Aquaponic Gardening

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I was wondering if there are any Ideas how to balance my system without any expensive tests. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to afford a test kit. Maybe it's not possible but I thought maybe someone has had success with something that I could glean from. I started my system with goldfish as I have always had success with them living long in just a bowl that we keep clean. Well why would they all die when the plants are helping me? Too many? - I've never had so many (15 or less) but I've also not had a 55 gallon aquarium either. I've had little one to two gallon bowls before. All of my fish died.

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Get one of these Ph Tester and start from scratch using 2-3 fish.

Well is a $25 test kit really that expensive if it takes care of all the different tests that are needed and will likely last you at least a year?  If you were to buy each test separately, you would probably be paying around $7 each or more and you don't get the handy test tube holder.

 

Now I don't know too much about the test Chi linked to.  I had one of the pH tests like that but I don't think it was working properly.  Also the test strip kits tend not to be as accurate as the test tube kits.

 

Why would they all die?  Well even if the plants are helping you, the plants are also dependent on the bio-filter.  The only way for us to really know what the bio-filter is doing is with water tests.

The only way to see what is going on in an AP system is to have a test kit.  You will spend more money replacing dead fish than if  you just got a kit.  This is all you need - http://theaquaponicsource.com/proddetail.php?prod=ATSPW001
I guess the answer is no. as I said I just can't afford a test right now. 20 - 25 dollars does well at the grociery. I'm just trying to find a way to lessen this bill by trying to raise food. It may seem like I'm up with the rest of the world by my involvement, but I have been blessed with a digital camera, have a borrowed computer, and our phone service is cheapest with magic Jack when we afford the internet service. I will just have to wait until our tax check comes. Is there a way to give nutrients to my sprouts in the system until then or do you think my problem is likely too much nutrients?
you probably have enough nutrients.  Seedlings don't need much.  Now if you have no fish left at all, you can still add fish food or even run the system "pee ponically" if that doesn't gross you out, it is a very cheap source of ammonia and if you collect it only from healthy people, simply sealing it up in a bottle for several weeks will kill off the e. coli that comes off everyone's skin.  I ran a barrel ponics system as a pee ponics system for a year only dosing it with about 200 ml of aged urine every few days and that was way way more than enough nutrients.

Adam Shivers said:
I guess the answer is no. as I said I just can't afford a test right now. 20 - 25 dollars does well at the grociery. I'm just trying to find a way to lessen this bill by trying to raise food. It may seem like I'm up with the rest of the world by my involvement, but I have been blessed with a digital camera, have a borrowed computer, and our phone service is cheapest with magic Jack when we afford the internet service. I will just have to wait until our tax check comes. Is there a way to give nutrients to my sprouts in the system until then or do you think my problem is likely too much nutrients?
I don't think it's come to that but this is very interesting and good to know. thanks!

LOL, no one ever gets to tell me that fertilizer is too $$ so they can't grow their own food.  My response is usually something like "well then quit paying to flush it away to pollute our water supplies, if it costs so much!"  By the way, we humanure compost too.

I really hope they never make us hook up to city water/sewer, since we don't use enough water they will probably give us all sorts of problems in the billing.

Adam Shivers said:

I don't think it's come to that but this is very interesting and good to know. thanks!

Hi Adam,

As Sylvia and TC mentioned, the API Freshwater Master Kit is really the way to go for home systems.  It typically runs about $25-30 in most pet stores, but I see Sylvia has it for $21.95, which is one of the best prices I've seen online.  You have said money is extremely tight right now for you, so I can understand even a "small" purchase like this may not fit into the budget at the moment.  Perhaps you have something you no longer use at home that you could sell to fund the purchase of the kit?

At that price... for a test kit that can perform around 800 tests... it's just a lay down messair interms of value for money...

 

And the kit measures everything you need to test for... other than the actual water temperature in your fish tank...

Kellen Weissenbach said:

Hi Adam,

As Sylvia and TC mentioned, the API Freshwater Master Kit is really the way to go for home systems.  It typically runs about $25-30 in most pet stores, but I see Sylvia has it for $21.95, which is one of the best prices I've seen online.  You have said money is extremely tight right now for you, so I can understand even a "small" purchase like this may not fit into the budget at the moment.  Perhaps you have something you no longer use at home that you could sell to fund the purchase of the kit?

good thinking!



RupertofOZ said:

At that price... for a test kit that can perform around 800 tests... it's just a lay down messair interms of value for money...

 

And the kit measures everything you need to test for... other than the actual water temperature in your fish tank...

Kellen Weissenbach said:

Hi Adam,

As Sylvia and TC mentioned, the API Freshwater Master Kit is really the way to go for home systems.  It typically runs about $25-30 in most pet stores, but I see Sylvia has it for $21.95, which is one of the best prices I've seen online.  You have said money is extremely tight right now for you, so I can understand even a "small" purchase like this may not fit into the budget at the moment.  Perhaps you have something you no longer use at home that you could sell to fund the purchase of the kit?

yep, savings are a problem for those no longer getting money!

TCLynx said:

LOL, no one ever gets to tell me that fertilizer is too $$ so they can't grow their own food.  My response is usually something like "well then quit paying to flush it away to pollute our water supplies, if it costs so much!"  By the way, we humanure compost too.

I really hope they never make us hook up to city water/sewer, since we don't use enough water they will probably give us all sorts of problems in the billing.

Adam Shivers said:

I don't think it's come to that but this is very interesting and good to know. thanks!
I'll tell you what, Adam.  Someone made a donation of $25 to this community site yesterday.  I think that was probably to fund a test kit for you!  Please send me your address and we will get it in the mail to you this weekend.

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