Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello everyone.

I am a soil gardern.  This is my first aquaponics system.  I am so exited.  I put the system together and it is mechanically working.  I used "amonia" solution that I purchased til I ranout before I saw any Nitrite or Nitrate.  Now I am using peetology to supplement.  The five days numbers are as follow:

                                     Amonia          Nitrite         Nitrate       PH

Day 1                             2                     5               160            6.0

Day 2                             2                     5                160           7.2

Day 3                            2                     5                  160          6.8

Day 4                            2                     5                  160          6.4-6.6

Day 5                            2                    5                   160            7.6



everyday I added about 2-4 ozs of very aged stuff.  Can any one tell me what the numbers above indicate and what I should do next?





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I uses humonia,
The numbers now are 2 amonia, zero nitrite, zero nitrate, 7.2 PH
Should i add amonia? Or wait

I'd bring ammonia back up to 4ppm and measure again in 24 hours.  What we're looking for is the system to consume or start consuming the ammonia.  when you're fully cycled it should be able to handle at least 4ppm per day.  We want nitrites to remain at zero and want to see nitrates come up.  There are varying opinions, but my plants do best between 60 and 80 ppm.  I think where you are now, is you have (sorry, I can't speak to the specific names of the bacteria) the first stage bacteria eating about 1 or 2 PPM per day of ammonia.  The second stage is consuming all of that and turning it into nitrates and the plants are eating your nitrates.  I was seeing numbers similar to this with my system after 4 weeks of cycling and adding fish waste as a plant fertilizer.  In terms of Ph, it will be all over the place until your bacteria get comfortable and go to work full time.  Then it should drop to somewhere between 6.2 and 6.8.  6 is fine, but generally indicates there's an issue somewhere in the system.

I used Humonia.

Last night, the amonia was at 1.0 Nitrite and nitrate were both at zero.  I added a little bit of humonia hoping to keep that at 2.0

I will be patient!


Hi Moe,

Can you list the present values of your Temperature, Ph, Ammonia, Nitrite? Also FT/GB volume and the gallons/min flowrate?

Sorry but what is FT/GB?

Hi Moe,

FT= fish tank, GB= growbed

Moe said:

Sorry but what is FT/GB?

Hello everyone,

it is me again.  it has been a while.  I am still struggling with Nitrite =0 and Nitrate =0.

I have dropped some lettuce seeds in and they are growing reasonable fine.  The amonia is 2-4, PH is 6-7.8

I do not know what else to do beside adding amonia and wait for the Nitrite to show up?

Any advice would be really great.

I am using 1/2 55 gallon drum as GB's, I have two of those.  I am using a 55 gallon drum as a sump tank and I am using a 55 gallon drum as a fishless tank.  The fish tank is recycled about 4-5 times every hour.  The syphon for the GB's kick in about 2-3 times an hour.  The water seems to be flowing excellent, no down time.  HELP! :)

Thanks a million.

stop adding stuff to your gb's..(humonia or any fertilizers)

are you testing at the same time every day? ph will vary depending on the time of day, it has a diurnal swing..

if your ph drops below 6 (the api  master test kit only goes down to 6) you can interrupt the cycling process..  the first thing you need to do is stabalize the system, and that means not adding anything for a few days..

the cycling process can take 6 weeks to really get going

Thanks, we are on the same page. I stopped about a week ago to add anything. We will see

Hi Moe,

Can you list the present values of your Temperature, Ph, Ammonia, Nitrite? You omitted the temp reading. And your ph at 6 - 7.8? The reason for Ph reading is that, below 6 the bacteria could die off completely depending on how long it remains there.

Pls read this


I have been doing this for a long time now without seeing any progress.  I am not sure what to do next.

The amonia is between 2-4, I add some everyday to bring it up.  if it reaches 6-8, I do not add till it comes down.

The PH is between 6-7.2 not sure why it flucuates this wide.

The fish tank is recyled 4 times an hour, about 45-50G.

The two grow beds are 20g each and get filled and drained about 5 times an hour.

The temprature is between 60-80 day and night.

I dropped some lettuce seeds in and they grow nicely, I eat the lettuce.  I dropped morce seeds last week and they came out this morning.  Obviously, everything seems to be OK.  However, Nitrite is ZERO and Nitrate is ZERO.

What next?

I really like to go out and buy fish!


1 stop adding ammonia 2 allow the pH to go as high as possible, bacteria want 8+ to thrive3  3 add the fish already 4 stop peeing on your food growing system

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