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My plants are doing very poorly.  I have had my system for 3 months and fish for about 2 months and now cycling for over a month.  The fish are doing well.  My plants leaves were all falling off.  I added chelated iron that seemed to stop the leaves falling off.  I have tomatoes, lettuce, green pepper, beans, basil.  My PH is 6.8 at the moment but I have to keep watching since it drops all the time.  My lettuce is the worst.  The plants have grown but don’t look healthy.

How much chelated iron should you be adding?  frequency?  Do you have keep adding it on a regular basis?

I also added aquarium salt to help the fish through the cycling process.  Could this be the cause of the plants doing poorly?

I have 2 grow beds but they are not full with plants.  Is it possible not enough nitrates are being produced since the fish are small? 

How long before the plants turn around and start producing with a new system?

Thanks for any help,

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Hi Art,

How much fish, gallons of water, size of GB, size of FT, do you have. GPM of your pump and what are your readings for Nitrites and Nitrates if any? Any pics would help as well.

I can post some info now. Fish tank size is 180 gallons. There is 23 tilpia in the tank. The grow beds drain every 10 mins. Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates are all low numbers. Iwill get the exact numbers and rest of info in a few hours. Thanks.



Art said:

I can post some info now. Fish tank size is 180 gallons. There is 23 tilipia in the tank. The grow beds drain every 10 mins. Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates are all low numbers. Iwill get the exact numbers and rest of info in a few hours. Thanks.
Ammonia:  0.25
PH:   6.6
Nitrates:  0.1
Nitrates: 1 ppm
I have the easy reach grow bed system with 2 grow beds 40x40, 180 gallon tank, and 180 gallon sump tank (has about 1/3 full), sump pump with 550 gph.
first picture shows roman lettuce (what is left of it) to the right a better one.  Behind that basil plant, now growing better.
second picture: green beans that are so so.  (I see 1 little bean)
third picture:  green beans to the right, green peppers to the left.  Tomatoes in the back (need standing up)
How long before the plants turn around and start producing with a new system?
See other questions above.
Thanks for all your help,
Art
 
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Hi Art,

I can see your system ratios and water chemistry are good but your plants are not growing well. The iron for a system like this? I would go for 1 teaspoon per month but that depends on the percentage of iron of that brand you're using. The fish feed should be of good quality and the fish waste should be allowed to go into the media. Also to ensure you have adequate micro-nutrients you can add some seaweed extract. What are your water temps?

Ok I will add alittle seaweed and iron. I have been afraid to add much of anything since I had alot of trouble getting the system to cycle. I have a smaller tank of 48 gallons that is always dirty. I will add that directly to the growbeds for a bit. I like to keep the water temp to 77 in the tank and I do heat the sump pump tank. Currently the temp is 78.5 I will lower it a little this weekend. The fish feed is from your store. I supplement with freezed dried worms & chilid pellets. Thanks for all your help!!

Hi Art,

" I have a smaller tank of 48 gallons that is always dirty."

Can you explain exactly what is the purpose of this tank. Its not a good idea to have fish waste collecting in your system it should all go straight to the GB's. The level of the rising water in the GB's should be within an inch or two below the surface of the media. Your temps and quality of fish feed are good. Your system seems to be suffering from a case of "youngness", it should start to pick up in a short while from now.

The smaller tank of 48 gallons is serving or was serving several purposes.

1) when I first started, I started the cycling in the tank a few weeks before the aquaponics tank (4 guppies).  I moved 10 gallons (not alot) into the sump tank every 2-3 days.  I was hoping that the small amount of bacteria would help jump start the cycling process in the aquaponics tank - which it did help a little. The fishless approach did not work well for me.  I nervously switched to a fish approach.

2) Now, the 48 gallon tank serves as a way for me to see the fish grow and show off the fish.  When I have friends over, you really can't see what the fish look like in the large tank.  I currently have 5 tilapia in the tank and growing like crazy.  Doing better than the 23 tilapia in the aquaponics tank.  

3) Future, I hope to use this as a breeding tank or for the new babies.  

4) Future, I hope to put a small grow bed over the 48 gallons tank.

Right now, this tank gets dirty very fast.  The small regular filter does not work very well.  In fact, I believe this is the source of the smell.  I am looking at additional filters to help clean this tank and keep the water cleaner than it is (does not work well to show off my fish in a dirty tank).  

So currently, I will use some water from the tank to go directly to the growbeds and I continue to dump some water into the sump pump tank and dump some down the drain.  A couple of gallons of this water directly to the growbeds a few times seems like a good thing to do (can't hurt).  

For all those future readers, here is what I am going to do for my "youngness" system.  (I always hate reading these posts and it is hard to understand what the solution is)

1) Add iron once a month - 1/2 teaspoon

2) Add Liquid Seaweed - 1/3 to 1/2 cup every other week.

3) Use a few gallons of dirty water from another tank to go directly to the growbeds for a few weeks and a few gallons to the sump pump tank.

4) I will not put anymore aquarium salt in either tank unless the fish need it.

remember my size tank is 180 gallons with a sump pump tank with 1/3 of 180 gallons and 2 grow beds.

This is what I will try to get my plants in better shape.  I am always cautious on how much I put in since it  things can get out of balance quickly.  i always add anything to the sump pump tank and never directly to the fish tank.  I will never add anything at the same time either.  I always wait at least 1 day or longer before adding something else while I have fish. (not having fish is a different story).

Thanks I will give this a try!

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