My system got way out of balance a few weeks ago. My plants didn’t die but they stopped growing. I lost a good part of the front spagetti plant and a few other plants. All the stuff in the blue barrel 1/2 ‘s stopped growing too.
In this particular case, I knew why it was out of balance. The Nitrates had gone to 0. Plants need nitrates. I waited too long to take corrective measures and that’s why things stopped growing.. I got another 8 goldfish and added them then waited. Still no nitrates. Next corrective measure was to eliminate a few of the flowering plants. Squash, eggplant, and a tomato were all flowering a the same time. The tomato plant was done, no more buds or tomatoes so that came out. The eggplant kept getting buds and loosing them, that came out. The biggest nitrate user was the squash plants. There was one of them that wasn’t a large as the front one and didn’t have any squash starting. That came out also.
I did a water test a couple days later and the nitrates were up to 40. I waited a couple of days and things started to green up again. What you see in the pictures below are the second growth of the front squash plant.
The picture below is of an avacado plant started from a seed. They grow fast and straight. Not too sure what I am going to do with this, guess will just have to wait and see.
That’s all for now, check back later for more posts
Bev and I finally got the A-frame NFT system up and running. Man what a 2 1/2 day headache. We tried a few different configurations of plumbing. When probems popped up, we made changes to take care of the problem. Then another problem showed. (Those StartTrek fans will remember Loll and Data and cascading system failures) That’s what I felt like, failure, fix, another failure, fix and you get the idea.Well we finally hit on a solution that actually worked with all components involved. (Nothing flooded or ran dry). Here come the Pics:
This is the A-frame NFT. When I first set it up, I used hosees to supply the towers. The pic below is after the changes.
I took the hoses out and replaced with pvc to feed towers. There is no media in this trough, just water.
In an NFT (nutrient film technique)which is really a Hydroponics technique but works very well for aquaponics.
I have more pics and more info to share, but that will be tomorrow. I am working on a video that isn’t finished yet that I want to get up also, sooooo, till then take care and come back.
Trying to get gardens planted, protect from cold, wind, bunnies and whatever other critter thinks our plants look good. I lost a beautifully shaped tomateo plant to the cold and I had it covered too. Having problems with sweet potatoes also. Guess we were not meant to grow them outside. I have some pics taken today of the AP system and the inside of the green house that has been rearranged to accomadate the AP system and an NFT frame. We are still trying to figure out a heating method for the winter so I can keep the system up all year and have fresh veggies over the winter.
Ok here come the pictures!
Brocolli doin great also
There are a lot of other plants hidden in the forrest, but will get them posted later.
Last week I added another 12 little goldfish to help keep the Nitrate levels where they needed to be to accomadate the plants that were flowering. The levels finally got to where I was comfortable with them. Then the pump problems started.
The little pump I have that has been running 24/7 for a year, finally started giving out. In the process, it was still pumping, but it was not pumping enough water up to the grow bed to keep up with the standpipe drain. So I was loosing water in the growbed and not realizing it. It’s sorta hard to tell due to the fact that the standpipe is set to keep water level at about 2 inches below the gravel. When I realized what was happening, I added fresh water to keep levels in the grow bed and not let the roots dry out. By adding new water, I was diluting the system water without realizing it.
I did a water test and it was all out of wack, Ph was pretty much ok at 8.0-8.2 ammonia was .50+, nitrites were off the scale and very dangerously high. Nitrates also very high at 160.
I let them go for a day hoping they would settle down but keeping a close eye on the Nitrite levels. If those levels stay high for extended periods, you will start losing fish. It affects their gills and they will die. I hooked up the new pump and added a 3/4 in. bar with 1/4″ holes in it for added air and DO (disolved oxygen) hoping that would help with the high levels. This pipe was placed across the FT for max aeriation, and the fish loved it.
I took a water sample this morning and thankfully, all readings were pretty much back to normal. I was getting nervous though. Here are a few pictures for your pleasures 8)
New plumbing rig that is temporary till blue barrels go back into service.
Exit point for water coming from the Fish Tank
This is the new bar to put additional air into the system for fish and plants
Water test results
Shows spray bar a little better
New plumbing again
This is a sweet potato that was in the dirt and lost its leaves, but recovering nicely in the systemMy happy goldies and 4 Koi, they really enjoy the sprayer.
Grow veggies in your backyard with fish, water, and barrels