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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 11:34 
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I now have my sump plumbed in and operational

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11:35 FT pH 6.29, GB return pH 6.19
Ammonia 0.25-0.5ppm
Nitrite ~0.25-0.5ppm, at about 4 or 5 mins, but within a couple of minutes it was indicating zero! I haven't seen it change so fast before... so its a bit hard to know what the level really was
Nitrate ~10ppm

The Wheat sprouts

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wheat20130531.jpg
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Various cruciferous vegetables, and a few onions behind them

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Chemists apparently no longer stock KOH, but I managed to locate some from an industrial chemical supplier, and will have that on Monday- 50% conc liquid, 5l for $30 :)

I had the tank cover off all morning, but noticed the water was starting to look a bit murky with the beginnings of an algal bloom around midday, a definite change since 8am, so the cover is back on. I'll have to put some shade cloth over the sump too.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 16:00 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
You wont be able to move pH around by more than 0.4... at any one time... once you have fish in there....


At the current rate of pH decline, I'd just about have to add Ca(OH)2 a couple of times a day, or to avoid any spikes, a continuous drop feed. I added another 50g of Ca(OH)2 today. Much more soluble KOH will make this bit easier to manage next week I hope.

At this stage I have no idea how the pee ponics Ammonia feed will compare to the fish poo Ammonia feed, and therefore how the reaction rate will change when the fish go in. I guess I'll discover that soon enough!

17:20 FT pH 6.65, GB return pH 7.50 (GBs being fed by ST water, still with some undissolved Ca(OH)2 on the bottom)

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 18:35 
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Id seriously consider changing my media. Throwing that much product into a system that has fish is probably going to have a bad ending. Adjusting PH slightly over periods of time is fine but I think your fighting a loosing battle. Just my opinion cause I couldnt be bothered with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 19:31 
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No fish in there yet, and I'm not about to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of media!

I'm just trying to get somewhere near neutral (assuming the fish will be in water not too far from pH7) before I collect the fish, but the bacteria are just producing ridiculous amounts of H+ ions ATM, requiring large amounts of Ca(OH)2.
I think (hope) the rate of pH decrease should slow now the supply of ammonia has just about stopped.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 19:35 
Can't see that the media is affecting pH....

The consistent drop in pH... considering it's a new fishless system.. is puzzling....

Just what level of ammonia did you dose to???.... and what pH is your source water???


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 19:47 
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Source is pH 6- pure rainwater in a rural unpolluted area. However, as reported previously, the system water was around pH 7 and up to 7.8 and then back to 7 at one month, then the rapid decrease started.

A few of times it might have had up to a litre of pee per day, but mostly about half a litre per day, which stopped on the 28/5. I figured it wasn't too much, since Ammonia never went over 1ppm, and was only that high for 5 days.

There is now about 5000l, or maybe a little more (have not calculated it exactly), water in the system.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 21:49 
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Nice thread mate.

My system dropped to really low 6's on PH a fair while ago. everything just slowed down.

Put an ice cream container full of crushed limestone in to buffer and have just let it go. all is good. I'm not a fan of adding to or trying to control everything. I havent tested my system in over a year, the water is clear, fish look good, plants are growing. It will level itself out.

My newer system kicked off with some small goldies and went from there, it took a while to settle and level out. I learnt being patient was the key. No point stressing out about it, it'll all become good in its own time.


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 1st, '13, 08:46 
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Thanks Steve- that's a nice system you have set up there, I love the fish viewing window :thumbleft:

I've got 1.25kg of shell grit in there so far, but will probably add some more I think. There is still a fair bit of undissolved Ca(OH)2 on the bottom of the sump, and that's doing a good job of buffering so far, as this morning at 8:00 I had:
FT pH 6.83, GB return pH 6.80, ST 6.86 (but stronger on the bottom near the Ca(OH)2 and pump intake. I'm doing minimal pumping overnight, so no doubt that will have changed now the pump has been running a few hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 1st, '13, 10:15 
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Hey if You wish to use Shell Grit to help stabilize your pH you would be best to Pump the water thru the grit from the bottom up.. Just remember that the shell grit will filter the water..

I have a Shell grit Filter on my pond system and the pH has been rock solid..
All I do is replace the grit as it is dissolved into the water.

There is a Process to clean the Grit of the crude but that is something I'll talk about later if you want to know how to do it..



Just wondering why you want to control the water temp over winter.. I can understand the control of temperature over summer..

Personally I have done 2 thing to control my water temp's..
- 1 Wrapped the main fish tank in Insulated Bubble wrap..
- 2 covered the Tank with a Double layer of Black Shade cloth..
The tank is in the shade at all time's..

