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PostPosted: Apr 29th, '11, 21:57 
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To all who responded.
Yes all the fish had the stuff. It looked like they were loosing their skins and would be like shedding their skins. Some had some brown on them but I expect that was just more skin problems.
I wound up with too much salt because the hydrometer I was using was set up for a different use and the scale way to big so what I was looking at was wrong.
I put in way too much salt trying to get the change. I finally took a sample of water to the fish store in town and took my hydrometer to check it against one of theirs. I got a different meter that is a little easier to read. It is obvious that a meter needs to be built with Aquaponics in mind. To read like 0 to 0.5 percent.
Now I am doing water changes to reduce the salt content. I already have it down to about 1.006. I did two about 30% changes yesterday. one about 7:30PM and one about 11:30PM and am doing one now which is 8:45AM. I ran the pump continuous all night to get the aeration up as much as possible. The tank is covered with foam so I cant see any fish yet. Hope there is some left. The plants look better this morning also. Surprising that the strawberries are still standing.

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PostPosted: Apr 29th, '11, 22:10 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I've had columnaris reach the point in catfish where it was like their skin was just wearing off and showing the flesh under it. Nasty.

Was worried that you were going too high on the salt. Hope some of the fish survive for you.

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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '11, 22:50 
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If you did not read elswhere My fish ALL died. I Killed them all by not understanding the meter I was using and not knowing that is was not for the AP world. I finally in disgust with myself went back to the store in town and took a gallon of water and the hydrometer to have them test it. I was told that the meter was not good for fish tanks and they tested my water and found it to be 1.012 and it should have been 1.003. Saltier that the ocean so I rushed back home and did a 25% water change but it was already too late. However I did buy a better meter. It is better but not really good for AP as the correct reading is still in the very end of the scale. We need a very sensitive one the maybe only shows like 1.000 to 1.005 maybe. I waited a couple of hours and did it again. and again next morning. I could only find one fish alive, a minnow. Who did not seem to care about the salt at all. Still vibrant and active. At this time I went to the local bait shop and got 48 bait fish. What he called Bass bait fish. They were already in salt and antibiotics so after floating a while I poured them in a net and dumped the water away from my tank and put the fish in. I know the ammonia is low now for sure after that much water change. Also the water is kinda white instead of brown. I think I am in for a new cycle of the tank. It is suppose to rain today and tomorrow so I left the salt just over 1.003 and have been constantly pumping. My plants look terrible might have killed them also. But strangely the strawberries seem to have made a turn around already.
I am going to check out the system now and see whats up today.

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 Post subject: help my fish are dying!
PostPosted: Apr 30th, '11, 23:14 
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:support: that sucks but atleast you have learnt from your mistakes and shared them with us. Low range 0-10ppm hydrometers are available but they are expensive. Atleast you got rid of any disease in your tank! Be careful tho because you likely killed most or all of the bacteria off too.

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PostPosted: May 1st, '11, 04:40 
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I hadn't read much of your post, but for me my past experience in saltwater aquariums was helpful. In saltwater, we always talk in terms of SG, and we shoot for a specific gravity of 1.025. I have a nice temperature compensating refractometer that cost around $80. !! I converted the salinity that I was shooting for in my freshwater, and it was much, much less, which stands to reason. About a tenth of the salinity or less, IIRC. Just about at the unreadable end of the scale.

When I mix up a batch of saltwater for my tank indoors, I add about 1 16oz coke can full of salt to 5 gallons. I actually do it by weight and have it pre-weighed in batches in old peanut butter jars. When I did a water change in my saltwater system, I took 5 gallons of old saltwater and poured it into my AP system, which I estimate to be 150 gallons or less. Not knowing the size of my AP capacity and being "off the meter" so to speak is a real handicap. its probably best to speak in terms of pounds of salt per gallon of water, ( those guys on the bottom side of the planet would prefer kg/litre), but its the same idea. To me its easier to keep a grip on the scale of things and avoid being off by a factor of 10 from a bad unit conversion or the like....

Sorry to hear about your fish, btw.... I slowly kilt 30 fish over the first month and that was not fun.


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PostPosted: May 1st, '11, 04:54 
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I just read over some of your post and wanted to let you know...

I checked your calculation on volume.

10 feet dia =120 inches dia. = 60 inch radius

Area of the pond bottom = pi*(60) * 60 = 11,309 sq inches

Volume = area * height = 11,309 * 28 inches = 316,672 cubic inches.

I gallon is 231 cubic inches so 316,672 / 231 = 1,370 gallons.

