Aquaponic Gardening

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I started adding some Maxicrop + Iron to my system (I have media beds) and it seems to make a difference.  I also add KHCO3 because I have soft water and no detectable carbonates. My system is about 6 months old. My growth rate and the general vigor of my plants seems to be improving (it's also spring).  I've had a big aphid problem (done lacewings, ladybugs,etc) which seems to be abating.

What additives do others add?  How much, often and why?

Thanks for your input.

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i am experimenting with molasses.... for soil gardening, i use molasses as a microbial stimulant - i am guessing that molasses along with the liqui8d seaweed will help my bacteria... i also am adding "super thrive" to give more vitamins and minerals....

how do you add these?  what amounts?

M reed beauchamp said:

i am experimenting with molasses.... for soil gardening, i use molasses as a microbial stimulant - i am guessing that molasses along with the liqui8d seaweed will help my bacteria... i also am adding "super thrive" to give more vitamins and minerals....

Did you see a big pH drop when you added the Maxicrop plus iron?  I did and since I'm still cycling and trying to raise my pH to kickstart the nitrification process this is a bit of a problem. I went from 7 to 6.4 in about an hour!  eek

Suzanne,

Don't panic.  As your system stabalizes, and your nitrification process starts working, your ph will come down.  I typically run between 6.2 and 6.4.  Key when you're cycling is to see how well your system is consuming the ammonia, and what your nitrites and nitrates are doing.  If you don't have plants in the system yet, you may want to add them.  As your cycling progresses, you will or should consume all the ammonia, and eventually all of the nitrites.  Nitrates will likely go off the scale before nitrites start falling.  The reason I suggest plants is they will consume your nitrates.

Suzanne Hayes said:

Did you see a big pH drop when you added the Maxicrop plus iron?  I did and since I'm still cycling and trying to raise my pH to kickstart the nitrification process this is a bit of a problem. I went from 7 to 6.4 in about an hour!  eek

Early in the life of your system you want to be very careful about adding things beyond trying to keep the pH stable and maybe using some seaweed extract and the only nutrient I'm likely to add to the list for a new AP system is chelated iron if your plants are showing signs of iron deficiency (yellowing of the NEW leaves but with the veins staying green.)

Some people find they need to supplement little depending on their fish feed, source water, media and what they are growing.  Other people may find they need to supplement more but I would advise waiting till the system is well cycled up and maturing before you start messing around much, aquaponics is not a chemistry set or hydroponics system where you can go dumping things in willy nilly and you definitely want to avoid making too many changes at once since that would make it impossible for you to know what is working and what isn't.

There are many things you can use as a foliar feed for your plants to help plants in a new system when it might not be as appropriate to add supplements to the system water.  Things like molasses or seaweed extract or aerated worm casting tea, or even iron can be mixed up and sprayed on the plants according to the label instructions.

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