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 Post subject: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 9th, '13, 23:50 
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Hi All Question re ratio's; if you have 4000lt FT and 8000lt GB how much NFT's or DWC's in lt's can you add to that system and not deplete nutrients completely or is it the case that all systems GB's, NFT's and DWC's must be incorporated into the 8000lt's of GB's. Is their a rule of thumb for calculating these ratio's.

pat from Eire


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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 9th, '13, 23:59 
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Hi Pat, IMO it is a hydroponic mindset to get ratios and calculations for everything. Mother nature does not work that way. No rule of thumb for calculating these ratios. :lol: But, I would be eager to look at what AP expert views are on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 00:16 
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Thanks Nanniode, I am very interested in setting up a commercial venture as our weather has become very unpredictable and I feel that AP is a great way of taking the responsibility away from "Mother Earth" for now, we had a very cold spring with little or no growth which resulted in a very short growing season, too much rain and as a result our soils have had all their nutrients washed away so to me AP is a great way to circumvent all these issues. We have space but I need to plan this project properly as I will have to get prmission from the fisheries board to farm the fish so I need to get it right first time if possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 04:11 
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It depends on how much you plant in the GBs. If they don't have anything planted in them then the DWC or NFT can take the full nutrient load.

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 04:18 
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xxx number of plants will require yyy amount of nutrients.... and that relates to zzz amount of feed... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 07:34 
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I think what RoO id trying to say in his usual inimitable fashion, is something along the lines of, all your plants are going to require nutrients, and they come from the bacteria.

The bacteria require a certain amount of ammonia to thrive and that means a certain amount of fish food.

All fish foods are not the same nor are all fish, when it comes to producing the poo that contains the ammonia - I'd imagine not all fish produce the same amount from gill use either.

So to answer your question, yes, the NFT's/DWC's have to be a part of the calculation because they take nutrients but only have a minor effect (if any) on nutrient production. (as in I have read that bacteria will colonise the roots and maybe the underside of rafts etc. but there is nowhere near the surface area of a GB or biofilter)

And as NA points out, calcs are probably not what you need; you need to set up your system and get it cycled. Plant out your NFT/DWC system and GB start lightly and test the water coming from the GB for nitrates. If the water coming out of the GB is low in nitrates, add more fish or feed more to the ones you have.

Every system is different so calcs can only be a guide, so you are going to have to build it and see what you get.


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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 16:18 
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Journeyman wrote:
I think what RoO id trying to say in his usual inimitable fashion, is something along the lines of, all your plants are going to require nutrients, and they come from the bacteria.

The bacteria require a certain amount of ammonia to thrive and that means a certain amount of fish food.

All fish foods are not the same nor are all fish, when it comes to producing the poo that contains the ammonia - I'd imagine not all fish produce the same amount from gill use either.

So to answer your question, yes, the NFT's/DWC's have to be a part of the calculation because they take nutrients but only have a minor effect (if any) on nutrient production. (as in I have read that bacteria will colonise the roots and maybe the underside of rafts etc. but there is nowhere near the surface area of a GB or biofilter)

And as NA points out, calcs are probably not what you need; you need to set up your system and get it cycled. Plant out your NFT/DWC system and GB start lightly and test the water coming from the GB for nitrates. If the water coming out of the GB is low in nitrates, add more fish or feed more to the ones you have.

Every system is different so calcs can only be a guide, so you are going to have to build it and see what you get.


OK, so what I am getting from the above is that in order for an AP system to be working efficiently you should always have a surplus of Nitrates.

Q; In my current trial system which is still awaiting approval to get trout (red tape ,blue tape) one of the GB's is heavily planted and the other two lightly so, Nitrates are zero, should I increase humonia levels until I get a positive Nitrate reading.

Q; In a commercial swstem I will probably use Brown Trout as I live beside a salmon fishing river and the "Bobbies" don't like Rainbow Trout as they tend to eat everything else and I may consider putting some of the trout back into the river at some point. Do you have any good brand names for fish food suitable for brown trout.
Re the calcs should I allow say 75% for GB filtration and 25% for NFT's and DWC's.

Thanking you all for your valuable and hard earned wisdom.

pat from Eire


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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 17:54 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
xxx number of plants will require yyy amount of nutrients.... and that relates to zzz amount of feed... :wink:

I can't win an argument with you but surely this can't be correct.
What if you want to focus on fish and less on plants in a commercial sense.
Will you be okay to change your equation to xxx number of fish will require yyy amount of feed... and that relates to zzz amount of plants...?

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 17:57 
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That's exactly the same thing isn't it, but just saying it a different way...? :?

X, y and z are the three variables, change any one of them and it will effect the others.

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 18:20 
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Yep...

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 18:24 
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basic rules: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
If you want to focus on fish and therefor want less plants. Then it stands to reason that you will have to replace the filtering action of the plants. That would most likely be by mechanical methods.

So need to remove waste (therefor ammonia) by filtration or add more plants.

I am not pretending AP is so simple, but surely it also is not rocket science. :?
It seems that the people that have the best and most productive systems just do the basics well, yet the people that try and make it to complicated and are always fiddling have the lions share of trouble.

I may be proven wrong, we shall have to wait and see. :flower:

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 18:37 
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Yes.
x + y = r is the same as y = r - x .


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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 19:59 
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Let x be number of plants, y the amount of nutrients, and z the amount of fish feed, then.

z = x + y
y = z - x
x = z - y

While I agree they are 3 independent variables and has an effect on each other, mathematically, these equations do not make any sense to me. Are they quantifiable ones?

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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 20:03 
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Nanniode Aquaponics wrote:
I can't win an argument with you but surely this can't be correct.
What if you want to focus on fish and less on plants in a commercial sense.
Will you be okay to change your equation to xxx number of fish will require yyy amount of feed... and that relates to zzz amount of plants...?

NO... in spite of what Joel and Rupert say, they are not the same. What matters is NOT the number of fish except in a peripheral sense. what matter is the amount of food being processed. 20 trout will process as much food as you can feed them, but something like silver perch will only eat a certain amount per day. So 20 SP's is NOT equal to 20 trout.

What matters is how much food is coming out as poo. There is some discussion about gills producing ammonia but I have yet to see anything to say this is significant. So, xxx fish needing feed does not directly relate to zzz plants. What matters is aaa (ammonia) = nnn (nitrates) which will support ppp (plants) Add too much ammonia and you spike the nitrites - either can adversely affect your fish, but plants are more hardy. But your plants give sweet FA as to the numbers of fish you have - all that matters to plants is how much nitrates they get... and perhaps whether or not their roots are being drowned. (just came from the F&D vs CF thread :D)


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 Post subject: Re: Ratios
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '13, 20:06 
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Forget about any of the maths, or science behind aquaculture or plant nutrient requirements...

They're important in aquaculture and hydroponics.. but by joining the two together in aquaponics... they don't matter any more...

Just suck it and see..... most commercial businesses are built on that basis... :wink:

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