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 Post subject: Filtration and Nutrients
PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '19, 03:40 
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Hi,

How do you balance Fish Bioload vs. Plant Load?

For new startup, does the hydroton also act as bio media house to handle the fish bio waste?

If you have a heavy fish bio load and starting new plants, there is not much nutrient use so water
becomes more toxic to fish. I’m curious how everyone keeps the balance going.

I thought plants only take up Nitrates, what about Ammonia and Nitrites?

If pump is in the fish tank, doesn’t the pump get easily clogged with large fish waste?

I have a small koi pond and curious how the setup would be and work. Koi produce large
amounts of waste and lots of muck.

When fish get sick, the entire system comes to a halt?


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '19, 15:37 
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There are ratios' and rules-of-thumb and that need to be observed for a system operate well. They are flexible, but you do need to be in the ball park.

They are: (a). Wet gravel (bio-filtration) to Fish ratio. (b). Wet gravel to Water volume. (c). Water volume to Fish ratio, which will automatically be within the ball park if you have the first two right.

Wet expanded clay (Hydroton) gives the large surface area required for the beneficial bacteria colony (bio-filtration) that will convert any Ammonia to Nitrite, then further on to Nitrate, which the plants will them remove from the water. You need a certain volume of this wet expanded clay per fish to get them safely through to plate size, which is usually considered to be around 500gm. The ratio for this is 20L+ of wet gravel per fish for slow growers, Silver perch etc, and 25L+ for faster growers, such as Trout, Barra, Tilapia etc.

For a backyard type system, a Wet gravel to Water ratio somewhere between 1:1 and 0.5:1 will work fine.

If you use a dedicated dirty water pump, then fish waste won't block it. If you are using a pond pump with a sponge filter fitted, then most people remove the sponge filter, otherwise it will clog. If leaves etc could be an issue with the sponge removed, then you can cover the pump with an inverted lily basket.

As far as balancing fish numbers/size to plants, you have to do just that, balance it. ie: If your system was at or near maximum fish stocking capacity, you would try and keep the GB's as full of plants as possible, and vice versa, if you were just starting out with fingerlings, you wouldn't completely fill the GB's with plants, and you especially wouldn't plant nutrient hungry plants, ie: fruiting plants, tomatoes etc.

As far as fish getting sick is concerned, if the system is well designed, in balance, operating well and maintained, water tested regularly etc, you shouldn't really get sick fish.

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Mr Damage - a.k.a: Yabbies
Owner at Perth Aquaponics - Aquaponic Consultant & Trainer
Trade certified Horticulturist & Cert IV TAE


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PostPosted: Sep 24th, '19, 12:44 
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Great info. Thank you.

How do you setup you filtration to handle the large fish waste? Do you use a settling tank and collect
the waste to reuse?


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PostPosted: Sep 24th, '19, 18:08 
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Thats right. The most effective designs are supposedly the radial flow filter (RFF)/swirl filters. They have a conical bottom where the waste collects, the water comes in at the middle and has to flow down through a wide "sleeve" and back up again and out a hole in the sde. Have a search, there are plenty of examples on the forum.


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