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 Post subject: Nebbian's IBC transplant
PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '12, 13:50 
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Very much a newbie with "all the gear and no idea" here... :dontknow:

Any advice welcome :wave:

A friend of a friend was getting rid of their aquaponics system, and as I'm quite interested in this I thought I'd take it off their hands.

Here it is before packing it up:
Attachment:
File comment: Before transplant
before.JPG
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And here it is installed at my place:
Attachment:
File comment: After transplant
after.JPG
after.JPG [ 35.24 KiB | Viewed 9601 times ]


They had installed a pump that was "just lying around", a 750 watt monster that was connected to a timer... which was misconfigured so that it was ON (not off!) for 75% of the time! I calculated that this would cost around $1000/yr to run :shock:

I bought a fountain pump which appears to have enought grunt, and this will cost $26 a year to run :thumbright:

So I didn't wash the expanded clay, just basically filled the tank with water and some drops of decholorinator, and chucked the 10 silver perch in.

Here are my test results:
Attachment:
File comment: Test results
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test.JPG [ 17.16 KiB | Viewed 9601 times ]


pH 8.3 (our tap water is massively alkaline)
Ammonia 0.25 ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

So... do I need to do anything to this setup? I assume all the bacteria that need to be there are there, my fish aren't eating their food so I've stopped feeding them...

Any advice welcome :?

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '12, 15:01 
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If the fish don't want to eat, don't force them; they're probably in a little bit of shock from the move, so you're doing right thing by not feeding.

Is that lemongrass I spy in your GB? If so, be careful as it can run rampant and take over, just as mint, celery and a few others can, so they have to be planted and closely monitored (or not planted in an AP system at all: mint ;) )

It might be a little late now, but, you can make the GB a little more stable on top of the FT by rotating it 90 degrees. You might have to add some support under the GB tub itself (hard to see from the photo)?

No need to add dechlorinator to water as the chlorine will off-gas in 24-48 hours anyway.

Even though the system was previously "matured" I'd err on the side of caution and treat it as an un-cycled system until you can prove to yourself that it has cycled. With the fish already in the system, watch for a rise in the ammonia which will then begin to fall as you start to see the nitrites rising; the ammonia will continue to fall as will the nitrites as the nitrates begin to show. If after about 7-10 days, you haven't seen any of this action, you could probably assume the bacterial colonies that were in the system have survived the relocation and your system has cycled. During this time, only ever feed the fish lightly, if at all.

You might also be on the limit of filtration for 10 fish, it looks like there might only be 150L-200L of media there? You might have to moderate the feeding regime in summer when the SP will resume their growth period, but the system should be better settled to handle a slightly higher load. Do you have the facilities to add another GB or two?


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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '12, 15:36 
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Wow thanks so much for the detailed and quick response :cheers:


bunson wrote:
Is that lemongrass I spy in your GB?

It's not lemongrass, I think it's garlic (girlfriend was in charge of plant selection :) )

bunson wrote:
You might also be on the limit of filtration for 10 fish, it looks like there might only be 150L-200L of media there? You might have to moderate the feeding regime in summer when the SP will resume their growth period, but the system should be better settled to handle a slightly higher load. Do you have the facilities to add another GB or two?


Music to my ears... yep I'll add some more grow beds pronto.

Thanks again :notworthy:

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '12, 15:51 
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I haven't had much luck growing bulbous or root veges in an AP system, for me they are better suited to dirt vege beds or wicking beds, but some people manage. I used to keep a deep pot with some garlic next to my old system and simply give it a water with some of the AP water when it needed a drink.

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '12, 16:03 
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Welcome :wave1:

Please dont use dechlorinator in the AP system as its not meant for edible fish. Just aerating and leaving for a couple of days and the chlorine will be gone.
You did well by getting a smaller pump :thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '12, 19:47 
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ive found that with root crops, if you move the rock away from the bulb, it will grow faster and larger

like these tiny onions I picked in march

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '12, 21:21 
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Hi Nebbian,
Looks like yout just around the corner from me :wave1:
Welcome to the obsession. I have been on the forum for only a few months but have found it invaluable.
You will probably not see much growth till it warms up and the silvers start eating but dont be tempted to rush things and over feed like i did with my first lot of trout. :oops: :upset:


Good luck

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PostPosted: Jun 23rd, '12, 17:13 
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Welcome Nebian, make sure you really shake the crap out of the test bottles in your kit, and same when all drops are in the test tubes. I shake mine for a good 30-40 seconds. Unless you do this you will often see no nitrate reading. Be worth re-checking.

Good luck with the system :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '12, 19:52 
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Wow thanks for all the helpful advice! This forum rocks :headbang:

Now Decals, that's just... showing off! I can't wait till I get stuff that's half the size of those... Amazing!

I was wondering, has anyone had a failure with aquaponics? Every system I've seen is flourishing. Incredible.

I spent today building a new and improved standpipe (so that the water level is reliably 5 cm from the top of the media), bumped up the level of media as well because it was too shallow, and put a return pipe from the grow bed to the tank to stop the infernal splashing that wakes me up every hour. I don't know who designed the standpipe design with a removable 20mm pipe that sits in the bottom, but it's genius! Very happy with mine.

Now if only those fish would start eating, I'll be in business :think:

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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '12, 20:07 
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Mmmm Nebbian check that flood level, 2cm below the surface should do it just so the sun doesn't get to it but seedlings roots will.

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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '12, 18:40 
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Still no movement on ammonia, nitrite or nitrate and it's been a week and a half.

So I got impatient and threw 4 little koi into the tank. Hopefully they don't get too cold to eat like those sulking little silver perch.

I think this might be overstocked for summer, so will sell the koi on when the silvers start enjoying their food, but for now I figure that at least this will get some fish poo into the system!

Plants are starting to look a bit yellow as well.

*sigh*

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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '12, 20:05 
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nebbian wrote:
So I got impatient and threw 4 little koi

Dont get impatient. Cycling at this time of year could take up to two months, interfering too much or pushing things too hard is going to cause problems; there are hundreds of posts testament to this.

For the yellowing, add some seasol.

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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '12, 23:19 
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:laughing3: + 1 to that.

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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '12, 07:42 
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1cap in the grow bed where your water comes in.

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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '12, 12:33 
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Thanks CCBear, if I'd only read that before I chucked some in the fishtank *sploosh*

Ah well it's a closed system I guess it will find its way in eventually...

Koi seem to be settling in and making friends with the silver perch, they certainly seem more active. Hopefully this means more fish poo :)

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