Backyard Aquaponics

Water quality
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Author:  polar [ Dec 19th, '16, 18:15 ]
Post subject:  Water quality

Hi Everyone,
I live in Rockhampton Qld Australia and i am having issues with my ph, it is 8.2 and i am unable to get it to come down. Also nitrate has climbed steadily in the last 4 weeks from 0 to 80ppm. The amonia and nitrite are 0, the water hardness is kh is 6 drops and the gh is 9 drops. I have been adding seasole once a week and chelated iron once a week. Any ideas on what i should do or add? The plants are growing well and the fish are healthy, Thanks

Author:  Petesake [ Dec 19th, '16, 18:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Water quality

Hi Polar,

what is the FT & GB's made of and what sort of media are you using?
Have you tried swapping portions of system water for rain water?


Author:  Charlie [ Dec 20th, '16, 04:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Water quality

Im assuming your system is relatively new? Higher pH in new systems is quite common. If your plants and fish are doing well then your ok. Treat top up water to bring down your pH over time but it will drop in time anyways.

Author:  Mr Damage [ Dec 20th, '16, 12:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Water quality

+1 for what that Charlie bloke said...

Treat your top-up water with hydrochloric acid to a pH of 6 and maintain it there for 24hrs prior to adding it to the main system, so the carbonates are consumed and you aren't constantly topping the system up with more.

Also, what form of chelated Iron are you using?... I'm assuming that seeing as you're adding it weekly and haven't commented on the water turning dark red that it's not EDDHA, if so, other forms of chelated Iron may not be doing what you want. You also don't need to be adding chelated Iron on a weekly basis, if it is a suitable form a single dose will be sufficient.

Author:  polar [ Jan 11th, '17, 18:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Water quality

Sorry for the delay in replying, i had computer issues.. Thank you all for your comments. Yes, it is a new system and the plants and fish are doing well. The ph is now back down to 7.5. The nitrate is still at 80, is this ok? Everything else is 0. The chelated iron i am using is the wrong one (its for hydropnics) so will be correcting that asap. Thanks again for your comments. Polar

Author:  madeleine [ Jan 13th, '17, 12:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Water quality

It is good that the pH is back to normal and better to check it regularly.

Author:  dlf_perth [ Jan 13th, '17, 13:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Water quality

>> The nitrate is still at 80, is this ok? Everything else is 0.

it is not unusual to regularly have nitrates 20-80ppm in a system.
Some systems even go a bit higher.
the most important thing is your ammonia and nitrites are down low.

I find that if nitrates get high in my system goes a bit acidic (ie. pH drops into 6's).
But everyones system will be slightly different.

If you carry excess nitrates then a few things you can do:
(a) add more plants - good time to add a small tub DWC and grow some suitable lettuce, leaf veg etc
(b) take water out of your AP and use it around the garden, then replace with fresh tap/rain water.

Iron can be applied by foliar spray. Else use what you have on the pot plants / citrus trees.

In many cases you may not need to add things regularly / weekly - more a case on judging when plants need it and what they need. Over time you get a feel for your system.

** as you are in wet over there in northern QLD a lot of rain can move your pH down.
so worth keeping an eye on.

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