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PostPosted: May 24th, '14, 01:29 
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Hi All,

I have a few questions about my system and instead of starting a bunch of specific threads, I thought I'd start a general system thread and ask the questions and post the pictures along the way.

Basic system Info:

150 Gal Fish Tank
150 Gal Sump - Pump in Sump
2 - 8 x 3 grow beds

Currently 50 Gold Fish


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PostPosted: May 24th, '14, 01:39 
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Question 1:

My system has been cycling for 2 weeks now. In one of the grow beds I have plants - head lettuce, kale, and a few chard.

In the past week the Ph has spiked (close to 8.0) and the coloring of all the plants is fading. Instead up lush green - things are starting to look ghostly. The lettuce leaves are starting to yellow.

I just added an organic Ph downer and the other day and have slowly been adding some for the past few days and the Ph is now down to around 6.2-6.4.

I have been growing veggies for a long time but this is my first attempt at aquaponics. Anyone have any ideas of whats causing this discoloration - or just a symptom of cycling? Any info would be great.


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PostPosted: May 24th, '14, 01:49 
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looks like you have room for some more media.. i'd add media or lower the water level.. the top of the growbed should be "dry"
gotta be careful with ph adjustment products, just because it's organic, doesn't make it safe for a system with fish (or plants) that you plan on eating..
high ph is great to get your system cycled, and by lowering it as much as you have, you've basically extended your cycle time... be patient...
with high ph you may need to occassionally add some "micronutrients" - i used maxicrop with iron, 1 liter lasted for more than a year, i used about a cap ful every 3 to 4 weeks when my system was "new" - that was with a 110gallon ft, and 110gal of gb's..
use a good quality aquaculture food, which will provide all the nutrients your plants need..
oh, and watch for the actual ph drop (which will happen) when you have to start buffering your system back up..if ph drops below 6, the system will start to kill the beneficial bacteria..

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PostPosted: May 26th, '14, 22:01 
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Thanks keith - i guess i just need to be more patient. I just have a fear that my system isn't cycling fast enough. The plants don't look great and I've lost 4 of 50 gold fish in the past 2 weeks. The Ph keeps spiking to around 8, which I understand is ok for bacteria but not so good for plants...

I am also just starting to notice how there seems to build up on the surfaces of the plumbing... any idea what this is or how it is affecting the system either positive or negative?


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PostPosted: May 26th, '14, 22:10 
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As a note - I feed fish once a day. Been reading up, maybe cut back on feeding??? Maybe cover FT to limit sunlight?? Any thoughts welcome. Thanks.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 00:02 
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Consider changing to opaque tubing: the translucent will admit sunlight, allowing algae/biofilm to build up. When it sloughs loose it can clog your pump/fittings.

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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '14, 21:31 
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Here are some more pictures to give folks an idea of the process I went through building my system.

I have 2 150 Gal tanks - one Fish Tank/one sump. And 2 3' x 8' grow beds that are each 12'' deep. All housed in a 9' x 12' greenhouse. :)


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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '14, 21:33 
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More Pics


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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '14, 21:34 
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More..


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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '14, 21:34 
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FINAL


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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '14, 09:46 
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That looks pretty awesome Sugar Beard.
I am new to this whole Aquaponics things and want to build a grow bed like yours. I'm pretty savvy with tools and the such, but am wondering what type of plumbing set up do you use in a grow bed such as yours? Meaning, for the flowing back into the fish tank?
Thanks Jla


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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '14, 11:08 
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Neat :)

You can always expand with some NFT tubes along the walls.

You have lids for sump and fishtank?

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '14, 22:40 
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Thanks Jay!

This is definitely just the start. Once I get things cycled and dialed in, probably expand in some way. I Like the idea of NFT along the walls!

No lids for tanks... should I?? What's the benefit - just reducing sunlight/water temp??

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '14, 05:39 
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Algae growth (the green stuff) grows when you don't cover open water.
And your fish might jump out also (trout more than others)

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '14, 05:54 
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Hi

Looks interesting. If you are interested in keeping a diary you may wish keep it online on http://www.ourresearch.net. The idea is that you keep a diary which can include chemistry, fish, plants, and other inputs, as well as a photo diary if you wish, This information can be used by its members to work out what works and doesn't work and in what circumstances. I am doing this as part of a university research project, but its aimed at the members, who can access everything added.

Ria

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