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Hello guys,

first off all i don't have any practical experience in Aquaponics:

Before starting testing the water i run the system for tree days.

No fish in the tank (18G)

day 1 after the test i added some liquid ammonia 

day 2 after the test i added "Cycle" to start the cycle (added for three days)

what do you think?

thanks fo your help


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4X4 is a square, so i was wondering about the water flowing right in a square...

with a 10" inches high, how deep is the water, 9 or 8?

i didn't receive my electric bill yet , so is fine....!

18 is always better? i read somewhere that for flowering stage (the one i need now...i guess) ,12 hours cycle is better.

I read your thread about flexible pipe, and how the one made in north America can leak some toxic stuff.

i though i can ask my father to send me some of the good ones!

what does he have to look for?

I'm pretty familiar with the black one you can use for automatic watering of terrace plants (micro irrigation system)

i think they are easy to use and cheap, but i don't now if they are food safe!

May the Force be with you


Ah yes, a square...I see. I think in practical terms as long as you have some good air stones in there churning things up a bit, you should get decent water flowing around through there.

That DWC is for sprouts that come out of the seedling table so it doesn't need to be so deep 8". The grow out troughs I am building are 12" height with about 10" of water. (Higher might be better in some situations, but I am limited by my materials and geometry).

It has been my experience that for many day neutral plants, the more light the better...Even for flowering. Which makes sense too, since day neutral plants don't rely on photoperiodism, but rather will flower when the reach a certain stage in there development. And most plants can only grow during periods of light (I don't count the little bit of "pre-dawn" stem stretch as significant growth) so they seem to grow and flower better, the more light you give them. But, I would encourage anyone or everyone to do what I did...Try out different things in the same or at least similar settings, observe and take notes.

The whole slowly decreasing the light periods...12/12 stuff is really only valid for short-day plants.

This is a hot pepper seedling I put in on the 6 of January that has been on mostly 18 or more hours of light. I don't think it has had any problems flowering 

  And it just keeps on flowering/ setting fruit, so I've had to prune it back because of space...producing or not ti was just getting too unruly...Yes this is just one single plant pictured.

As far as I know only the flexible PVC contains the phthalates that are problematic. Check to see what the tubing is made from. Maybe it's PE (polyethylene) which is also a pretty common material. If not we can see to try to help your Father choose something appropriate.

nice peppers!!

i learned a new thing, thank you... Vlad!

the flexible pipe should be PE, so no problem with toxicity?

Thanks Gabe.

Yeah, the lighting thing can be confusing at first. But just keep in your mind... "is it short-day plant, or long day plant, or day neutral" to give you an idea of what to do.

No toxicity/leaching problem with (PE) that I'm aware of.

ok, now... the questions:

how can i recognize if the plant is short-day, long-day or day-neutral? 

is there a list somewhere?

thanks my


yesterday i add the bigger fish tank at the system,now the Total water is around 60gallon(previous was 20G circa)

fish tank > bio filter ebb and flow (8 liters of hydroton, drain every 1,30 minute),sump,and old DWC troughs

i tested the water this morning:

ammonia 0

nitrite 2ppm 

nitrate 5ppm


1 should i wait until tomorrow and see if the nitrites grow( the shoudn't becouse ammonia is 0), it this case i known ihave a problem?

2 i add ammonia today and keep testing the water

thanks Gab

Wait, did you say 8 litres of hydroton? Sheesh... you didn't exactly break the bank on that one Gabe  Those are some weird component ratios (to me)...

I would think that since you just now added your Diet-LiteTM bio-filter, and tripled the system water volume you might as well spike the ammonia again since there are a bunch more new surfaces to colonize (new fish tank and bio-filter, and those microbes have to eat something. 

Your right, your nitrites definitely shouldn't grow without a food source.

I'd go with option 2 because of all the new surface area and tripling the water volume. I would look at it like 'Cycling Part II - The Sequel...Return of the Living Nitrites 


what is the best ratio in this case?

ok.. i added ammonia,i'll test it in tre hours

be the force with you...

hoping there will be no 6 parts....


It seems like a real good idea to have your bio-filter volume be 25% or so (assuming 12" as a standard) of your DWC. In a very small system you would probably want to start with a dedicated bio-filter and design everything else from there (much more stable). With just a small DWC (like you had at first) your plant roots themselves, the net pots, the hydroton in the net pots (all of which you remove when harvesting) are a BIG part of your bio-filtration surface area. I'm sure you can see the benefits of 'dedicated' bio-filter. Not to mention the solids filtration...If your roots get too gunked up with solids it's not good (I think we mentioned this stuff before...) You'll be fine though. Just keep your fish stocking low...and stagger your harvesting/planting if you can...I wouldn't worry too much at all.

Hehe...complete with prequels eh?

ok , i understand this is not enough for the trough  i want to build 4x4 DWC 10" deep, specially if i want to add another 4x4 in the future....

i'll put as much as i can hydro-ton in the sump,but this will be constant flood, do i need to put airstone in it?


p.s. which liner did you use for your trough?

No, no  it can be fine Gabe, just a little finicky. Very good aeration in the trough (to help with mineralization and the roots) and a low density of fish will be good. Then observe. If your nitrates are high you can take out some fish, or add plants. Watch the color of the roots, tan/light brown clean is good. Dark or gunky is not so good, too many solids. If too many solids, you need to either take out some fish, or add a bigger bio-filter to help. Things like a sock filter could help a bit too. Be efficient with nitrates, it is a good way to keep the solids down (since your bio-filter is not so big). Less fish, less fish food, less solids, less hassle.

If you can put in an air stone, (and take it out for cleaning easily) sure.

Just worry about cycling for now, after that you will find your balance.

update day 54

day 52 added new fish tank (so the water increased 3 times)

day 53 added ammonia (.50 ppm after 10 hours)

day54 ammonia is 0.25

so the bacteria ate it and now nitrites are over-scale again,

nitrates are still at 5 ppm ofcourse.

feeding my zucchini flower plant by "foliage feeding"

today i'll add another 10 liters of hydro-ton in the sump (i don't want seem finicky :))

i know that i have to be worry only about cycling right now, but the dark side of the Force is powerful...

thank you for keeping me on the right track

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