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 Post subject: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '19, 23:14 
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I apologize in advance - this is going to be a long post but I will try to keep it organized and easy to follow.

Long story short, my plants don't look so hot right now.

System
This is my first system and it's been "running" for about 2 months. I had some serious mistakes to begin with, and it's only been really nicely cycled for 10 days now. Fish have been in there for 3 weeks.


150 gallon single tank flood and drain. Pump continuously pumps and bell siphon drains.
Grow bed is 200 gallons, 18" deep with clay media filled up to about 14". Top of standpipe in siphon is 10.5"
System takes about 10 minutes to flood and 9 minutes to drain. Fish are bluegill fed for five minutes once a day. About 20 of them 4ish" long.
pH: 9.5
NH3: 0.25
NO2: 0
NO3: 80

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A coworker with a soil garden told me the plants look like they're getting too much water... not sure how to solve that if it's true?

Greenhouse
System is in a rickety greenhouse I built under a big mature tree for shade. I plan on sealing and insulating the greenhouse for the winter, and the tree plans on losing leaves. It gets hot in Indianapolis in the summer which is why I put it under the tree, but I'm worried there is perhaps not enough light. Would be a straight forward fix: trim the tree.

It doesn't get a whole lot of direct sunlight. There's a time where it can get some in the late afternoon. I try to keep the roof clean to maximize the opportunity.

Greenhouse in the mid morning:
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Plants
A couple of the plants were placed in early when I managed to severely poison the whole system with way too much NH3 added. I will point those out. The rest have been in for 17 days. Each species of plant I have pictures from 10 days ago and this morning.


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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '19, 23:18 
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Tomato #1 is the first plant that went in and got fed extremely high NH3 water, probably near 1000 PPM or mg/L

10 Days ago:

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Today:

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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '19, 23:20 
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Zucchini. I didn't get a good after picture, but it doesn't look any healthier now.

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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '19, 23:22 
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Romaine Lettuce. These have gotten big!

10 Days Ago:
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Today:
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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '19, 23:30 
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Hot Pepper #1. This guy has gotten tall

10 Days Ago:

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Today:

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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '19, 23:36 
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Tomato #2. My first fruit!! With... white stuff...

10 days ago:

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Today:

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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 17th, '19, 00:09 
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That’s a pretty good sample. I also made this 5 minute video walking through all my plants.

https://youtu.be/GhKYVys01Jg


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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 17th, '19, 01:33 
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Hmm, looks like some mold problems (the white stuff) but maybe a chemical burn where some of the damage then became infected by mold :dontknow: . I see the leaves of the tomato plant have water drops on them - try to minimize any splashing or condensation dripping from above onto the leaves since this contributes to mold and bacterial problems. An oscillating fan in the greenhouse to keep the air moving helps prevent condensation and dries any water on the leaves faster (probably be a good idea to add a fan for this reason).

I think it's mainly mold but it's possible some of those white masses could also be mealy bugs - especially along the stem of the tomato and zucchini. This is a type of soft bodied insect that can do significant damage if left unchecked so have a closer look. The adults don't move much but might shift if you prod them.

The yellowing between the veins on some of the plants is probably a nutrient deficiency and it looks like you've got some aphids on the today shot of the hot pepper.


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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 17th, '19, 03:36 
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Thanks. Sounds like next steps are to install a fan?

The growbed only gets water from below - no splashing or dripping. The ivy that grows on the ground in the greenhouse don’t have wet leaves. Could the moisture on my veggies be from transpiration? Either way, ventilation should help, correct?

Once I get the moisture levels under control, is it just a matter of waiting for the mold do go away, or do I need to be more proactive?


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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 17th, '19, 08:23 
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I think your plants will always be suffering and susceptible to disease/mould etc without decent sunlight or supplimental lighting.

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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 18th, '19, 01:34 
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montecarlo wrote:
pH: 9.5

:shock: That's causing nutrient deficiencies.

Your mould issues is lack of air circulation & moisture,so a fan would fix it.But you'll also need fresh air too & def more light,especially for the heavy fruiters.

montecarlo wrote:
A couple of the plants were placed in early when I managed to severely poison the whole system with way too much NH3 added.

Can I ask how? You added it?

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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 18th, '19, 23:57 
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+1 on the pH causing nutrient deficiencies (particularly iron - you'd see yellowing in the newest leaves. If the yellowing is in the older leaves then it's probably potassium). Search for adjusting your pH using hydrochloric acid (aka muriatic acid) - do this no more than 0.4 pH units at a time over a period of days so that the fish can adjust. You should find topics on adjusting the top up water and checking how much acid you'll need by adjusting a sample of your system water. You can either adjust the top up water or remove, adjust and re-add some of the system water. The alternative is to wait for the pH to come down on it's own, which may take a while.

+1 More light will help. The air circulation might be enough to dry off the plants on it's own but they won't grow as well without good lighting and certainly won't be as healthy. I'd trim back the branches if you can (way cheaper than extra lighting).


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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 19th, '19, 01:18 
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Okay! Sounds like a plan!


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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 19th, '19, 01:23 
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Oh my - typo in first post! PH is 7.5 ish

Still needs to be lowered? I have phosphoric acid on hand.


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 Post subject: Re: Unhealthy plants
PostPosted: Jun 20th, '19, 00:29 
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At pH of 7.5 I would leave the system alone and the pH will come down on it's own. Some kinds of iron won't be available to the plants even at this pH so I'll suggest either spray applying some iron or getting some chelated iron EDDHA which will be available at pH 7.5. The spray application avoids the pH lockout you might otherwise get if you add some forms of iron into the system water (this is what I do since I already have a different form of iron (not Fe-EDDHA) on hand).


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