And yes I still have fish left over from last year's Batch.. A small school of monster fish..> over 35cm long

--> on a side note I noted that you have the tank being spread by 2 metal bar's... They are not Gal coated bars I hope.. other wise you may poison any fish you get if they are sensitive to heavy metal's..

Other than that I like what i have seen so far.. Keep it up..

Juergen..

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 1st, '13, 11:34 
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Thanks for the suggestions Juergen. The shell grit is food grade for the chooks, so it doesn't need cleaning.
I've spread quite a bit over the beds and shaken it down a bit, plus I have a pile on the bottom of the FT, which I can see, so long as the water is clear, so I'll be able to monitor it as it dissolves.

I'd like to be able to have some control the water temperature all year round, as in winter I can have frosty weather that lasts for many days at a time, with daytime maxima of around 10, so the water might end up around 5C or less, and I'd like to keep it a bit closer to 10 or 12. I do plan on insulating the GBs too, but even so, running water through it when the media is around freezing is really going to chill the system water,


SnowT wrote:
--> on a side note I noted that you have the tank being spread by 2 metal bar's... They are not Gal coated bars I hope.. other wise you may poison any fish you get if they are sensitive to heavy metal's..


That's a good point, normally the tank is covered, so rain (not that there has been much of that in recent months) doesn't fall on them, but condensation when the air is cold certainly does form on them. I have tried to remove them to put poly pipe over them, without success, I'd have to bend them so much that it would wreck them to get them out, as they are set over long lengths of small steel, which is set into the polyethylene. The tank wont collapse, but I'll have to do something else to hold the netting in place when I put it on.
However, I think they are stainless steel, so shouldnt be a problem. They aren't magnetic, and there is no coating on them.

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PostPosted: Jun 1st, '13, 13:09 
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The past couple of days my nitrite test has changed quite quickly whilst I was looking at it, so timing of reading would appear to be extremely important!

OK, it seems .wmv files are not allowed on the forum, so it can be seen here:
http://gunagulla.com/organic/images/Vid ... change.wmv

The time-lapse animation is at 60X actual rate, so 1 sec= 1 min. At about the recommended wait time of 5 minutes, the closest match is about 0.25ppm, but a few minutes later, it is indicating about zero ppm.

Also, a stable system pH is at last looking likely:

15:30 FT pH 6.96, GB return pH 6.96, ST pH 7.04 :D

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 2nd, '13, 12:07 
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11:00 FT pH 7.06, GB return pH 7.03, ST 7.10

Ammonia ~0.1
Nitrite ~1 (didn't rapidly change colour like past 2 days, but it was a lot colder)
Nitrate ~10

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 3rd, '13, 18:59 
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Shell grit, plus some undissolved Ca(OH)2 in the ST appear to be buffering my system quite nicely now, with pH being quite stable. About 250l of pH ~6.7 rainwater fell into the tanks on 2/6

2/6 17:15 pH 7.10, GB return pH 7:10, ST pH 7.14 FT 13.2C
3/6 7:40 pH 7.23, GB return pH 7.21, ST pH 7.23 FT 10.3C
3/6 15:15 pH 7.25, GB return pH 7.22, ST pH 7.28 FT 12.5C

Ammonia ~0.1
Nitrite ~2, a bit strange, since it was lower recently, and no pee added for 6 days... with no rapidly changing solution colour today
Nitrate not tested today, been ~10 for ages.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '13, 11:50 
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A few days warmer weather helped keep the water temps up a bit, but the extra exposure and heat loss at night of the currently open sump tank probably more than compensates for the small amount of heat being added on sunny days from ~20m of poly pipe on the ground. About 250 l of cold rainwater fell into the system on 2/6.

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File comment: Air and Water temp 26/5-4/6/2013
Air-water-temp-20130526-0604.gif
Air-water-temp-20130526-0604.gif [ 19.08 KiB | Viewed 3144 times ]


PH continues to be stable, but Nitrites are still too high for my liking a few days out from collecting the fish, so a purchase of some salt may be in order, and a kiss goodbye to the strawberry growing plans...

5/6 11:00 FT pH 7.23, GB return pH 7.21, ST 7.27
Ammonia ~0.1ppm
Nitrites ~2ppm

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '13, 12:31 
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reading all this detail made go check my setup
started by
dumping in some water
chucked in some fish
threw some pebbles in a container
started it running
4 weeks later chucked in some more fish SP's
ph lvl not killing fish some plants look a bit scraggly
ammonia lvl not killing fish some plants look a bit scraggly
nitrites lvl not killing fish some plants look a bit scraggly
nitrates lvl not killing fish some plants look a bit scraggly
water temp cold to touch

probably why plants look a bit scraggly
cold water summer plants

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