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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 15th, '15, 05:57 
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Update:
Installed a Danner(pumpmaster) 950gph pump, about 660gph with head height considerations. The manufacturers flow chart recommended 1-1/4" pipe for maximum flow but I am using 1" pipe so the flow is a bit less than 660gph. At the current flow rate the growbeds fill and drain about every 20 minutes. I quickly realized I am lacking a check valve on the pump. I almost over filled the sump tank when I shut off the pump to do some work, I looked over and the sump tank was about 1/4" from the top because water was siphoning out of my fish tank into the sump. :shifty:

Now that the system has been running it seems the rock has settled a bit and needs to be topped off. The tomatoes look like they have either a iron or nitrogen deficiency, maybe both, but it is only the tomatoes, the peas and lettuce look great. I purchased a kit from True Aquaponics and added half the recommended seaweed extract and chelated iron to the system.

Channel Catfish have grown a little bit and very soon may start eating the mosquito fish. Bluegill look the same :think: That's about it, if you have any questions or comments please reply.

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 15th, '15, 22:35 
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Good to hear! Got pics? Did you get your check valve installed?

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 15th, '15, 23:45 
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I realized I didn't actually need the check valve. The problem was I ran the fill line down to the bottom of the tank to stir up any solids. I just cut the line an inch below the water level, no need for the check valve and the solids still get enough flow to be picked up by the slo. I will take some pictures soon, it's always dark when I remember to take them!

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 18th, '15, 00:37 
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Last night my pH was off the chart. Using a pool test kit that tops out at 8.2 my readings appeared to be slightly above. This morning I had another dead bluegill. Guess I need to buy an API test kit and see how my system chemicals look.

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 18th, '15, 02:46 
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The API kit is well worth the money.
Our downtown Sacramento tap water comes out at around pH 9 something right off the bat. Don't remember if I let some sit for 24 hours and re-test or not.
We definitely had challenges with high pH for a solid 6 months. I treated with white vinegar and some kind of pH down product from a hydro supply store (citric acid based), only treating top up water and then adding.
I've since read about concerns with standard vinegar AND citric acid, maybe they contributed to a slower cycling?
Either way, once the bacteria get up and doing their thing ph will drop.

In the meantime if necessary I found about a shot of household white vinegar in a 20 gallon keg tub pulled pH down about 2 points. I'd then pour that into the sump so it would be as less a shock to the fish as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 19th, '15, 10:26 
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Found a dead catfish stuck under a piece of driftwood I left in the bottom of my tank. Added some more vegetables to the system today and remembered to take a few pictures. Tomorrow I will be adding some flowers around the system to blend everything in with the rest of the backyard.

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 19th, '15, 12:50 
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Bummer about the dead fish!

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '15, 08:26 
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Lost 2 more catfish this morning. Their skin was flaking off and they were floating at the top breathing so slow I thought they were dead. I put them in a bucket of fresh water but they didn't make it. I am down to 19 catfish now.

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 20th, '15, 11:27 
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Oh no! I just got my API test kit today. No water in my system yet. Do you want to use my test kit until yours arrives?

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '15, 06:01 
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Thanks for the offer Jim but I ran out and got one.

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pH was way too high, 8.8pH :?
I shut off the system, pumped all the water out of the sump tank and filled with tap water (about 125gallons). Added an airstone to the fish tank and some aquarium salt to the sump. After several tests the chlorine was gone and I turned the system back on. After about 2 hours ph was 7.9. salt ppt is a little high, around 4 or 5.

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I used a salt water aquarium specific gravity test. Not the most accurate but it gives me a ball park figure.

Is 5ppt salt too much? My fish appear to have ich so I was thinking of keeping it at 5ppt for a few days then dilute back to 3 or will it be ok at these levels????

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '15, 09:17 
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Hiya Max nice and neat system you have there, well done.
I'm still learning myself but it is my understanding that the salt treatment for parasites works best when alternating salt levels so when treating in your ft water changes are inevitable so stoch up on off gassed water! Much easier to run the fish thru a small hospital tank prior to ft introduction. My hospital tank was running at over 10ppt salt with no fish issues and exceptionally salty celery...
Use pool salt as it's cheap and muriatic acid to bring the pH down in your top up tank before adding to your main ft.
Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '15, 11:38 
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Thank you Skeggley. Still not completely sure it'ss ich, the dead fish have skin flaking off and their heads looked like they had spots. Looking closer it appears more like algae than white spots. The anus, base of the tail fin and gills are red. One had the top fin and side fins almost completely gone. I tried a salt bath on a few fish that were swimming funny but they didn't make it. I expected to loose a few fish at startup but now that I see my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels I think I just need to get my pH under control.

I have read several things about pH so what's best: Muriatic acid or Vinegar?

I am kind of leaning towards vinegar because it is a food product. My whole system is about 450 gallons. I was thinking of pulling 5 gallons of water out, adjusting the pH to 5 and adding it to the sump tank. I could do this a few times each day until my pH is 7. I really don't know how fast of a pH change is bad for the fish so I would make slow adjustments over a few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 21st, '15, 21:22 
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Max47 wrote:

I have read several things about pH so what's best: Muriatic acid or Vinegar?

I am kind of leaning towards vinegar because it is a food product. My whole system is about 450 gallons. I was thinking of pulling 5 gallons of water out, adjusting the pH to 5 and adding it to the sump tank. I could do this a few times each day until my pH is 7. I really don't know how fast of a pH change is bad for the fish so I would make slow adjustments over a few days.



Hey Max. Muriatic acid as it is cheap and benefits fish health by adding chlorides.
I'd just add quarter of a cup into the sump and check the next day or so and use that as a gauge on the pH drop. But I am lazy... The best way is adjusting your top up water of course
As for your fish issues I'm no expert but I have seen some fish as you describe and it was remedied by running high salt levels (4-5ppt) and water changes. Sometime it's too late before you notice the issues with the fish and that's why we all spend so much time hovering over the ft with a beer in hand.. :wink: Same thing with the gb's, as we can't use pesticides we float around the gbs looking for pests and free fish food with a beer in hand.
Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Mar 25th, '15, 06:30 
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Almost all my fish have died the remaining few don't look so well. Plants look good, hopefully they stay that way. I guess I am left with two options; buy some gold fish at the local pet store or add ammonia until next month when I can purchase more catfish.

I had a huge pH spike along with algae and I believe Ich. To block out the sun I wrapped the fish tank with black garden underlayment. Adjusted the pH with muriatic acid and raised the salt levels to 6ppt. Moving forward I should not have any more algae and can keep my pH from hurting my fish. I believe the poor water quality led to the outbreak of ich. Hopefully things turn around. Until then I will just stay the course!

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 Post subject: Re: Max47's IBC System
PostPosted: Apr 7th, '15, 10:04 
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Plants are growing.

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System is cycled and pH has started to come down on its own, from 8.3pH to 7.8pH. Plants are looking good. The nitrates are on the high side so I was going to cut back on adding ammonia until it comes back down. The few Items left on my list of things to do is install an air pump in the fish tank, add more plants and count down the days until I can purchase more catfish. :thumbright:

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