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New IBC system April 2016

Discussion in 'Site Guidelines.' started by Chad, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Chad

    Chad New Member

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    hi all,

    Finally convinced the wife to let me give aquaponics a try so starting out small to start and depending on the success will see if she lets me add an additional growbed.
    So it's a single ibc system similar to that at Perth Aquaponics in Belmont. Just started cycling the system with Seasol Powerfeed and the results so far at
    Ammonia 0.25
    Nitrate and nitrite 0
    Ph 7.8
    The bbq on the side is to add some shade from the afternoon sun as my balcony is north facing so lots of afternoon sun.
    Was thinking of putting in 10 trout for the winter. Does this sound like an OK number?
    Any additional hints, tips, tricks would be appreciated.
    Also how do trout tend to go her in Perth any info would be appreciated.
    Pictures to come

    Thanks
    Chad
     

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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  2. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Sounds good Chad. Yabbies will give good advice in the number of trout to carry.
    Welcome to the forum.
     
  3. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey Chad, looking good.

    If you have a 300mm gravel depth and it's flooded to about 260mm (looks like you might have one of our siphon kits, if so it should be about 260mm) that will give about 270-280L of wet gravel, so good for 10x Trout to plate size. Trout need a minimum of 25L of wet gravel per fish to get them safely to about 500-600gm.

    I know that works out to only needing 250L of wet gravel for the 10 Trout and you'll have 270-280L, but resist the urge to try and squeeze an eleventh one in... I've found that even with 10 I start to get constant low Ammonia readings towards the end of Trout season. Early October I have to start progressively harvesting to keep the Amm down to an acceptable level.

    Just a couple of things I picked up from your pics:

    (a). Autumn is not a good time to be putting tomatoes in, all the other plants should be good though.

    (b). That DC300 Air pump should be covered from the weather and splashing etc. You can use an upturned bucket. You can also use an upturned tupperware container with a 42mm hole in the lid for the plug and airlines.

    Cheers!
     
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  4. Chad

    Chad New Member

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    Thanks Yabbies,

    I'll go grab a container today to cover the air pump for sure, yer I think being the first run through with the fish I'd rather understock slightly rather than risk a catastrophe.
    Yer I thought I may have been late for the tomatoes as well when they give up the ghost I'll throw in some other seedlings I have around.

    What's a good trout feed to promote strong growth returns?

    Thanks again
    Chad
     
  5. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    Good timing by the way, your system should be cycled in perfect time for the Trout fingerlings becoming available.
    You'll want the 3mm Skretting feed initially, then when they hit about 7-8 inches you can swap them to 5mm.
     
  6. Chad

    Chad New Member

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    Yer hopefully it cycles in time been using the seasol powerfeed but Ammonia is only at 0.25. The water in maylands is quite hard as well my PH is at 8.2. Should I try bring this down or just leave it to drop naturally?
     
  7. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    At 0.25ppm Ammonia it may be difficult to properly determine when the system is actually cycled. I would recommend you keep adding a capful of the Powerfeed every day then retesting the Amm the following day, repeat until the Amm level reaches 1.0ppm.

    While the system has no fish you could try reducing the carbonate hardness and pH a little with small regular additions of Hydrochloric acid (pool acid). I would be aiming for mid to high 7's, you don't need to go any lower than that, at that pH your plants will be fine. The bacteria and fish prefer a slightly alkaline pH and some carbonates in the water.

    Shortly after you add the fish the pH will most likely start to drop naturally, especially with Trout, as there will be a lot of waste produced and Nitrification taking place. With the current display system in the shop I never adjusted the pH down while it was fishless cycling, so when the Trout fingerlings went in the pH was about the same as yours, but within just two weeks it started declining and was down into the mid 6's within only 3 weeks from adding the fingerlings.
     
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  8. Chad

    Chad New Member

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    So exactly 2 weeks after starting my nitrite has started to spike. Was getting nervous I wouldn't get it cycled in time and miss out on the trout. I tested my tank water on Wednesday and no nitrites, so I thought id check the water straight out of the GB when it drained and sure enough 0.25ppm so I knew it wouldn't be far off and sure enough yesterday the tank water lit up. Just waiting now for everything to settle into a stable cycle.

    On a side note the plants have been doing fantastic on the seasol. The wife has been very impressed, still persisting with the tomatoes as they seem to be doing ok if they start to die from the cool weather I've started sprouting some alternatives.

    Has anyone tried garlic in aquaponic?
    How long does it take for the nitrites and am to return to 0, got fish coming in two weeks?

    Some friends at work have been impressed so I think we will have more ppl on here before long :-D
     

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  9. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    .
    If your Amm is 0.0 and the Nitrites have started showing up, then you are usually about a week from being fully cycled, maybe even closer, depending on the water temp.

    If the Amm & Nitrites drop to 0.0 well before you get the fish, then it's a good idea to add a capful of seasol per 500L every 2-3 days until you get the fish. The small amount of Ammonia in the seasol will keep the bacteria colony kicking along.
     
  10. Chad

    Chad New Member

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    Ok sounds good.
    Is that seasol powerfeed or just normal seasol to keep everything going until the fish arrive?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  11. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi Chad ,
    Nice work , your setup looks good. My misso was also sceptical when I first mentioned trying aquaponics . So I just built it anyway ,hehe. It's a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than permission sometimes.
    Now we are enjoying all of the amazing veggies and seeing the incredible growth rates of the plants all criticism has stopped .
    Gotta love that!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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  12. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi again Chad ,
    In response to your original post , your system is quite new and although stabilising now and starting to covert the available ammonia . With the summer/winter transition upon us you may continue to see some ups and downs. Bacterial and fungal activity will vary as a consequence and may ultimately affect plant growth rates .Over time a cocktail of "micro organisms" will present although in a seemingly small amounts , theoretically they will always be there. Only the amount present will vary dependant on the suitability of water they are suspended in.When changes occur don't hit the panic button , consistency is the key to "stability". An outdoor system will need to be exposed to all the variables that will occur in a whole years climate cycle to develop its full microbial profile. As "Yabbies" explained earlier you always have the option to help things along.
    From what I've read a point many people new to "aqua farming" disciplines miss ,is that water stability is a bit of an illusion. We typically test 5-6 parameters but there are many many more variables we are unable to monitor all affecting our systems . There's a lot more going on in your system than meets the eye.
    For example:
    Water cooling or warming will often kill or slowdown certain microbe activity but a being reactive others will benefit and grow in number filling the niche and stabilising the system.
    Fish will grow , increasing the amount of waste they produce and ammonia they release in to your water.
    The number of fish will vary.
    Top ups , water changes , filter cleaning and rain will have an effect.
    The size and number of plants will continually change and they will flower and fruit both factors varying their nutrient requirements. Therefor the elements available to the microbes present in the water will also vary.
    Sunlight (direct or indirect) will change with the seasons effecting temp, algae growth and microbial activity .
    And these are just a few of the obvious variables while many more continually adjust mostly unnoticed in your system.
    Your water, grow media, filter media even the surfaces of your tanks and pipes are effectively a dynamic natural ecosystem within a man made one.
    All we can hope to achieve is creating a suitable basic environment for all these processes to occur. You've done the research , stick to the fundamental water parameters guys like Murray and "yabbies" have proven to work time after time and trust the rest will take care of itself.
    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
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  13. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Use Seasol as much as you like. Powerfeed a bit more sparingly. It is all good.
     
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