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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '12, 08:33 
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Joined: Mar 26th, '12, 20:27
Posts: 2
Gender: Male
Are you human?: SAY!
Location: Shah Alam, Malaysia
Hi, i've been a long time lurker around here and its about time to introduce myself and my system... I'm also here because I am currently experiencing a HSM which I will be needing help from the experts here...

and so... *cough* the introduction first...

I'm from Shah Alam, Malaysia and I've been doing aquaponics for about 4 years now. My interest in aquaponics started from an idea to build a sort of machine to generate a constant supply of fresh vegetables for my pet green iguana. My first research brought me into hydroponics and that is when I had the idea of attaching several vegetable grow pipes directly on my iguana's outdoor cage. It didn't went well as the tropical midday sun can heat the pipes and boil the water killing the plants. It is also difficult to obtain hydroponics fertilizers in my area and so i thought maybe I could recycle iguana poop as plant food. My focus then went on to aquaponics (or iguanaponics) until... my iguana escaped his cage...

With my iguana gone, i'm left with one big pvc iguana cage, several pieces of hardwood for a yet to be constructed larger iguana cage and a stack of pvc pipes, pumps, plastic containers, and bins. Then what? Time to for a new hobby --- Aquaponics!

My first aquaponics setup is about 55 litres with several guppies and 1 pleco. That was also my first time keeping fish and I learned alot from it but things didn't go well - in fact it was pretty bad - too little sunlight because the system was shaded, unreliable siphon, constant pump clogging by fallen leaves, not enough nitrates even with 130 guppies + 1 pleco, whiteflies, beetles, rotting plastic, weaver ants making nests, a broken roof due to a storm which channeled all rainwater directly into the tank releasing nearly all my guppies into shallow puddles behind my house and one columnaris outbreak. My only harvest i enjoyed all these years : 1 overripe okra pod and several bad roselle leaves for a burmese recipe... :D

and I haven't gave up... :D
This year, I want to make it right once and for all! I designed a system based on Affnan's tilapia breeding homekit (thank you Affnan) taken from his website, subscribed to this forum (i was a lurker for 3 1/2 years), and made a blog about it:

http://aska-aquaponics.blogspot.com/

The new system is roughly a 550 litre tank (actual water volume should be lower) with a single 200 litre growbed. I will be adding another growbed in the future. Growbed is filled with 3-5 cm diameter black river pebbles at the bottom and clay balls at the top. It runs on a 3000lph pump with most water directed back into the fish tank. And the best part - It is under direct sunlight for most of the day! I reused those expanded clay balls, guppies, and pleco from my previous setup...

And now the problem...

Then came the 102 tilapia fingerlings. I know it's WAY TOO MUCH fish suddenly but I couldn't help it because the aquaculture guys only sell them in bags of 100 and I had been dreaming of getting tilapia fingerlings day and night and I couldn't resist buying them after travelling so far from the city in search of tilapia farms...

It all seems fine during the first week, until now, I'm experiencing the WTF moments of seeing 3 to 4 dead tilapia fingerlings floating up everyday. Most of what happened to my system is already written on my aquaponics blog but I'll summarize the situation here:

Water quality
- pH: about 7.0 - 7.4 (i'm using a wide range test, hard to see)
- ammonia: 1.0 if I feed them, 0.5 if I don't
- nitrite: between 0.5 to 1.0
- nitrate: I only checked them twice... at first nearly 50, then 25 after a water change...
- water color: dark pea soup...
The numbers stayed pretty stable as my system was previously mature and is trying its best to keep up...

Things to consider:
- the 102 tilapia experienced a 1 hour journey from farm to my home inside a plastic bag...
- I didn't quarantine them as I didn't have a big enough tank.
- acclamation was done by trickling tank water into their bag water over a period of 2 hours..
- fed them with 1 teaspoon of pellet everyday. Not feeding when ammonia and nitrite reaches 1.0 or when a see a half eaten dead fish...
- guppies are the results of 3 years of uncontrolled crossbreeding and are descendents from survivors of several disease outbreaks and have no problems since tilapias came...
- pleco looks fine
- salted the system to 3.0 ppt (diluted salt in a pail of water, and dump them right in)
- water may be contaminated with toxins leached from the previous system's GB made from plastic kitchen water basin... Yea, it was under the sun for over 3 years...
- shaded the fishtank to reduce algae but doesn't seem to help...
- tilapia appears to be gasping at the surface
- some tilapia have reddish gills
- dead ones seems to have sunken bellies - not eating...?
- added extra aeration about 5 days ago (which seems to increase the rate of tilapia dying after that)

I have plenty of photos in my blog. Thanks for reading and I wish for some advise from you guys... I have a feeling that my tilapias are getting sick from bacteria contamination from the guppies... :-(


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PostPosted: Apr 23rd, '12, 05:49 
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Joined: Aug 14th, '10, 03:55
Posts: 478
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Location: Minnesota, USA
Hey HayashiAska,

Welcome to the forum. I'm just getting started also.

I looked at your profile and saw you are into A.I.

Are you into Expert Systems and Genetic Algorithms ?

An E.S. program sure would help us newbies figure stuff out.

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PostPosted: Apr 23rd, '12, 07:18 
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Joined: Mar 26th, '12, 20:27
Posts: 2
Gender: Male
Are you human?: SAY!
Location: Shah Alam, Malaysia
@Bob,

I'm into Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms...

an ES for aquaponics? Nice, but we will need to gather tons of data first...
There are online ES for assessing plant problems... not sure about fish though...


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