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PostPosted: Apr 8th, '11, 05:00 
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I don't see how a little Maxicrop would hurt anything. The nice clear water won't be clear any more though... :twisted:

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PostPosted: Apr 8th, '11, 10:11 
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Some fish feed has been disappearing. They aren't eating in front of me so I don't know if they are eating or not. must be. otherwise it's been a long hunger strike.

Tonight's water tests:

pH -7.9 or 8
Amm - 0.25
Nitrate - 5
Nitrite - 0.5
@Sminfiddle - my water isn't clear anyway - pea soup

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PostPosted: Apr 8th, '11, 10:25 
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Rupe or Dave or somebody out there with some experience:

I did a Chlorine test (I am using municipal tap water that supposedly has both Chlorine and Chloramine).

Results after 3 weeks on the FT water showed 0 Free Chlorine and 0 Total Chlorine.

I did a test on new tap water and it also showed 0 Free Chlorine and 0 Total Chlorine.

So I switched to another bottle of testing strip (different brand) I read the same results. ??

The sensitivity range on the two sets of chlorine strips are:
AquaCheck Chlorine Pro - 0, 0.5 , 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 mg/L
Jungle Quick Dip - 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6 mg/L

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PostPosted: Apr 11th, '11, 22:00 
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A bunch of things that I have sewn from seed directly into the hydroton are coming along very nicely. Even the tiny little lettuce seeds.


Attachments:
File comment: Tomatoes and Cukes on the left
IMAG0063 (Medium).jpg
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File comment: Lettuce and Greenbeans
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IMAG0065 (Medium).jpg [ 86.76 KiB | Viewed 2257 times ]
File comment: Spinach I believe
IMAG0067 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0067 (Medium).jpg [ 86.48 KiB | Viewed 2255 times ]

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PostPosted: Apr 11th, '11, 22:14 
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Would this be considered fish food? Any of you entomological types have an idea of what this might turn into? Kinda looks like a webworm, but it isn't any of the types I've seen pictures of before.


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IMAG0060 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0060 (Medium).jpg [ 101.21 KiB | Viewed 2247 times ]

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PostPosted: Apr 12th, '11, 06:36 
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Colourful caterpillar you have there Merlin, I haven't seen one of those before :)
Love your tank cover, it is a work of art :thumbleft:
I reckon the seeds sprouting in the second picture could be carrots, that is what it looks like to me, though i have been known to be wrong. :dontknow: Nice looking system!

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PostPosted: Apr 13th, '11, 10:04 
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Tonight's water test

pH - 8
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite- 1
Nitrate 10

Btw I have 30 Bluegill now. And the beds are now planted out (albeit most are seeds or seedlings still at this point besides the tomatoes and cukes). I put in some watermelon and pumpkin as well.

I'm going to have to build some climbing structures and shade structures so that i'm ready when the time comes.

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PostPosted: Apr 13th, '11, 10:18 
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Hey Merlin:
Strip tests have been unreliable to some of us in the past, if possible it's better to get drip test kits if there are any for chlorine (don't know) - how old were your test strips? Maybe a pool test kit would be more reliable than an aquarium test, guessing here though because I haven't tested for chlorine before.

In regards to feeding and having the food disappear other folks have caused problems when they thought the fish were eating but the food was just piling up. Maybe give the system and fish time to settle in and feed lightly until you can be sure that they're really using up the food? Is the uneaten food leaving the FT reliably? If it is not sitting in the FT but is on the grow beds then maybe that is not as bad.

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PostPosted: Apr 13th, '11, 10:28 
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Also, where are you in your cycling? From the last numbers with the nitrite it sounds like cycling is not done yet? Be careful to not overfeed if the cycling isnt done yet. Also since I'm typing out free advice tonight :-) I think people should ignore the plants until the fish are doing well and the bacteria are cycled. I've never really understood planting right away although everyone seems to do it. Not a knock on your system, the hazard is to push the system too fast to get the great plant growing effects but until the bacteria are established the fish are vulnerable. It all comes together in time, typically cycling is done in a few weeks, more time with low temps like in the Spring. The sump event may make it longer if you had to replace water too. HTH!!

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PostPosted: Apr 13th, '11, 23:38 
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Dave, you bring up several good points. The tank is definitely not cycled yet as there has not been much ammonia detected. I have added a few fish every few days for about 2 weeks (first few fish added Mar 29). They have not been eating much, but I have not been feeding much either since they haven't seemed very interested in eating. I put maybe 8 to 10 pellets most days. I stopped feeding during the sump issue and also fed only every third day during the pea soup phase. They are finally braving the open parts of the tank at feeding times, so I am hopeful that their appetites are increasing and their stress is decreasing (I also salted a little over a week ago). There are now 30 fish (average size is 3.5" inches long).

I decided to go ahead and plant based on the seasonal timing. Not sure that i'll get everything going before the heat sets in anyway - i'm cutting it close.

On the chlorine, both are strip tests, but one is for pool testing, the other is for aquarium. The aquarium strips are a couple of years old. The pool strips were just purchased. I guess I'll go to a pool supply store to see if they have a liquid test kit. Long term I'll be using rainwater, so it will be moot eventually, but i'm curious nonetheless.

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PostPosted: Apr 16th, '11, 05:21 
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Sounds good, it may be that pool tests don't even give us the ranges we want, because tap water probably is way less than pool water, and we want way less than tap. Sounds like you're doing the right thing on the feeding, paying attention to how much they want...

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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '11, 21:33 
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Bro, you need to post some recent pics....


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PostPosted: Jul 10th, '11, 23:00 
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I went out of town for a few days. When I came back my wife told me the fish tank had a crack in the side of it and was leaking water. :shock:

I looked in my rainbarrel (auto-top off valve) and it was empty. The sump was not empty yet nor had the water dropped low enough to cavitate the pump yet. So, the leak is losing somewhere between 25 to 55 gallons a day depending on when it started. I topped up the rainbarrel with hose water this morning and we'll see how long it takes to drain.

In the meantime, is there anything I can do to fix the crack? This rubbermaid 300 gallon stock tank is about 6 months old and made of HDPE.

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PostPosted: Jul 10th, '11, 23:33 
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Pics of the crack:


Attachments:
DSC07723 (Medium).JPG
DSC07723 (Medium).JPG [ 50.14 KiB | Viewed 1945 times ]
DSC07722 (Medium).JPG
DSC07722 (Medium).JPG [ 44.12 KiB | Viewed 1945 times ]

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PostPosted: Jul 10th, '11, 23:41 
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More recent pictures. I added a shade structure. The heat coming off the hydroton was cooking the leaves. Actual rain has helped the plant health as well.

Latest water specs
ph 7.6
Amm - 0
NO2- 0
NO3 - 5 ppm


Attachments:
DSC07731 (Medium).JPG
DSC07731 (Medium).JPG [ 73.76 KiB | Viewed 1942 times ]
DSC07728 (Medium).JPG
DSC07728 (Medium).JPG [ 120.32 KiB | Viewed 1942 times ]
DSC07721 (Medium).JPG
DSC07721 (Medium).JPG [ 72.84 KiB | Viewed 1942 times ]

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