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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 10:53 
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So I decided to fix a few flaws in my system. Of course anytime an AP system is improved it comes with an expansion.

First thing to fix, my old gravel. The gravel was increasing the PH in the system to well above 8. One reading I had was 8.8. So I removed all the gravel and replaced it with 3/4" black lava rock, Scoria. The reasons I chose scoria are it has a high porosity (beneficial for water, air, and bacteria), it is lightweight (easy to shovel!), it hasn't affected the PH in any of my tests, It is cheap ($48 for a cubic yard of gravel, $50 a cubic yard of scoria, compared to $65 a cubic yard of river rock), and most importantly, Fishfood recommends it. hehe

While I had the IBCs empty I also lowered the stand they sat on. Instead of 2 feet off the ground I made it a more comfortable 1 foot off the ground.

The next thing to fix was the ponds. I originally put shelves into the ponds for pond plants. I scratched that idea. Also had raised one pond above the other so the water overflowed from one to the other. I realized I didn't need to have one higher than the other, it could overflow while being level. Also I decided to have it overflow through a pipe so it could pull solids from the bottom.

Removing the shelves changed the pond's volume from 225 gallons each to 400 gallons each, basically doubling the volume. Then I added a third pond at 350 gallons as a sump.

I thought my idea to have the system go GB->FT->ST instead of FT->GB->ST was unique until I saw Fishfood's system. Anyone else have a system like that?

I've adjusted the PH down to 6.4 (house water 8.2) and it has been holding steady there for a week.

I bought a water thermometer that wirelessly sends the temperature to an indoor monitor, which tracks high and low and average temperature over 3 days. Too bad it won't store the data on my computer so I can plot the temp data over time. With the previous system I hadn't seen my pond's temperature above 25 degrees C all summer. My temperatures are currently high of 23 degrees C and lows around 16 degrees C, with an average of 22 C. It seems to me that trout are my best option. RupertOfOz had a temp of 25 C and his trout were okay. What is the high and low temperature range of trout?

The system still has a few kinks to work out. I may have undersized the overflow pipe. It is only 2" and is maxed out when two GBs dump at the same time. Also the return pipe from the GBs has grade issues because I lowered the GB stand. I am thinking of not using a 4" pipe to dump into, and instead returning from individual 1.25" pipes or connecting to a single 1.25"-2" pipe. What pipe size should I use to return from? It takes 22 mins to fill each GB but only 3 mins to drain since it dumps directly into the 4" pipe. can I slow the speed at which the water returns by using a smaller pipe and limiting it's flow?


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 10:54 
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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 10:55 
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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '10, 12:12 
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Today I added 50 feeder goldfish the aquarium store sells. I had 20 or so in there already. Some of them are goldfish, some are koi. It cost my around 7 bucks. I figure when I add the trout if I have too many goldfish I can just feed some to the trout. =) Just using them for cycling, although they are quite nice to look at.

Checked my ammonia. At .25. PH is holding steady at 6.4 (which feels so nice after the previous problems I was having). Temperature has been between 16 C and 23 C.

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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '10, 14:34 
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Hi The Native,
Love the system it looks great! :headbang:

Also saw your pond thermometer in one of the pics, I have been looking for something similar.

Are you able to let me know the make and model, don't suppose you bought it off ebay. That would be too easy.

In your GB's are you using bell siphons or stand pipes?

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Aug 7th, '10, 23:02 
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TheNative wrote:
First thing to fix, my old gravel. The gravel was increasing the PH in the system to well above 8. One reading I had was 8.8. So I removed all the gravel and replaced it with 3/4" black lava rock, Scoria. The reasons I chose scoria are it has a high porosity (beneficial for water, air, and bacteria), it is lightweight (easy to shovel!), it hasn't affected the PH in any of my tests, It is cheap ($48 for a cubic yard of gravel, $50 a cubic yard of scoria, compared to $65 a cubic yard of river rock), and most importantly, Fishfood recommends it. hehe

The only things I don't like about scoria are the amt of washing it takes and the fact that roots grip it so well...or badly, depending on your viewpoint. I like the salt and pepper, but would prefer pea gravel if only it were larger.

TheNative wrote:
It seems to me that trout are my best option. RupertOfOz had a temp of 25 C and his trout were okay. What is the high and low temperature range of trout?

We've had the coolest summer here I remember in the 25 years I've been out here: while my trout are surviving well and my water temperatures have rarely exceeded 22degC (70degF), I expect that in most years we would be hard pressed to keep them alive past May. I know they can handle temperatures up to 25C on occasion, if the temps are up there often it will harm them: fin rot, fungal growth, etc. I just harvested a 1200 gram trout last night (five remain) and they are really fun to feed, feed and grow well in our winter temperatures, and produce lots of nutes in winter, but I dislike the large batch harvest one gets when the weather warms. I'm leaning toward cats..

TheNative wrote:
The system still has a few kinks to work out. I may have undersized the overflow pipe. It is only 2" and is maxed out when two GBs dump at the same time. Also the return pipe from the GBs has grade issues because I lowered the GB stand. I am thinking of not using a 4" pipe to dump into, and instead returning from individual 1.25" pipes or connecting to a single 1.25"-2" pipe. What pipe size should I use to return from? It takes 22 mins to fill each GB but only 3 mins to drain since it dumps directly into the 4" pipe. can I slow the speed at which the water returns by using a smaller pipe and limiting it's flow?

Yep, I'd use a reducer of some sort to slow the drain rate.

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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '10, 14:27 
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Been a while since my last update.

