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 Post subject: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 15:02 
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Hi Guys,

I have some time to post some pics and get some feedback on my first system. I started the build in October and placed fish in on November 23, I cycled with the fish in the system and with help from Darren, DLF Perth and others managed to get through this silly decision with no loss of fish due to ammonia or nitrates. I did lose 4 fish within a week of adding them to the tank but I reckon that was shock due to temp or PH.

So the outline of the system is as follows,

2000 litre fish tank with a slo made out of 90 mm pipe.
outlet flows into a swirl filter which is attached to a mineralisation tank.

Air pump provides air to the fish tank and the mineralisation tank through 20 mm pvc attached to those air disks which work really well, maybe too well for the fish??

Pump is a Oase 12000 lph......... yes i know way over powered and this was my main area of stuff up. I had a 8000 litre pond max pump and I couldn't get water up my grow towers. Not even knowing what I didn't know I went to the default male position of looking for more power!! hence the newer pump.

To my horror this didn't fix the problem. It was then I realised I had a flow problem caused by the 20 mm pipe I used. Rookie error I'm sure. So I re plumbed to 40 mm pvc and viola it was perfect. Now I have a backup pump !

I also have a backup 12 volt pump and aerator which kicks in if the power fails.

I have two 500 litre sumps, one is located under each pair of growbeds.
Grow beds are made from IBC's and I use Scoria for the grow media.
I also have two grow towers.

All of this is in a 3m x 4m green house.


Ill try to see if I can upload some photos of the system and then I have some questions that I can throw into the discussion.

Cheers Quigs


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 15:19 
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Inside the greenhouse


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 15:21 
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From the back with the fishtank and filter and mineralisation tank.

I havent built any shade structure over it as yet


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 15:24 
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the fish tank. although I believe they should be round this seems to be working well with great water flow and current for the fish, maybe due to the massive pump!! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 15:26 
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another inside pic.


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 15:33 
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Forgot to say that I have 35 Silver perch in the tank. 10 went in as 8 cm fish and two died
25 went in as 3 cm fish and two of these died as well.
That leaves 31
The 8 larger ones have grown to about 11-12 cm
and most of the smaller fish have grown to about 5 cm
there are about 5 or 6 fish that are still at 2 cm and dont feed well at all but continue to survive. I wonder if these ones didnt get sick from the period of high nitites. any way they are hanging on maybe they will grow eventually

my calculations say I could cope with 50 fish in the system and am going to add some more soon.
any advice welcome.

IU have already take plenty of beens and lettuce from the system but my nitrate readings are still zero and most of my crops are now struggling. weekly seasol continues.

Cheers Quigs


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 18:30 
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I dont know a lotyet...still learning butI'lltellyou one thing, dont worry EVER about your growbeds falling through.....hells bells I could lift a car with that size timber,


but is it permapine ? whats underneath, Id hate any chemicals from timber to leach intofish tanks

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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '17, 03:54 
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Hey Tonzz

Yep the sleepers are pretty heavy but I had a few left over from a retaining wall and thought I'd use them.

I agree if they got wet and the run off went in to the sump it could be a problem but being in the green house I should be ok unless they gass off and the cca leaches that way. I'm not sure about that.

Quigs


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '17, 09:35 
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Hi Quigs, good to see all going well. Neat greenhouse setup - that should work over the cooler periods.

Nice looking fish tank - what was it or where did it come from ?

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May the fish sh*t and the plants grow.....


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 25th, '17, 02:32 
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Nice start Quigs! I love seeing little greenhouses chocked full of growing space =) gives me inspiration for when I finally get mine up and running.

I'm also curious about what the fish tank was... it looks like a nice size tank!

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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 25th, '17, 04:35 
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Thank,s Darren and Rininger,
The tank is just a water tank that we had as part of an old water supply system at work. It had been sitting there for a few years after we updated the system so I offered $200 for it and it became my fish tank.
It's 2100 litres, I have buried it 800 mm so I can see into it a little easier.

Quigs


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 26th, '17, 06:33 
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One of the main problems I'm having at the moment is what I think is nutrient deficiency in my plants.

First issue is that apart from the very first week after cycling the system I have had no nitrates in testing at all. Part of this might be small fish and taking it easy on the food. This week I have added more fish to the system giving me a total of 50 silvers.
Ammonia has been stable at just over 0 , not perfectly yellow on the test kits as it has a slight green tinge but not at the .25 level by any means.

The other issue is that I have a ph of 8.0. My top up water is rain water from a tank and is ph 7. I am using scoria in the grow bed and I did notice when I was filling them that the were some white pieces or pieces with some white on them. Testing theses pieces confirms that they are the likely culprits of buffering the system.

Reducing the ph with acid is useless as it buffers up again pretty fast.

What do people advise I do here, close down one grow bed at a time and remove all of the white rock? Doable but time consuming.

Or will the extra fish and higher nitrate level force down the ph anyway......if so how long might this take?

Any ideas will be welcome

Quigs


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 26th, '17, 07:03 
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Hi Pqiugley,

I run two scoria systems both with high PH 8.0+ & 7.8. the higher one is the oldest by a couple of months.
I'm told it will drop in time but it doesn't really bother me. The top up water is mains @ 7.4.
I haven't used any chemicals.

Pete.

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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 26th, '17, 10:02 
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Hey Pete

Thanks for the feedback.
Hopefully the extra fish will help ramp,up the Nitrates and that may help bring it down.
At this point the worry is with a PH of 8 I don't have a lot of leeway if we get a run of hot days and the temp of the fish tank gets a little high and the ammonia gets anywhere near .25 I'm a goner.
Also plants are suffering from lack of nutrients so even if I get the Nitrates up they may have trouble utilising them at that PH.

At this stage I think I'll just monitor really closely, try to get the nitrates up.. if we have a run of hot days ahead I'll stop feeding early to keep ammonia down.
Anyway it's all great fun!

Quigs


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 Post subject: Re: Quigs' First system
PostPosted: Jan 26th, '17, 11:52 
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My IBC system2 runs about 1-2 degrees hotter than the older system1 but it has no fish in it yet. I'm feeding it small amounts of Seasol Powerfeed and are waiting for the temps to drop a little before adding 30 trout fingerlings around March.
When the Sys1 water temps get to 22-24 C I reduce then eliminate feeding, the longest they went without was three days after that really hot week earlier this month. The introduction of ice stabilized the temp at around 22.5-23 C.

On really hot days you could throw a shade cloth over the green house with all vents open, drape some of your best wet linen around for evap cooling although ice is easier and more direct.
Sp's have a higher temp range anyways.

Pete.


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