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Canberra AU looking for fish

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Scott C, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    ACT
    City:
    Canberra
    Hey guys,
    I have had a whole heap of fun building my system and have chucked a couple of carp in from the local stream in to get the nutrients started before they go into providing nutrients for the rest of the dirt garden.
    I have little experience with fish and am intetested in participating in a group buy of appropriate fingerlings at some time if anyone could please send me a message with your contact details.
    Here is a photo of my system from the other day where I planted my first seedlings.

    Please help me if the photo does not display.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  2. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    ACT
    City:
    Canberra
    Hi Scott, welcome to the forum! Yup, the photo's not showing - the most likely problem is that it's too big, if it's over 1 MB you'll need to resize it.

    What sort of fish are you planning to run? Silver perch?
     
  3. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    I hosted the photo externally on imgur to avoid the photo size restriction. Ahh well. I will attempt it. thanks!

    Silver perch or trout seem to be the consensus from my googling. I don't mind myself.
     
  4. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    ACT
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    Canberra
    Now it works! Looks nice, what are the spiky plants? o_O

    If you decide to go with trout, most people running them get them as soon as their water temperatures drop low enough in autumn, grow them over winter and harvest them in late spring / early summer when it gets too hot for them. My temps are just starting to hit 22 C at the hottest part of the day, which is about where trout start getting distressed.

    Silver perch grow best between 23-28 C but do well down to 12 C (or 16 C, depending on what you read). They can apparently tolerate a lot less (or more) for a little while as long as everything else is good (water quality, oxygen levels); the NSW DPI webpage says 2-38 C. My overnight temperatures were down to 7 C back in August when I first got my system set up, so I'm going to be looking at ways to raise my tank temperature next winter.

    I'm running silver perch for now - plus a bunch of goldfish that were my placeholder fish and are refusing to let me catch them out of the tank, grr! - but part of the reason why I'm tracking my water temperature is so that I know how long I can keep trout healthy when I decide to try them. :p
     
  5. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Thanks for the info Mel. Sorry for my slow reply. I am taking upon this new hobby with patience as growing things are not to be rushed and so I need to take it slow myself too.
    The spiky plants, likely the spring onions.
    So far everything seems to be alive. :) Ammonia levels are off the charts still. I haven't got a kit to test Nitrates/Nitrites.
    If there are any benefits ordering in bulk for trout next year I would be keen to get some too.
    I am soon going to get a couple of fish to keep the system going, likely from the local belconnen aquarium shop as I dispose of the carp. Prices are high from these retail stores however.
     
  6. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    No worries! Patience is very necessary in aquaponics and most people don't learn it until after at least one "oh shit!" moment caused by impatience. :whistle:

    You'll need a pH test kit too - a lot of nutrients can't be taken in by plants if the pH is outside the ideal range, so it's important to know what it is. Then you can either adjust your pH or give your plants foliar sprays instead of adding it to the water, stuff like that.

    Bulk orders split between multiple people are definitely a good idea! The price per fish gets a lot better at higher quantities. I won't be getting trout next year though, I'll be running these silver perch for at least two years and probably longer (they grow slower than other aquaponics fish). There are a few other people in Canberra though so hopefully you can find someone to order with!

    Definitely wait until you're sure your system has cycled (ammonia and nitrites are zero) before getting new fish - you're not wrong about the price from retail stores being exxy, and you don't want to kill expensive fish (or cheap fish either, really)! Back to needing patience. :cool:
     
  7. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi Scott
    Great to read your enjoying your aquaponics , it is very rewarding. Mel's right, if everything else is ok your ammonia will drop in time ,your nitrifying bacteria will catch up.
    Just a heads up in regards to feral carp, I'd take them out of your system (and destroy them) well before adding any new fish to your tank. They host a lot of parasites and diseases.

    To be fair though keep in mind I'm a QLDer and we hate'm. Feral carp ( in my opinion) should destroyed where you catch them and disposed of like medical waste. In QLD it's illegal to keep them as ornamental pets or even move them from the water ways where they've been caught and all captured fish must be destroyed and disposed of appropriately.
    Anyway good luck mate, hope your system goes well for you.
    Thanks for the pic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  8. TonyGrunk

    TonyGrunk New Member

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    Welcome aboard from the ACT too - this is my first season and i went with the trout - there is dude who does the bulk trout orders so I will pm his details to you. I would recommend trout only if you have a lot of time as they require a fair bit of looking after. The other option silver perch is for those with a longer wait. Another one of us down here has actually gone with catfish from the Wagga fishery and they are really thriving - tho I am not a fan of eating them. Carp and even Redfin are not really legally allowed in ACT backyards - i might try to catch a few reddies after I harvest the trout until the new lot arrive around April.
     
  9. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Cheers guys.
    yeah I never intended to keep the carp for long. They are already rotting deep in the compost bin.
    System is cycling with no fish for now. PH naturally 7.2. I will have to test ammonia again soon.
    Plants are growing well. :)
     

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  10. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Things are still going well. Plants growing nicely. I tested for Ammonia again the day before last and it was at 0. Down from 10ppm or higher (off the chart) when I tested it sometime after the Carp were disposed of. Bacteria must br working well!
    Decided to go to the local aquarium supplies store and got an 11cm barra and food for him. He will occupy the system until the temperatures begin to drop and he can come inside with a heater. I plan to stock trout over the winter.
    Having a blast with the system so far. :)
     
  11. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    It's a ton of fun, isn't it? :D
     
  12. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi Scott
    Great to here things are going well . Barra when kept alone develop interesting behaviours in response to what's going on around them , some call it personality. So he (all juvenile Barra are male) should keep you very entertained. Just watch'm they are notorious for jumping out of their tanks.
    Have fun mate.
    Cheers.
     
