14th November 2011, 21:53
Hi Christos, i havent read all of this thread but you might want to consider a looped siphon,
i have one system with 2 of these and i find it more reliable than bell siphons-
see this link for an oversized photo
the top bed has 4 blue barrels linked to one looped siphon and the lower one has two
the high one is a bit noisy because of the 'head'
The looped siphon goes from 50mm to 25mm
It works well and i dont think it needs as much flow to operate conpared to bell siphons i built
I found this method by looking at a youtube of affmans
14th November 2011, 22:04
Hi again , i looked at you photos, looking good, Does the water temp heat up much during the day? what air temps do you get mid winter?
Im wondering whether you could build a hot house,
I am not an expert but i believe cycling takes longer with low temps, and im not sure many fish would eat much at that temprature, so maybe you could get through winter using nurients from a worm farm or compost teas,
just my 2cents worth
all the best , BW
14th November 2011, 22:18
The siphon you've build seems like a good idea. I'm definitely going use it when I expand the system with more GB. Mainly because it's a hassle to tune three individual siphons/water flows with just one pump.
I'll give the existing system another chance by optimizing the siphons - it's too much work to remove all the GB media/plants and do another installation right now.
14th November 2011, 22:38
Winter has just moved in and we had a 10C drop from 18-20C down to 8-10C. The lowest temp we get in Athens is around zero C, but only for a few days.
I'm not heating the FT and I was thinking of not to - at all. I suppose I have two choices:
1. As you said, use nutrients during the winter
2. Put in some goldfish and let it slowly cycle
I was thinking of getting Tilapias, but this will have to wait 'till Spring, I suppose.
- Hot house is momentarily out of budged.
I'll probably go for the goldfish during the winter and add some tilapia at Spring.
16th November 2011, 10:54
It's a week after I started cycling the system and Ammonia is higher than 8. It's almost off the test kit color scale. Is that normal? Or is it because of that BioBizz Fish-Mix I've used? It surely does smell like a dirty lake and it also looks like it.
Nitrates are still low - around 3-4.
Funny enough Ph went down to 7,5 (from 8, 3 days ago) without any interference or additives.
16th November 2011, 22:41
OK, I think I got behind the reason of the Ammonia boost.
The BioBiz Fish Mix contains Ammoniacal Nitrogen (NH3-N) & Nitrate Nitrogen (NO3-N).
Ammoniacal Nitrogen in water dissolves to Ammonia and Nitrates.
My already planted plant use most of the produced Nitrates.
Since my system is 1 week old, it hasn't build up bacterias (Nitrosomonas) yet to convert any of the ammonia to NO2.
Unfortunately temperature is below 10C and I won't get any Nitrosomonas soon.
Would anyone know if I should change the water, or should I let the system do it's cycle?
17th November 2011, 02:55
You can see details of the system in this video:
17th November 2011, 17:59
Hi Christos. Thanks for taking the trouble to show your system on YouTube.
Here's a tip that might be of use to others thinking of building their own system, is to put the siphon as far away from the water inlet line to your growbed. Allowing the water to travel to the opposite end of the growbed and out through the siphon will ensure the whole bed is thoroughly soaked throughout. Sometimes water can be obstructed with root matter etc blocking the flow. Your small growbeds will be okay Christos but if you decide to go larger, consider putting your siphons at opposite ends of the beds relative to your inlets. I know Murray builds all his systems this way and even his IBC Kit systems - he resists positioning the siphon in the IBC centre hole but as far away from the water inlet...consequently you get good water coverage and even plant growth.
20th November 2011, 04:11
My ammonia levels are off the scale (more than 8ppm). I on my 2nd week of fishless cycling. Do you think the high ammonia levels will help cycling? Or should I try a partial water change?
20th November 2011, 09:30
Cold temperatures will delay the whole process, but be patient, the bacteria will eventually colonize your system. If you have fish then a partial water change is necessary to keep them alive - otherwise don't bother.