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PostPosted: May 21st, '15, 06:51 
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I have a small (5 Gal) aquaponics grow operation. I started it it mainly just to see if I could. My tank has four gold fish, and approximately 8 small spinach plants. Two quick background observations: 1) the spinach plants are not enough, on there own, to keep the tank from becoming way too dirty; 2) running an aquarium filter conventionally (24/7) doesn’t leave enough nutrients for the plants. I’m not interested in growing more plants, or having less fish at this time. Thus, my solution, and the subject of my question(s), has been to use a simple outlet timer device (the kind used to turn household lamps on for certain hours of the day) to have the filter run less that 24/7, in hopes of striking the right balance. With that said, my questions:

1. Do you have any general thoughts on this approach?

2. Do you think I should have long single periods of time when the filter is on/off (e.g., runs for 4 straight hours per day), or stagger the filtration in shorter intervals (e.g., 8, 30 minute periods of filtration throughout the day)?

3. Do you see any other factors I should consider such as filtering at night vs. the day, or filtering around feeding time?

Thanks for your time.

Fred


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PostPosted: May 21st, '15, 07:12 
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..
Hi Fred..
Just some initial thoughts.

It's not the plants that filter the water.. its the media..

Running 24/7 won't affect the nutrient level available for the plans..but... It might /should improve filtering..
Reducing the time.. would reduce the time the plants are exposed to the water born nutrients, and thus possibly increase the levels as seen by the fish.. mind you, they don't need exposure at night, but particulate filtering will continue AND more importantly, the exposure to bacteria in the media will be higher and hence the CYCLE will be more efficient..

Given your setup, I would run 24/7, and see what happens..

If water clarity remains an issue, you could try a particulate filter that could be occasionally changed... BUT
That filter would need to be arranged to never stop the circulation.. eg. The water returning to the fish tank might have an oversize sock of geo-fabric suspended over the tube and when it clogged, the water will overflow the top, into the tank..
So never any harm or failure..
ALWAYS think... what happens if... if, a pump stops... if, the filter clogs .... if.. if..

Finally, if using gold fish, then they are pretty tolerant of water conditions... how many survive in a simple glass bowl and few water changes..
..
.


Last edited by BuiDoi on May 21st, '15, 07:26, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: May 21st, '15, 07:23 
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BuiDoi wrote:
..
Hi Fred..
Just some initial thoughts.

It's not the plants that filter the water.. its the media..

Running 24/7 won't affect the nutrient level available for the plans..but... It might /should improve filtering..
Reducing the time.. would reduce the time the plants are exposed to the water born nutrients, and thus possibly increase the levels as seen by the fish.. mind you, they don't need exposure at night, but particulate filtering will continue AND more importantly, the exposure to bacteria in the media will be higher and hence the CYCLE will be more efficient..
..
.



So, I should run the filtration 24/7, or continue with my timer method?


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PostPosted: May 21st, '15, 07:30 
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Yep.. 24/7. As o'er my ammendments..
Everything works better sat high oxygen levels and flow.. and emphasizing the oxygen, especially needed by the bacteria in the media, to convert the nasties to nutrient.. :headbang:
..
.


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PostPosted: May 21st, '15, 07:51 
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Joined: May 21st, '15, 06:48
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BuiDoi wrote:
..
Yep.. 24/7. As o'er my ammendments..
Everything works better sat high oxygen levels and flow.. and emphasizing the oxygen, especially needed by the bacteria in the media, to convert the nasties to nutrient.. :headbang:
..
.


Thank you!


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