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?
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.