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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Aug 3rd, '21, 09:29 
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Gotcha, thanks! I’m not using anything besides the standard API kit for measuring water parameters. Also have an old water meter that tests temp, ppm and ec, but it needs calibration, so I don’t rely too much on that. I’m just going off the look of the plants for the deficiencies. With no fish, any harm just treating it like a hydroponic setup for now? Within reason of course. I can always do a massive water change when it gets cycled, to remove or dilute anything bad in the water. Thinking to add jackpot micronutrient mix, as it looks like that should fix most of my deficiencies.


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Aug 3rd, '21, 22:22 
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skeggley wrote:
The easiest way to add salt is to follow the rest of the world and go metric. 1000 litres: 1 kg salt will give you 1ppt ;)


Definitely!

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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Aug 3rd, '21, 22:39 
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Whatever you add to your system needs to be fish friendly and I’m not sure any hydro mixes are but I may be wrong. I frequently am.
Regardless of whether you change out your water there will still be trace in the gbs. Just look at what a bit of galvanised roof run off can do to the fish in a system.
I still add blood and bone to my gbs to supplement but what you need is a slow and steady increase of trace elements and as tempting as it may be it’s a patience game ultimately you want to be able to add your fish and be confident your system can handle the bio load. The last thing you want is to add to the ‘Help my fish died’ threads.;)
Patience is a virtue.

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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Sep 14th, '21, 00:05 
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I'm conflicted which plants to put into each system (NFT and grow beds). I have strawberries and leafy greens like kale and swiss chard. I have the strawberries in the NFT now, and greens in grow beds, but I think that maybe backwards just because of the root systems on each. The greens could have some height restrictions on the NFT, so I may need to re mount them to allow more height. Any recommendations on which are better where? Or am I overthinking this?


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Sep 14th, '21, 15:12 
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Probably overthinking it.

Just give it a go and see what happens.

I find root systems don't go as deep in beds as you would think, but tend to spread horizontally more.


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 8th, '21, 23:36 
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So I got the fish. Went with bluegill, mainly because I found them available and fairly inexpensive. Figured it's best to go with a cheap option, especially the first time around. Boy was that a good decision! Got 50 fingerlings, and had a sweet Nitrite spike. Couldn't get it to under 2ppm, which was the max on my test. Lots of water changes, and added salt which helped (1-2ppm). About 40 died before I got it under control. Waited a few weeks at Nitrite at 0ppm, then ordered another 30, which about half died again (Nitrite went up to 1ppm). Now I'm at about 25 strong fishies!

PH- 6.6
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0-5

I'm adding some liquid seaweed to help with the nutes, but still nothing above 5ppm Nitrite. Plants are going really well though except for the strawberries. Fish are still tiny, and I'm feeding them as much as they'll eat. Considering another order of fish of maybe 25-30, but I'm still scared it might still be too early. Been adding fish emulsion with no detectible nitrite the day after.

I'm also getting tiny little bugs on my strawberry plants, (might be partly why they're not doing well). I ordered 1500 ladybugs and dumped them over the plants spaced out by a few days. It's in a greenhouse, but they escape easily. Been spraying neem oil lightly. I'll search bug posts if it persists.

My questions..
Will 25 fish (when they get bigger) be enough to feed all of the plants I have going? 3 grow beds, 53 NFT spots, 2 dutch buckets.
Thinking of waiting til the fish get much bigger, then putting another order of fingerlings in the sump tank to start a new batch.
Do you all have fish tank covers to prevent algae buildup?


Attachments:
File comment: Growbeds with Collards, Kale, Heirloom Tomato, Habanero
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File comment: New NFT I doubled up to allow more room for plants, and a drip into a 5gal bucket.
IMG_5260.JPG
IMG_5260.JPG [ 241.16 KiB | Viewed 1320 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 9th, '21, 21:30 
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Hey those plants look nice and healthy. Strawberries might be suffering as they have a low salt tollerance.

