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PostPosted: Oct 4th, '09, 22:25 
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I have been working a second smaller system for a few weeks now. It is finally close to completion. It consists of 4 pots (previously self-watering pots) filled with pea gravel. Draining back to a 220L plastic sump. Due to the depth I can dig to (existing PVC piping for the house in the way), it is probably only half the capacity of water, hence approx 100L water in the sump.

Another 220L plastic fish tank. The method here is CHIFT PIST. Pump is a Resun King 3F 2400L/hr. I have also added a bypass line back to the sump so that the fill rate for the fish tank can be adjusted. Fish tank drains via SLO to grow pots. From the photos, it can be seen that the delivery line is buried so that it can get from the fish tank to the fence without obstructing the walkway.

Thinking of growing tomatoes, chilli, capsicum and possibly cucumber in this system. Not sure at the moment, whether the fish load will be sufficient to support these growth. Hopefully it will be. Fishes will be goldfishes and koi at the moment, but ideas may change once the system becomes more established. Can also be used as a quarantine system or fingerlings system, I hope.

Uses flood and drain via timer and standpipe arrangement.


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PostPosted: Oct 4th, '09, 22:31 
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Started cycling fishless today. Have dosed with hummonia yesterday and today. Not sure if it is too much by I am trying to head for ammonia of 5 (read somewhere that it is the most effective level for cycling). Will see about it and test the water possibly in a few days.

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PostPosted: Oct 4th, '09, 23:28 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Pretty small system, you have probably peed in it more than enough to get started. Pee in a bottle for the next few days and let it age so next time you dose, it will give you an ammonia reading more quickly so you can tell what you are doing.

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PostPosted: Oct 5th, '09, 03:49 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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[quote="TCLynx"]Pretty small system, you have probably peed in it more than enough to get started. Pee in a bottle for the next few days and let it age so next time you dose,
A warning dont put it any where near the fridge itt just looks like one of those energy drinks :lol:

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PostPosted: Oct 5th, '09, 11:41 
And tastes like them too .... :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Oct 5th, '09, 12:16 
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And so the addiction continues :lol:

Good use of the space there Ivan.

Just an idea but you could wrap some insulation around the FT, put a small heater in there and throw some Barra fingerlings in :cheers:

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PostPosted: Oct 5th, '09, 18:18 
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Food&Fish wrote:
TCLynx wrote:
Pretty small system, you have probably peed in it more than enough to get started. Pee in a bottle for the next few days and let it age so next time you dose,
A warning dont put it any where near the fridge itt just looks like one of those energy drinks :lol:


Well if the missus knows that it is pee, she will not let it come into the house... so that is easily avoided...

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PostPosted: Oct 5th, '09, 18:31 
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MDP wrote:
And so the addiction continues :lol:

Good use of the space there Ivan.

Just an idea but you could wrap some insulation around the FT, put a small heater in there and throw some Barra fingerlings in :cheers:


Yap, the addiction continues... onto the third system now :lol:

Yes, that side of the house was not well maintained, both landscape wise and plants wise... so I figured a small AP system would be able to exist in that side alley of the house. Will continue laying the weedmat and put more gravel on the ground so that it is more or less, maintenance-free in that sense.

At least feeding fishes are more exciting then watering and fertilising plants. Fingerlings tank is certainly up for consideration at the moment, but I am fishless cycling at the moment, and do not intend to rush into getting fishes now. But it is quite possible that once the system cycles, temperatures have warmed up, and barra fingerlings can go in there without insulation or heaters.

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PostPosted: Oct 5th, '09, 19:23 
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Fishless cycling in spring/summer temperature rocks :headbang: .

Started dosing with hummonia on Saturday and another on Sunday. System cycling on and off on Saturday and Sunday (still fine-tuning then) but hooked up to a timer on Sunday evening and have been cycling since... about 1hr on and 30mins off during daytime, and reduced in the night...

Test at 7pm today.

Ammonia - 4
Nitrite - very close to 0.25
Temp - 22degC

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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '09, 18:59 
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Water test 6.30pm. Fishless cycling.

Amm - 4.0
Nitrite - 0.5
Nitrate - 5
pH - 7.6 or greater...

I did add worm casting into the growing media when I started cycling. I think that has helped.
Anyway hopefully this system gets cycled sooner than the 1st one.

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '09, 23:04 
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Looking at covering up the sump with some planks of wood that would be strong enough to stand on so that I will not have someone accidentally fall into the sump.

Any suggestions on what wood I can get maybe from Bunnings that will not leach unwanted chemicals, etc into the sump when it is raining.... Some input is much appreciated.

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PostPosted: Oct 10th, '09, 04:03 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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...this might be better http://www.cullitytimbers.com.au/

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PostPosted: Oct 14th, '09, 20:52 
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A bit of an update...

Ammonia - 1
Nitrite - 1 (or 5)...
Nitrate - 10
Ph - 7.2 (dropping)... might need to pour in some shellgrit shortly...

Actually ammonia was 4 yesterday... and was 4 for a while... put some airstones in there yesterday night, and it dropped to 1 this evening... What big difference does aeration do....

Anyways, hope it gets cycled shortly...

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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '09, 14:41 
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Water test yesterday and today... consistent results

Ammonia - 0 to 0.25
Nitrite - 1 (or 5; as usual cannot decide on the colour)
Nitrate - 20
pH - 7.2

Got sick of the fish tank bowing outwards, and taunting me with the idea that the tank would stretch open and the water would all come flooding out...

Got some pieces of structural pine, slapped on some outdoor furniture paint/oil on them and boxed the fish tank in... Looks so much better now...

Well I ended the fishless cycle today. Salted the tank to 3ppt and put some (9) goldfishes in there to test the system. Will check for ammonia spikes over the next few days. Also the tank is growing algae so hopefully the fishes will help clean up the tank a bit...


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PostPosted: Oct 24th, '09, 22:56 
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I believe my 2nd system is almost cycled.

Amm - 0 to 0.25
Nitrite - 0.25
Nitrate - 40

Although I have got a huge problem with algae in the water now. If I don't cover the tanks, would the algae in the water slowly disappear?? I also do not have much plants taking up the nitrate... most of them are seeds still trying to grow... Maybe I should float more foam and put some lettuce seedlings in both tanks... provides some shade against algae growth and also takes up the excess nitrate...

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