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PostPosted: Jan 1st, '19, 13:22 
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Just changed my so called wormaponics system to aquaponics.

Whilst the original system worked well, it was a bit messy to look after compared to aquaponics. Weeds loved the environment more than my vegetable plants and the worms needed looking after as well. I am a lazy gardener and aquaponics seems like the perfect system for me

Started with a new IBC and used most of the water from my existing wormaponics system. Due to space restrictions where my system resides, I decided to go with the horizontal stormwater pipes with constant water flow. IBC has 1,000L of water with 18 goldfish about 10cm size.

On my old system I never did any water testing and after 3 years never had a problem with my fish or plants. Got the new system running for 6 days now and fish seem to be happy. Added some Seasol to get some nutrients to the plants but noticed some of the leaves are getting slightly yellow (posted a pic of my capsicum plant) which might just be due to the system not established yet or simply due to the 40 plus degree days here in Adelaide, Australia the last few days. Thought might be a good idea to buy a water testing system. Looked at the OASE Quicksticks which seems rather easy to use. Anyone got some experience with these?

Still waiting on my air pump to be shipped. Never used one on my old system but after reading on this forum decided it might be a good idea to add one. Also, still need to add a shade cloth as well as some bird netting.


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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '19, 03:44 
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Welcome to the forum Pascal :wave: .

I think you're right about the plants, it's pretty early on with the system. You may want to supplement until things get going. Looks like you probably don't have enough nitrates in the system yet. Yellowing on the lower leaves like that is usually a nitrogen deficiency. Typically when you have this the plants are lacking in other nutrients as well.

Haven't used that particular test kit so I can't help you on that. Most people here use the API freshwater master test kit but there really isn't a perfect kit so use what you have. One thing you need to be aware of is the limitations of your testing kit - for example if the kit only reads down to a certain level and that's what you're getting with your testing, then you really don't know if the reading is actually much lower. For the API kit this is a common issue when testing pH, since it only reads down to 6.0.


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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '19, 08:11 
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Hi Pascal,

Yep - shade will be needed in a heat trap like side of house for the hot months.

The API Fresh Water test kit will be pretty easy to source in Aust, either directly or via eBay
eBay usually cheaper than shops - the full test kit covers a range of more useful parameters - Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, and high and low pH. There are couple other brands that are similar, but usually cost bit more.

Take it the growing system is the PVC tubes and baskets with media as per pics.
how deep is the water in the tubes ?

You may find this is not sufficient for a biofilter (depending on your fish load).
A very simple option is to feed water to a barrel or half barrel of rock/clay media.
This will improve the biofiltering efficiency.

My pref is to put a tap at the bottom with a false flloor, feed the water to the bottom and then overflow into the tubes at the top - thus water is rising up. It is very sijmple to open the tap every now and again to drain off the crud that collects. IMO much simpler option for a small system than messing with mechanical swirl filters etc and you get the biofilter benefit.

Crud collecting around the plant roots in a pipe DWC / NFT is not good for the plants.
Leaving it in the media for a bit allows for some breaking down and mobilisation of nutrients.
A small grow bed would achieve the same - the drum / half drum option provides wet volume in less space.

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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '19, 14:48 
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scotty435 wrote:
Welcome to the forum Pascal :wave: .

Most people here use the API freshwater master test kit but there really isn't a perfect kit so use what you have. One thing you need to be aware of is the limitations of your testing kit - for example if the kit only reads down to a certain level and that's what you're getting with your testing, then you really don't know if the reading is actually much lower. For the API kit this is a common issue when testing pH, since it only reads down to 6.0.


Was reading up on the API freshwater master test and thought the test strips are much easier to use. I ordered them already, will let you guys know how they are going.


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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '19, 14:54 
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Hi Darren,
Shade cloth is up just in time before the next heat wave :-)
You are correct, PVC tubes 90mm and water is about half-way up.
Great idea with the tap, will get that done this weekend.
After a bit of reading on this forum I also ordered some fish pallets -currently still on flakes which served me well in my old system.


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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '19, 16:58 
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Hi all,
Is there a restriction on sending private messages for new members? Just tried to reply to a message I received and it's sitting in the outbox.

Never mind, all working now.

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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '19, 20:02 
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It will sit in the outbox until the recipient reads it.

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PostPosted: Jan 3rd, '19, 02:30 
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Got it, thanks for that

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http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=30247


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PostPosted: Jan 3rd, '19, 05:29 
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thanks Pascal

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