Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


My name is Dave, I'm from Western Michigan and I'm looking to eat a little bit healthier than what I have been.  I've come to the point where I don't believe anything anyone tells me about where my food comes from, GMO, non-GMO, organic, non-organic.  So I've taken it upon myself to start growing my own food.  My problem was the only land I own is in a city where I don't own any unused soil/ground, I basically own a lot with a 2000 +/- ft of building on it along with some sidewalks.  Currently my roof is inaccessible without an unstable ladder. 

Well, I did some research and found out about aquaponics where you just need some light and as little as an ibc, basic skills and so on.  I read somewhere the best way is to just jump in and learn as you go.  Well, I jumped right in when I found an IBC for $25.

I've got my bell siphon to where I can adjust it any speed I want, currently 15 min to fill roughly 20gal, 2 minutes to empty it leaving about 3-5 gallons in the bed.  

my bed is filled with pea gravel, I've got some basic plants, tomatoes, strawberries, green beans, brokenly, peppers . . . which are thriving.  

My 150 gal tank is still fishless  after my (test) goldfish died.

Before I put some real money in to this, aka fish, I want to make sure that they will live (unlike mr goldfish) so I got an api test kit.  my ammonia .5, nitrates .25 and nitrites .5 are looking great (i think), but my ph is off the scale high.  my test kit only reads up to 8.8.  out of the tap (city water), my water source, is 8.

from my research, I'm thinking it's the pea gravel I got from the gravel pit that is causing the issue of high ph I'm having.

the only thing I've been adding is cap full of seasol a day for the plants until I get my tank up to the levels for the fish.

any advice would be greatly appreciated.  



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Thanks for the input.  I guess what I'll try is the ph down first and if need be save up for some new media.

If I use the ph down for a while, would it eventually come down to levels fish can live in?  or will i continue to need ph down?

ok, so when I do get the ph down, say 85 Phosphoric Acid, how much would I add to a 150 gallon tank to get it to comfortably come down?  

Again, I don't have fish yet, just plants.

I am going to be looking into getting some tilapia when my levels are right and goldfish don't die on me. 

Thanks again for your help


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