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 Post subject: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '21, 22:28 
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Greetings!
I am a resident experimentor and general poker and prodder.
Ive had three go's at aquaponics two of which failed in spectacular fashion.
Recently I came across a video of robs on YouTube explaining that he cycled his system before adding the fish, and I realised how I had come to accidentally so many fish.

So on the third time around I have followed the steps in his video of symply running the system and adding some Charlie carp and powered seaweed.
So far the plants have grown a lot - they are just some seeds that said *plant in winter* from bunnings. I believe it's 3 kinds of leuttice and some kale.

My problem is as follows - in robs vidoe he accidentally over doses the system and it still cycles through well - his ammonia goes way up - then the nitrite goes up - then they both go down and the nitrate goes way up. On the api test kit it's fully red!

My system has only ever shown a decrease in ammonia and a slight increase in nitrite but never shown a change in nitrate. I have added more Charlie carp and jacked up the ammonia twice now and watched it cycle down.
But no nitrate.

Are the plants eating it all? I'm not sure if the system is completing the full cycle.

Also, I have some weird stuff happening to the leuttice. Can anyone help with explaining this strange pattern?

Thank you all in advance [GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES][BIRTHDAY CAKE]ImageImage

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '21, 18:31 
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The leaf damage looks like insects to me, probably leaf miners and some other sucking insect.


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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '21, 21:53 
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+1 leaf miners.
How old is your API kit?

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '21, 21:59 
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skeggley wrote:
+1 leaf miners.
How old is your API kit?
Hey! Thanks for that.
The test kit is about 18 months old.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '21, 22:00 
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Mgessert wrote:
The leaf damage looks like insects to me, probably leaf miners and some other sucking insect.
Thanks for commenting. I'll keep an eye out for critters.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 00:01 
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+1, first photo definitely leaf miner. Nothing to worry about.

As for Nitrate, when starting a system typically you have ammonia in low concentration, maybe 1 to 4 ppm. This in time will convert directly to 1 to 4 ppm of nitrate. That is barely enough to register. And since you have plants then it is likely being absorbed very quickly.

That is one reason fish die after fishless cycling. People cycle a system with very low concentrations of ammonia. Then after several weeks, yes the system is "cycled." But the bacteria colonies are only capable of handling a small amount of ammonia. Then when you add a bunch of fish the bio-load increased 10 times, and the bacteria colonies are not established well enough to handle the increase.

So, if you are fishless cycling, keep adding ammonia even after the system is cycled. You can increase the ammonia as much as possible as long as you keep it reasonable, like 1 - 4 ppm (1-2 is better).

When you are ready to add fish stop adding ammonia and let it and nitrite get to 0. Then add the fish. Keep a close eye on ammonia and nitrite, and reduce or stop feeding if they show up on your tests.

Nitrate levels will depend on fish stocking density and feed rate. When fish are small and stocking density is low, so are the the amount of food they consume.

Then as the fish grow and eat more, there will be more nitrates available for the plants. That is why it is common to start with things like leafy greens that don't need a lot of nutrients. Then as your system matures and nitrates increase, it will support more plants or bigger "feeders" like fruits and vegetables.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 08:11 
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Hi mate, the API kits have an expiry date printed on them and they say replace after being open for 12 months due to oxygen ingress so your kit MAY not be accurate. Having said that I never got readings of nitrates when I used to test. Besides nitrates are only a part of the plant requirements and the Charlie carp will be adding the minerals required for growth.
You can remove the leaves with the miners in them to keep them under control.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 08:46 
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dstjohn99 wrote:
+1, first photo definitely leaf miner. Nothing to worry about.

As for Nitrate, when starting a system typically you have ammonia in low concentration, maybe 1 to 4 ppm. This in time will convert directly to 1 to 4 ppm of nitrate. That is barely enough to register. And since you have plants then it is likely being absorbed very quickly.

That is one reason fish die after fishless cycling. People cycle a system with very low concentrations of ammonia. Then after several weeks, yes the system is "cycled." But the bacteria colonies are only capable of handling a small amount of ammonia. Then when you add a bunch of fish the bio-load increased 10 times, and the bacteria colonies are not established well enough to handle the increase.

So, if you are fishless cycling, keep adding ammonia even after the system is cycled. You can increase the ammonia as much as possible as long as you keep it reasonable, like 1 - 4 ppm (1-2 is better).

When you are ready to add fish stop adding ammonia and let it and nitrite get to 0. Then add the fish. Keep a close eye on ammonia and nitrite, and reduce or stop feeding if they show up on your tests.

Nitrate levels will depend on fish stocking density and feed rate. When fish are small and stocking density is low, so are the the amount of food they consume.

