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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '16, 12:24 
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Location: Burlington, Vermont U.S.
Hello everyone! I'm new to aquaponics and currently have one DIY system running with another larger system about a week into the cycling process. My first system is a fifteen gallon flood and drain that's been running for about 2 months now. Unfortunately, I have been having recurring issues with my plant health since I first planted some basil and mint in the grow bed during the cycling process. Over the course of a few weeks, the plants developed brown splotches that slowly turned a shiny, silvery color. Initially, I thought it was due to a high pH of about 8.0, fluctuating nutrient levels, or other normal stressors from the cycling process. However, once the system was fully cycled and I replaced the dead basil and mint plants with new ones, I encountered the same issue. Bellow are pictures of my system and the two afflicted basil plants I took out a few days ago. After doing some research, I think it's either a fungus or severe nutrient deficiency, but I'm not sure. Here are my water test results if they are of any help:

pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 160 ppm

Thank you!


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File comment: Diseased basil plants
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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '16, 12:49 
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Basil doesn't really like cool temps and I think the water temp might be too cool where you are for the basil to be in AP.

If you try again take pictures of what happens. We need to know which part of the plant is affected first and how it's affected especially for the deficiency issues.

I can't tell much from these pictures - the leaves look about like they have spider mite damage but this usually occurs when the temps are in the 80's and 90's. If you're growing in a sunny greenhouse with these type of temps then check for spider mites. They are very tiny and cause stippling on the leaves which can look silvery and the leaves dry out and die. You'll probably see webbing as well. If you hold a white piece of paper under the leaves and give the plant a shake, they are easier to see against the white background.


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PostPosted: Apr 23rd, '16, 02:26 
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I've posted some additional pictures bellow of my system and up close shots of the basil and mint leaves. For both the mint and the basil, the affliction began on the bottom leaves, then slowly moved its way up the plant. However, the mint faired much better than the basil, developing some brownish splotches rather than the silver specks. My system is inside a classroom thats at a constant 25C so I don't think it's an insect issue ( although anything's possible) and the water is at a steady temp of 21C. I will keep you updated with some better details on the health of my new plants in the next few weeks. I am growing catnip and lemon balm this time to see if they do better. Thank you for your help!


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File comment: The ten gallon system - I pulled out the mint yesterday and the basil a few days before that
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File comment: Mint leaves
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File comment: Basil leaves
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PostPosted: Apr 23rd, '16, 07:43 
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Going by your pictures/description and a few links I found, I'd say either potassium or magnesium deficiency, or chlorine poisoning. :dontknow:

https://www.hydroponics.net/learn/defic ... lement.php
http://www.organicagardensupply.com/dis ... th-photos/

(insert disclaimer that Mel Is Not An Expert here)

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PostPosted: Apr 25th, '16, 15:34 
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One thing that is noticeable is there aren't properly formed roots on any of those plants,they can't take up nutrients if they ain't got no roots.
I would look at why this might have happened as the first thing then move on from there.

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