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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 10:50 
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Okay did some tests today on my main system and :cheers: I think i'm finally cycled! :compress:

Results:
PH 7.8-8
Am: 0-0.25
Ites: .5
Ates: 20-30
Temp: 18C

Does this mean I am fully cycled or do I need to wait the the Nitrites come down to 0??
I have been feeding once every few days lately just since I've noticed the Ammonia coming down. Am I safe to start feeding 2-3 times a day now. The SP go nuts when I do actually feed em. If im safe to start uping the feed rate I will start to feed 2-3 times a day but obviously continue to monitor the Ammonia. How regularly should I monitor the Ammonia and other reading for that matter now (if) Im cycled.

Its safe to say I'm an addict to AP now even with all the dramas that I have encountered. Unbelievably I think that is one of the things that makes it so addictive. The problem solving part of your first system is a huge learning experience and I now think that I'm ready to expand. :roll:

I hope to pick up some more IBC's in the next week or so and would like to set up an identical system to the one I have, just to see if I can get the fishless cycle down pat I will not interconnect the two just yet. I think I will use the hummonia method and possible have my system cycled in a few weeks like I assumed with the last one.
Once I have mastered the fishless cycle I will transfer my SP to the AP2 and clean the gravel out of the bottom of the AP1.
While I have the AP1 empty i will interconnect (via isolation valve) it to a planned rainwater IBC storage which will collect the rain off the shed roof. I will use this as a top up tank for the system.
Then I plan to transfer the SP back the AP1 and leave AP2 in readiness for trout.
I also plan to interconnect (via isolation valve) AP1FT and AP2FT at a CHIFT height for future application in the grand plan.
This will complete stage1 of the expansion. I will then begin construction of stage2 which will consist of a 500lt ST and approx 600lt GB's.
The final (nothings ever final in AP :twisted: ) system will consist of:

(rough calculations)
1000lt RW topup tank (isolated from system for use when required.)
2x600lt FT
4x300lt GB total 1200lt
1x500lt ST

It will be a CHIFT PIST system with the water from FT's gravety feeding from CHIFT height to ST. I will pump from ST to a spreader which will evenly feed over the 4x300lt GB controlled by valves. AP1GB will flood and drain/bell syphon directly in to top of AP1FT which in turn will drain at overflow/CHIFT height into AP2FT and so on. AP2GB will flood and drain/bell syphon directly in to top of AP2FT which in turn will drain at overflow/CHIFT height into ST and so on.
GB3 and 4 will flood and drain/bell syphon straight back into the sump tank.
I will also run back up air off a small solar panel and air pump in both fish tanks.


My calculations for GB's and ST are based on the 60%displacement of medium in GBs therefor 1200lt GBs will have 480lts in them at worste case/all full at the same time scenario.
I know its marginal since my ST actually only has a 500lt capacity but I figure that 60%displacement is a rough calculation as I can alter the flood height in GB's to suit. And I also considered having an extra sump in the sump tank to sit the pump in which could give me another 20-50lts in the sump tank.

On the fish stocking side of things I currently have 50SP 40-50mm fingerlings in AP1 and am planning to stock a further 50 trout in AP2 in the coming months when the temps come down.
This is probably the area I have had the most confusion about as there is a constant variable ie: fish size and weight as they grow. Can anyone advise me if my planned stocking rates are okay for my planned system. I do have another prototype system which i plan to grade some of my silvers and keep the smaller ones in. And also access to a dam to stock with more SP as they get bigger. I plan to grow out the full 50 Trout over the cooler months or should I consider less trout stocks.

Also any general comments on any of my system plans would be welcomed and appreciated.
Thanks for all the help so far guys.


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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 12:43 
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hey bundy, nice to see things are moving along. you are pretty much cycled i would say, however, to be fully cycled, my understanding is your readings should be:

amm - 0
rite - 0
rate - anything (so long as there are rates)

at this stage i would up the feed to 2 times a day and keep doing tests. if the amm and rites go up, then drop back to one feed (I doubt they will but they might). once the amm and rites go to zero (or trace) then up to 3 times a day. each feed should be about 1 heaped teaspoon with your fish sizes.

my understanding is that trout and sp should live fine together if they are roughly the same size and or if the trout are well fed?

Nice work bundy on the sketching and you are right, ap is bloody addictive!!!!

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 12:56 
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Nah mate i'm going to keep em seperate was just wondering if my stocking numbers were adequete for my system. Obviously when they are just fingerlings 50sp and 50trout would be okay but once they start to grow, (with trout hopefully thats pretty quick) the stocking numbers could be to dense.