Then as the fish grow and eat more, there will be more nitrates available for the plants. That is why it is common to start with things like leafy greens that don't need a lot of nutrients. Then as your system matures and nitrates increase, it will support more plants or bigger "feeders" like fruits and vegetables.
That's awesome thanks a lot for the reply!
Ive just done a test after dosing with Charlie carp again a few days ago and the ammonia has come down to about 2ppm and the nitrite is showing a very high level - so far the highest it's been.
I'll let this keep going until everything is trace and then look at adding some fish in.
Will do another test in a few days and see whether and of the nitrite has been converted and still available in the water to show up on a test.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 08:47 
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skeggley wrote:
Hi mate, the API kits have an expiry date printed on them and they say replace after being open for 12 months due to oxygen ingress so your kit MAY not be accurate. Having said that I never got readings of nitrates when I used to test. Besides nitrates are only a part of the plant requirements and the Charlie carp will be adding the minerals required for growth.
You can remove the leaves with the miners in them to keep them under control.
Thanks mate! Good tip about the expiry.
Luckily mine is good till 2025 hehe so few good tests left in it!!

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 15:45 
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Stop adding anything with Ammonia.If you keep adding Ammonia the Nitrite will never come down (not at the levels you've got).

Just leave it alone & when the Nitrite goes down the Nitrate will go up.

As of now,the system is not cycled.Do not put any fish in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 15:56 
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7341 wrote:
Stop adding anything with Ammonia.If you keep adding Ammonia the Nitrite will never come down (not at the levels you've got).

Just leave it alone & when the Nitrite goes down the Nitrate will go up.

As of now,the system is not cycled.Do not put any fish in there.
Hi Thanks for that - I won't be adding and fish until the ammonia and nitrite go back to trace.
The system has already cycled back to trace and I've added ammonia again to get to where we are - are you saying the system has never completed a cycle or are you saying based on the levels - it's in the middle of one?

Cheerio

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 18:56 
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Krieegs wrote:
The system has already cycled back to trace and I've added ammonia again to get to where we are - are you saying the system has never completed a cycle or are you saying based on the levels - it's in the middle of one?

I can't say for sure but if the system had already cycled,something must have messed it up.Maybe cold weather or putting in too much Ammonia.Ammonia at high levels is a disinfectant.

Looking at your pic of the test,I'd say you are half way through.
The Nitrite might be more than 5ppm because the test only shows up to 5ppm.

Sometimes once a system is fully cycled & been running for years,you might see a slight amount of Ammonia show up,something like 0.2ppm of Ammonia,but not Nitrite.Since mine were fully cycled I've never seen Nitrite at all.
Don't add anymore Ammonia and wait for the Ammonia & Nitrite to drop to zero,then you'll see the Nitrate turn up.After that add more Ammonia & see how long it takes the Ammonia & Nitrite to go to 0,if in 24 hours its back to 0,you're cycled.Then add a good amount of Ammonia up to 3 or 4 ppm and see if that's back to 0 within the day.

What's the water temperature right now?.


Krieegs wrote:
Cheerio

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 8th, '21, 23:59 
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7341 wrote:
Krieegs wrote:
The Nitrite might be more than 5ppm because the test only shows up to 5ppm.
Krieegs wrote:
Cheerio

:lol:


If you want a more accurate reading, then dilute the test water by 50% and take a reading. In other words, fill the tube with 2.5 ml of tap water or similar without ammonia or nitrites, then and 2.5 ml of FT water.

Do the test and double the results.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 10th, '21, 14:56 
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When you can add 1ppm of ammonia and its gone the next day with no nitrites then you are cycled. You can test you bio filter by dosing to 2ppm and see how long that takes to go away. If the 2ppm is gone by the next day with 0 nitrite spike then you have a healthy and hardy bio filter. Once you are cycled dont forget to feed your bacteria daily .5 to 1 ppm until you get fish. It might even be beneficial to spike the system to 2ppm and wait for it all to read zero before adding fish to make sure you have a large bio filter. Its better to have a strong bio filter than a week one.

It takes time. Be patient. Could take a couple weeks. Could take a month. My first tank cycled in 2 weeks. My second go around took almost 2 months and I even seaded it with filters from my other system (it was winter time). Each level of the nitrigen bacteria grow slower than the previous.

Keep an eye on your PH once your making nitrates. I have had my PH crash out because my nitrites where wildly off the charts. Once your PH goes to 6 the your nitrogen cycle stops.

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 Post subject: Re: Pls halp
PostPosted: Sep 10th, '21, 15:04 
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Rcmaveric wrote:
When you can add 1ppm of ammonia and its gone the next day with no nitrites then you are cycled. You can test you bio filter by dosing to 2ppm and see how long that takes to go away. If the 2ppm is gone by the next day with 0 nitrite spike then you have a healthy and hardy bio filter. Once you are cycled dont forget to feed your bacteria daily .5 to 1 ppm until you get fish. It might even be beneficial to spike the system to 2ppm and wait for it all to read zero before adding fish to make sure you have a large bio filter. Its better to have a strong bio filter than a week one.

It takes time. Be patient. Could take a couple weeks. Could take a month. My first tank cycled in 2 weeks. My second go around took almost 2 months and I even seaded it with filters from my other system (it was winter time). Each level of the nitrigen bacteria grow slower than the previous.

Keep an eye on your PH once your making nitrates. I have had my PH crash out because my nitrites where wildly off the charts. Once your PH goes to 6 the your nitrogen cycle stops.

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Thanks bro that's great. Out of curiosity if the PH goes down how to bring it back up?

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