Aquaponic Gardening

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i'm new with questions i recently met  a guy that has indoor aquaponics artificial lighting , tolopia, fed comercial food. he gave me tomatoes ,he can,t get them to produce even medium size fruit. The taste was flat no flavor.If thats what can be expected for flavor I'll give up on tomatoes.Any advice? thanks.


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@Chip: At what point in the maturing process of your system did you administer the Maxicrop+iron?

Hi Dave,

I'm thinking it was around 2 1/2 - 3 months in. I initially transplanted several varieties and started seeing some growth. Then after a few weeks, everything stopped. I waited patiently for close to 2 months and then started posting questions. I ordered, then received the Maxicrop plus iron from the States ($25 for the product, $75 shipping to get it here).

I gave the system an initial blast of about 2 cups (2 X 8oz) for a 2000L system. 2 weeks later 1 cup, then a cup every 3 to 4 weeks until the system was about 7 months old. There are no dosage recommendations available for AP and at the time I couldn't seem to get an answer, so that's what I went with. My second system (1000L) I backed off to about half that dose, so 1/2 cup per 1000L for the initial shot, then a quarter cup every few weeks. Same results, so I'm thinking I used more than I needed first go around.

Not sure what other folks are doing on the dosage, but it did the trick. Tomatoes went nuts.

Hope that helps

Hmmm, I got this stuff, would it work?  Or is Maxi-Crop+Iron provide something different?  Safe to add this stuff as far as the fish go?

Maxicrop is a seaweed product - Here are the basics and soil-based directions

Maxicrop Liquid Seaweed Plus Iron


For Acid-Loving Plants—Water with solution of one capful to one gallon of water every week. Apply solution liberally to foliage and root area.

For Acid-Loving Houseplants—Water with solution of one capful to one gallon of water every week.

For Lawns—Spray solution of two capfuls (two ounces) to one gallon of water monthly (covers 1,000 sq. ft.).

0.0 - 0.0 - 1.0

Guaranteed Analysis
Soluble potash (K2O): 1.0%
Iron (Fe): 2.0%
Derived from ascophyllum nodosum seaweed and ferrous sulfate
Chlorine (Cl) not more than 1.0%

Information regarding the contents and levels of metals in this product is available at

Maxi-Crop, (as well as Seasol, and Kelpak) are all products who's "magic" comes mainly from the fact that they are chock-full of not only wonderful trace elements, but Auxins and Cytokinins as well. Both Auxins and Cytokinins are growth regulating hormones. All the above products extract these hormones from some of the fastest growing plants on the planet Earth, namely sea kelp. (Using weird cold extraction process' and 'cell burst' technology in the case of Kelpak). None of these products have a significant NPK value 0.1-0.4-1 (K being the only one even in the whole number range), and shouldn't be confused with "Liquid Seaweed' or powdered kelp meal products, as those are very different.

The link to that product you provided is an Iron chelate. (Iron made soluable in water and plant usable). I couldn't see what chelate was used (there are many), but if you can, stay away from Fe-EDTA as it has been proven to be toxic to plants. Fe-DTPA or Fe-EDDHA generally being preferred if your already going through the trouble of of purchasing an Fe chelate product. Here in the E.U (and I believe in the states, but you can easily check) they are all ok for use in certified organic food production. Some company's try to capitalize on this fact with their labeling, while others appear not to.

Your fish should be fine as long as your not super crazy over-doing it. 2mg/l (2ppm) should be plenty to Iron stave off any Fe deficiencies in most plants in most growth phases. 

i like to prune everything up to the last set of fruit. then all sucker branches up to the very top of the plant. sucker branches are like stem cells, they will shoot roots with no effort at all, just break em off and stick em in the gravel. with the one stem method, its easier to harvest and manage. as stated above, in an AP system, tomatoes grow like crazy, by pruning down to one stem, you can keep the amount of wasted space to a minimum. this allows more light to its leaves and the other plants, as well as less places for bugs to set up shop. the plant will get sooo long, that you could train it away from the grow beds, and hang it somewhere else. build a support that can hold at least 10 lbs. and expect to need about six ft above the GB.




















I'm with you Rob...



Wow. Nice looking tomatoes, guys.

I like my tomatoes... here's another harvest..


@Chip-Cheers, mate. Dontcha hate the shipping costs? At least you could get it, i suppose...

My wife wants tomatoes. I'm glad i have built in scaffolding since my AP system will be inside a 10'x20' chain link dog run.

You'll have to open your own Farmers' Market @RupertofOz.Nice harvest.

Those sure look like some tasty looking Heirlooms...I'm always surprised when people take the time to set up an organic raised bed (or even a hydro set up), but then buy some crappola-hybrid seeds and wonder why their tomatoes taste bland...

RupertofOZ said:

I like my tomatoes... here's another harvest..


I'm wondering: when you write that the tomatoes are better in a mature system - how long does it take to mature? In my case, I'll have to bring my fish indoors no later than the end of September every year, unless I choose another fish species, because winter will come crashing in november or december, and I do not plan to heat my greenhouse.

Does that mean that my system is new each spring, or do the organisms in the growbed survive being frozen, and get going faster in the next spring than a brand new system?

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