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 13:14 
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The way I'm reading the 3kg/100lts of GB is that with my

1200lts GB's 12x3=36kgs therefor my system can hold 36kg of fish.

So with 100 fish I can grow them all out to 360gms before my stock density is too great for my GB filtration. Thats assuming they all grow at the same rate which they won't. After writing it down like that it makes a bit more sense. Its okay I've answered my own concerns. :cheers:

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 13:27 
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I suppose my next question would be what pump I should buy?

If you are supposed to pump/cycle your fish tank water at least once every hour. Then does that mean I need a 1200lt/hr pump, or do I need to include the 500lt sump and just get a 2000lt/hr pump?

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 13:40 
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go at least a 3000lt/hr pump, better to go more than not enough. i have seen a pump at B 35watts, 3000lt/hr 0 head. i didn't look what the pump rate was at 1.5 head, but guessing about 1500 ish. 2 year warranty and 10mm solids. will check more detail when at b next.

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 15:41 
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BNDYBEAR wrote:
Does this mean I am fully cycled or do I need to wait the the Nitrites come down to 0??
I have been feeding once every few days lately just since I've noticed the Ammonia coming down. Am I safe to start feeding 2-3 times a day now. The SP go nuts when I do actually feed em. If im safe to start uping the feed rate I will start to feed 2-3 times a day but obviously continue to monitor the Ammonia. How regularly should I monitor the Ammonia and other reading for that matter now (if) Im cycled.


I would say that you are not fully cycled yet... In terms of increasing feed, I will take baby steps, and let the system slowly get use the amount of bioload... remember that when temperatures are hotter (in summer), ammonia becomes toxic at lower levels... hence it does not take much error to throw you back to when you first started or worst still wipe out fishes... So if you have been feeding once every few days... start by feeding daily... and MONITOR WATER QUALITY DAILY... and possibly after a few days, up the feed again...

I would however find out about the growth rate for your fishes... I know that for trout, there is not much point in feeding them more than approx 1% of their body weight because the excess food is actually wasted and gets stored as fats... not in the meat but in their bellies... and you actually discard those fats... in short, wasted feed wasted money...

BNDYBEAR wrote:
My calculations for GB's and ST are based on the 60%displacement of medium in GBs therefor 1200lt GBs will have 480lts in them at worste case/all full at the same time scenario.
I know its marginal since my ST actually only has a 500lt capacity but I figure that 60%displacement is a rough calculation as I can alter the flood height in GB's to suit. And I also considered having an extra sump in the sump tank to sit the pump in which could give me another 20-50lts in the sump tank.


I think you should consider getting a bigger sump... you do not have much play... and the 60% is only an estimate... Do not forget that you have higher evaporation during summer... not sure it would be fun topping up the water every day...

Also I believe I have asked a few times about aeration of your system, not sure if I did get an answer, but take note that auxilliary backup aeration is Very Very imporant... especially during warmer temperature as there is less DO available in the water... Search the forum, a member just lost his/her entire load of fishes due to the lack of aeration when his/her main water pump did not operate...

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 16:08 
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ivansng wrote:
BNDYBEAR wrote:

Also I believe I have asked a few times about aeration of your system, not sure if I did get an answer, but take note that auxilliary backup aeration is Very Very imporant... especially during warmer temperature as there is less DO available in the water... Search the forum, a member just lost his/her entire load of fishes due to the lack of aeration when his/her main water pump did not operate...


+1

reading back on your post, I noticed that you were feeding once every few days. I thought you were feeding once a day! Definitely do what ivansng said!

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 16:47 
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BNDYBEAR wrote:
The way I'm reading the 3kg/100lts of GB is that with my

1200lts GB's 12x3=36kgs therefor my system can hold 36kg of fish.

So with 100 fish I can grow them all out to 360gms before my stock density is too great for my GB filtration. Thats assuming they all grow at the same rate which they won't. After writing it down like that it makes a bit more sense. Its okay I've answered my own concerns. :cheers:


First of all, 3kg per 100lt of GB is the maximum fish load. In other words, if for some unforeseen reason the system does not function well (ie. faulty pump, reduced pump flow due to blockage, etc), you could ran into problems very quickly, and you might end up harvesting 36kgs or less of dead fishes...

I generally keep to 20-25 fishes per 500L of GB... also the BYAP kits recommendation... assuming each fish will grow to 500gms (not difficult for trout I believe), it is 12.5kg for 25 fishes... equates to 2.5kg per 100L... in fact for this summer, I have 20 barras for 1000L of GB... nitrates are sitting about 40ppm and above... so in short, you do not need too many fishes to power your plants...

