Aquaponic Gardening

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Location: Mesa, AZ

We have set up a continuous flow IBC growbed. (1 planting bed to start). 

I started with reverse osmosis water 

Added 2 oz ammonia for 3 consecutive nights:

Reading 4/15:

PH = 6.8

Nitrate = 10 (extrapolated)

Nitrite = 2.0

Chlorine non-existent

Added 1 qt Maxigrow seaweed extract

Reading 4/16:

PH= 6.2

Nitrate = 10

Nitrite = 2.0

Does it make sense that my nitrites declined without an increase in nitrates?

Should I continue the addition of ammonia in the short-term?

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What are your ammonia levels?  That is a better indicator of whether or not to continue adding it or not.  Also, can you review your numbers, the only change you are showing in between the two days is in pH

Suzanne, Thanks so much for responding

I just re-took the reading (so approx 3 hours after adding 1 qt Maxigro)

Ammonia 6.0 (or possibly higher - maxed out on my dip tester). 

PH= 6.2

Nitrate = 5 (extrapolated)

Nitrite = .5


I would definitely stop with adding the ammonia, you may be much higher than you think.  Nitrates will increase slowly at first. I also forgot to ask about water temps and volume.  Temp will affect growth and unless your are in the several hundreds of gallons category 2 oz is WAY too much.  I added 1/2-1 tsp to my 125 gallon system for the first few days and that was plenty.  Remember you want your ammonia to drop before you add more.

Also what test kit are you using? The only time I've seen recommendations for extrapolating for nitrate levels are when they are very high (off the charts red)

You might also check the Maxigrow, solutions like maxicrop have ammonia in them too so you may have double dosed. 

Generally it has been recommend to only does your ammonia to 1-2, 6 is over doing it a bit

If you cannot get the levels to ammonia to drop you may have to do water changes.  Forum members usually recommend a 1/3 water change, but you can start with a bit less if you want, like topping off if you have room in the tank.

The best bit of advice I was ever given was to be patient.  I know it's hard and this is all very exciting, but I think most of us(myself included) have caused more headaches for ourselves by trying to rush things to much

Good Luck to you

stop with ammonia and go with a few fish.
if your using the API test kit... 10 is not too high at all.
if you are getting nitrates, your done with the ammonia.

Please people: if you are asking for advice on your system start by telling us the total gallonage so we have a better clue as to doses. Very common mistake but of the utmost importance. Guessing does not cut it in AP. "One IBC GB" is not adequate. I am not picking on you Nicole as I see it ALL the time.

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