Aquaponic Gardening

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Starting late this past winter I began to notice a gelatinous substance (clear 'slime') on the roots of the plants in my NFT system.  I posted some photos of the most recent manifestation/infestation of what may or may not be a problem.  In addition, like a previous attempt to grow strawberries in the NFT (they also exhibited the same 'slime' on their roots, a reddish wilt would appear on the leaves and eventually wither them. The basil I planted a recently also began to show the same or similar pathology. 

Anyone have an experience with these problems?  Are they related or two separate issues?  Four photos of the affected plants are in the photo gallery.

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Here's what I am thinking of building. The water from the fish tank will drain by gravity through the 2 or 3 inch pipe, coming out the open bottom. It will filter up through the sand and go through two removable "Scotch pad" like filters and then overflow around the edges into the sump tank. To clean, I simply remove the filters, wash them out and replace them... at least in theory.

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