Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi Everyone-

I know that ich topic has been covered fairly well here, but can someone speak more directly about salt and strawberries? I have about 15 strawberry plants that are producing nice little berries and don't want to lose them all! My goldfish are displaying telltale signs and slowly dying off. I've had the temp up to around 82 degrees for three days now and vacuumed the gravel.

Do I let the remaining fish die off and use fertilizer to keep my plants alive for awhile while cycling out the ich? If you salt to less than 3ppm, say maybe 1ppm would that get rid of the problem and spare my plants? Since I'm not going to eat the fish, is there any medication that will heal the fish and spare my plants and not make them harmful for consumption?

I have a 55 gallon system with with one 23 gallon media bed and one 23 gallon raft setup. Thanks in advance!

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Yes good point on the temperature ranges Mathew.  I have seen it.

Rebecca, Parasites do generally come in on fish or in the water or in some situations there are other hosts that can visit a system and introduce problems.  Sometimes people bring in water plants or something from a natural water source and bring in undesirables.  Bacteria and fungus can enter from the air or via other things that enter the system as well as possibly coming in with new fish or the water.

I added another pound of salt last night (to get up to 5ppt as suggested) and the fish are looking great this morning. How long should I continue with the salt solution? And secondly, how do I bring the salt level down without shocking the fish by doing a large water change? I"m doing the manual watering, but my plants are starting to show some stress, so I don't know how long they can go without having a fresh supply of nutrient water. Thanks again for all the help. This site is a great resource!

At 80 F or above, Ich should be gone in 3-5 days, give it a week if you can. I recently treated bluegill for a protozoan fuzz of some sort, and fish took a full two weeks to look good, and I gave them three weeks to be safe, but of course that's a different ailment and water was around 70 F. A large water change is ok as long as you water matches temp and pH. Add replacement water to a barrel and doctor it up a day before if you need to. 
I would start with at least a 50% water change, re-connect growbed, and then two more a couple days apart. The first 50% brings it down to 2.5 ppt, the second 1.125 ppt, the third .06125, which is fine to leave it at permanently. Some folks even add salt to otherwise healthy systems at a dose of .5 ppt to improve fish slime coat (disease resistance), and the plants do eventually absorb it. 
When doing water changes, vacuum the floor systematically, to suck up any Ich cysts.
In the meantime, you can always water your plants with a five gallon bucket and pump on continuous flow-through. AP plants are spoiled, used to getting plenty of water, so that would keep them spoiled

Ah, I forgot you have strawberries, maybe wait until you're below 1 ppt to reconnect GB. There a lot of variations and methods to this salting, and others may have better advice, but that's half the fun. The last Friendlies news letter stated quite clearly that adding any salt is stupid and will kill your plants. Well, make your own calls I guess

I know people who salt regularly and others who never do.  To an extent you have to take into account where the recommendation for "don't ever use salt" comes from.  Friendlies is on an Island in the ocean.  If their source water has some initial salt content already, then adding any additional salt to a system would be a really bad idea (especially if their source water already has like 3 ppt of salt or something.)

Understanding your source water is kinda important when figuring out what you should be adding or not adding.  Blanket absolute statements are dangerous things.

You're too kind, TC

john Parr said:    You're too kind, TC

I've said it before... if she had a nickel for every time she hit reply, she could retire.

$20 a month would be an awesome deal for what i've learned from this forum. (thanks Sylvia)

BIG Thanks for all you do Aleece,

as "the heckler" says... We Love You!

Yes, TC.  The time and effort you give to this forum is widely appreciated.  Mahalo.

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