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Well, I have been doing a fishless cycle and I must have gone awry

My ammonia and nitrite levels are 0, but my nitrates are sky high! My ph is
at 7.8.

Some  of the leaves on my zukes and strawberries are brown and drying up and I even
seem to be killing my marigolds.

I purchased my blue tilapia and they are inside in a tank because the tank
outside is hovering around 66 degrees.

Any words of wisdom from the more experienced folk out there??


Bill G

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Those nitrates are a resource to other plants outside your system, but the salt is drying out the plants that have only salt water to drink.  I'm pretty new to this stuff myself, but my inclination would be to take as much of that good nitrate-laden water out -- replacing it with fresh water -- as necessary to get the nitrates down to reasonable levels.  Pour the nitrate-rich water on outdoor plants that get additional water from rain, irrigation, etc.

Partial water exchange would be my first response as well. 

Sounds like the plan, I will give it a go! I also took a picture of my tomatos right after i added the water from the system.maybe they will take off!

Thanks fellas, I'll let you know how it goes.

A little update....

I replaced about half the water in the system and got the nitrate levels down to 5-10ppm. The ph is still high and I don't believe i can do much about it right now.

I did a partial water change that cost me the two fish in the sump as I overflowed the sump and they were washed over the side...

I currently have about 15 of the 25 I have in the sump and will put them in the big tank when they get a little bigger.I just don't want to lose them in all the size of the tank.

The plants in the system still seem to be struggling and I am at a loss as to what II can do, so I will dig a little deeper and see what comes about.

I'm a very new grower myself, but I heard that the plants can't utilize the needed elements in the water when the pH increases.  Things are better absorbed with pH below 7.  The fellow that sells Zipgrow towers has this on his web site.  Take a look at his site.  I may be of help.  Best luck,  len

I dunno, I find my fish won't eat when the pH is below 7.  But I'm using goldfish, so YMMV.

For what it's worth, I have found that dehumidifier water is very good for reducing pH.  It is surprisingly effective and long lasting.  I'm not sure what precisely is reducing the pH of the water -- carbonic acid from CO2? -- but it does the trick, and it's free since I have to use the dehumidifier anyway.

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