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Interesting observation

Discussion in 'Aquaponics Ideas' started by outriggerbev, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. outriggerbev

    outriggerbev Member

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    My system is over two years,3000l water, growbed airlift pump ect.always had a drama with ph at 8.5.would get it down with hcl in topup drum of tap water,but would buffer back up,recently these cucumbers have been going berserk in growbed and ph now down to 6. Or below.got 50 g potasium carbonate in top up barrel again (200lt with float valve)to bring it up to 6.5. I just wonder if cucumbers being one of the most alkaline foods was robbing system of all alkaloid base substances,any ideas.bev.

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  2. Robert123

    Robert123 Active Member

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    If I understand you correctly, it used to be you couldn't get the pH to stay down. Now it's hard to keep the pH up.

    If that is what you are saying, then I would suspect that your media (or something in your system) originally had a bit of alkaline property to it (perhaps a trace of lime). Not that alkaline source is exhausted, and therefore you will forever be putting in some outside alkalinity into your system being that the biological process of nitrification drops the pH and you have to counter that.
     
  3. outriggerbev

    outriggerbev Member

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    Yes id say there was trace lime in the blue metal from petrie quarry.what would you suggest to add in to buffer up.it is still tending low,plants and fish happy.

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  4. Robert123

    Robert123 Active Member

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    I use Soda Ash (sodium carbonate). Others use Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate). Some use potassium bicarbonate. Still others use lime. In all these situations, you are going to get a carbonate build-up in your system. You'll need to perform periodic water changes to keep carbonate levels down.

    You will always be needing to bring the pH up. Just the way it is. Not an issue. One a week or every other week is all the adds I make and I have a VERY heavy fish load. Smaller adds more often would be better, but AP is still just an agricultural hobby for me. Poultry is our main stay. Just don't jerk your pH more than 0.5 a unit at a time (preferrable <= 0.3 units).

    P.S. I've though about eggshells, but I really don't want to introduce a high level of calcium into the system. Calcium Carbonate build-ups are a pain to clean up.
     
  5. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi Bev
    I use a a handful of coral skeletons (from age of aquariums) held in a cut piece of onion bag tied in a bindle . I leave it hanging in a high flow area of one of the IBC's in my system. Any acidity in the water will dissolve the coral's calcium and my water stays neutral and reasonably hard all on its own. If your pH does creep up some how just take it out and keep it for next time you need it. All natural and no pH spikes / swings to worry about . Too easy.

    Cheers
     
  6. Robert123

    Robert123 Active Member

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    Ringer - Are you experiencing any Calcium Carbonate deposits building up in your system? Use of that in salt water aquaculture systems doesn't concern me, but I'm not a big fan of using such in our fresh water systems - especially with pumps / siphons / air stones since my water is already hard anyway (well source).
     
  7. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    No calcium build up at all mate. (I use 1x cup of coral in 12000l of water)
    I use real sun bleached and washed coral skeletons , no sodium should be present.
    And unlike dosing with powdered carbonates the calcium in coral is only dissolved if the water becomes acidic so over dosing is virtually impossible.
    I don't like the rebound you get from "buffers" so I don't use them.
    I try not to add anything to my water at all if I can.
    You can lower your pH and hardness in a system with peat/sphagnum moss in the same way and avoid adding anything artificial to your system while still influencing its properties.
    Each to their own though bud ,there is no wrong way in aquaponics .
    What works for you is the right way.
    Cheers.
     
  8. Danscraft

    Danscraft VIP Supporter

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    Ringer. Or anyone.
    Can Diatomocias earth have the same result as the corral? Anyway I'm off to add a little sock of it as an experiment. I want to find a balance that I don't have to adjust as much as I do.
    My system is healthy only because I monitor it and keep the pH up with Lime or Dolomite.
    To my shock my system with many fish has got to as low as pH5.4 if I don't adjust it. Still healthy to view.
    My measurements and comparisons with API water tests and (ad-11 calibrated probe)
    I want the pH at around 6.7 would be the sweet spot and to keep that as a regularity is the key I want to find.

    I have found my system going too acidic too fast sometimes especially in winter strangely.
     
  9. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi Danscraft,
    Be careful mate , diatoms are a type of algae known for quickly coating surfaces in water effectively sealing them. I'm sure you can see how this might cause issues with plant roots.
    Diatoms are a hard shelled algae , the shell of diatoms ( diatomaceous earth) are mostly made of silicates. When you add silicates (dia earth) to a system you are fuelling the formation diatoms by adding the ingredients needed for their formation. This is a big issue in marine tanks with silica sands in them as diatoms quickly form and smother coral and other invertebrates killing them within weeks. This may not happen in your system , but I though it worth consideration before you add dia earth to your water. But , trying new ideas is a good thing so it's your call bud.
    (You can't have innovation without experimentation)
    Cheers
    Hope that helps.
     
  10. Danscraft

    Danscraft VIP Supporter

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    Thanks for the insight Ringer. I haven't added any Diatomite so may rethink the idea.
     
  11. outriggerbev

    outriggerbev Member

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    Hey guys, my sons just put a few whiting in my tank with my jade perch one of them apparently must have been dead and the Jades have eaten that there's been a bit of a ammonia spike because I probably didn't pull the dead fish out until 2 Days Later with noticed but this bike is still there anyone had any situation like this

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