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I have a new IBC system, setup with a bell siphon.

It floods and drains about every 20 minutes. My water pump was large enough that I added on two 8 foot sections of down spout and put pots in them every 8". I have the excess water flow through them constantly.

The system is about 3 months old and currently has clear water and a nice film on the inside of the tank.

About 150 gallons of tank and 4sq ft of media bed.

Currently only 4 small bream. (might be my problem)

Levels:

PH 8.0

KH 180

Chlorine 0

GH 300

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 10

Ammonia 0

The system sits in full sun and the tank is shaded under neath the media bed.

The fish seem happy. The plants are not.

The plants will sprout from seed, get a few leaves and look great, then the leaves will start to die.

I decided to by some Tomato plants already started, They were about 6" tall already looking very healthy. Transplanted them into the bed. With in 6 days they look like the attached pictures.

Do I just need more fish?

Advice appreciated.

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I would focus on lowering your pH. 8.0 is too high and can cause certain nutrients to lockout from your plants.

pH and also maybe some liquid iron. Sounds like lack of nutrients. For a system this new, you won't get any fruit (tomatoes) unless you add some more inputs. Are you getting flowers that fall off, or the plants don't make it that far?

I tried downspouts and had a really hard time with them. I moved the chard I had in downspouts into a conventional flood and drain bed and have had about eight cuttings since. I don't know how to make spouts work optimally

From what did you transplant the tomatoes?

Where do you live? Is it too hot?

Transplanted the tomatoes from soil. The cantaloupe which was the smaller plant was started from seed in the growbed.

Tallahassee, FL. Its been hot. The water temperature has been 85-91F.

I am starting to use some PH down. Adding a Tablespoon of 18% Phosphoric acid each day.

I am also starting to Foliar feed the plants with a 2-3-5 fertilizer in the mornings to see if they will survive.

I think you are right, the system is just too new and I don't have enough fish.

It's hard to transplant, especially in the heat of summer. Consider reading up on seed starters and buying or making your own -- if you do it that way, you drop the whole root base into the GB and it has more of a chance. Young plants are delicate.

I don't know about other people, but I NEVER transplant soil to AP. Too many pathogens, and it's hard to get the roots to take.

Make sure your fertilizer is OK for the system. I use Liquid Iron or the equivalent.

Hello - I am no expert, but I have the same problem. Your PH is too high. Also with a new system I read that you may only be able to grow only lettuce for about 6 months. I took out all my heavy feeders, broccoli, squash, cucumber, tomatoes and kale and now its is only a variety of lettuce and some chard - it is doing much better no yellow dying leaves - things look heathy. I also started adding the maxi grow and iron. Plus you may be fish feeding to much this will also raise the PH - advise from my pet store. Hope this helps

add some Bio Thrive from general organics.. use it at 1/3 strength ,... fish wont mind at all.. and the plants will grow like hydro and it will help your systems biology get off to a great start.

Starting off is tough with high temps and low Nitrates. I noticed that your title was IBC system and you had said 4sf media bed. Was that the other half of the fish tank; in that case it would be closer to 14sf. low fish density, 1lb per150 gals is a huge problem. Especially when you can a have a pound per 10 gals. Ditch the gutters, they may have increased the water temp. A symp in the ground is a good heat sink. Gold fish are cheap, my wife conviced me that the vegies are more important than the fish. Good luck.

Which one Rob? Grow or Bloom?

Rob Nash said:

add some Bio Thrive from general organics.. use it at 1/3 strength ,... fish wont mind at all.. and the plants will grow like hydro and it will help your systems biology get off to a great start.

i would use the grow in a start up scenario , but use the one for the stage and type plants.. its not organic.. ill get back to you when we find a moreganic option.

I guess good ole Maxicrop with iron for now and Sylvia's price on here is as cost effective as any I have seen. Seems to be an all around help in our system but always looking for more

Rob Nash said:

i would use the grow in a start up scenario , but use the one for the stage and type plants.. its not organic.. ill get back to you when we find a moreganic option.

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