Just a thought: if that tomato dutch bucket comes off its bracket for whatever reason might that result in your system being pumped dry? I can only see one screw in the pic and it just looks a little precarious... like i say just a thought!


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 12th, '21, 11:06 
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The plants are looking great!

As for the fish being enough to support the plants, the brassicas, greens and lettuce grow pretty easily on minimal nutrients in my experience, but the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash are heavier feeders. It's all about balance.
But the plants look good for now.

Bluegill tend to be kinda slow growers, but they might grow faster for you in a greenhouse, since they will probably eat in the winter.

I have only had one bluegill, and several green sunfish. They were outside though, and have grown slowly for me. They barely fed over winter. And, would only eat a few pellets a day. Then they ignored food. They maxed out at about 6 inches after almost 2 years , then they caught something like a fungus and I lost all but the bluegill, who is about 5 inches now.

It will be nice to see how the bluegill do in a greenhouse.

Tomato root systems tend to get massive in AP, so keep a eye on the dutch bucket. Watch for Clogging of the exit pipe.

Nice job! keep the updates coming!

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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 12th, '21, 11:13 
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Covers?
Yes. I have no cover directly over the tank for my in ground tank, but the growbed covers it from direct sun for most of the year, so it has minimal algae growth, mostly bioslime.
And my other system has a cover made from polycarbonate panels. Algae did happen in the sump in this system when it was new though, lasted for about a week, then it just kind of died off/ got fitlered out by the grow bed. I think that was before I had it actually running to the GB.

But, covers also keep fish from getting wings, or birds, lizards, and more from trying to become fish.....

So I added a mesh cover over my sump.....

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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 13th, '21, 06:17 
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Thanks for the tip on the strawberries Danny! Low salt tolerance makes total sense! I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out why they’ve been shit while everything else is booming. Now that the system is more mature, and fish are somewhat acclimated, I’ll lower the salt, and see if that helps. Definitely reinforced the Dutch bucket since, by adding a metal strap around the bucket. Fish tank and GBs woulda been fine if it fell, but not the nft or sump.

I’ll keep an eye on those tomato roots, I do have a tomato in the gb too. Hopefully it doesn’t take over. Tomatoes and peppers are a primary purpose of this system though, so I need more fish or I may just need to wait til they grow up. Fish seem to be fine for the sump, from what I’ve read, as long as I protect them from getting sucked up in the pump. I’m getting lots of algae in the fish tank, so I’m gonna have to cover it or figure out something else. My brother said I should get a snail, but not sure about that.


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 13th, '21, 07:51 
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thats cool, if you're going to be focusing on tomatos and peppers you'll definitely want to be looking into supplementing for potassium. Thats usually the macronutrient that lacks in AP, and key for fruiting plants.

I think most people use potassium carbonate and that way you also buffer against the inevitable pH dropping due to nitrification.

Always act with caution when supplementing thogh, especially when affecting a pH change.


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 20th, '21, 11:03 
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Just dug up a few of my old plants, and figured I’d find a few red wigglers in the roots. Once I found none, I dug around a bit and still found none. I had put in about 50 into each bed, and heard they multiplied. Is there a possibility they escaped or died, or are they just chilling on the bottom of the beds? Figured I’d find at least one. It is a constant flood, but heard that’s fine, especially with all the o2 I’m putting in the water.


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Oct 20th, '21, 11:58 
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Strange, should be fine even in constant flood for worms.

I seeded my new beds with a few from my oldest beds and they have multiplied fairly quickly.

I know I don't find that many on growing plant roots, but if I leave a pruned stub and roots from a plant for a few weeks before removing I find plenty.


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '21, 21:24 
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I left a pruned plant stub in for a week, and found a few. They’re still in there!


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 Post subject: Re: JAS's IBCs
PostPosted: Nov 4th, '21, 13:08 
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jas94070 wrote:
I left a pruned plant stub in for a week, and found a few. They’re still in there!


Happy days :headbang:


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