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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '13, 05:19 
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I know how much you guys like pictures, so I'll start with those:

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File comment: An overview
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File comment: The grow beds (with scale!)
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File comment: A shot of the stand pipe
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There are a few things that still need doing:

Some shade for the tank to stop algae growing (though it's a very shaded window actually, and it's not been a problem yet so we'll see...)

An air pump/stone, I've enclose the returns to keep them quiet, but I'm pretty sure that's stopped a lot of the air I'd normally get. A small air pump will hopefully see to this.

Some grow lights. As mentioned that's a very shaded window, it's north facing, and faces the neighbours wall. I've got some full spectrum CFLs (from a failed hydroponics experiment) that I'll mount over the grow beds.

Some more media for bed three...

Some fish! Any idea how many white cloud mountain minnows I'd need to run a system this size? It'll just be for herbs and lettuce (due to lack of natural light). From what i've read, the tank's a bit small (56 litres) even for one goldfish... but I could just get one small goldfish and put him in the outdoor system when he outgrows the tank?

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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '13, 05:23 
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The system's still in the early days of cycling, but I've taken a couple of readings:

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File comment: After 3 days
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File comment: After 1 week
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Any idea what could have caused the high nitrates? I've added some ammonia and some maxicrop with iron, but I didn't think either of these had high levels of nitrates?

The only other thing I can think of is that I did try and rescue a mainly dead supermarket coriander plant by adding it to the system, but it was too far gone. Might there have been some fertiliser in with the soil? I did try rinsing the roots, but it was too pot bound to get everything out.

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PostPosted: May 17th, '13, 22:39 
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I've been struggling with some very high nitrites; full details can be found in this thread:
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum ... =1&t=16552

I've also been messing with a raspberry pi, taking temperature logs: Details, Live data. And setting up a webcam with timelapse.

So I thought it was about time I updated my system thread, and what better way than with some pictures. For your viewing pleasure:

Attachment:
File comment: Full system (raspberry pi top right).
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File comment: Fish Tank
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Attachment:
File comment: Nitrate on the way up, nitrite coming down - nearly there!
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PostPosted: May 17th, '13, 22:40 
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And a couple more, of the plants.

Attachment:
File comment: Mint taking hold.
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Attachment:
File comment: Basil getting started.
photo 5 small.jpg
photo 5 small.jpg [ 61.15 KiB | Viewed 5654 times ]

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PostPosted: May 17th, '13, 23:38 
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Well you have lost 1 bed to mint :) I hope you eat a lot of it!

I like aquarium systems. A bit different to the norm :)

What temp probe have you got there mate?

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PostPosted: May 17th, '13, 23:56 
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rsevs3 wrote:
Well you have lost 1 bed to mint :) I hope you eat a lot of it!

I like aquarium systems. A bit different to the norm :)

What temp probe have you got there mate?


I do like mint, especially fresh mint tea... The plan was to use the mint while the basil takes hold, so there's something in there to use up the nitrates. If it gets too wild I'll put the mint in the dirt and plant some parsley or rocket. There's a third bed not yet in use too so I've spare space.

The aquarium system's a test bed, something to play with while the outdoor system's (slooowly) cycling. It's proving fun though!

The sensor's a waterproof DS18B20. A quick search on ebay is sure to turn up loads! I only paid about £2.50 for mine from someone local. They're cheap chinese imports, but do the job well.

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '13, 00:14 
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It's been two weeks so I thought I'd update, and since photos speak a thousand words:

Attachment:
File comment: The first (modest) harvest!
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File comment: One of the half dozen cherry chrimp.
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File comment: Water params looking good, slightly elevated nitrates.
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The cherry shrimp are a new addition, I thought they might keep the substrate cleaner someone's certainly doing some housekeeping, but I don't know if it's them or the malaysian trumpet snails.

The mint was harvested but has since grown back (mint FTW!). It was yummy, went into mojitos :)

The pH has dropped slightly - I'm taking it as a good sign. I've been dosing occasionally using maxicrop with iron whenever the leaves start yellowing. It would be good if the pH fell a little and they could do without.

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '13, 00:20 
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Another couple for your viewing pleasure:

Attachment:
File comment: Mint recovered, growing well if a little leggy.
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Attachment:
File comment: One of the tank - if you squint you can see the dozen minnows.
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I know plants and media in the fish tank are frowned upon - but I had to make it look nice :)

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '13, 00:31 
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One of the minnows is sick. He's off his food and acting lethargic.

I noticed a few days ago he seemed to have a damaged bottom lip (looked like some skin hangin off) so I thought he'd been in a fight. Seems to have healed now though, but he's still not acting right.

I've set up a hospital tank, with the spare grow bed as a filter (there's about an inch of clay pebbled in there) and a few plants so he can hide if he wants to.

Right now he's not moving much - but does dart to the back of the tank if you get close.

All the other fish are fine - swimming around like lunatics! so I don't think it's the water params. Thought it best to isolate him in case he's coming down with something infectous.

Attachment:
File comment: The hospital tank.
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Attachment:
File comment: Close up of the sick minnow.
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They're white cloud mountain minnows, or wcmm for short. Not really on the sort of scale you guys are used to I know :D but they seem to be eating well and are keeping nitrates up. (or that might just be the aquatic plants slowly rotting ;) )

If he doesn't perk up in a couple of days I'll salt to 3ppt. I've been feeding them goldfish flakes, but I'm going to try varying the food a little. Someone suggested adding garlic juice to the flakes - makes them more appetising apparently. I've also got dried daphnia in the post.

Any other suggestions?

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PostPosted: Jun 6th, '13, 16:57 
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He didn't get better - worse in fact... listless to the extent he could barley keep himself horizontal (his tail would drop) and it looked like his scales/skin was starting to flake off :(

In the end I decided a quick and painless death was probably better than a long drawn out one.

Last night I euthenised him. A sad say in the BoredomIsFailure household.

Bearing in mind that this fish is tiny (it's a minnow) I didn't consider a bash over the head to be a realistic option. A search threw up the following article:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/faustus/ni ... anasia.htm

In the end I dropped it into a shot glass of vodka - it seemed to do the trick as advertised "The fish will instantly be paralysed and unconscious, death follows quickly due to respiratory failure." I think clove oil would be better if I should ever have to do this again for a small fish.

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PostPosted: Jun 6th, '13, 20:12 
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So what does a vodka shot with wcmm taste like?

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PostPosted: Jun 6th, '13, 20:15 
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I considered it, but ultimatley decided it wasn't a wise decision :pukeright:

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PostPosted: Jun 6th, '13, 22:40 
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Ha Ha

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