Aquaponic Gardening

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are there any members still doing aquaponics in Charleston?

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Hey Ronnie,

I'm still at it. Have a small system going.

  seems like I am still new to . cant seem to get things growing. Don't know where I am going wrong

A few of us. Limited or hybrid versions.  Limits to how good the process is.

I just started a system downtown and it's going well so far! Tell us a little bit about your setup and what you've done and maybe we can help

I have a 250 gal ibc tote fish tank .  with  a250 gal sump tank .  two   4 foot by 8 foot by 16 inches deep grow beds and couple of vertical towers .  its in a green house.  10 tilapia about 6-8 inches long and 5 goldfish about 3-4 inches long and 2 alge eaters. the system pumps water from the sump to the grow beds until it reaches a certain level stops pumping then drains to the fish tank and then  back to the sump.  A couple of months ago I lowered ph using muratic acid because ph has never dropped in over a year.   once I got the ph maintained at 6-8 .    I then added some potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, calcium chloride, and triple phosphate. maybe a tablespoon of each. stopped doing the dosage because others said I should not have to add sulfate to a system and I could be causing harm. only thing I didn't add was iron because others said I didn't need it if I was using water from a well.   the plants grow but the vegetables only grow small.   plants do show some kind of deficiency .   about two weeks ago I did a 50 percent water change with a new well . plants started looking better but now I am seeing all the symptoms show up again. I am feeding with a premium fish food .  36% protein 6 %fat and 5% fiber.   I didn't want to have to keep adding chemicals into the system if so then I should just make hydroponics and save a ton of money  . so frustrating to see other people with such success and I am doing the same as they are and failing. I know its something simple I just cant put my finger on it

geez no replies in almost a month. or am I just not getting it.

ronnie

From what I have seen, the water here is the Charleston area even from ponds is lower than normal in iron.  

Another issue for the slow growing plants, depending on what you are growing is the temperature of the water.

A lot of plants prefer cooler water.  No more than mid 70's.  However, it is hard for use to keep the water cool here.  When my water gets to 80 I can see all of the plants in the grow bed slow down on growth.  My system does MUCH better from fall to mid-spring.

Also, are you using a BIO chamber?  You need great biological turnover to break down the fish waste to what the plants need.

Ron

Ronnie - I'm having some deficiency problems with starting my system as well so you're not alone. Definitely don't have enough experience under my belt to give you any advice, but Ron sounds like he does! 

Ron can you elaborate on a BIO chamber? I've either never heard of bacteria called that before, or I have no idea what you're referring to.

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