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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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ammonia is at 0ppm today

nitrite overscale.

nitrates 5pmm

this is my thought

nitrates doesn't go up because the plants use them, so i added seaweed, so the plants can also use it to live.

to easy?



Well, remember last time you took out some plants your nitrates doubled. The seaweed stuff you gaot (if I remember correctly, and we're talking about the same one, is mostly trace elements and auxins/cytokinins (growth regulating hormones extracted from the kelp)...They way that works is (other than delivering important trace elements) the hormones sort of create an imbalance, and the plant starts to gobble up available nutrients a little quicker than normal. For this to work well, the other nutrients need to be present.

If you really want to add some nitrates, get a small handfull of worm castings (try out a garden store) put them in a womens nylon (double nylon) sock next to an air stone.

These were my test results for my reservoir with just the handful of worm castings:

Ammonia 0

Nitrites 0

Nitrates 60-80

Growth was good. You could watch just Ammonia and Nitrites for cycling. 


saturday i put the worm casting in a nylon sock and next to 2 airstone, i put more than one handfull just to be sure( 6 or 7), i don't know if the nitrates should show up right after... but today , so after 24 hours, they are at 5 ppm as usual....

Nitrites dropped  at 2ppm and tomorrow they keep dropping i'll add ammonia.


this morning water test

ammonia 0ppm

nitrites 2ppm

nitrates still 5ppm(or less actually)

then i added ammonia

maybe the wormcasting is not enough?

the zucchini seem to grow, not as fast as i wish, but i'have not idea if it normal or slow.


Just be patient Gabe...remember this is not hydro...Any kind of natrual or organic inputs still need a bit of time to become plant available...your young plants can even use some ammonia or nitrites to grow. If you want take some system water in a spray bottle and spray over the leaves when your MH light is off. 

Out of curiosity...What is your pH these days after the new tank and water volume?

thanks Vlad,

yesterday the ph was 8.

I know I have to wait...

the Force be with you.

today's test

ammonia 0

nitrites overscale

nitrates 5(or less)

ph 8

today's test

ammonia 0

nitrites overscale

nitrates 5

what if i add some of those "beneficial bacteria" bottle you can find at the aquarium store?

Gabe, you already have beneficial bacteria in your system...Besides didn't you already try that at the beginning, proving basically everyone's assertions that most of those products are total crap for us? They just died off on you after a few days helping nothing, didn't they?

Gabe these bacteria N. somonas and N. spira (I know everyone else says N. bacter, but i'm weird that way...) are REALLY slow to reproduce (as far as bacteria go...they're like the well off and intelligent couple in the film "Idiocracy")...

Keep in mind Gabe you recently TRIPLED your water volume (sure to slow things down a bit too)...and it has only been like a month and a half or so...

This can be added to another expense in your "why is AP more expensive than Hydro" list... imagine that you are renting a building and all the other expenses... or leasing land, whatever...Now you "have" to wait a couple of months for the bacteria to come on line...paying for rent and utilities all the while...

Many times trying to be ecologically responsible about something will take longer to get going, or be more "expensive" (in purely immediate financial terms) at patient my friend...

ok my Master...

Ommm ...Ommmm

Very funny Gabe...seriously, Patience...

(oh, that and the death of all desires)...hehe

today's test

nitrites overscale

nitrates 5


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