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 Post subject: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Jan 31st, '15, 23:13 
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Hi,

So I had a mini outdoor system to see for myself what was involved with aquaponics before I stared a respectable system i.e, 2000 L FT.

I scraped it as I was under strict orders to make it look all pretty like. Also 5 L for 5 gold fish may have been a bit on the small side :shifty: (partial water changes every day got old real fast).

So I went about building a bigger better looking system as a test its about 40 L. (I'll post pictures tomorrow). It's been up and running for a week or 2.

========================================================

First emergency (well that didn't take long :roll: )
I figured the old system I used the grow medium from was cycled so I got cocky and probably fed more than the bacteria could handle. I'm now the.. proud owner of a nitrite spike (readings below) and concerned for my fishes health.

So what should I do:
- Put them in a bucket of tap water; concerned about the chlorine (no aged water on hand).
- Do more of a water change; did a 10-15% one and the nitrite didn't budge.
- Do nothing.

It's not about the money, I just don't like the thought of them chemically burning in there.
Thanks,


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File comment: Left before right after water change.
2015-01-31 22.47.06.jpg
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File comment: As it stands now.
2015-01-31 23.02.05.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 1st, '15, 13:56 
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Well, I'm no expert, but something similar to this happened on my first system, and from what I understood then, it was normal. First you get the ammonia spike, then the nitrite, finally the nitrate. Two things to consider though was that A. I didn't care about replacing goldfish, so I would buy like 50 for my 40 gallon system and toss the ones that died until I reached a balance, and B. What kind of plants do you have growing in there? Whatever you do you are going to want quite a few plants in there with roots established to handle the nitrate when you're all said and done.

As for the nitrite, maybe another partial and see if that helps, and whatever you do, keep some dechlorinated water on hand until everything balances out.


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 1st, '15, 17:45 
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Put in some salt (non Iodised and no other additives ) at 1 ppt and try to not just dump it in without it being dissolved. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 1st, '15, 20:19 
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Thanks for the replies :) .

I have 4 basil and 4 parsley in there at the moment. They have thin leaves n' look like they're dying of nutrient deficiencies; don't know if there int enough there yet or they have lockout due to the ph?

Now when you say ppt do ya mean parts per trillion or parts per thousand (g/L). 35g of sea salt looks like a huge amount (enough to fill one cupped hand), is that right :dontknow: ?

Thanks again,


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '15, 07:46 
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Its parts per thousand so 1 gm per litre or 1kg per thousand litres. Most people use pool salt from Bunnings or Masters etc. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '15, 01:08 
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Pic


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '15, 05:38 
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I love the use of the teracotta pots. A really nice small system :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 24th, '15, 17:50 
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Thanks Team41, apart from the busted bits of wood :) might get around to that one day.

They want $3.50 a pack for herbs at coles, so once it get up and going it should take the sting out of that.

I ended up doing a partial water change and salting some time back, seemed to do the trick, all the fish are still alive (cheers for the advise).

The basil has black patches on the edge of the leaves, apparently it's a type of fungus brought on by a lack of nutrients (graph below). I've just started to notice gunk growing in the FT so I suppose I'll hold the course. I'm assuming once that stuff gets established the plants can get at some of the nitrates.

Any one know if 5 goldfish are enough to run that system?


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Feb 24th, '15, 17:54 
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Can't blame the cats for this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Apr 28th, '15, 15:58 
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Everything I put into my system dies. The nitrates are very high. The stem of the coriander has turned red. :dontknow:

Could it be the flake food I'm using (not getting enough nutrient) or lack of oxygen to the roots? (if you guys had to guess from the pix)

I have some old hydroponic solution could I add a small amount of that to fault find it or would that kill my fish?


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Apr 28th, '15, 16:19 
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Might have a potassium deficiency on the coriander. Looks like it's mostly the older leaves with the tips looking odd.. Seasol or Maxicrop would help for that if you have some.

The leaves look a bit pale on the coriander as well. The pepper doesn't look bad so I'm not sure what to make of that. Might be an iron deficiency, might not. DTPA chelated iron might help if it is depending on your pH.

I'd look for a good quality pellet food designed for fish growth.


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '15, 16:17 
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Thanks scotty435,

I ended up adding a small amount of hydroponic nutrient; the plants really took off after that.
So the flake food I was using was defiantly an issue.

Some weeks later I also emptied the grow bed (full of rotting roots), I'm assuming that was a mixture of sick plants(nutrient issue) and inadequate oxygen (my siphons were locking on constant flood; as you can see from the setup would mean 80% of the grow bed would be a dead zone).

That in turn (I think) has resulted in some fury fish (large white spots) due to the anaerobic mischief.

--------------------------------------------------------------

So now the siphon is on the outside of the bed, problem fish have been quarantined and treated. It seems these problems can cascade.

Hopefully the fish destroying bacteria hasn't got a foothold.


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '15, 21:08 
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As long as there was plenty of oxygen in the water, having the higher level should have been OK since many of us run with Constant Flood systems and it works well for us. Might be tougher to keep oxygenated in a small system like this where the temp can rise higher in a short period so that the water would hold less oxygen.. Those large temp swings could also have contributed to the fish problems through stress. Most fish live in large enough bodies of water that the large temp swings take much longer to happen and they've evolved for those conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '15, 23:04 
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Trav wrote:
Pic



The system looks very cool. Are you going to do herb and chilly only in that system?

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 Post subject: Re: Trav's first system
PostPosted: Jul 12th, '15, 02:07 
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Quote:
The system looks very cool. Are you going to do herb and chilly only in that system?


Thanks :D
Yer, although now it's looking like my chilli is toast :) another victim of the dreaded root rot. This is sort of my test system, to see what to avoid with the large system I'm planning.

BTW that pond liner is held in with poly pipe (no glue).


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