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PostPosted: Mar 29th, '11, 00:45 
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Hey Merlin I like your pipe supports, very neat! How are you planning on cycling up? Looks like you could start now with pee or pure ammonia.

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PostPosted: Mar 29th, '11, 03:15 
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Thanks Dave. I'm thinking of harvesting some fish from a golf-course pond in our neighborhood for cycling. I'm going to try a fish trap baited with some hot dog bun tonight and see what it gets me (hoping for Bluegill for the FT and mosquito fish for the sump). There are other natural sources within a short drive, but the golf course pond is more convenient (250 yards from my back door). If that pond doesn't yield good results I'll probably use aged humonia.

Btw, the water in the FT definitely has algae starting to grow as well, so it's ready to go.

Long term I'd like to do Catfish and Tilapia, but I'm going to wait until its cycled before spending any money on fish.

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PostPosted: Mar 30th, '11, 21:27 
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Hmm. I posted pics of the fish I caught last night, but apparently the post didn't go through. I walked away from the computer after I hit submit. I'm at work now, so I'll have to post again tonight when I get home.

I caught 2 fish (Bluegill) in 5 minutes using a fish trap Monday night while out walking the dog. Last night, same routine, left the fish trap in the water about 10 to 12 minutes maybe, and caught 4. One of them was as about 6 or 7 inches maybe - pretty good size. The rest are about 3 inches long or so. So, I guess I won't be doing a fishless cycling.

I'm wondering is it okay to supplement humonia with the fish or is that not a good idea? I'll probably add 2 or 3 fish most days until I have enough to cycle the tank.

I also added some salt to the sump last night - maybe 400 mL. I'll need to add a whole lot more of that, but that was all I had (from my indoor tropical aquarium supply).

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PostPosted: Mar 30th, '11, 21:34 
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Nice :) don't add humminia, it'll cycle up soon enough don't you worry :)

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PostPosted: Mar 31st, '11, 08:49 
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Here is the pic of the fish


Attachments:
DSC00293 (Medium).JPG
DSC00293 (Medium).JPG [ 75.18 KiB | Viewed 2140 times ]

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PostPosted: Mar 31st, '11, 22:36 
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Dood, Nice fish. My biggest bluegil could take him, but its a good start....

No, actually, he is about the same size as my largest. Nice job. Do any fishing last night ?


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PostPosted: Mar 31st, '11, 22:56 
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btw, what you have needs to be referred to as a minnow trap. Good news is, perch like bluegil or sunfish are not gamefish. See Texas Parks and Wildlife regs below:

Minnow Trap:
•May be used to take NONGAME fish only.
•Trap may not exceed 24 inches in length. The throat may not exceed 1 inch by 3 inches.
•In SALT WATER: GEAR TAG valid for only 30 days must be visibly attached.

Perch Traps:
For use in SALT WATER only.
•May be used to take NONGAME fish only.
•May not exceed 18 cubic feet.
•Must be marked with a floating visible orange buoy not less than 6 inches in height and 6 inches in width. The buoy must have a GEAR TAG valid only for 30 days attached.
•Must be equipped with a degradable panel as described for crab traps.
•Buoys or floats may not be made of plastic bottle(s) of any color or size.
•It is unlawful to place any type of trap within the area in Cedar Bayou between a department sign erected where Mesquite Bay flows into Cedar Bayou and the department sign erected near the point where the pass empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

Game Fish (includes hybrids or subspecies of fish on this list):
•Bass: Guadalupe, largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, striped, white, yellow
•Catfish: blue, channel, flathead
•Cobia
•Crappie: black, white
•Mackerel: king, Spanish
•Marlin: blue, white
•Pickerel
•Red drum
•Sailfish
•Sauger
•Seatrout, spotted
•Sharks
•Snook
•Spearfish, longbill
•Swordfish, broadbill
•Tarpon
•Tripletail
•Trout: brown, rainbow
•Wahoo
•Walleye


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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '11, 01:53 
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I went home at lunch today and checked on the system. I was expecting nothing out of the ordinary. I threw a couple of fish pellets in to the FT. Walked around and noticed that the first GB had no flow coming out of the valve. I thought, "Well, that's odd, the valve is wide open. I wonder if one of the new fish was small enough to swim up the SLO and down the inlet pipe and got stuck on that side of the supply header somewhere." I continued walking around to the other grow beds and the sump came in view. The other beds were flowing... Double take
- :upset: -
The Sump was floating about a foot or more above it's normal spot. The outlet lines from the growbeds had been lifted uphill by the sump. The 4" return line had reached equilibrium now, but had dumped its contents out of the lowest Siphon entry holes. The sump was mostly empty and the pump was struggling. :evil:

