kit because of the advice given to closely monitor the water and guess what?! Where it says Very Important regarding the nitrate drops to shake bottle 2 for 30 sec. Before adding....I have never done this!!! I feel like a fool. So, here is my water test this morning: ph- 7.4 (FYI I added 1 gal of liquid seaweed a few days ago because I thought the plants / seeds were not getting any food-3,000 gal fish tank/pond) ammonia-.25, nitrite-0, NITRATE 80-100PPM!!!
I'm throwing myself to the dogs here because I am very greatfull for all the help I get here on this blog and if my errors help someone else it is worth it. Given what I have just said above and the photos of my plants I'd love any advice on how to move forward. I'm hoping the new grow beds will help. I'm gonna hold off on feeding for a bit as I monitor the water. FYI h2o temp. 86 degrees f.

I've never added Iron to my system Alex. Please educate me!



Gregory J. Showalter said:

Thanks Alex!

Alex Veidel said:

Lol, that stuff happens man. I would recommend doing a water change, since catfish are kinda sensitive to water quality (at least, that's what I've read). Some of the plants in the growbed with the strawberries are showing signs of a slight iron defiency. As far as I can tell anyway. Have you kept up with adding iron to your system from time to time? It's possible your pH level could be locking out the iron from your plants....try to bring your pH down closer to the 7.0ish range.

Your nitrate levels are likely from the liquid seaweed. First time I added that stuff it skyrocketed my nitrates off the chart and it took several water changes just to get them readable again.

Gregory J. Showalter said:

Now I'd like to share with the group how stupid I am. Just for the sake of being sure, I re-read the instructions for my water test kit because of the advice given to closely monitor the water and guess what?! Where it says Very Important regarding the nitrate drops to shake bottle 2 for 30 sec. Before adding....I have never done this!!! I feel like a fool. So, here is my water test this morning: ph- 7.4 (FYI I added 1 gal of liquid seaweed a few days ago because I thought the plants / seeds were not getting any food-3,000 gal fish tank/pond) ammonia-.25, nitrite-0, NITRATE 80-100PPM!!!
I'm throwing myself to the dogs here because I am very greatfull for all the help I get here on this blog and if my errors help someone else it is worth it. Given what I have just said above and the photos of my plants I'd love any advice on how to move forward. I'm hoping the new grow beds will help. I'm gonna hold off on feeding for a bit as I monitor the water. FYI h2o temp. 86 degrees f.

Here's a good article on iron deficiency:

http://theaquaponicsource.com/2013/08/15/iron-in-aquaponics/

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