All times are UTC + 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 17th, '19, 09:36 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: May 17th, '19, 09:14
Posts: 67
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Indianapolis
So I'm trying to get my first garden going. 150 gallon tank/grow bed, fill and drain, clay pebble media.

My first attempt at fishless cycling went horribly wrong.

I started with chloramine treated tap water and added a conditioner.

I added a bunch of 10% ammonia solution, and for some reason the ammonia levels didn't want to budge, even though the greenhouse stank of ammonia. I only got it to 4ppm ammonia even after adding a full gallon of the 10% solution and using the tank to urinate in.

Eventually I got a positive reading for nitrates even though I never got one for nitrites. I decided to do a 50% water change and try to introduce fish and plants in a moment of optimism. Yeah... poor fish.

Attempt 2

I drained the system completely except an inch in the bottom of the growbed. Tap water again, but this time from the drinking water filter on my sink. 3 stage Aquasana filter

Urinated in it twice, and within 12 hours I had 4ppm ammonia, and another 12 hours later 8+ppm ammonia. It's been 72 hours since the water change and I have 8+ ppm ammonia and 0.25 ppm nitrites. Ph is 8.4

I took a sample and diluted it to 25% tank water. Still tested at 8+. Okay, so I figure I'm dealing with at least 32ppm ammonia. Holy moly!

Theories

  1. I have strong urine
  2. Residual ammonia in the grow bed
  3. Dead fish pumped into the grow bed
  4. Plants are dying and producing ammonia


I figure I need to do at least a 75% water change, if not 90%. I need to get a reading in the range of the test kit. If ammonia goes up from there, it rules out the first two. If ammonia decays, it rules out the second two.

Plants look okay. If it's a dead fish somewhere it's going to be hell to find in 150 gallons of grow media. I already searched near the input into the grow bed, and it's definitely not in the fish tank. Could I just let it decay and water change to keep ammonia under 8?

I'm a bit stumped. First I can't get ammonia up despite adding solution until the greenhouse stank; now it won't come down.

I bought a 2nd test kit and it gives the same results.

Any advice?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
    Advertisement
 
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 18th, '19, 09:23 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: May 17th, '19, 09:14
Posts: 67
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Indianapolis
Update: I did another water change, probably 95%. Ammonia 4 ish, pH 8.2, ‘trites and ‘trates 0.

Hopefully will see ammonia decay and not spike...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 18th, '19, 12:09 
Offline
Bordering on Legend
Bordering on Legend
User avatar

Joined: Jun 17th, '07, 12:53
Posts: 437
Location: Riverland Sth Australia
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Riverland Sth Australia
As you've found out too much ammonia messes with your system

We only need 1ppm to 2ppm of ammonia to cycle a system and then time and more time

High ammonia actually kills bacteria so more is not better it slows the process

The only short cut ive found is putting 10% cycled wet gravel from an established system in a growbed , and then carefully monitoring levels as the bacteria multiply

Ive done this a few times when I needed another system quickly when fish have become available on short notice

Just because a system is "Cycled" doesn't mean its capable of running at full capacity time is needed for the bacteria numbers to multiply and colonise all wet surfaces

So when you add fish keep testing levels , even if its ok the testing is valuable experience and helps you get a "Feel" for how your system is running

:D

_________________
My System
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12070


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 18th, '19, 17:48 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Jan 26th, '15, 04:45
Posts: 76
Location: Guadeloupe - FWI
Gender: Male
Are you human?: yes
Location: Guadeloupe FWI
First advice : keep cool ! Stop doing everything that you are doing and wait.
Just add a little ammonia and wait a few weeks without doing anything. Don't water change, don't test everyday.
If you keep on doing frantic antagonist actions you'll have problems running an aquaponic system, which is all about small adjustments and patience.

_________________
My system, 500 Gallons in a tropical climate : http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=25794


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 18th, '19, 20:58 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: May 17th, '19, 09:14
Posts: 67
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Indianapolis
Yep! Learning that the hard way! I do think once I got north of 100 ppm ammonia I had to take drastic action.

Latest test:
72F
4 ppm NH3
8.2 pH
0 Nitrites


So I'm good to open a bottle of wine and do nothing for a couple weeks?


Attachments:
IMG_0855.JPEG
IMG_0855.JPEG [ 853.08 KiB | Viewed 1037 times ]
IMG_0859.JPEG
IMG_0859.JPEG [ 844.74 KiB | Viewed 1037 times ]
IMG_0860.JPEG
IMG_0860.JPEG [ 1.15 MiB | Viewed 1037 times ]
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 18th, '19, 22:17 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: May 17th, '19, 09:14
Posts: 67
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Indianapolis
Sebz I just read your post about your system - it looks fantastic!!!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 19th, '19, 09:17 
Offline
Bordering on Legend
Bordering on Legend

Joined: Dec 28th, '06, 19:47
Posts: 277
Location: Adelaide
Gender: Male
Are you human?: unsure
Location: Australia,SA
montecarlo wrote:
Yep! Learning that the hard way! I do think once I got north of 100 ppm ammonia I had to take drastic action.

Latest test:
72F
4 ppm NH3
8.2 pH
0 Nitrites


So I'm good to open a bottle of wine and do nothing for a couple weeks?



Yep, sit back for 2 or 3 weeks and watch your plants grow.

It takes time for the cycling. Probably 4-6 weeks with the temperatures you are showing.

And don't worry to much about the PH at this stage, it will probably come down and in a years time you will be trying to hold it up.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 19th, '19, 22:23 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: May 17th, '19, 09:14
Posts: 67
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Indianapolis
okay! Plants are starting to show some signs of deficiency, which is not surprising given the hell I've put them through. I will post pictures when I can and ask for advice.

On the plus side, the 'trites test this morning came back with a very slight positive. It was still a "zero" or "nil", but it came off the baby blue color just a touch. Makes me feel maybe the bacteria are starting to feel happy.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Ammonia Problems
PostPosted: May 25th, '19, 02:24 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: May 17th, '19, 09:14
Posts: 67
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Indianapolis
NH3 is gone! Interested pH went from 8.2, to 8.0 @ 0.5ppm NH3, back up to 8.2. I added a little phosphoric acid. Will see how that goes.

Nitrites are 20+ right now. Waiting for that to come down, then will add a couple fish.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Portal by phpBB3 Portal © phpBB Türkiye
[ Time : 0.074s | 19 Queries | GZIP : Off ]