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 Post subject: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 29th, '19, 20:22 
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Gday folks, I have just started to start my system again running an IBC chop flip system and learning along the way.

I’m located in south west Victoria (AUS)

Started making the system last November

Image

Initially got some gold fish to go in the system to help with cycling.

And in Jan put some trout in the system.
Image

The trout didn’t last long, and I’ve worked out now I wasn’t doing the test kit correctly, so actually the tank wasn’t cycled so they probably died from high ammonia.

At this stage the temp was pretty high mid 40’s and what was actually happening is the summer sun was heating the water as it passed through the clay media which cooked the fish also. Despite my best efforts!

So I have had gold fish in there swimming around and the grow bed loaded up a bit, but the system is not cycled as when I put some ammonia in the system it doesn’t get converted.

I also had my pump fail - it was cheap, was constantly needing cleaning and adjustment.

I now have a decent pump - 6000L/hr and a small bucket filter, used some shade cloth to help with temp in the summer and the light!

Image

I have started the cycling process again.

Ammonia is now around 2.0 ppm
No nitrates or nitrites yet.
Temp is a balmy 8.5c
And the ph is sitting around 7.8
(I should have rtfm the first time round)

Once I get it cycled I will put in the goldfish again.

Are there any other fish that like temp that low for Aquaponics? It’s an outdoor system so is in the elements, but I do plan on upgrading the tank from the IBC, to a full IBC and then potentially using the current water tank when we replace it (70,000L concrete) but that’s a later problem!

I did also note tonight I am starting to get a slight Orange tinge on the nitrate test, nothing on nitrite yet. (could also be the lighting, it’s getting dark bloody quick )

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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 29th, '19, 22:48 
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Welcome to the forum Goose :wave: . Sorry to hear about the fish but a good start just the same :thumbright: . I'll let some of your fellow Aussies answer your fish questions but I'm thinking maybe some kind of perch might work.


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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '19, 07:13 
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Thanks Scotty,

So I decided to start testing in the mornings instead so I don’t run into light issues.

Image

Temp is at 5.3c in the water. Little chilly!

The ammonia is starting to clear up in the water too (I used seasol powerfeed so everything was dark brown)


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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '19, 07:44 
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Welcome Goose,

5.3C is really cold. Even silver perch will not be happy at that level. I start to worry about fish health issues at 8. Before I built my greenhouse (21C in there at the moment even though outside temp this morning was down to 2), I used 100m coil of 13mm poly pipe as solar heater and that added another 4C to my outside system. If you have the room, it is a cheap, quick fix.


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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '19, 07:57 
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Nhibbo wrote:
Welcome Goose,

5.3C is really cold. Even silver perch will not be happy at that level. I start to worry about fish health issues at 8. Before I built my greenhouse (21C in there at the moment even though outside temp this morning was down to 2), I used 100m coil of 13mm poly pipe as solar heater and that added another 4C to my outside system. If you have the room, it is a cheap, quick fix.


Thanks Nhibbo, not sure about the room I only have 6 acres :)

When you say solar heater I assume you lay it out somewhere and run it through the water aka sun heats the poly, water runs through it and heats up?

Got any pictures or a thread on it?


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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '19, 10:49 
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It looks like you have a hint of purple in the Nitrite test and Nitrates are being produced, so the cycling process is well advanced, but at that water temp it still may take some time to complete.

I wouldn't be looking at putting fish in for while. Once the system finishes cycling I would add a capful of Seasol Powerfeed every 3 or 4 days, to supply some Amm to the bacteria and keep any plants/seedlings happy. Then wait until the water temp gets into the high teens and add some Silvers. But if your water is going to get that low every winter, then you'd want to look some methods to combat that, such as the coiled poly mentioned, but maybe also the larger 1000L FT water volume you mentioned and insulating the tank (maybe removable in summer).

Also, if I read your plans correctly, myself I wouldn't use a 70,000L concrete tank for an AP system. Firstly because of the possible concrete/pH issue, it would likely need painting with sealer, or lining. Secondly because a water volume like that would require a LOT of fish and grow beds to operate effectively... That is unless you are planning a massive system, then knock yourself out!

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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '19, 12:23 
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Yes, Goose.
A small footprint (1msq) pipe wound vertically on a small platform with a parabolic reflector behind and a 12v pump running during the day powered by a 20W solar panel. I think it will fit very snuggly into 6 acres LOL. I sent you my email by pm so I can then send you photos.


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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '19, 20:19 
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You will need to do something to stabilize your water temps

I have a make shift greenhouse over mine at the moment with a solar heater as well which has a separate small pump on a timer .

Photo shows my solar heater I have it covered with clear plastic (stops cold wind) nice sunny day under the clear plastic middle of winter air temp gets up to 40c

So depending on weather I adjust the timer (don't want really big temperature swings) to keep tank temp reasonably stable

I Also run constant flood at night

My water temps for the last 2 months have been around 12c in the morning and 16 / 18c in the afternoon

I have Murray Cod fantastic fish but can be temperamental (eat each other)

Trout are finished at anything over 25c so are not an option unless you get them early and push them along through the winter (cold) months

Silvers are a good choice

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Systems with heater.JPG [ 183.29 KiB | Viewed 3778 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Aug 31st, '19, 08:34 
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Thanks guys for all the tips.

Today’s test is looking better although my ph seems to have taken a dive.

The weather was good yesterday and this morning the tank temp was at 9.2c

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 Post subject: Re: IBC chop flip
PostPosted: Sep 4th, '19, 11:34 
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This mornings test is looking like the ammonia is dropping, and nitrates are starting to come down.

In the next few weeks I will probably look at building a hoop house and throw some shade cloth over during the warmer weather to try and stabilize the temps a bit. The water temp has been about 13c for the last few days.

I’m thinking the nitrites are off the scale slowly being converted, will keep monitoring over the next few weeks and see how it goes.

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