Steady as she goes

It looks like everything is working pretty well. My IBC tote aquaponics system is humming right along without any real problems. I have one fish that is being beat up really badly by the others but I isolated him in another small tank and hope that he will pull through. Tilapia are some mean fish!

I am actually having one issue that is bugging me. The Denver City water that I am using for the fish tank has almost 0 kH (hardness from carbonates), which is a problem because the beneficial bacteria utilize carbonates for breaking down the ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate, but without it can’t do this job. So, I  have been told to keep the carbonates above 40 ppm by adding calcium and potassium carbonate to the water. Well the problem is that this also brings the pH of the water up to about 7.6, which is not the ideal pH for the plants. Apparently, the pH should be quite a bit more acidic to really make for happy plants. Let me know if you know how to get the right carbonates and pH at the same time!!

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the system from a couple weeks ago. I recently switched the system from ebb and flow to constant flow and the plant growth took off. I didn’t expect that to make much difference at all but it is the only thing that has really changed…

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