IMO, pushing the limits is just asking for trouble...

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 17:39 
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Well growth rate for silver is relitiveley slow so I'll keep feeding as you say quachy and if they are starting to look fat by this time next year I can lean back their diet before they are ready to start harvesting.

I had a feeling there would be suggestions to up the sump size. I realize the numbers are tight. I have options here though, as I have not decided weather to use the 500ltr GB tub that I have as the sump and sit 2x300lt IBC's (cut down) as GB's on top or go the other way and use GB as GB and a 600-700 IBC sump. Although this could require digging the sump into the ground which i'm trying to avoid.
another thing i could do is have 2x400lt IBC joined together to become sump/yabbie tank and GB tub on top. hmmmm.

Aeration: Ivan, I think i will have that covered in the new expanded system. I have purchased a reasonably hefty air pump from ebay and I will hook that up to the mini solar power kit that i have and that should cover the extra air as well as the backup aeration in casee of pump or power failure.

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 18:22 
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I suppose i'm a bit more on the fish side of things as opposed to wanting my vegies to grow. Although thats a huge bonus, So im more concerned with how many fish I can keep safely in my small system. Im not trying to push the limits, I just thought these were safe guidelines to work by. The main problem is my confinement for space hence such a small system. This may sound silly, Quachy, since I am actually on 1/2 an acre but its not my property, it's the girl friends. She's a little bit freaked about me turning the entire back yard into a dam and vegie garden!

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 19:27 
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BNDYBEAR wrote:
I suppose i'm a bit more on the fish side of things as opposed to wanting my vegies to grow. Although thats a huge bonus, So im more concerned with how many fish I can keep safely in my small system. Im not trying to push the limits, I just thought these were safe guidelines to work by. The main problem is my confinement for space hence such a small system. This may sound silly, Quachy, since I am actually on 1/2 an acre but its not my property, it's the girl friends. She's a little bit freaked about me turning the entire back yard into a dam and vegie garden!


Once she sees the produce and starts eating the fish, she'll be begging for you to turn the backyard into a AP paradise!

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 19:42 
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BNDYBEAR wrote:
I suppose i'm a bit more on the fish side of things as opposed to wanting my vegies to grow. Although thats a huge bonus, So im more concerned with how many fish I can keep safely in my small system. Im not trying to push the limits, I just thought these were safe guidelines to work by. The main problem is my confinement for space hence such a small system. This may sound silly, Quachy, since I am actually on 1/2 an acre but its not my property, it's the girl friends. She's a little bit freaked about me turning the entire back yard into a dam and vegie garden!


Well go by 20-25 fishes per 500L GB... this would allow each fish to get to about 500gm, which I believe is a decent size for eating... however I believe there is also another important aspect, which is the water volume. Bigger water volume provides better temperature stability and also more space for the fishes to grow... Better temperature stability would mean that some fishes would continue to feed for longer and grow for longer...

Well you might need to get your girlfriend involved as well... if I had that much space, I would not consider having a fish tank smaller than 3000L...

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 19:45 
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quachy wrote:
BNDYBEAR wrote:
I suppose i'm a bit more on the fish side of things as opposed to wanting my vegies to grow. Although thats a huge bonus, So im more concerned with how many fish I can keep safely in my small system. Im not trying to push the limits, I just thought these were safe guidelines to work by. The main problem is my confinement for space hence such a small system. This may sound silly, Quachy, since I am actually on 1/2 an acre but its not my property, it's the girl friends. She's a little bit freaked about me turning the entire back yard into a dam and vegie garden!


Once she sees the produce and starts eating the fish, she'll be begging for you to turn the backyard into a AP paradise!


I second that... but the problem is that he is having silvers... it takes about 18 mths before the girlfriend can eat fish from the backyard....

After we ate fresh trout from the backyard, none of the fishes we buy in the supermarkets are fresh enough....

Maybe don't spend money expanding first, sell away all your silvers and get trouts when temperatures are cooler... by xmas this year, she might grant you your Christmas wish... a mother of all AP system...

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '10, 20:07 
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Ivan if you read my comments properly I have the option of removing some SP from the system to prevent overstocking so I think thats what i will do. Maybe 10-15SP into the prototype/fingerling system and another 10 out to the dam on the farm up the road. I figure being within the perameters while the fish are young i will just continue as planed and monitor the situation and act as appropriate. Thanks for the advise though all thoughts and advice welcome.

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