Its smaller than you think.

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '11, 09:05 
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Well the tank is suppose to be a 1100 so no problem. I looked up the formula on the net and used that one. I could not remember for sure what it was. I don't use math much any more other than + and - these days.
You know practice makes better. easy to forget when you don't use it.

I just ordered the reflectometer for aquariums use. I know there are two versions and I been trying to find the difference but could not so I finally chose this on cause it says for aquarium use so it must be the low range unit.

You were right in the fact that all the fish died and probably the bacteria also. I hope the cycle happens faster this time. I did a test and the results are
0.002 salt
60 degrees
7.6 Ph
0.25 ammonia
0 rites
0+ rates barely more than 0
The rain is terrible here the last few days and the tank has been running over for the last two days.
The salt is slowly going down and the water is clearing up. I have put in a few live bait fish and they seem to all go into the pump some how. It is strange how they all can get through the pump while it is running without getting chewed up but they plug the bed supply lines. I have been running the pump continuously for a few days and the bait fish got through but died in the pipes.

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '11, 20:34 
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I think that you used the right equation, but got screwed by the units. You had multiplied square feet by inches, rather than feet, I bet. Anyways...

Here in Houston, we have not had any rain for at least 2 months. I put up a 230 gallon rain collection system, and to my knowledge it has not collected anything but dust. We want the rain, just not the tornados.

I had a few tiny minnows make it thru the pump and into my fish tank from my sump. I also had some of them make into my grow beds where they died. Crazy that they can survive a trip thru a pump....

Are your "bait fish" just wild caught tiny little fish ? Mine are wild caught bluegil (well sort of, from a stocked lake, but not a fish breeder) and they seem to be happy now. They got Ick real bad, and that was why I salted them in my tank. I am considering adding some catfish and a few Tilapia again.


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PostPosted: May 5th, '11, 14:04 
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Probably right on the units. My hydrometer was not right for the application either. I ordered a refractometer to help with that problem.

I wish you had some of my rain also. Do you have problems with city water Chlorine or Chloramines?

I am about to order an air pump and a backup supply for it.

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PostPosted: May 5th, '11, 14:17 
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donone wrote:
I wish you had some of my rain also.

Send some of it to Western Australia.

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Do you have problems with city water Chlorine or Chloramines?

I think we have the same or similar things in our water too. Usually if you leave it in a container for 24 hours they leave the water and it is safe to use.

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I am about to order an air pump and a backup supply for it.

Both are good things to have.

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PostPosted: May 5th, '11, 14:49 
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arbe wrote:
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Do you have problems with city water Chlorine or Chloramines?

I think we have the same or similar things in our water too. Usually if you leave it in a container for 24 hours they leave the water and it is safe to use.

There's no chloramine in Perth water. Which is good as it takes days to get rid of that.

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PostPosted: May 5th, '11, 20:24 
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I have a 230 gallon supposed rain barrel that is "on-line", but hasn't collected anything yet. My water doesn't seem to have chloramines in it. I usually fill the rainwater tank to half full with tap water and let it just sit and stew. My auto-top-off is 1/4" airline leading form that tank so it takes a while to drain the tank, but it has done it a few times when the SLO got blocked, and my FT overflowed. If it goes all day, it'll drain the tank. If that doesn't happen, the water sits plenty long for any chlorine to go away, I'd think.


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PostPosted: May 5th, '11, 21:54 
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I live on property out of town so I have a bore or a well here. Nothing added to my water. It does have a lot of iron in it so the house has a sand filter to rid the smell and filter the iron dust out.

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PostPosted: May 5th, '11, 22:19 
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Having iron in your well water may be a good thing for aquaponics. What kind of pH does your well water give you? And I mean for you to leave some of your water out for a few days before you actually test the pH of it since right out of the pipes it will usually give you a false low reading due to dissolved carbon dioxide in the water.

I'm guessing since you mention smell you have some sulfur in your water too which to me might mean a lower pH of your well water than what I deal with out of a limestone aquifer.

Anyway, it is great not to worry about chlorine, chloramine, or fluoride in your water.

FYI, Chlorine can be outgassed by leaving the water in a barrel out in the sun or in a barrel with a bubbler in in for a few days. Chloramine is different and it takes weeks to go away in this manner.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '11, 05:37 
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Yes it is not to worry with the water. The Ph is 7.6 or 7.8 every time I check it. I comes straight from the well no filters to the AP tank. The rain diluted the salt content from 1.004 to 1.002 or less in the last weather go around.

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