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Please help out a newbie. Plants seem unhappy.

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by bts2089, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. bts2089

    bts2089 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Country:
    United States
    State:
    Florida
    City:
    Tampa
    My fish are thriving. But the plants just don't seem to be happy.

    I am new and started a new system with a 55 gallon barrel feeding into a 5 gal. filter bucket to a raft system and back to the barrel.

    There are currently 6 tilapia between 3 and 5 inches and 3 medium sized algae eating catfish. They appear to be doing great.

    My plants, every thing from lettuce, Kale Basil and peppers. (I pull the plants out of the system to a hydroponic system and try something new, they always come back.) They only seem survive. Almost no growth and a very pale green or even yellow leaf.

    I thought this was because it was a new system and there was not enough beneficial bacteria to break down the ammonia. So I bought a test kit These are the results.

    PH 7.3
    Ammonia .25 ppm
    Nitrite about 2 ppm
    Nitrate about 80 ppm.

    Why aren't my plant thriving? I will add that the water temp is 81.7 Fahrenheit. Is this the problem?

    Thank you for your help!
     
  2. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,881
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    W.A.
    City:
    Perth
    Hi bts, welcome.

    You say it's a new system, how new is new?... Looking at your readings it appears the system is probably less than a month old... Ideally you shouldn't be planting fruiting plants in a new system until it's about 4-6 months old.

    Have you added any seaweed extract, ie Maxicrop?

    Your water temp is fine... as long as there is lots of aeration in the FT and floating raft bed. The water in floating raft beds needs to be really well aerated for plants to perform well, especially in warmer water.

    The picture I get from your description is that you have a 55 gallon fish tank with the water then pumping through a swirl or radial flow filter to a floating raft component, then flowing back to the FT, is this correct?... Is there a gravel filled grow bed in the system anywhere?... What is the total wet gravel volume?

    Your Nitrites are high and will be affecting the health of your fish, especially if they get any higher. I would recommend adding plain salt (ie: pool salt not table) a.s.a.p. at 1gm per litre of water in the system.

    Cheers!
     
  3. bts2089

    bts2089 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Country:
    United States
    State:
    Florida
    City:
    Tampa
    Hello, Thank you. I am now quite sure the main problem is the aeration. I will add an aeration system over the weekend.

    To answer your questions.

    The whole system is about a month old, the only fruiting plant was the pepper. It was very young and ended up there mainly for a place to put it for a week.
    I have not added any seawead extract. I will look into it. You have described my system exactly. I will be modified, and added too as time goes one. I do not currently have gravel filled grow be, but I do have shell fragments for growing the beneficial bacteria. The volume is about 2 cubic feet or .56 cubic meters. I will also check get and add the salt over the weekend.

    Thanks again!

    Bill
     

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