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PostPosted: Jan 9th, '17, 01:39 
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My fish food was going to come in on Friday but it got canceled. I drove to another tractor supply and bought some fish food to tide me over until I can get some better food.

We had some snow yesterday and last night it got down to 17 degrees F this is could for SC. The high is 35 for today and they are calling for 14 tonight. Wednesday it will be back to 59F.
My new fish tank heater is working very well I did turn it down to shut off at 70F.
Here are the greenhouse temps and fish tank temps.
I got my FT heater done just in time this cold snap would have killed many fish.

Greenhouse
Attachment:
GHTemp.jpg
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Fish Tank
Attachment:
FTtemp.jpg
FTtemp.jpg [ 106.08 KiB | Viewed 2098 times ]


We picked 4 pounds of tomatoes and a head of lettuce this morning. I like it when it is 17 degrees outside and I am picking produce.
Attachment:
20170108_100531.jpg
20170108_100531.jpg [ 61.39 KiB | Viewed 2098 times ]

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '17, 01:43 
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My fish are eating very good now. Here is my nitrates.

Attachment:
20170109_135946.jpg
20170109_135946.jpg [ 33.34 KiB | Viewed 2052 times ]


My closed loop heating system has been working for nine days so far. We have had a cold snap so it has let me really test out the new fish tank heater.

I have been running my pump on the medium speed. My tankless heater has a digital display that shows out flow water temp.

The output temp have been running about 52C or 125.6 F This shows the heat exchanger is doing a good job adding the heat to the fish tank.

I have set my fish tank to turn off the heater @70F. I have put my pump on a timer to stop the pumps water flow at night and this has saved natural gas. The front grow bed has expanded shale. That works like a radiator and makes the heater work harder than it needs to.

I have no problem keeping the water at any temp I set it at but it was using more fuel than needed to just keep the fish warn.

I have opened one of the top auto vents this keeps the greenhouse from over heating during the winter.
I don't want my lettuce bolt from to much heat in the winter.

The new fish tank heater just works I don’t need to do anything to it. I am very happy with it so far.

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '17, 13:57 
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Sounds like you've got it all ticking along nicely, awesome!

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '17, 18:43 
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boss from what I've read the aquamax 4000 is more of a slow grow/finishing/pond formula for the tilapia.

I'm kind of running off of Lakeway Tilapia's recommendations for what I'm doing so far. They claim if you have 100 tilapia that start out at an average of 9.45gram weigh then you can pretty much take it to the bank that if you keep their water temp at 84 degrees that you can feed them 4.16 pounds of Aquamax 300 which will get them up to about 28 grams each, then feed them 6.45 pounds of aquamax 400 will get them to an average of 57.6 grams each, then feed them 87.5 pounds of aquamax 4000 and they'll be at an average of one pound each which is when they recommend harvesting them because at that point their growth rate slows down. I forget the exact numbers but they claim tilapia grow much faster in their first 200ish days of life then their metabolism slows and they grow much slower so if you are feeding them past that age it is costing you more money.

I say I'm kind of running off their recommendations because I have not done exactly what they say... my water temp is currently 79 degrees (I just bumped my controller up to 80 since I was thinking about it... I'm very slowly increasing their temperature so I'm probably losing out on some growth rate by having them colder. They say 80 is the minimum recommended breeding temp although blue tilapia they say will breed down to 65 degrees... mine should be about to their breeding age/size I would think since they claim they become sexually mature at something like 12 weeks... I think mine have to be close to that by now). Next I skipped the Aquamax 300 because it was not readily available when I got my fish (I actually had bought the 400 for the trout because that is the pellet size the trout place said they were feeding at the time) so I just ended up crushing the 400 to make it smaller for the tilapia to eat until they were big enough to eat the 400 on their own... (the 300 has 50% protein vs. 45% protein on the 400 so might have lost a little growth there too). I'll have to probably special order the 4000 to finish the tilapia, but I'll probably keep two mails and half a dozen females out of these 12 so most of this batch will be my breeders and we'll only eat a few of this batch then we'll eat their babies instead.

