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I started these tomatoes on the soil and they were kind of crowded. I placed 2 of the largest ones in a separate container and they already have 2 tomatoes and lots of flowers, these where the others that where left. I put them in the aquaponic system a month ago, and although it has grown, it's no where near the size of the bigger ones I placed in soil. Other plants in the system are doing well ( I think :D ) 1 main difference is that the potted tomatoes get around 3 hours of direct sunlight and the aquaponics get all they're light through a grow lamp

I'm wondering if that bad start has anything to do with how things are going now.

These are the tomatoes in question, as you can see, even at that size, they can't hold up their own weight.


Here are the tomatoes that got a head start on the crowded pot that I separated.


Here are some happy plants on the system. I mention this because this leads me to think it's not some nutrient issue. The first gets the same amount of direct sunlight, and the bottom one is all by the grow light.

Happy1 Happy1

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If they are getting different amounts of light then it is apples and oranges. – Grady Player Jul 3 '12 at 14:13
The bigger ones are getting 2-3 hours of direct sunlight. The crappy ones have a grow light on a 12 hr timer so if anything it should be the other way around shouldnt it ? – geermc4 Jul 4 '12 at 4:43
Not necessarily the 12 hour cycle should be ideal... But if the number of photons striking receptive pigment in the chloroplasts. Ie if the grow lights aren't strong enough then you will get more energy from the sun. – Grady Player Jul 4 '12 at 13:35
:o how can i test that, this is the light – geermc4 Jul 4 '12 at 14:55

As the conditions between the two sets of plants are totally different, it could be anything. Since the most significant difference is the light source, test that first:

  • Place one tank so at least half of it is exposed to sunlight
  • Cover the other half so it is never exposed to sunlight (a large piece of cardboard taped between the halves should do)
  • Set your grow lamp up so it lights the dark half
  • Move a set of fresh seedlings into each half (you want several to get any meaningful result)

Now they should have the same conditiions apart from the light source. Let them grow for a few weeks and you should see under which light conditions they thrive.

If it isn't that, rule out the other factors with similar tests (change only one condition at a time).

As for the question if it is too late for those tomatoes, no - they look healthy to me, so apart from growing slower, they're fine. You could move them out like the others, or just accept the slower development.

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