Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi all,

I planted butter crunch and romaine lettuce in Hydroton. It started growing great then it started growing sideways and up again. After about a month it started wilting. Can anyone tell me what I did wrong? I have an IBC system. The grow bed is about 10" deep. The tank is in the later stages of cycling.

Thanks, Neill in Waco, TX

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What's the temperature like at your place? I planting some lettuce a few months ago here in Alabama and it quickly bolted.

Daytime temps are in the 60's and 70's. Night time temps are in the high 30's to low 50's. The tank is heated and is at about 82 degrees F

Growing sideways sounds like not enough light. Does the stem look under developed? An under developed stem could cause the wilting.  Are still using the shade cloth? You might try plastic to diffuse the sun light.

I had very good luck growing romaine and black seeded simpson in pea gravel last winter here in central florida. This year I planted about 3 weeks ago and they are not doing so well. I think its still too hot here. My water temperature is still in the 70's and air temp in the 80's.

Why keep your water so hot? Lettuce likes cooler water, my water would be in to 40-50's and the lettuce loved it, and my catfish were fine. I wouold think about 50-60 would be great for both fish and plants.

I need to take the shade cloth off.

Randy said:

Growing sideways sounds like not enough light. Does the stem look under developed? An under developed stem could cause the wilting.  Are still using the shade cloth? You might try plastic to diffuse the sun light.


I forgot to say I have Tilapia. water needs to be warm.
Dan Ponton said:

I had very good luck growing romaine and black seeded simpson in pea gravel last winter here in central florida. This year I planted about 3 weeks ago and they are not doing so well. I think its still too hot here. My water temperature is still in the 70's and air temp in the 80's.

Why keep your water so hot? Lettuce likes cooler water, my water would be in to 40-50's and the lettuce loved it, and my catfish were fine. I wouold think about 50-60 would be great for both fish and plants.

It does not need to be that hot I don't think! I have heard they can take temps down to mid 50's but not sure. If you keep the temp at 60-70 I would think it would be fine, but check on-line to be sure.

I have always heard that lettuce likes cool roots, so not sure about it growing in 80's water.

with tilapia the optimum temps are between 75 and 85. preferably at the higher end. I have reduced the heat some. My other tank is a little cooler. I'll remove the shade and plant there next time.

Neil, I live over in Shreveport, La. We are starting to get cooler temps also. past few nights in the 50's or so. My lettuce is now doing well but I am starting to get worried about my fish. BUT they are still breeding....which can almost be considered an indicator they are not stressed. I netted a few little fry and brought them inside just to see how they do.

Hey Pat,

 I unplugged the heater in my IBC tank. This morning the temp was 75 with no heater. I will remove the canopy today for Sun. Thanks to: Jame, Randy, Pat and Don, Y'all have been a great help.By the way; The lettuce I moved to my Rubbermaid system is growing fine. The temp w/ heater is 75 and it has more Sun, Duhhhh

What size heater are you using for your IBC. My small system is an IBC  with a 4' x 12' DWC attached and I am curious how much heat people are using!

Neill Morris said:

with tilapia the optimum temps are between 75 and 85. preferably at the higher end. I have reduced the heat some. My other tank is a little cooler. I'll remove the shade and plant there next time.

I have an 800 watt titanium aquarium heater. It has a thermostat/ thermometer. It maintains the temps perfectly. I also have a pool thermometer in the tank to double check. I am not familiar with the DWC's. Do you have warm water fish or cold water?

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