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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '19, 12:29 
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Hi, the pictures attached are as far as I have ever gotten with aquaponics. This is a basement system. I bought the aquarium in May and it has been hit and miss. I started with platys but they seem rather fragile. So now I buy feeder gold fish and they do quite fine.

Question 1 - Roots
There is a slight discoloration of the roots and I am not sure if this is a harbinger of things to come...

some basic stats:
1. amonia - almost 0
2. PH - around 7.5
3. nitrite: consistently 0
4. nitrate: around 5 ppm but I wonder if there is a slight increase over the last month, which I am addressing by starting new seeds.
5. size of aquarium: 65 gallons
6. water in sump: 20 gallons
7. water in grow bed: 2-3 gallons
8. basket is rock wool and volcanic rock.

Next steps: once my seedlings go into the system, if the stats are supportive, I will buy more feeder gold fish.

Question 2 - Lights
1. I am still experimenting with a Mars light which seems to work really well for root development. But since previous efforts resulted in stunted growth of the plant, I now have a mix of sunblaster (12 hours) and the mars grow light for 5 hours.

I would appreciate some views on optimal lighting.

long term plan: There is room in the basement for a vertical grow bed. I won't go here until all problems are resolved.

thanks everyone

alex


Attachments:
File comment: a younger plant with the same off colour look.
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File comment: The water level touches the volcanic rocks. there is a air rock, plus three more air rocks in other parts of the system.
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File comment: most leafy plant and lots of off colour roots.
DSCF1218.JPG
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File comment: Grow bed direct from sump.
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DSCF1220.JPG [ 119.67 KiB | Viewed 1659 times ]
File comment: aquarium that draws water from sump. the sump has a single pump for both the grow bed and the aquarium.
DSCF1222.JPG
DSCF1222.JPG [ 113.84 KiB | Viewed 1659 times ]
File comment: Garden that is about to get a new grow bed from 10 to 24 plants.
DSCF1216.JPG
DSCF1216.JPG [ 122.09 KiB | Viewed 1659 times ]
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PostPosted: Jan 25th, '19, 09:43 
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looks good to me so far.for your grow space a cmh would probably work extremely well. leds can work well but are prone to burning plants with the more focused beam whereas hid lamps spread the light more evenly. what are you doing for airflow in the tent? also 5ppm is fine but do your fish a favour and dont add more they will out grow that tank in fairly quick order remember goldfish get up to a foot long and are dirty fish pumping out waste in bulk you need to set up with the final size of the fish in mind. id go with a 4x2x2 for the fish you already have or even bigger.


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PostPosted: Feb 1st, '19, 17:28 
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The roots don't look too bad,if those plants were kept in there long term they may get some build up.

Do you have an air stone in the grow bed?
Are you filtering the water before it touches the roots?

Lights;
They say,you should aim for 40w per square foot but that also depends on what plants you are growing.
I use CFLs with a reflector & I have surrounded the walls with foil & this works pretty good.You need a reflector with the sunblaster.

Also in that tent it will be hot & dry when the lights are on and damp & cool during lights off,you are going to need a breeze.Google RH Relative Humidity.

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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '19, 10:02 
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A few responses...

1. I have four air stones in the whole system, including one in the grow bed.

2. air flow: I don't do anything...there are several vents (all open) but I could see how this might be an issue. I will do the research as suggested.

3. Filtering the water: I thought I could avoid this. The water leaves the fish tank from the top (skimming). I will look into this.

4. I just added a water circulation device in the grow bed - because of the thickness of the roots, I am concerned that fresh water is not flowing through the roots.

5. lights: Will look into the CMH thing. I was hoping to stay with low heat lamps.

thanks so much


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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '19, 11:58 
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plants need plenty of fresh air to grow well, a lack of ventilation could be what lead to your previous stunting.just a 4 inch extractor fan should be enough for your space with a passive intake or you can jerry up a computer fan as an intake fan to move more air.


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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '19, 13:37 
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agraco wrote:
2. air flow: I don't do anything...there are several vents (all open) but I could see how this might be an issue. I will do the research as suggested.


The vents aren't good enough,you'll need more fresh air & circulation.Especially being in a basement.

agraco wrote:
3. Filtering the water: I thought I could avoid this. The water leaves the fish tank from the top (skimming). I will look into this.


DWC needs to be filtered.There are very fine particles that are always present (even from the top of the tank).And being such a small system it will build up quick.But again,your roots look good for now.

agraco wrote:
4. I just added a water circulation device in the grow bed - because of the thickness of the roots, I am concerned that fresh water is not flowing through the roots.


One day those roots will be massive & that will block the flow,a quick hair cut will do :thumbleft:

agraco wrote:
5. lights: Will look into the CMH thing. I was hoping to stay with low heat lamps.


Ceramic Metal Halide?
Those will produce enormous amounts of heat.If you went down that route,you will need an extraction fan & possibly a humidifier.You can stick with your LEDs & Fluorescent but just make sure you have the correct "wattage".

"I was hoping to stay with low heat lamps"
LEDs & Fluorescent are still hot,just not as hot as HPS or MH lights.I personally would stick with what you've got,you need a reflector.Also,they are the correct colour light for growth?.

What is the temperature inside the tent?

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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '19, 14:23 
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Also,you mentioned stunted growth,that could be a number of things.I think you're lacking humidity,but you didn't say what you were feeding the fish.

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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '19, 16:30 
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If you're still experiencing the stunting issues then definitely look at the food. Most flake food is designed for maintenance and not growth. Commercial pellet feeds are a better bet - like Skrettings or Purina. Usually a protein level in the 32 to 40 percent range works.


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PostPosted: Feb 6th, '19, 08:41 
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I had not considered the food for the fish. I bought some pellets that should arrive tomorrow with a high protein ration. The flakes I have clearly state "vegetable based..."....so that could certainly be an issue.

I also bought a 4000 GPH pump to increase the flow from the sump to the grow bed / aquarium (CHOP).

thanks all


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