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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '17, 04:53 
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boss wrote:
Man O man that is one sweet looking setup. Great construction skill and it will good anywhere too.


Thanks! I have never built anything like this before... other than my last system that was a little shaky to be honest. It would shift sometimes and that caused problems. I took the time to do it right this time.

Should be good for turning people onto aquaponics when they see it for the first time. Should last a long time too.

I backed the water off on the beds a little more. Syphon #1 still takes 5secs to start and maybe 10 to stop now. Same for Syphon #2 to stop... but start time has dropped somehow to around 7secs now. I definitely have more pump than needed. So that is a good added reliability.

Just threw in the air pump with 4med sized air stones. Rated for only 170gal tank and 7W. Powers the four air stones fine. I have a freebie 35W air pump someone gave me for a backup. That thing really puts out air but is LOUD.

I will start setting up my solar battery backup at some point(and battery/DC air pump) I will just need to find the right relay that will kick it on if the power dies.

I have a pile of things to recycle from the old system!!! Plus is I don't have to take it apart when it's time to move. I will do it right as well.


Marty

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '17, 18:46 
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I am faced with a similar situation. Going from whatever I want to possibly a subdivision with an ARC and HOA.

I like those stock tanks as media beds. The 27 gallon totes from Lowes/HD are great, but last about a year (at best). I was going to advise against those type of containers but now found another thread for inspiration.

Nice work!

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '17, 20:47 
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BroHay wrote:
I am faced with a similar situation. Going from whatever I want to possibly a subdivision with an ARC and HOA.

I like those stock tanks as media beds. The 27 gallon totes from Lowes/HD are great, but last about a year (at best). I was going to advise against those type of containers but now found another thread for inspiration.

Nice work!

Adam



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Thanks!

I actually used some of the 50gal tough totes from HD in my wicking beds at the last place. Let me tell you that there IS a major difference in build and material.

The Rubbermaid stock tanks are a tougher material and about 3 times thicker. They also have reinforced ribs built underneath as well as deeper side reinforcements.

I saw some user reviews that said their young colts would stand in the 50gal tubs and wait when hungry.

The Rubbermaid are also BPA (and whatever else the other thing was) free.


I originally wanted to wrap them in wood too but changed my mind. Just to protect from the Sun/heat and make the setup look even cleaner.

I could see someone building systems like this either on or off wheels for sale. Off wheels would be easier and much cheaper.

Marty

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '17, 21:18 
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The water cleared up enough to see my hand easily at the bottom of the tank in 2days.

The PH is around 7.5 which is in the middle of what Koi like.

Every time I check the water temp it is hovering around 85deg at the hottest part of these 110heat index days. Actual temps in the mid 90s F.

I added about 1tbl spoon of sea kelp powder.

We got a Koi for each of the kids. The Next Day we found a suicide. I thought I covered the tank well enough. Turns out not well enough for young fish. It went right through the 1.5" gap at one of the corners of the tank.

Time to start making alterations/mods.

After pleading with me for the 1000th time my wife and kids have finally convinced me to just go with goldfish and Koi. Looks like I will have to make a greenhouse a little ways from the final house in a few years to build the larger system. That one is Food Fish for sure.

Getting some more fish today maybe after I make some mods.

Marty

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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '17, 10:27 
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Today we went back to the pet store to get a new net because a racoonor something stole the other one last night that still had the dead fish in it out back.

While at the store we decided to give it another shot. Got a new Koi for the boy who lost his. Got a third Koi for me. Let the two kids pick out a 5" comet goldfish each.

So now we have 5 fish that are schooling up nicely floating around the tank. They were afraid of us at first but after the kids leaned over the side of the tank for most of the day they are no longer skiddish. They are making a list of possible names for them. Mine (a white butterfly Koi with 2 yellow patches)is named "Galaxy" after the Milkyway. Geese kids make me soft!

Got a 4" pot of garlic chive and split it, and another of parsley. They are in the system. Then planted out an old packet of bush beans since they make their own nitrogen. The packet was soaked in a light coat of butter during the move. Somehow a half stick made it into my seed bag from the fridge!

Pics.... I had to pil up the white gravel since I made a thick 2" insulation layer to keep heat off of the water. The seeds are just at the top water layer when it cycles.

Planting almost all beans/mono crop could cause problems. I never grew beans in my old system either I don't think.

Also, I crated a Venturi on both of my Bell Syphons! I will show some pics tomorrow. So simple of an upgrade and took about 5mins with a 3/16" drill bit.


Marty


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '17, 11:06 
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I put shade cloth over my 100 gallon stock tank because I had fish disappearing and not finding any evidence in the morning.

Probably the racoon that I found raiding eggs in the coop before I put a stop to that.

I had to do a sprinkler repair that result in being a loose wire for power. Well, that allowed me to almost double my school with some beautiful butterfly Koi (9 total). Now I just need to get a proper pond for them and plumb back into the AP system.

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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '17, 23:15 
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Help!

Keep in mind I took this sample 1.5hrs After I fed the fish. I am not going to feed until after tomorrow. I will take another one this evening.... and one in the morning before feeding.

Got a large basil plant to throw in.

