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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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i have already read  your post about PL-L, but i didn't find it cheaper than t5, i mean here in canada (the store i linked before looks like the cheaper i found here in Canada)

those are the bulb you mean?

no cheaper and the lumens seem to be less or the same as t5

t5 bulbs:

but then i need fixture etc...

to buld and ODNO fixture will cost more than 40$ to have a 6000 lumen output circa

if you can help me out finding the proper/cheaper/safer solution for my application ,i would thank you for ever.


Vlad Jovanovic said:

I think that is a little expensive (relatively speaking, for what you get), but there is certainly nothing bad about that fixture...

I'm having really good results with these...

They might be of some interest to you...

Is there a customs (duty) tax when you purchase mail-order from the U.S to Canada? Because I think you can get a PL-L ballast (for 4 tubes) is about $50, 4- sockets for $10 , and 4-  55w pl-l tubes $40, totaling about $100. This should give you around 19,200 lumens for 100 dollars. (some company's list initial lumens which are always higher, while others list an average lumen output). Unless custom/duty/taxes drive that price up.

I searched you bulbscanada site but could not find much in the way of PL-L equipment just some tubes. I'll look again some more, though there is nothing wrong with those T-5's. And if where you are, they are cheaper, then go for it.

Pricing can be weird according to country, say here a 55Watt PL tube is like $4 USD, while a HO-T5 is around $17 USD.

bulbs canada has the HO-T5 at $6.25, buying in the us can be tricky, if you can skip the duties (if you are lucky) ,for sure you have to pay the shipping cost, and for those kind of items is more expensive.(fragile , long size)

Than i still need to build the reflector.

I can get  t5 bulbs and reflector for 158$ , this is way cheaper than any hydroponics store here, and i will have a factory made setup with all the warranty. The system is in the basement of  my house(that is a B&B).  

thanks for your help and your research Vlad, i really appreciate!


today ammonia dropped to 2PPM Nitrite are still over scale.

Vlad i'll send you a message about lighting, so we can stay on topic in this thread.

tanks again


update day 22

here is the chart updated:

the ammonia is dropping and is ok,

the nitrites are still over scale and could be ok, but why the nitrates are dropping down??!?

they are suppose to go up , right?

thanks Gabriele

How are your 16 plants doing?

they are still 1 or 2 inches long...not the healthiest i've ever seen.

tomorrow i'll add the 400W metal halide



They should certainly start using up more of those nitrates once the light is on them. 

Gabe, since you have just that one DWC bin, it wouldn't hurt to place a small onion bag full of rocks or hydroton (whatever it is that you are using in your net pots) in your bin, to give your bacteria more places to colonize. You don't have to go crazy or anything, just a couple of handfuls even might help. 

day 23

ammonia: 0.25 ppm

nitrite: over scale

nitrate: between 0 and 5ppm

looks like the nitrite are not going down so sharply... 

should i add ammonia, water or???

thanks again


Someone correct me if I'm wrong...but I think that your ammonia would need to hit zero first, in order for your nitrites to go down to near or at zero. Personally at this point I don't think I'd add anything. Once both ammonia nitrites go down to zero I'd add 1ppm ammonia, let the ammonia and nitrites drop back down to zero, add ammonia again, let nitrites and ammonia get down to zero...repeat as necessary. When they can get down to zero within 24 hours your done.

Wouldn't worry about nitrates so much yet. Besides your plants are probably using some up already, and they're detectable. I guess this is part of that whole "patience" thing :)

thanks Vlad, i have patience...i'm testing the water every other hour....(kidding)

thank Gab

p.s. i installed the grow light today (400W metal halide dimmed at 50%), now is at 18" from the raft, lots of light!!

day 24

ammonia: 0 ppm

nitrite: over scale

nitrate: between 0 and 5ppm

Ph 7.6

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