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Aquaponic system ph level and nutrients


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Old 03-06-2017, 05:08 AM
kr3t3n kr3t3n is offline
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Default Aquaponic system ph level and nutrients

Hello everyone, I don't know if this is the right place to post this (I saw there is an Aquaponics sub-forum but it looks deserted), 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!

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Old 03-06-2017, 03:07 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello kr3t3n,

Quote:
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)?
The same way they would trying to grow various kinds of vegetables using one reservoir and nutrient solution. Some plants will do better than others, and some will suffer more than others.

Quote:
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?
Water consumption will be predictable. Nutrient uptake can be as well. However I don't think your referring to nutrient uptake, but rather nutrient manufacturing/concentrations.

Aquaponics is a living ecosystem that is constantly converting organic mater into the raw chemical elements the plants can absorb. Predicting the concentrations of each of the 13 necessary nutrients at any given time may be possible to some extent. But not an easy task and taking a lot of experience. Hear's a forum about aquaponics "Backyard Aquaponics" as well as a list of other resources on aquaponics I listed here A few sources of info on Aquaponics
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:20 PM
kr3t3n kr3t3n is offline
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Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
Hello kr3t3n,



The same way they would trying to grow various kinds of vegetables using one reservoir and nutrient solution. Some plants will do better than others, and some will suffer more than others.

Water consumption will be predictable. Nutrient uptake can be as well. However I don't think your referring to nutrient uptake, but rather nutrient manufacturing/concentrations.

Aquaponics is a living ecosystem that is constantly converting organic mater into the raw chemical elements the plants can absorb. Predicting the concentrations of each of the 13 necessary nutrients at any given time may be possible to some extent. But not an easy task and taking a lot of experience. Hear's a forum about aquaponics "Backyard Aquaponics" as well as a list of other resources on aquaponics I listed here A few sources of info on Aquaponics
As I'm planning how to grow plants using minimum resources, when it comes to water needed, aeroponics (high and low pressure systems) are much more efficient then aquaponics and considering that the roots do the water cleaning for the fish, would these two watering methods be sufficient for the plants to "clean" or do they need ebb&flow or DWC to have more time?
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:20 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello kr3t3n,
I don't really understand the question.

First, Aquaponics is simply just a method of making your own nutrients. Second, I don't understand what you mean by "clean". Are you meaning consume the nutrients? Third, what two watering methods are you referring to? Do you mean high and low aeroponics? Fourth, what do you mean by "ebb&flow or DWC to have more time?"
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:40 PM
kr3t3n kr3t3n is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
Hello kr3t3n,
I don't really understand the question.

First, Aquaponics is simply just a method of making your own nutrients. Second, I don't understand what you mean by "clean". Are you meaning consume the nutrients? Third, what two watering methods are you referring to? Do you mean high and low aeroponics? Fourth, what do you mean by "ebb&flow or DWC to have more time?"
I was under the wrong impression that plant roots somehow affect the water so that the fish benefit but in reality it is the ammonia->nitrite->nitrate bacterias that grow in the system (usually in the growbed containers, as far as I have read) do that. The plants just use the nitrated water, right? (consume the nutrients)

Yes, I mean high and low aeroponics.

Ebb & Flow or DWC to have more time was in the context of the roots (plants) doings something to the water which benefits the fish and the aquaponic system as a whole (but if the bacteria do it, then indeed it would not matter what watering system is used, as long as the bacteria is doing its job and the fish provide the right amount of ammonia.

It would be great if the bacteria can be in a "secondary" container/tank, not in every growbed container.

Are these assumptions correct? Then I would only need to know how much water I need to irrigate all growbeds and then determine what fish tank, how many fish, bacteria, etc are required?
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:50 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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kr3t3n,
Yes, root contact time with the water doesn't do anything for the fish. The water delivery system doesn't affect the plants, however the size and type of bio filter will. That's why it's most common to use a drip system/flood and drain system with the plants in a grow beds because of the large bio filter space. Fish have been known to eat the plant roots. If your going to use aquaponics and grow in a water culture system, you'll want to make sure to use fish that won't eat the plants roots.

Plants can't absorb the nutrients until their broken down into the single raw chemical element. There are 13 necessary nutrients. The beneficial microbes (that includes all micro organisms both plant and animal) break down the fish waste/organic mater into the raw chemical elements the plants can then absorb. In aquaponics the grow beds/growing media act as a bio filter. providing the necessary surface area for the microbes to attach to so they can grow, breed and multiply. In aquaponics any surface area that comes in contact with the water is somewhere for the microbes to attach to.

In order to separate the water from the beneficial microbes in the water you would have to kill the beneficial microbes using a UV light before the water reached the plants. Doing so would defeat the purpose of aquaponics. Dead microbes cant break down organic mater into the raw chemical elements the plants can absorb. Without the living microbes the plants won't have any food. Even only killing some will reduce the amount of the nutrients the plants will be able to get.

The beneficial microbes will continue to grow, breed, and multiply as long as they have food, a place to do it, and the environmental conditions are correct. As for how many fish you'll need, that all depends on how many, and what type of plants your growing. There is a formula for figuring that out, as well fish to water ratios, but I don't know what it off the top of my head.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 03-08-2017 at 12:03 PM.
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