Should I do a 1/3 water change as well?

PH - 7.8
Ammonia - 1 to 2 ppm
Nitrite - 2 to 5 ppm
Nitrate - 40 - 80 ppm

Marty

Edite: The fish seem fine for now. The temp this morning for the water is 80degF. So it may only be swinging 5-7 deg. every Day/Night.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '17, 02:59 
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If you haven't already salted the system with Sodium Chloride you should do this. The chloride ion helps protect the fish from the effects of nitrite poisoning by competing with the nitrite ion. 1 part per thousand (1gm/1000ml) of salt that is un-iodized and doesn't contain anti-caking agents should do the trick. It may be to late to save the fish if the damage is already done but some fish are more durable than others. The salt also helps the fish with stress. The only downside to doing this is that strawberries are very sensitive to salt so this would affect them if you have any in your system (kind of a slow die off of the strawberries is what you'd see).

Good to hold off on the feed. Regarding the water change, it's probably a good idea but a couple of cautions. 5 ppm is the highest the kit reads so the nitrites could actually be higher. You might want to dilute a sample 50:50 with nitrite free water and test again.

1. You don't want to wipe out the biofilter so make certain the water is chlorine and chloramine free before adding. You can get away with about a 20% change for certain without removing the chlorine and you may even get away with changing a third but better not to take the risk.

2. Check the pH of the water you're adding, if it's higher pH than what's in your system then adding it could make the ammonia more toxic (FYI your ammonia is already in the toxic zone for the fish). You can adjust the pH down with Muriatic acid (aka Hydrochloric acid) before adding it but hopefully you won't have to do this. Make certain you follow all precautions if you use HCl and store any HCl you buy where children can't get to it. You can find it at a hardware store, usually in the paint department and the smallest size is typically 1 quart which should be way more than you need.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '17, 04:00 
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Ok. I tested my tap water and 0ppm for Nitrates. Did the nitrite test again 50/50 this time.

Nitrite = 0.50 to 1.0ppm when diluted 50%

This morning after the test I filled my 55gal drum and added an air stone to start. Just adjusted PH on it earlier.

Added 25gal from there and then took out about 5gal. Headed to store to get salt....

Marty

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '17, 04:43 
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OK I am horrible with math!

So...

1gm/1000ml = 0.001 gm/ml correct?
Found an online calc that says that means 0.00834540448732 pounds per gallon correct?
Since my system is 150gal that translates into 1.2518 pounds for my system correct?

I have not done any real math in over a decade. Lol

Even if this is still simple math.

Also, I found some sea salt that is not ionized and says explicitly no additives. The Morton salt had anti-caking agents.

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '17, 08:10 
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I did a rough and dirty and came up with 1.26 pounds on the salt amount to add so your math looks good.

The sea salt should work fine.

Check the pH on the water you're going to add for your water change again just before you use it, sometimes the pH will drift and you'll have to adjust again and let it sit a while longer. You should also try to avoid changing the fish tank pH more than 0.4 pH units at any one go - most fish can handle quite a bit more than this but it's better if you can avoid it. Bluegill will live through almost a 2 full pH unit change. I know this because I moved some fish from one system to another without checking the pH - the fish were visibly stunned but snapped out of it - very tough fish.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '17, 08:32 
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scotty435 wrote:
I did a rough and dirty and came up with 1.26 pounds on the salt amount to add so your math looks good.

The sea salt should work fine.

Check the pH on the water you're going to add for your water change again just before you use it, sometimes the pH will drift and you'll have to adjust again and let it sit a while longer. You should also try to avoid changing the fish tank pH more than 0.4 pH units at any one go - most fish can handle more than this but it's better if you can avoid it.



Sounds good. I added the salt and the fish calmed down a little. Still on constant patrol looking for food. There are a lot of pink flowers floating around from the crepe myrtles. They keep swallowing the flowers and spitting them back out thinking they are food.

After the water top off/partial removal and not feeding for the day this is what the new water test looks like.

Ammonia = 1 to 2ppm
Nitrite = 1ppm (maybe less?)
Nitrate = 40 - 80ppm

I topped off the barrel again and adjusted the PH. So I can do another change again tomorrow if needed. If the PH sets to the same as the system I may go for the full 55gal swap.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '17, 09:13 
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If you do the swap it would be good to mix the 1 part per thousand salt into the 55 gallons you're going to add as well.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '17, 09:44 
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Ah yes! You saved me again.

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PostPosted: Jul 25th, '17, 05:43 
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OK.

So today I performed another test as soon as I got in from work.

We had a torrential downpour earlier that came in sideways and added about 2" of rain water to the system.

Ammonia = 0.25ppm
Nitrite = 1-2ppm
Nitrate = 40-80ppm So... I took Scotty435s sample dilution method from earlier and applie it to this one. The reading was about 20ppm when diluted in half. So Nitrates are within the max safe zone for fish just barely.

All of this will be cut by about 25% once I do the 25% water change. I will salt the new water too as suggested.

Tested the PH of the new water. It is a little lower but safe from affecting the 4% per day PH change rule.

I will hold off on feeding for one more day till the Nitrites come down.

Marty


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