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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '10, 07:54 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Here is a great way to dissolve salt into a system
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good way to dissolve salt (Medium).JPG
good way to dissolve salt (Medium).JPG [ 106.04 KiB | Viewed 6156 times ]

I used a waterfall insert that I ran water into and I put the salt in the bottom and I let the water flow over into the fish tank. The salt is heavy enough that it stays in the waterfall tub and the constant supply of water flowing through the tub dissolves the salt quicker than just leaving it soak in a bucket.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '10, 09:31 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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So the 300 gallon system seems to be running pretty good though the ammonia came back!!!!!
I'm hoping this is kinda normal with a system that isn't as highly buffered as I'm used to.
Started a separate thread about that.

Anyway, currently the system has 80 Catfish fingerlings (moved some to the big system and sold some to David from St Cloud.)
Tonight
pH is 6.8
Ammonia is .25
Nitrite is just a trace
I haven't bothered with nitrate readings but perhaps I should do a check soon.

With the ammonia showing up I've been restricting the feed quite a bit but I think I'll be leaving the feeder on to see if the ammonia rises or if it will stay the same or drop. With the lower pH it is not as bad as if it were the other system.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '10, 13:39 
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Nice TCL, I only just caught up with your thread so only just noticed this

TCLynx wrote:
The beds flood in about 7 minutes, spend the remainder of the pump run time with water flowing over the top of the stand pipe (15 minute interval outdoor mechanical timer doing 15 on 15 off.) The first bed will finish draining some time after the pump turns on again, probably about the time the next bed is about to start overflowing (so I would guess it takes the bed about 22 minutes to drain. I don't think the fish tank is ever down more than the one bed flood worth.

Could you just increase the drain hole size in you stand pipes so they let more water thru?

Once the hole is the right size (the exact right size would be when the GB's fill or reach the top of the standpipe in exactly 15min). This would then mean when the pump turns off for the 15min the GB's will drain faster too due to the now larger drain hole. Use the old method of a piece of pipe with a cut down the side and slide it over a series of drain holes in the stand ppe to adjust it untill it's with in a minute or two of the fill time.

The FT level may well be back to max by the time the pump turns back on! :think:

As far as water spending time flowing over the stand pipe, it wouldn't be any different to it flowing thru the drain hole, and obviously the other plus would be the increased flow back to the FT would increase your DO.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '10, 20:47 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Yes, I could do this (and eventually may but still tinkering so left it as is, also, hot and sunny here so extra water up for the plants is a good thing for now.) I've been leaving it as is to give more water more time in the grow beds since I only have 300 gallons of gravel beds for the 300 gallons of fish tank and the fish are tiny, I'm not currently worried about the tank getting drained down to far.

I'm also thinking that I might build myself a repeat cycle timer for this and do like 10 min on and say 5 min off cycles in which case I wouldn't want the beds to drain any faster since then they might not fill in the shorter time.

Anyway, I'm still having a little difficulty with the small pump and the indexing valve so I don't want to go changing too many other variables till I decide if I need to make other alterations to the install or just break down and get a bigger pump.

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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '10, 06:33 
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TCLynx wrote:
I've been leaving it as is to give more water more time in the grow beds
Right, didn't think of that. In some situations it would help to get the water in to the GB faster and let it stay there longer.
TCLynx wrote:
I'm also thinking that I might build myself a repeat cycle timer for this and do like 10 min on and say 5 min off cycles
Have you had any experience with these Cycle Timers TCL?
They are a 1 hour timer, similar to the 24 hour mechanical timer most of us use. However each pin is 50 seconds, not 15 minutes. The dial does one revolution every hour. Might be worth looking at :dontknow:
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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '10, 11:51 
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Wow, I've never seen a timer like that one around here. Most repeat cycle timers I've seen for sale around here are much more costly I expect.

Nope no experience with those, let me know how it works for ya.

I've cobbled together repeat cycle timers with 555 chips and used resistors/capacitors to adjust the cycle times but the resistor/capacitor time adjustment is affected by temperature and stuff. Novaris does timers using other types of chips that can be programed and I may be looking into more tinkering with those.