Purina has a full line of products available with different protein levels and pellet sizes... all the info is here on their website if you click each bag it gives you the guaranteed analysis.. https://www.purinamills.com/game-feed/p ... 20Aquatics

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '17, 23:56 
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@ Mel Redcap Thanks slowly but surely it is getting better.

Our Purina fish food comes from Gainesville GA distribution center. They don’t stock AquaMax Dense 4000 and will not get one bag of it for me. They make it in FL and probably other plants.
They said they would UPS ship it for me be that would cost way too much.

So I special ordered a bag of AquaMax Grower 400 it will be in next Wednesday. It was $52.

The first place I called wanted $62 a bag for it and had it in stock but I wanted fresh food and did not want to pay an extra $10 for stale food.

I might look for someone local to split the 50 pound bag that way I would not have to store so much food.



I do wonder what other are paying for AquaMax Grower 400.

If their plants and fish are doing well on AquaMax Grower 400.

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PostPosted: Jan 12th, '17, 00:54 
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I think I paid like $69 for the 50lbs of AquaMax Grower 400 because it was special order... I probably should have talked them down on it since it was special order for someone else that the person didn't end up picking up because they said it took too long to come in.

I think I paid about $40 for 50lbs of Aquamax Sport 500.

I haven't inquired about Aquamax 4000 yet. I need to go pick up some chicken feed soon so I'll ask when I pick that up.

I can't really say how my plants are doing with the 400 because my plants have mostly died off due to being too cold =( they seemed to be growing good before that with no signs of lacking nutrients (yet, probably too young of a system to really say for sure)... the fish seem to be growing nicely. It has been a few weeks now since I switched my trout to the 500. I haven't actually taken the trout out to check their size lately but they seem to be getting fat from what I can see looking down in to the tank when I feed them.

My tilapia are growing like crazy on the 400. I received them October 27th and they might have been about 1" at that time. Now they are probably 3-4". The big males are close to 2" tall top to bottom (I have 2" PVC in the tank for them to hide in and they barely fit in it anymore, going to have to cut up some 3" PVC for them soon). I am amazed every time I go look at them (every day) it seems like they're so much bigger than the last time I looked at them. I bumped my feeder up to feed them 8 times a day from 6 times a day (plus I normally feed them by hand once or twice a day) because they seemed to be going crazy every time I went in the room and since I did that just a few days ago it seems like all of the smaller ones have started catching up to the 2 larger males all of the sudden.

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '17, 06:15 
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I use aquamax 400 mostly, but depending on fish size and species i also have used (and in some cases still use) 500, 600, 2000 and 4000.

i dont really pay a lot of attention to the cost but i think i pay 45-50 for the 400,500,600 because they are higher protein... the 2000 and 4000 iirc are around 35-40

I think the plants do fine with purina fish food. about once a year i add a couple tablespoons of iron chelate and otherwise nothing. But its not like i do side by side comparisons with other fish food to say its great.

"land of the lakes" is the parent company for purina and from my understanding they have stopped producing fish foods in their plants because of low margins. They outsource it to other companies, now. If you have been using it for many years like i have you have noticed a difference in the size, extrude, color and smell. Purina says its exactly the same recipe just different equipment making the food and the process is maybe a little different. i.e. i dont think they spray fish oil coat on it anymore so it feels more crumbly/dusty than moist. anyway. I still think its a good food.

I have looked for alternatives but i havent really found one that has the distribution that purina has so the prices seem prohibitively high because of shipping.

"Optimal" was highly recommended to me by a pond biologist that i trust (for growing bluegill.) it ended up being 47$ 40lb bag after shipping. (it looks like the price has gone up to $50 since i bought my bag. I have started using it and like it so far. I may try it with my channel cats and tilapia later this year and see how they like it.

writing this post had me checking the oprimal web site and it used to only have one recipe.. they have added a fingerling starter, aquaponic and bass recipe.. It says they add chelated minerals like iron to the fish food in the aquaponic recipe.. this is interesting to me...

"We achieve this through the use of essential chelated minerals (copper, manganese, iron), as well as optimized phosphorous and potassium supplementation that assist in plant performance without adversely affecting fish growth and health. Optimal Aquaponic Feed is designed to satisfy the specialized needs required for growing healthy and sustainable fish and produce in your aquaponics systems."

i am going to have to research this further and probably try it out.

