All times are UTC + 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Nov 15th, '17, 05:40 
Offline

Joined: Nov 15th, '17, 05:16
Posts: 5
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: USA, CA, Modesto
Hello,

I started a small Aquaponics setup that consists of an IBC tote for the Fish Tank and third of another tote for the grow bed. Currently using expanded clay media with a flood and drain type system. I started the cycling process by adding catfish fingerlings that I sourced locally. At the same time I planted some sacrificial lettuce to monitor the plant growth.

10/26/17 placed catfish into the tank.
10/30/17 I dumped 5 gallons of water from a friends aquaponics setup. He had his system running but then moved it out of the greenhouse and the plants shocked but the fish were still alive and well. I also at this time added lime juice based on the recommendation of some online forums to bring down the pH.

Since that time my water has gotten murky, and then cleared up in the last few days. I have lost some fish during this time (will be several days and then 1 will float, then nothing for a couple of days and then 1 or 2 will float and so on) and have done some partial water changes during this time.

Ammonia levels have stayed around the 4-5ppm consistently during this whole time.

The lettuce has significantly grown during this time from spindly plants to nice full plants.

I am feeding a small amount of fish food every 1-2 days.

So my question is did I shoot myself in the foot by using the lime and that is why I am not seeing any nitrate even though it has been almost 3 weeks?

Should I try to do as much of a water change as possible or keep riding it out? Any other recommendations?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
    Advertisement
 
PostPosted: Nov 15th, '17, 14:25 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Aug 26th, '10, 07:17
Posts: 8102
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Oregon, USA
It would be good to know the water temp and pH of the tank water and also for any top up water you are planning on using. Depending on the pH and Temp your ammonia level could be what is killing your fish. You'll find a chart for ammonia here -

http://ibcofaquaponics.com/information/tables-and-charts/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 15th, '17, 14:59 
Offline
A posting God
A posting God
User avatar

Joined: Apr 4th, '11, 13:18
Posts: 2181
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Not before 8am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
computermillerj wrote:
I also at this time added lime juice based on the recommendation of some online forums to bring down the pH. Since that time my water has gotten murky

Did I shoot myself in the foot by using the lime and that is why I am not seeing any nitrate even though it has been almost 3 weeks?

You could well have... Citric acid is used a very effective anti-bacterial agent in hospitals where they are having a hard time controlling super bugs, in fact, in some situations it has proven to be the only effective method.

Also, using lime/lemon juice to drop the pH in a system that has used high carbonate water, requires a volume of lime/lemon juice that will not only inhibit the development of, or harm your existing bacteria colony, it will also turn your water rancid after a few days.

I would avoid taking advice from those contributors, or maybe even avoid those forums altogether if the admins/mods are letting advice like that slip through.

_________________
Mr Damage - a.k.a: Yabbies
Owner at Perth Aquaponics - Aquaponic Consultant & Trainer
Trade certified Horticulturist & Cert IV TAE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 15th, '17, 22:15 
Offline

Joined: Nov 15th, '17, 05:16
Posts: 5
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: USA, CA, Modesto
The pH and water temp of the tank have been staying right around 7.6 and between 65 and 70 deg F. I have been using city water and the pH and temp are very similar. That chart is the reason I was trying to lower the pH to around 7 so I would be in the range for the ammonia levels I am seeing.

Based on the chart and my temp and pH I am amazed I haven't killed all my fish off....

The lime juice could be why the water got so murky for a while. Will the lime juice eventually go away or will a full water change be the only option? Since the water has cleared up I don't want to do a water change if things are turning around now.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 15th, '17, 22:50 
Offline
A posting God
A posting God
User avatar

Joined: Apr 4th, '11, 13:18
Posts: 2181
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Not before 8am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Water changes should only be done when absolutely necessary. With your Amm and pH, and the fact there are fish in the system, then it's probably justified, but the first thing I would be finding out is if your water authority uses Chlorine or Chloramine, because if it's chloramine, even if the water used for top-ups is well aerated and exposed to sunlight/UV for at least 2 days first to break the Chloramine bond and gas off the resulting Chlorine, there will still be Ammonia in that water.

If the tap water only contains Chlorine, then 24hrs of aeration to gas off the Chlorine would be fine. Use that 24hrs to treat the water with Hydrochloric acid to a pH of 6.0 and maintain it there for the 24hrs, you will need to check it a few times throughout the 24hrs and most likely add more acid each time. This will consume the carbonate from the water and also help reduce the pH in the system a little when you do use it for water changes.

If you do decide to do water changes to reduce the Amm level, then ideally they should be of sufficient quantity to reduce the Amm level significantly, but no more than 30% of the total system water volume. If you've treated the top-up water with HCl acid as described above, add it into the system in 3 or 4 lots over a few hours, so the pH doesn't change too much or too fast.

I would also stop feeding the remaining fish, I would be surprised if they are eating anyway, are you sure the food isn't just sinking to the bottom and rotting?... If it is, it will also be adding to the Amm level. Fish can easily go a week without a feed.

_________________
Mr Damage - a.k.a: Yabbies
Owner at Perth Aquaponics - Aquaponic Consultant & Trainer
Trade certified Horticulturist & Cert IV TAE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 15th, '17, 23:29 
Offline

Joined: Nov 15th, '17, 05:16
Posts: 5
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: USA, CA, Modesto
I have an IBC tote system so approximately 225 gallons in the Fish Tank. Currently have been using a filter to do water changes. Link is below. I will try to find out about the city water and what is used.
https://www.amazon.com/Hydro-Life-52133 ... B002UC6VJK

So 30% of my tank would come out to about 65 gallons. I don’t have a good way of treating that much water at one time. What would be the minimum amount that would be sufficient quantity?