But for the time being, the 15 on 15 off seems to be working ok since I'm not feeling like spending between $60 and $200 for a repeat cycle timer that I can get around here.

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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '10, 13:13 
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the link in my post above is to Ebay where they are for sale from a US seller for US $14.99 + $15 postage. Wonder how much he's charging to ship to Aus?

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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '10, 21:13 
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Looks like there is an AU price listed so if you contact them, they will probably be able to tell you the price for AU shipping. Of course then you need the converters for power on either side of the thing.

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PostPosted: Jul 10th, '10, 09:40 
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Today I added a hand full of lime to each grow bed on this system since the pH has dropped down to 6.4. I'll probably add another hand full to each tomorrow since the pH reading tonight was still 6.4.

I'm still dealing with ammonia and nitrite readings but perhaps the addition of the lime may have helped a little on the Ammonia. This morning the ammonia was reading .5 while tonight it was down to .25 or perhaps even lower.
Nitrite was .25 still.

I was rather shocked to see the nitrate reading of only about 5 or 6 when I ran that test tonight. I would have expected higher since I had started this system up fishless with hummonia and many of the plants really haven't recovered or taken off since going into the system so hopefully the ammonia/nitrite goes away soon so I can really get on with feeding up these fish and get this system fully planted out.

At the moment only three of the towers are planted. I'll be starting lots of seeds this weekend to start planting up the other towers.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 09:34 
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Test tonight
pH 6.7
Ammonia Trace
Nitrite Just below .25
Nitrate 20

I've hooked up one of those 40 minute timers on this system. Ten pins on and two pins off all the way around so it cycles the pump on and off 4 times in 40 minutes. Will see if it has an effect on the cycling up of this system cause I would really like to up the feed for these guys.

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 09:25 
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I've been a bit frustrated with this system. It seemed to me that it was taking forever to finish cycling up. Apparently I forgot the P word. Patience (not not PEE, did that for a little while but stopped so I could actually add the fish.)

Anyway, the other day I had a look back into the notebook and realized it had only been a month since I first dossed the system :? Ok I'd better relax and give it a couple more weeks before I go nuts on it.

Still doing fine, I just can't up the feed as much as I'd like to.

On a side note. The Aquaponics indexing valve I have running on this system is actually specially modified. Going to be calling it a gravity stem it was one of the left overs from when I installed the indexing valve on the big system where it is CHIFT PIST and the valve is only getting the gravity flow.

Anyway, don't expect a Quiet One 5000 pump to reliably operate a normal Aquaponics Valve. I just tried it out yesterday with a regular one. The Quiet One 4000 won't reliably operate the gravity version.

I'll be doing some testing here to figure out the smallest pump that can reliably operate the regular Aquaponics Valves.

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 10:51 
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Back to lesson number 1 hey TC.... :) Can be damn hard when you get used to your other systems producing so well, you just expect that the new system will start chugging along instantly..

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 11:47 
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earthbound wrote:
Back to lesson number 1 hey TC.... :) Can be damn hard when you get used to your other systems producing so well, you just expect that the new system will start chugging along instantly..


So true, oh so true. But nature still takes as long as nature takes and it seems that even when you do the things to jump start cycling, it still takes about 6 weeks to fully cycle up and if you don't do those extra things it could take as long as a half dozen weeks to cycle up. :think:

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 13:09 
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Then look at Fayes system when it was first set up, 100 trout in the middle of winter, yet 4 weeks after set up there was 0 Amm. :dontknow:

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 20:25 
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I can get the ammonia/nitrite down to 0 if I were to only feed once every couple days. Currently I'm at the point of feeding a small amount twice a day and the ammonia is down to only a trace as is the nitrite. System has over 1000 liters worth of flood and drain gravel beds and also currently has 8 Zipgrow towers. (I have not quite figured out the appropriate stocking rate with the towers.) System has 80 catfish fingerlings at this point.

Yesterdays tests showed
pH 6.3
Ammonia just a trace
Nitrite Just a trace
didn't test nitrate but a couple days ago it was 20.

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