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Mineral Levels

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by staggeringwade, May 9, 2012.

  1. staggeringwade

    staggeringwade New Member

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    Is there a reference in the forums somewhere here that states what water parameters should be at in aquaponics (other than the basic PH, ammonia, nitrates).
    What should calcium be ppm in ap?
    Magnesium?
    Potassium?
    Iron?
    What else is important to test for?
    I have a long history of keeping reef aquariums so I understand what the elements do and what they should be held at in reefs, but I have not seen any information on where these elements should be tested at in AP.
    MY IBC is about 2 months old now, things are doing great.
    Wade
     
  2. Fishdood

    Fishdood Member

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    Sorry I can't give you an answer Wade but will be looking forward to see what response you get from others.

    I was only considering this when adding some iron the other day. I had noticed what seemed to be deficiecy so in went the iron.

    How much should you add per 1000 litres and is there a cheapish test kit for the backyarder?

    Paul
     
  3. monahanajj

    monahanajj New Member

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    Great questions - looking with interest on the feedback...
     
  4. davidl

    davidl Member

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    I'm totally guessing here...

    but wouldn't those levels be similar to hydroponics systems...? Though I've seen a youtube clip of Murray testing the electrical conductivity (EC) value for one of his systems and only coming up with 0.2 where as a hydroponics would have at least a 1.0 reading according to Murray, but his system is growing like crazy anyway.

    and the ratios of them the same as what is needed in a soil garden...?

    I think the main problem is the availability of testing for those factors. Most home users wouldn't know where to go to buy a test kit or get their water tested for those things.
     
  5. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    The "ideal" nutrient ratios vary for different types of plants. It comes down to whether they are vegetative plants, flowering/fruiting plants, and also what stage of development they are in.

    In hydroponics, where monocultures are the norm, you can tailor the nutrients in the water to the exacting needs of the plants. In Aquaponics, where a range of different plants are grown, there is no one "ideal" ratio of nutrients. Also, the way nutrients are made available and taken up by the plants in AP varies to that of hydroponics.

    As an example, commercial hydroponic lettuce growers will run an EC normally between about 0.9 and 1.4, depending on the variety of lettuce, stage of development, season and temperature. Most fancy lettuce will become bitter above that, and at an EC of about 1.8 most will begin to develop nutrient burn around the leaf margin... but I recently had fancy lettuce growing exceptionally well in an AP system, they were Oakleafs, about the size of a basketball, healthy, no sign of leaf burn, very tasty... and when I tested the EC of the FT water it was 2.4... in a hydroponic system they would've been toast for sure!

    If you have a well balanced system, use a good quality fish food, and add the occasional dash of seaweed extract, about the only other nutrients you may need to add occasionally are chelated Iron and possibly Potassium if you have fruiting plants or nutrient hungry vegetative plants.
    .
     
  6. monahanajj

    monahanajj New Member

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    When you need iron, how much iron do you add per 1000ltrs of water or is it measured differentlty?
     
  7. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    The general consensus is a slightly heaped teaspoon of Chelated iron per 1000L of water

    For Potassium it’s one well heaped teaspoon of Eco-Fungicide (Potassium Bi-carbonate) per 1000L of water capacity.
    .
     
  8. staggeringwade

    staggeringwade New Member

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    Thanks for the Information.
    *I am currently using gold fish, but I'm ordering tilapia soon. I live in the USA what is a good quality food as far as pellets go?
    I plan on growing duckweed as well.

    *The link below is why I have not used an EC meter yet. I don't understand why I need to test for EC.
    http://www.aquaponics.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=1146&highlight=Electrical+conductivity

    *What are the red wiggler worms that you place into the grow beds? In Montana we use worms for fish bait, are they the same thing? I did a google search by image and assume the worms are the same?

    Wade
     
  9. RupertofOZ

    RupertofOZ New Member

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    I think most people in the US... use Purina...

    You don't... and doing so will just do your head in...

    You just can't relate EC in aquaponics... to anything like EC in hydroponics...

    And as an aquaponic system is constantly replenishing.. and constantly resupplying the plants with all their needs... it's just not necessary...

    Any deficiency issues... are almost always related to pH issues... or feed quality...


    "Red Wriggler" compost worms... sometimes called "tiger" worms...
     
  10. Damon Polta

    Damon Polta Member

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    All of the testing kits you can find on the aquatic ecosystems website.
     
  11. staggeringwade

    staggeringwade New Member

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    But as pointed out above since there are no set numbers for calcium, magnesium, iron and so on for AP, I guess there is no reason to test for deficiencies or overages-just watch the plants foliage for signs of trouble?
    I'm sure after one season of watching plants grow I will be able to look at plants and know the ailments.
    Seems too easy not to test-but I like it.:p
     
  12. Damon Polta

    Damon Polta Member

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    yeah, i tried looking what what levels to look for and all i found was different solutions to buy... i even found a website where someone went through al of the trouble for the hyrdo people and created a computer program that would calculate how much solid material would be needed to reach a certain ppm in the system for the people that wanted to mix their own solutions... i found that gem, but still couldn't find what optimum levels were...

    and ass yabbies said... the solution amounts are going to vary depending on the age of your plants and the types of plants. ap seems to be running with moderate to low mineral levels... but that's fine for leafing veggies... i've seen people have trouble with fruiting plants, but the supplement when necessary... or just change the food mix that has what their system needs in it.
     
  13. fishing1234

    fishing1234 New Member

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    any thoughts on adding a multi vitamin like centrum..
    and for potassium could you feed fish high potassium food like banana to fish to get to the level..
     

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