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '17, 07:18 
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Thanks for the fish food info.

I know this does not look like much but my greenhouse is finally has power inside.
I don’t really need much couple outlets and the top outlet is 240V for my fish tank heater.
I have been running off two long extension cords for close to two years now.

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '17, 21:21 
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mark, remind me what's the thickness of your poly walls? Is that the 6mm stuff or the 16mm?

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PostPosted: Jan 16th, '17, 23:17 
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My roof the front and the west side are 8mm double wall polygala polymatte. The polymatte is designed for greenhouses to eliminate hot spots.
The east side is clear 8mm double wall polygala to let more morning light in. It is very important to get that first morning sun to heat things up after a cold night.

http://www.polygal-northamerica.com/polygal-polymatte/
I bought it from theses guys
http://www.advancegreenhouses.com/polyg ... te-sheets/
I was able to pick it up to save on shipping.

These guys had the best prices on aluminum profiles.
https://www.advancingalternatives.com/extrusions.html



I am one step closer to installing my elect fish tank heater. I welded up a bracket to mount it to the side of the tank.
In this mild weather we are having I want to use solar power to heat the fish tank.

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '17, 00:14 
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OK I was just curious the thickness since it seems like you've had really good results with temperatures. The section of my roof that I left open I used two sheets of this doubled up (so 12mm thickness) http://www.menards.com/main/building-ma ... 5623867447

They have a 16mm of similar but might not be quite the same stuff as what you used. Looking at the example on the first link you posted I don't know that it refracts light in all different directions or if it's what they are comparing against as the clear poly that just lets light in one direction. It was just supplemental anyways, I have covered it with insulation for the winter to try and hold a little more heat but will open it up as we approach spring, then probably end up closing it or covering it with shade cloth in the summer.

I'm still a long way from airproofing my greenhouse. I think I might need to pull some plastic and insulation back down in a couple of spots and hit it with spray foam because I've noticed icy patches behind the plastic which has to be a sign of where I have an air leak coming in at. I will probably tape all of the exterior insulation seams as well before I put my siding on to help seal them all together so I'll be less likely to have an air leak in the middle of the wall, then just have to worry about the outer edges hopefully.

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '17, 01:41 
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Thanks for the reply Mark. I just saw it now, sorry. On the polymatte link you provided I see this description:
Attachment:
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Polymatte.png [ 514.94 KiB | Viewed 1969 times ]

Unless they have a better description of how light can be dispersed randomly as in the image, I'm skeptical. From what I gather from optics in college once light is dispersed it goes whichever direction it is sent, I don't think it can go down and back up under the plants, unless reflected back up. :dontknow: maybe they can I do not know.

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '17, 01:57 
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It is important to have the greenhouse painted white to reflect the light. I would say you are correct. To get the light to go up it will need to be reflected.

It is very bright in there so I thing it does a good reflecting. It does a great job not making hot spots.
I have some glass in the center of the greenhouse. Last spring the plants in front the polymatte did very well the plants in front the glass were noticeably smaller I put polymatte covering the front glass and the plants just took off.

During the winter I uncover the front glass to let the limited amount sun in for the winter.

When I first put in the polymatte I was concerned if it would work and my wife kept saying just give it a chance it is designed for greenhouses. I am glad I got it at this point and would get it again if I was starting over.
It has a 15 year warranty so hopefully it will hold up well over time.

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '17, 02:03 
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I hear that. I didn't mean for this to sound like what you did was doubtful, more to their advertising. I've got to dress for the snow, as it looks like a huge wet snow laden tree branch fell near and perhaps on our beehives.

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '17, 02:14 
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I hope the bees are ok.

I totally agree with you. I was very skeptical of their advertising and of their product. I could not find many reviews.

It is an expensive product and very hard and expensive to change if it did not work out. It was a gamble getting it and I was not sure I made the right decision for months.
I was not trying to defend their doc just describe my experience with it.
I would have felt so much better if I had a few good reviews to base my decision off.
I even said to my wife when I was deciding how the hell is the light going to go up to the plants? I will still take that part with a grain of salt.

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