Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello Everyone,

It has been a little over a month since I started my indoor Flood and Drain system. It is a 100 gallon fish tank.The Grow bed is 2x3. I have been feeding the fish once a week because the Nitrate level is off the charts and I am waiting for it to go down. I am growing Bush Beans, Spinach, Romaine Lettuce and Basil.  I am having a problem with my plants. The Bush Beans took off, while the Basil, Spinach and Romaine Lettuce are growing very slowly and they dont look healthy. 

I noticed that some of the middle leaves on the Bush Bean plant have a bumpy texture to them. I also noticed some of the new leaves were curling inward .

 I  switch off using Potasium Carbonate and Calcium Carbonate every 10 days. The Ph swings from 7.6 - 6.4  every 10 days. 

I have added Maxi-Grow Seaweed Extract when I planted the plants.

The picture on the right is a Spinach plant.

It is small and scrawny. I added Epsom Salt today to supplement Magnesium. What can this deficiency be ?


Richard Kowalski

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Looks like a calcium deficiency to me. Maybe a bit of iron deficiency too.

Hi Richard. I'm no expert but I think when your leaves get bumpy like that, it's a calcium deficiency.I didn't have very good luck with my spinach and I'm thinking it was because my room was to warm. Mine bolted early. Where's Vlad when you need him? He could probably answer this in a heart beat.

When I was cycling the System, On Oct 25 , I dosed the System with Calcium Carbonate to raise Ph.  No plants in Yet. On Nov 4 I dosed with Potasium Carbonate. On Nov 19 I dosed with Calcium Carbonate and Maxi crop. That is the day I planted the seedlings into the grow bed. So, Shouldn't there have been enough Calcium in the system already? This is what is puzzling me. 

I understand that by not feeding the fish every day, because of the Nitrate spike, I have Lost a Source of nutrients. But the ones that I put in the System should be there.

I'm not aware that high Nitrate levels are all that bad. As your plants mature they'll take care of that. Keep in mind as you cut the fish food you're also cutting the nutrients to the plants.

Hmm, it sounds like there is calcium. I had a very similar problem, and I just had to wait it out. I suspect the nutrients are there, but are not bioavailable. No idea why. You can try cal mag foliar sprays. 

I needed to adjust Ph so I added some Calcium Carbonate last night. I will wait and see if the plants respond to it.

Thanks for your input.

I appreciate it.

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