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I just tested my "Total Iron" in my system and it shows zero (0) ppm.

Has anyone tried putting a small iron pipe or pipe caps in 3-4 media beds?I have about 30% of my expected grow beds working.

This may leech iron into the system.

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Do you have fish or not Dan?

In a cycled system ammonia and nitrite should be 0 and the nitrate it doesn't much matter.

But you have to be at those levels when dosing with ammonia or when you have fish since if you just put tap water in a pool and then test it, hopefully it is going to come up with nearly 0 everything too.

Fishless cycling, you are cycled when you can dose to between 1-2 ppm of ammonia and within 24 hours have both the ammonia and nitrite reach 0.

In a system with fish you are cycled up to that particular fish load when both the ammonia and nitrite stay at or near 0 and you can feed the fish the appropriate amount.  Keep in mind that if you are cycled up with 6 goldfish and you then suddenly add 100 fingerlings of some other fish, your system will need to cycle up to that new load so when drastically changing the stocking level of a system you need to monitor water quality closely and if ammonia or nitrite spike, don't feed until they come back down.

Hi TC

I am using a few small feeder fish I have been adding a few now and again. I also have been adding organic human ammonia, when available.

Media - Lava rock and 3/4 river rock. I have about 12 beds working now and more coming.

My well water ph is 6.

TCLynx said:

Hi Dan,  If you are still cycling up, I wouldn't stress too much about a pH of 8.  Are you Fishless cycling or are there fish in there?  The 5 ppm of nitrite is concerning if you have fish, in which case I would salt to 1 ppt. Salt for Fish Health

If fishless, just be patient.

Generally a high quality fish food will provide all the copper and zinc needed so adding more is not advisable so I would recommend finding Iron without the other stuff.  If you can't find any, message me, I know where I can be gotten in FL though it costs a bit (sold at BWI down here by me.)

As to your pH long term.  What is your source water pH?  Before you answer read this pH and tap water much of our water here in FL comes from limestone aquifers which will give you water high in calcium carbonate which will tend to buffer the water up.  Since we are in a normally fairly rainy climate, I would say try to collect as much clean rain water as you can for topping up so that you don't have to get an RO filter for your water if your source water is the reason for your high pH.

On the other hand, what is your media?  Some people discover that not all pea gravel is the same,  You want to make sure your high pH is not being caused by say limestone in your grow beds.  If your media is the cause of your high pH problem, don't bother with acid, it will only cause pH bouncing and won't work.  Take some of your gravel and rinse it well then drop it in a glass of vinegar to see if it fizzes or not.  Fizzing is a sign of a reaction between a base and the acid and would indicate your gravel is unsuitable.

Dan Ponton said:

My PH is now up to 8 PPM and my ammonia is 0ppm while the nitrites are about 5ppm

I put about 1 cup of vinegar in tonight. That's in a 1000 gallon fish tank so it may not do anything.The vinegar is made from grains and is at 5% acidity.

I have heard that this is only a temporary fix

matthew ferrell said:

The copper in this should be too low to care about Vlad?  I mean we are talking 1 or 2 tablespoons into hundreds of gallons.

Granted proper alkalinity and all.

Hum, I don't know then on the pH what is going on.  Perhaps dust in the lava rock that contained limestone?  Any other source of limestone touching your system?  Concrete?

You are not quite cycled up, the nitrite needs to fall still, I know in my first system I cycled up, the pH fell right about the time the nitrite suddenly fell.  Be prepared.

Any algae in the system?

I have about 20 small gold fish. But in a 1000 gallon pool, I don't see it would make much difference so I pee in the tank when I am out there.

TCLynx said:

Do you have fish or not Dan?

In a cycled system ammonia and nitrite should be 0 and the nitrate it doesn't much matter.

But you have to be at those levels when dosing with ammonia or when you have fish since if you just put tap water in a pool and then test it, hopefully it is going to come up with nearly 0 everything too.

Fishless cycling, you are cycled when you can dose to between 1-2 ppm of ammonia and within 24 hours have both the ammonia and nitrite reach 0.

In a system with fish you are cycled up to that particular fish load when both the ammonia and nitrite stay at or near 0 and you can feed the fish the appropriate amount.  Keep in mind that if you are cycled up with 6 goldfish and you then suddenly add 100 fingerlings of some other fish, your system will need to cycle up to that new load so when drastically changing the stocking level of a system you need to monitor water quality closely and if ammonia or nitrite spike, don't feed until they come back down.

No limestone or concrete

I did not wash any of the stone. There is a lot of sand in with the river rock.

No algae

TCLynx said:

Hum, I don't know then on the pH what is going on.  Perhaps dust in the lava rock that contained limestone?  Any other source of limestone touching your system?  Concrete?

You are not quite cycled up, the nitrite needs to fall still, I know in my first system I cycled up, the pH fell right about the time the nitrite suddenly fell.  Be prepared.

Any algae in the system?

Vlad - Thanks for this info.  Can you recommend an EDDHA dosage to tank water per 100L?

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Dan, if you can...get any product that is not the EDTA chelate (this was one of the first iron chelating agents, but has 'recently' been proven to be a little toxic to plants...but folks still have warehouses full of the stuff and still sell it sometimes).

Any of the other chelating agents would be a bit better, like...EDDHA or HEDTA or even DTPA. (Though the first two would be best...DTPA is suspected to be toxic to plants, but this has not been proven yet). Any self respecting (and expensive) hydroponics store operator will/should know this though, and will hopefully do you right...

2-3mg/ L ought to stave off any deficiencies in most plants. Iron is unique in that too much of it in solution doesn't appear to mess with the uptake of any other essential elements, though adding too much gets needlessly expensive for the pocket-book...

George said:

Vlad - Thanks for this info.  Can you recommend an EDDHA dosage to tank water per 100L?

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Dan, if you can...get any product that is not the EDTA chelate (this was one of the first iron chelating agents, but has 'recently' been proven to be a little toxic to plants...but folks still have warehouses full of the stuff and still sell it sometimes).

Any of the other chelating agents would be a bit better, like...EDDHA or HEDTA or even DTPA. (Though the first two would be best...DTPA is suspected to be toxic to plants, but this has not been proven yet). Any self respecting (and expensive) hydroponics store operator will/should know this though, and will hopefully do you right...

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