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Another beginner mistake.

I have been running this system for a month now with 4 goldfish.

Nitrates have fluctuated between 20-80 ppm.

I planted tomatos, lettuce, egg plant, melon, peppers, basil, broccoli.

I just put 25 tilapia fingerlings in the system last friday.

It took them two days to start eating.

I tested the system that friday. Nitrates 40 ppm.

The tomato plants took off and are flowering. 

I tested the water today and Nitrates are zero.

I realize that the problem is over planting. 

Has anyone else made this mistake? How do I remedy it?

Do I supplement ammonia? 

Hello Richard. My english isn´t good enough but I´ll try to explain myself the best I can.

Did you test NO2 and ammonia? Are they also 0?

What´s the ratio: fish food per plantas? you will need 60 - 100 gr of fish food per day / m2.

I guess that if you need to supplement NO3, it would be better calcium nitrate or potassium nitrate, just to reach the 80 ppm.


Thanks for your input.

My Ammonia is .25 PPM My Nitrites 0 PPM. I have a 300 Gallon Fish Tank with 25 Tilapia Fingerlings and 4 Goldfish. They are no more than an inch in size. They are fed 2X a day.

I have a 3Ftx6Ftx1Ft grow bed and a 3Ftx4Ftx1Ft grow bed.

Now that you mention it, I do remember reading about feed ratio. I will look that up again to see how I compare to the recommended feed ratio. 

I dont want to be adding any suppliments if I can help it.


Well adding potassium nitrate, or salt peter (un-refined potassium nitrate...un-refined meaning that there is still about 25% calcium nitrate in salt peter) would be potentially much safer than the supplementing ammonia  that you had mentioned...but...

You could try using a higher protein feed (since the protein content is what ends up as ammonia...and hence nitrate), and/ or over feed on purpose...since that un-eaten food will eventually break down into it's elemental component parts even without being digested by your fish...

Or, remove some of those plants...

Or, (I don't know if within your parameters as an operator this falls into the category of 'supplementing' or not...but) you might brew some worm casting tea and add that to help out...

Thanks for the input Vlad.

I decided to start with adding one more feeding to the fish. instead of 2 X a day, I am feeding 3 X a day.

See if that helps.


I appreciate it.

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