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Aquaponic system ph level and nutrients

 
Georgi Pepelyankov
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Hello everyone, I don't know if this is the right place to post this, I'm hoping some of you would have experience with aquaponic systems and would be able to help me understand the following:

I want to make an aquaponic growing system at home to grow various kinds of vegetables and am wondering the following:
  • Since different plants have different ph and nutrient needs, how would they grow with one source (the pond would have some mid-point ph level around 6 and nutrient for the plants)?
  • Some plants require higher levels of certain nutrients, is it possible to plan how much the plant is going to "eat"? In terms of nutrient and overall water?


  • I hope my questions are clear enough. Anyways, thank you very much in advance for your help and time!
     
    Amit Enventres
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    Location: Ohio, USA
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    Hi, I'm not an expert, but from what I've seen and done, people usually have different pots for different plants. Usually simply because of root differences. Tomatoes in buckets, lettuce in pvc, cuttings in pebbles. As for pH, most things grow around the same pH minus a few odd ones like beets and blueberries.  As for nutrients, plants sometimes take in what they need, but some will be more veggitative if they have access to excess nitrogen. To solve this, maybe you could put these plants at the receiving end of pond water that was first files by nitrogen living plants, like greens. I wouldn't worry about the system being perfect since plants needs change with lighting, size, etc. So it will never be perfect.
     
    Georgi Pepelyankov
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    Amit Enventres wrote:Hi, I'm not an expert, but from what I've seen and done, people usually have different pots for different plants. Usually simply because of root differences. Tomatoes in buckets, lettuce in pvc, cuttings in pebbles. As for pH, most things grow around the same pH minus a few odd ones like beets and blueberries.  As for nutrients, plants sometimes take in what they need, but some will be more veggitative if they have access to excess nitrogen. To solve this, maybe you could put these plants at the receiving end of pond water that was first files by nitrogen living plants, like greens. I wouldn't worry about the system being perfect since plants needs change with lighting, size, etc. So it will never be perfect.


    Hi, if I want to have a system with decorative fish (I don't want to kill fish) and a variety of plants (potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, greens, lettuce, peas, and I somehow manage to get EC about 1.8 and ph of about 6.5-7, would you think it would be a balanced system?

    I realize I need to take a very well-paced approach on this, starting off in smaller portions, gradually filling up the tank and the growbeds but in theoretically I could get to such a stage. If I then put a filter system either in the beginning of irrigation or in the end, to monitor and control EC, ph, flow, etc., do you think that could work?

    Of course, I would need to have a very well calculated fish tank, growbed infrastructure (containers, root area, irrigation tubes, sprinklers, mist makers, etc..) and a very well timed water pump.

    I'm planning to build a family year-round plant-based diet greenhouse, powered by solar panels, rainwater harvested water, and aquaponics system. Each plant will be grown in a specific container to best utilize its specific growth characteristics. That would involve using different watering methods but I plan to mostly use aeroponics (both high and low pressure systems, depending on the desired root growth) in vertical growbed "towers". I would also have to think about aeration of the water somehow as well as adding CO2 in the most eco-friendly way (so far I've found various types of fermentation to be the safest bet but I'm still unsure about those)

    A side question on the fish tank: any idea how to deal with fish waste and dead fish? I've read somewhere that the bacteria on the bottom of the fish tank take care of it (I guess that bacteria needs to be purposely placed on the bottom of the fish tank) but still have more questions than answers
     
    Amit Enventres
    Posts: 350
    Location: Ohio, USA
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    dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
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    Interesting design. I'm no expert, but I started experimenting with a fish tank, pump, and plastic Tupperware that fit nicely on top of the tank, with holes in the bottom. I used decorative fish and used the system to start microgreens and seedlings. I would watch when the water would get dirty, when to clean, how much to clean to not throw everything off balance, etc. It was always a balancing act. Rotting seeds can pollute the water. Fish poo isn't healthy to eat, though we never got sick because I was careful. I always removed dead fish because my system was small and I worried about disease. I suggest starting small and playing with all the elements. Maybe get a mystery snail or other secondary feeder to help with cleaning. Try different types of fish to see which ones get along and can handle the plants. Then once you see what works, scale up. Most plants can handle a little salt and I think they taste better with it. Basil is extra sensitive, but I think the EC you mentioned shouldn't be a problem. Also, don't forget about lighting for fish and planties.
     
    Georgi Pepelyankov
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    Thanks Amit Enventres, I will do a small test at home soon. I plan to buy a plastic container and some tubing and give it a short with a simple low pressure aeroponics system. Whether I will add fish to the mix immediately or try hyroponically at first, haven't decided yet.
     
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