  13. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Super Moderator

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    Adelaide
    Hi Scott, and a belated welcome to PAP.

    It's good to see you are enjoying yourself.

    A few things about barramundi...

    They are
    • A magnificent fish
    • Very temperature sensitive 22C minimum 24C is ideal and you do not want your tanks to get much higher than 28C
    • Dependant on good water quality AND good oxygenation
    • Eat floating fish pellets, you watch him just float to the surface or just under the pellet then ambush it, feed time at my place is always great fun.
    • Reliant on being fed the correct food with the correct amount of protein in it and the correct amount of food for their weight.
    There are a few more pointers for you, please remember to keep the conditions right so his metabolism is good and he has a good chance of keeping healthy.

    I found Skrettings fish pellets were good and also were suitable for trout

    Now rainbow trout are just mad...I lost a couple when they jumped out of the tank when I didn't have the lid on my tanks nor netting.

    18 C is the ideal tank temperature for rainbow trout they can survive right down low my tanks got under 9c I would guess yours would go lower, which is OK, remember where they originate from? They just slow down.

    Any higher than 24C and you are looking at death with rainbows, I'd look at harvesting when your tanks get consistently higher than 22C. I have done 6 months barra from October to April and 6 months rainbows from April to October.

    With your barra, you may want to heat at the beginning of the season and end of the season and at night time...Have your heater set to 22C and that should keep things ticking over nicely for him.

    Enjoy.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  14. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Super Moderator

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    Hi Scott,

    I just reread the thread

    The first things we need to find out is:
    • What size fish tank/s do you have?
    • What type of grow bed media do you have?
    • How much total growbed media in litres do you have?
    • What size pump do you have?
    • Do you have an aerator?

    Then we need to know your water chemistry

    What's the:
    • Tank temps (taken at the same time each day)
    • pH
    • Ammonia
    • Nitrites
    • Nitrates
    With the water chemistry if you take All of those readings at the same time each day and log here we should be able to watch what is happening with your cycling, if it cycled or where you are at in the cycle period. ALL tests are essential for a good healthy aquaponics system. plus once cycled you will need to keep an eye on the water and adjust accordingly. I use an API master test kit with ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, high and low pH tests in it.

    IMO you you should read this post first and tick off the boxes first.

    Re supply of fish and fish food. It is a good idea to try and get together and buy the minimum from local hatcheries...The hatcheries should also have the food for your fish. Don't be fooled into keeping more fish than your filtration of your system can handle. If you do you could very quickly come unstuck and make a big mess of things.

    Anyway, getting back to the questions...Let's start by ticking off the boxes shall we?

    Cheers
     
  15. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Hey there, err bigdaddy..
    Sorry I only just checked and got your reply.
    My single Barramundi died after a week. Only the last evening he had a rapix onset fungal growth and by the morning he was gone.
    My water PH has been a consistent 7.2.
    Ammonia was in the dangerous levels for weeks after the Carp were gone and then dropped to 0.
    I still haven't gotten the nitrate and nitrite tests.
    Tank temp was at 20 degrees when I had the barra in there. Plans for a heater if required for the fish I choose in the future.
    Currently running 1KL IBC fish tank, Two 350L (minus medium volume = about 100L) grow beds and a 700L sump.
    5000LPH pump but I change it to a 1000L one while I don't have fish.
    Growth medium are stones.
    I have a decent sized aerator - I haven't been using it yet. I figured the water jet would aerate enough for the tiny Barra but I would like to know if you think I was incorrent in this.
    Thanks for all your help. Your post has been quite informative.
    Thanks for the tip with local hatcheries. I will look them up later on.
    Oh one other piece of info, every few weeks the system receives 60L of water from my wife's fish tanks when she does a water change on her gold fish, pleco, neons etc.
     
  16. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Latest growth photo
     

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  17. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hey Scott,
    Your plants look great bud, nice work.
    A little info for you regarding fungal infection in fish (probably introduced by the carp)
    Most fungal infections affecting fish are of the saprolegnaiceae family (aquatic fungi).
    This type of fungi is present most commonly in water holding a lot of decomposing organic
    matter (detritus).
    Bad news: you will probably never remove it from your system once present.
    Good news: healthy fish in healthy water will usually not be effected by it.
    The most common causes of "outbreaks" are:
    *poor water quality
    *overcrowding
    *big fluctuations in water parameters (pH or temp)
    *injuries or damage to "slime" membrane that coats the fish (handling,netting and fighting can cause this)
    *general stress
    Salt bathing all stock before introduction is a preventive step often used.
    The most common treatments used against fungal infection are methylene blue & malachite
    green . The later is not permitted to be used on table fish in Australia, so if you had to
    methylene blue is the only real alternative.
    Personally I would avoid using either they are both anti microbial (not good in an AP
    system) , the entire problem can be avoided by only introducing healthy stock from a quality
    fish hatchery. Don't use wild caught or pet store stock they are almost always effected by
    disease or pathogens in one form or another. If you see any effected fish in future remove
    them from your system immediately and treat in a " hospital tank' and do not return them
    until they have recovered entirely.
    Hope that this hasn't come across as preachy , I just don't want to see you get stuck in cycle
    of dying fish and you becoming frustrated or disheartened . If you have any questions I'm happy to help.
    Good luck with it mate.
     
  18. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Cool man thanks for the info. I will take your advice!
    I am still yet to get any more fish added other than about 4 tiny guppies from my wifes old pond.
    I have begun harvesting the corn though! Good stuff. :)
     

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