I added a deck around the ponds and GBs. It would really nice to sit under the tree on the deck and look at the fish, except that you can't see them. My water is so murky and green I can't see the fish below 6 inches.

I pumped the GBs full of water and pumped the pond water out into another holding tank. I caught all my fish and did a count.

Goldfish: 72
Minnows: 4
Blue Channel Catfish: 5

I cleaned out all the solids on the bottom of the ponds, then I pumped all the water through an old t-shirt to filter off some of the solids. I put a net covering to keep any new debris from entering them.

Gave the fish a salt bath, salted the ponds to 2 ppt, and returned them to their slightly cleaner home.


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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '10, 14:34 
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I think my system may have cycled. The ammonia spiked to 1.0 then began to drop as a small .25 nitrite reading appeared. Then ammonia and nitrite disappeared. What is puzzling to me is I never had a single nitrate reading.

My plants are growing better, but I don't think that's the only reason for the lack of nitrate readings. I am suspicious of the murky green water, all that algae must be sucking up my nitrates.

So I decided to cover the ponds with plastic black and white poly from the hydro store to kill the algae. The fountain was shut off and an airstone was dropped in to keep the pond plants I have in there well aerated.

I stopped feeding the fish the first few days. The ammonia rose to .5 and has been staying there for 3 days. Still no nitrite or nitrate readings. PH 6.6. I am now feeding the fish only once a day, at night, so no light can enter the ponds.

I really need to come up with a good solution for a pond cover. I was thinking about using a spa cover, but I am afraid it wouldn't breath well enough. If I made it of wood it might be to heavy to remove conveniently.


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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '10, 14:40 
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I have a little bug issue, so I looked for something safe for AP at the hydro store. They have a product that's made of various herbal oils with a little potassium bicarbonate for fungus control. Ed Rosenthal's Zero Tolerance Natural Garden Solutions. It seems to be helping.

Also been using Age Old Kelp. Basically the same thing as Maxicrop and Seasol except cheaper and produced locally.


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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '10, 15:07 
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Decal wrote:
Hi The Native,
Love the system it looks great! :headbang:

Also saw your pond thermometer in one of the pics, I have been looking for something similar.

Are you able to let me know the make and model, don't suppose you bought it off ebay. That would be too easy.

In your GB's are you using bell siphons or stand pipes?

Thanks.


The thermometer is a wireless digital pool thermometer. It cost me $30 from Home Depot. I spent some time trying to find one that I could download the temperature data. No such luck.

I am using the Affnan Bell Siphon with 2.5" to 1.25" standpipe with a 4" bell. I had posted pics of them in the previous thread, maybe I should repost...


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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '10, 15:18 
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hydrophilia wrote:
The only things I don't like about scoria are the amt of washing it takes and the fact that roots grip it so well...or badly, depending on your viewpoint. I like the salt and pepper, but would prefer pea gravel if only it were larger.


I'll have to give it a try. It might not be so rough on the hands.

hydrophilia wrote:
We've had the coolest summer here I remember in the 25 years I've been out here: while my trout are surviving well and my water temperatures have rarely exceeded 22degC (70degF), I expect that in most years we would be hard pressed to keep them alive past May. I know they can handle temperatures up to 25C on occasion, if the temps are up there often it will harm them: fin rot, fungal growth, etc. I just harvested a 1200 gram trout last night (five remain) and they are really fun to feed, feed and grow well in our winter temperatures, and produce lots of nutes in winter, but I dislike the large batch harvest one gets when the weather warms. I'm leaning toward cats..


Yeah it's been crazy cold. It feels like it is October or November when it is only august and still summer. This is a year without a summer. Good for growing trout. I was thinking about growing trout in the winter and cat's throughout the year. Also note: Cats are really cute to watch and feed.

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PostPosted: Aug 12th, '10, 13:07 
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Nice seeing you today, mate. Hope you enjoy the tomato & trout.

Here is where i get uniseals. http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories ... /uniseal/0
Shoot, I should have given/lent you a couple to try out, but the pipes you want to use are larger than the seals I have. Another note (that you probably know): a short (say 4" or 6") section of smaller pipe does not restrict flow a lot. My indoor-outdoor setup drains through 1.25" pipe except where it goes out the window through 3/4" and it works far far better than when it was all 3/4".

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PostPosted: Aug 12th, '10, 14:08 
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hydrophilia wrote:
Nice seeing you today, mate. Hope you enjoy the tomato & trout.

Here is where i get uniseals. http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories ... /uniseal/0
Shoot, I should have given/lent you a couple to try out, but the pipes you want to use are larger than the seals I have. Another note (that you probably know): a short (say 4" or 6") section of smaller pipe does not restrict flow a lot. My indoor-outdoor setup drains through 1.25" pipe except where it goes out the window through 3/4" and it works far far better than when it was all 3/4".


Thanks for showing me your setup. It's good to know there is someone nearby I can call to ask questions if I run into trouble. You should put up some pictures of your systems. Love the intricate setups you have, and the temperature stability you have on your 800 gallon system is awesome.

I remembered the question I was going to ask but forgot. What is the ideal temperature of Channel Cats? Will we want to try and run our systems warmer?

PS. Love smoked trout...

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PostPosted: Aug 12th, '10, 21:38 
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As I recall, the best temp is about 80degF.

Hmmm....yep, here's some good info:
http://www.ca.uky.edu/wkrec/RVWFeedPractice.htm

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PostPosted: Aug 12th, '10, 23:37 
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I see in the article they feed above 60F. So we can probably get them to grow April-November. What months last year did your tank drop into the 50's?

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