Anything in particular I need to look for when I buy Hydrochloric acid?

It has been a couple of days since I have fed the fish. Each time I do feed them they attack the food like crazy. When the water wasn’t as clear it was a little hard to tell what exactly was happening, but they are eating the food before and after the water has cleared up and I can see the whole way to the bottom. So a weekly feeding at this point is the best option?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 16th, '17, 17:25 
Offline
A posting God
A posting God
User avatar

Joined: Apr 4th, '11, 13:18
Posts: 2181
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Not before 8am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Even 10% water changes would be better than nothing if the Ammonia is above the safe level for your system pH and water temp.

Hydrochloric acid is sold as muriatic acid in the US I believe, pool shops and hardware stores will have it.

Definitely back the feeding off to a light feed at least every 4th or 5th day until the system has cycled and has taken care of the Ammonia.

_________________
Mr Damage - a.k.a: Yabbies
Owner at Perth Aquaponics - Aquaponic Consultant & Trainer
Trade certified Horticulturist & Cert IV TAE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 18th, '17, 11:39 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Apr 11th, '15, 23:10
Posts: 36
Gender: Male
Are you human?: yes
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
The town I used to live in dosed their water with chloramine. Which I learned is an nasty yet effective antibacterial combination of chlorine and ammonia. Takes much much longer to off gas than chorine.

My ammonia level always read super high, and my system took weeks to cycle. Too much ammonia actually inhibits the proliferation of the bacteria meant to convert it to nitrite, and water changes did no good as I was just adding in more chloramine water.

After much research and no luck with anything I tried, I found a resource that indicated that Vitamin C actually somehow causes the break up of the chloramine. So I found the purist stuff I could find and started adding it to my sump. What I read said a 1000mg will treat a medium bathtub, so I added about 6 tablets over 3 days (400 gallon system).

After a week I noticed my nitrates starting to creep up, and after another week my ammonia level dropped to zero and my nitrates stayed sky high. So I figured I was cycled at that point. :-) Or not, I dunno. I'm new at this, hehe.

Also my pH levels dropped (more acidic), which I attributed to the nitrification process, as ascorbic acid is a pretty weak acid for that amount of water.

So if your city municipal doses with chloramine, buy a bottle of the good vitamin C, take a couple because you probably need it, and give it a try!

_________________
Dad's System

The FarmNow Defunct


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 18th, '17, 12:48 
Offline
A posting God
A posting God
User avatar

Joined: Apr 4th, '11, 13:18
Posts: 2181
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Not before 8am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Your system was probably at the point where it going to cycle anyway jdubb.

In the overwhelming majority of situations where Municipal water supplies are treated with Chloramine, they use Monochloromine, which can have the Ammonia-Chlorine bond broken and the resulting Chlorine gassed off within 48hrs with good aeration and exposure to sunlight/UV, leaving behind the Ammonia.

Treating the same Monochloramine treated water with vitamin C will achieve the same result, with the exact same amount of Ammonia left behind, it will just break the Ammonia-Chlorine bond almost immediately and the resulting Chlorine will be gassed off within at little as 6hrs with good aeration and exposure to sunlight/UV.

Also, depending on the original pH and carbonate hardness of your water, the ascorbic acid could and probably did have quite a noticeable effect on the system's water pH. The natural pH decline that most aquaponics systems ultimately experience, normally takes many weeks, or even months to occur after the system has completed cycling and the fish have been added, as the amount of natural acids produced by the nitrification process, especially with young fingerlings, is not that substantial. But again, the original water pH and carbonate hardness would determine how long this would take to occur, ie: If you used rain water or soft, low carbonate water, the natural pH decline would occur much sooner. The effect of the ascorbic acid you added would also be more pronounced in this situation.

_________________
Mr Damage - a.k.a: Yabbies
Owner at Perth Aquaponics - Aquaponic Consultant & Trainer
Trade certified Horticulturist & Cert IV TAE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 18th, '17, 14:58 
Offline

Joined: Nov 15th, '17, 05:16
Posts: 5
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: USA, CA, Modesto
I did a little under a 1/4 water change and am still monitoring to see how it goes. It was a feeding frenzy when I fed the fish. It had been 5 days since I fed last. The water is starting to get murky again it seems like.

Learned the city water is treated with Chlorine so that is good news. How much is too much ammonia where it inhibits the cycle? Seems there is different levels suggested...

Hurry up and wait I guess...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 18th, '17, 15:59 
Offline
A posting God
A posting God
User avatar

Joined: Apr 4th, '11, 13:18
Posts: 2181
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Not before 8am
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Some people have quoted their cycling is affected at 7.0ppm, and many have quoted their cycling completely stalling at 8.0ppm... Which is why the sites that tell you that you need a minimum of 5.0ppm ppm for cycling, are treading a fine line IMO... You can cycle a system very successfully, in the same amount of time, with just 0.5ppm.

_________________
Mr Damage - a.k.a: Yabbies
Owner at Perth Aquaponics - Aquaponic Consultant & Trainer
Trade certified Horticulturist & Cert IV TAE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 19th, '17, 12:17 
Offline

Joined: Nov 15th, '17, 05:16
Posts: 5
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: USA, CA, Modesto
Thanks for that info! For some reason my Amonia levels seems to max out about 4-5ppm which is a good thing.

Tested the water this afternoon and had a nice suprise! Amonia levels are still at 4ppm, but nitrate is now at .25ppm. One step closer!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 11 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Portal by phpBB3 Portal © phpBB Türkiye
[ Time : 0.366s | 20 Queries | GZIP : Off ]