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I have a small system (10 gallon tank).  It suppliies 3 shallow grow beds (3" deep x 14" wide x 30" long) ea.

Originally I had one goldfish about 2" long and when the system cycled I had the following readings:

pH = 7.5

Ammonia = 0

Nitrites = 0

Nitrates = 40

I planted the following in the beds:


a tomato plant








When things first began growing I thought I had things nailed down pretty well, but over time, my nitrate levels fell off to 5 or so.  I read the forum here and decided to add more fish, and now I'm up to 5 goldfish, 1 loach, and 2 snails.  After two weeks, everything has stayed exactly the same.  The nitrates have not increased at all.

My plants are a bit lame looking.  What can I do to increase the nitrates?



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Do you need bacteria?

Thomas, I don't think so. My ammonia and nitrites are very low, so wouldn't that indicate the presence of bacteria?

You can supplement the nutrients in your system. When I started my system originally I used Maxicrop with iron during the cycling. The plants did great. You can purchase the stuff in the Aquaponic Store.

For a system as small as yours a few drops should suffice. It will make the water dark for a few days but the fish will be unaffected and your plants will love you.

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