Aquaponic Gardening

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So I setup the white Aquaponical from the folks here (via amazon) a week ago (Friday the 26th).

Setup was a breeze, which was nice, and I transferred in a beta and some of its existing gravel that had been in a Hydrofloria system (bleh) and then added two ghost catfish and a barbed pleco (along with a plastic plant and plastic castle that the pleco likes to hide in). I broadcast spread some lettuce seeds (black seed, butter and oak leaf), some kale, swiss chard, and spinach.  So far only the spinach seems to be holding back.

The Aquaponical came with a small buffer bag which I have in the media bed at the bottom so it is always wet.  I used the bottle of D-Klor as directed and the full bottle of Zym-Bac as directed.

Today is one week in, plants are growing (mostly the lettuce taking off like mad).  The system gets indirect sunlight from two windows, and overhead LED bulbs (office setting).

Got my API test kit today so tested it (tap water used to fill the system is ph 7.0-7.2)

ph low said 7.6+

ph high said 7.8

0.25 ammonia

2.0-5.0 nitrite

10.0 nitrate

So it seems it is doing ok? Just curious about comments.

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HI Will.  Your numbers look good (that pH level will come down over time), and your setup is great.  My only concern is that your plants might not be getting enough light - they seem to be stretching a bit.  If you aren't getting much south-facing light from the window you may want to put a grow light over the top.

Yeah, they are quite a bit, in fact as the sun goes over the house you can see them lean towards the windows, so am looking into a grow light that might clamp onto the shelves above them.

I ordered this for now, should work well for the Aquaponical.

Will arrive on Monday, but the plants aren't looking at healthy and the lack of light might be it.

Hi Will. Nice looking setup. You definitely need more light. Can you give us some info on how many gallon FT and an idea of cost . There are many people who want to get a start with aquaponics but are not sure of what it may cost.

It is the one sold by Sylvia and company here

Though I bought it off Amazon

I think it is 4gal but it doesn't say on site

Week 2 results

ph low again 7.6

ph High again 7.8

ammonia 0

nitrite 0

nitrate 10-20

I added a 1300 lumen 6500 temp light (see pic) on Monday.

Still the plants do not seem to be doing that well as you can see in the pic, any ideas? Water temperature is cool at 69 but the fish seem ok with that.

Fill takes 4m 40 sec, drain takes 3m 28 sec.


On a side note, I think I found out why my pH was staying up...

I have a plastic watering jug I use for top off, that way I could let the water sit a couple days to off-gas any chlorine.

Out of the tap the water is 7.0, but in the jug after sitting a couple of days it its 7.6-7.8 (same as my Aquaponical is staying at).

Curious the pH goes up as the water sits, might need to get some pH down, could be whats making my plants unhappy staying at the higher 7.8 long term.

So another week down.

ph 7.6+

HpH 7.8

NH3 0

NO2 0

NO3 20

So the system seems to be doing good save for pH staying at 7.8.  I really think the small buffer bag that came with the tank is keeping it up there.  Any suggestions, in all other aspects the tank seems happy,

The seeds seem to put out shoots quickly (both on top and in the tank for seeds that get sucked in) but then they don't seem that happy.  But then again, its my first system, so maybe this is normal for 3 weeks.

In the picture, I replanted the lower left, upper left, and some by the siphon.


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