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PostPosted: Feb 29th, '20, 11:50 
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I have a 500L wine barrel system with a solar pump. No fish in yet, I'm cycling then will add 10 barra, a few fresh water mussels and a sucker fish.

I seem to have issues with algae growing. Any hints to keep this down? I'm hoping the mussels and sucker fish will help a little. I'm aiming to mostly cover the water surface with floating plants, which should also help keep the sun off the water.

I'm unsure whether to go CF or flood and drain. I'll play around and see what's easiest. At the moment it's flood and drain, but I ran it CF for a number of days without issues.

The "sprinkler" arms are probably not needed. I was being careful after reading about nutrients needing to be dispersed. But that probably just for beds of grow media. They do seem to stop things drying out. Are they a good idea?

I may expand with another 4 planters on the wall to the side. And perhaps add a sump once I want to start another batch of fish.

Sorry, I have no idea how to make the photo attachment not rotate!


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PostPosted: Mar 6th, '20, 12:38 
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Hmm, first off welcome to the forum :headbang: .

I like your setup but I have some concerns. I know you're still cycling and haven't added fish but I think the plan for 10 Barra is asking a lot from this setup and the size of the container. The reason I am saying this is that the amount of fish you can have depends on the amount of filtration which in this case is provided by the media in the pots. It doesn't appear that there is much media and so you really won't be able to put many fish in or they will die as their waste accumulates. I think for Barra a larger container would be a good idea so they have some room to move around. You can partially get around the filtration issues if you regularly remove water and replace it with fresh clean water on a frequent basis - not too many are willing to do this though. Another way to get around the filtration issues is to add a separate biofilter and maybe a solids filter of some sort to the setup.

This should give you something to consider. Ask if you have any questions and someone here will be able to help. Cheers.


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PostPosted: Mar 9th, '20, 11:58 
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Thanks for the feedback!

Totally agree with the lack of media. I'll have a look at filtration, perhaps I can add something above the existing plants. I plan to expand the beds, but it still may be lacking for lots of fish.

I thought 500L would be fine for that amount of fish, or are you talking about the width vs depth of the barrel? Ignoring the media side of things, how many Barra is reasonable for 500L?


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PostPosted: Mar 9th, '20, 23:41 
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Welcome to the forum. :wave:
I thought wine barrels were around 200 litres but after a quick goog found they come in all sizes! Hard to believe your barrel weighs 1/2 a ton when full...
JanPieter wrote:
Ignoring the media side of things, how many Barra is reasonable for 500L?

Aaah see here’s the problem, the media side of things can’t be ignored. It’s not about how many fish per litre, it’s fish per media and the rule of thumb is 20litres of media per fish.
This aside, I don’t think barramundi is the right fish for your situation, they’re tricky fish, temperature sensitive and water heating will be required during cold spells.
Jade or silver perch would be more suitable.
And with that much media, 2 fish. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '20, 05:03 
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+1 on Skeggley's advice. 200 L doesn't give much space for those fish and that's certainly a consideration as well but the filtration is critical or you'll have a die off. IBC size containers or larger would be better for the size if you want that many fish which get to the size of Barramund but the filtration is really the bigger issue.


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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '20, 05:55 
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Great advice, thank you both. I see what I can do to expand the beds given limited space and then plan the number of fish from there.

The water temp has been around 25 without any heating, but I'm sure I'll have to think of heating over winter. I hear that Barra are tricky, I just want to give it a shot :)

Yes, it's a big puncheon 500 litre barrel! Not as common, but I'm near a wine growing region so you can find them around here.


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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '20, 08:33 
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FWIW - My last post had some issues. I noticed I got the barrel volume wrong and was going to change the value or let Skeggley's comment take care of things but the server was unreachable when I tried to edit the post.

500L is still probably a bit too small for 10 barra. Sounds like you're on the right track now. Sorry for the confusion from my earlier post :wave: .


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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '20, 08:51 
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I have found that koi and gold fish will take care of the algie. I have seen them eating it of the sides of the tank. It is a matter of whether there is enough room for any extras in the tank.

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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '20, 09:58 
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The snails will halp a lot when they establish.


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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '20, 18:23 
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Photos of typical clarity in 600mm deep stock trough, and also just then of snails sorry about pic. These guys love algae. Just need a hiddy place to get going.


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File comment: Snails from tonight, sorry for pic
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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '20, 18:27 
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Forgot to add note, first pic is after termite flight the other day after rain hence wings in water


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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '20, 21:44 
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My opinion ...... you're going to regret adding those snails to your system.


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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '20, 06:45 
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I was going to ask about that. I've been warned off snails because they multiply so much.

In my system the algae has gone down over time. It seems like it has balanced out somehow. Or perhaps the plants are just shielding the water enough, they've grown pretty well. I've got some mussels and a sucker fish to add once it has cycled to try to keep things in check.

I've added a few small hardy fish to deal with the mosquitoes. Hopefully they don't mind the elevated levels at the moment. But I had to do something, they are getting out of control!


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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '20, 16:13 
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The only issue I see is potentailly blocking pumps, but there shells are very brittle, so this maybe unlikely. They do remain in the water so no worries for other land plants. Sometime people freak out when there is abundance :dontknow:


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