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I am currently loosing the battle in my beds against aphids, thrips and spider mites.  Although I have tried both biologicals and sprays, I am too the point where I am thinking about pulling most if not all of my plants.

My question is will that hurt my biofilter?  I have 100 Gal Tank, 25 Gal Sump and two 50 gal grow beds, with 17 Tilapia in varius ages and sizes from 2" to Harvest size

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Yes, pulling all your plants art one will disturb your bio-filter a bit. It is not uncommon (if someone is paying attention that is) to experience a "mini" nitrite spike. Nothing too drastic IME... and those "mini" spikes only seem to last around 3-4 days.

You can help mitigate this by not feeding your fish right before you pull your plants...and not feeding them if you notice elevated nitrite levels.

I haven't but thanks for the suggestion.  Unfortunately its out of my price range right now

I bought a 1 quart bottle of Mycotrol - 0 (it's the certified Organic version of the product/ingredient you posted Randal). It's the same active ingredient, that being Beauveria bassiana. Strain GHA.

I paid $109.00 plus tax and shipping (I think it was like $8.00 more dollars, but can find the invoice if needed). I would be willing to split that up with you guys if you want.

The recommended application rate is 2 teaspoons per 1 US Gallon of water...so it doesn't take much. You folks just let me know if you are interested.

Yeah Randal, I just got popped $405.00 for a juice panel analysis for some Cabernet clusters...lab work sure gets pricey... 

I'd really recommend taking a look at some predatory insects, especially if you have a fairly stable growing environment. Pulling out plants and applying sprays really only gets you so far, and you pretty much have to kill ALL your pests, or they come right back. Rapid reproduction is part of their design. Aphids multiply so quickly that they can give birth to already pregnant young O_o

Work on nailing down your plant's nutritional needs. Pests mostly go after weak plants, and a plant that has adequate nutrition seems to be able to deal with a few insects. I've had the same aphids and spidermites in my garage for the last year or so without too much devastation. For me, it's been all about creating balance. It's less work, and I really don't mind the few extra aphids I find in my salad.

My current pest profile is balanced out with bacteria from compost teas, aphidemetes aphidimyza (predatory midge larva), and learning how to supply proper nutrition to my plants.

Right-o Alex. Beneficial insects are an integral part of a good IPM (Integrated Pest Management) program.

Most people only start thinking about such things after they have somewhat gotten out of control...in which case your newly introduced beneficials may have a difficult time 'catching up'. So it's good to do a bit of a 'knocking down' of pest populations with an appropriate spray application...after which you can apply your predatory insects.

Some of what we're using for two spotted spider mite control are Phytoseiulus persimillis mites. You should be using them in conjuction with other predators like Stethorus pricipes...but that kind of stuff gets very pricey for most folks. S.pricipes are about $200 a pop, while the P.persimilis cost $40 a pop. Plus the 'special' shipping costs, since we're dealing with live biologicals...it adds up. I'm a big advocate of using insect predators though and have used them in my greenhouse, at my store, the grow lab, the soil garden, client systems etc...

This little bottle:

 ...holds around 2,000 predatory mites that come on a carrier material of mostly vermiculite. Easy to apply, costs $40 bucks and is plenty for most folks backyard sized operations (1,000 sq. feet to 10,000 sq.feet).

No ONE thing is going to solve most peoples pest problems, but with a good IPM strategy you can certainly keep things under control. Sitting back and doing nothing is certainly not a recipe for winning the BugBattle 

Although, predatory insects (I'm thinking of P. persimillis, for example) are usually only sold in larger amounts for greenhouse and outdoor applications. 2,000 mites on 42 sq. ft. of grow space in a tiny garage takes out a spider mite colony pretty quickly :) I'm under the impression that P. persimillis doesn't stick around unless you have plenty of spider mites for it to eat...have you ever had trouble getting them to hang on through the highs and lows of food availability as your system balances out?

I usually get my critters at Green Methods (You're looking at around $20 for a bottle of 2,000 P. persimillis, plus special, fancy-pants shipping).  https://greenmethods.com/

Haven't used Stethorus precipis, but now I want to....A .0625 inch long ladybug that eats spidermites? Yes please :)

Also, as far as aphid predators go, you can get ladybugs and lacewings for pretty dang cheap, even with shipping. Just depends on where you get them from. Since they're cheap, you could probably order a few extra, find a place that doesn't require 2 day shipping and just expect to lose a few.

Here ya go, a quick look on amazon results in 1,500 ladybugs for about $10, including shipping. Guaranteed live. http://www.amazon.com/1500-Live-Ladybugs-Guaranteed-Delivery/dp/B00...

I'm also finding it particularly entertaining that they are advertised as being great for birthday parties.......

I'd be in for a portion of some mycotrol. I haven't bought any yet because it only has a 1yr shelf life and there's no way I could use a quart that quickly.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

I bought a 1 quart bottle of Mycotrol - 0 (it's the certified Organic version of the product/ingredient you posted Randal). It's the same active ingredient, that being Beauveria bassiana. Strain GHA.

I paid $109.00 plus tax and shipping (I think it was like $8.00 more dollars, but can find the invoice if needed). I would be willing to split that up with you guys if you want.

The recommended application rate is 2 teaspoons per 1 US Gallon of water...so it doesn't take much. You folks just let me know if you are interested.

Yeah Randal, I just got popped $405.00 for a juice panel analysis for some Cabernet clusters...lab work sure gets pricey... 

Sure Scott, just let me know how much you want. I have some Actinovate (Streptomyces lydicus WYEC 108) as well. Same deal with pricing...meaning we'll just divide what I paid for it (I don't wish to make any sort of profit). Actinovate is applied foliarly at a rate of 1-2 teaspoons per gallon. Just let me know. I have other mycorhizals and beneficials too. You'll have to take care of the shipping costs though. (Luckily these are really lightweight items, and a little usually goes a long way).

When I had aphids in December, I went to get 1000 lady bugs and released them in my greenhouse. they lay eggs and the hatched lady bugs will eat all the pests you have. cost was $ 19.20

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