So... Problem solving - 1) Did my sump spring a leak (the rubbermaid containers have a built in drain - I had tested the sump before I buried it and it had not leaked then). 2) Do I have a burst sprinkler line somewhere? I had run the sprinkler system this morning. This is maybe the second time I've run it since the AP system has been built. 3) Is the runoff from my yard going straight past the sump and filling in the gaps around the sump tank? I had backfilled the gaps with dirt, but maybe I didn't do a good enough job.

Moving forward, I have set cinder blocks on the sump to weigh it down and push water out of the hole in the ground. Pulling the sump out will be necessary to re-level out any dirt that shifted. However, now that the GBs are in place, it will be difficult to maneuver it around easily. I put the pump directly in the FT for now blowing water up into the air like a fountain. Plants in the growbeds will have to be manually watered until I get it all sorted.

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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '11, 10:15 
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Update on the floating sump. I had to rig up some temporary supports (extra cinder blocks) for the GBs and slide them away from the sump. I did this with the help of my wife, but she was barely able to lift the edge of the grow bed so it was difficult to move them more than a few inches. I got them far enough out of the way to get the sump out (had to remove some piping to squeeze it out of there -everything overlaps and overhangs each other).

The sump was leaking from the bulkhead fitting. It was a slow leak but i was able to turn the outer nut by hand without a tool. I tested the sprinkler system and couldn't find any leaks that would have been stealthy contributors. It is still possible that some runoff collects over there too and added to the leaking problem. I would guess that I pumped and hand-bailed about 40 to 50 gallons out of the hole. Some of that would have been from the GBs possibly as well once the sump lifted enough to push the drain piping out of the Sump.

So, teflon pipe dope, silicon, or teflon tape? I'll need to re-seal that bulkhead (it has a gasket on both sides), re-level out the hole for the sump again and backfill it with sand. I guess I could keep some extra cinder blocks on top of the cover to keep some weight on it as well in the future. I may need to adjust the swale in the yard or sandbag in front of the area and dig a french drain or put in some other run-off diversion.
Painful lesson. :blackeye:

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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '11, 10:57 
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:support: you'll look back and have a good chuckle, I'm sure. Keep going , you'll get it sorted out.

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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '11, 11:13 
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put a pipe down the side of the ST (outside) awell. then if it fills with water again form rain you can drop a small pump down the pipe and pump it dry :)

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '11, 20:20 
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I've got the system back to where it was prior to the floating pump. During that time, the cover was off so that the pump could be in the middle of the fish tank and spray straight into the air. 2 of my 12 fish jumped out during that time. A third came tumbling out of the piping into the sump when i restarted the system in the Chift-pist configuration. he was dead. don't know if i got him while adjusting valves or if he had recently died prior.

My final 2 grow beds came in yesterday. Should bring those online this week.

Greens are sprouting throughout the growbeds. Should be all planted out by the end of the week hopefully. I'll take more pictures and start working on my tomato and cucumber support structures at that time.

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '11, 05:34 
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The leaves on most of my lettuce sprouts and other things are bit off-color. Not quite as green as I suspect that they should be. I'm guessing that the two days without constant supply (I did hand water) and the lack of nutrient production from the fish is to blame.

The fish haven't been eating much if at all. And I only have 9 so far. And I'm in the middle of the pea soup stage. So I haven't been feeding much for those reasons.

Ammonia and everything else has been essentially 0 so far. pH is still around 8.2

Planning to add more fish (a few each day) but considering Humonia or Maxicrop in the short run.

I'm trying to be patient but I don't want the veggies to suffer.

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '11, 05:48 
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Don't add anything. Just make sure it is covered and the algea bloom will go away. The plants will be fine...just wait for the magic to start.

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '11, 21:16 
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Merlin, be aware that the "mule" is going to be bringing you some Koi food today. (We work at the same company, different offices.) The koi food gets mushy quicker than the catfish pellets, so perhaps you can get your fish used to the idea that food will occasionally rain down upon them. They might still be waiting for natural prey items to swim by. Mine are consistantly eating and I have only had one jumper that I know of.

I made a video of me feeding webworms to my fish yesterday. I'll try and post it to youtube or whereever. Its fun. Perhaps you need to go hunting for your fish. C'mon, man up Merlin !


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