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System cycling newbie

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Johnny3nglishman, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. Johnny3nglishman

    Johnny3nglishman Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Thanks Robert I'll monitor and see.
     
  2. GrowTech

    GrowTech Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
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    I had the same problem with ammonia (my system is very new and hasn't completely cycled yet either). I did 25-75% water changes every day for five days straight, and by the time I got home from work it was back up to 8.0+ ppm (there were a few bait minnows in the FT). After day five I decided to just wait it out instead of messing with it so much. I was getting readings of 8.0+ ammonia, .25 nitrites and 0 nitrates, until the third day after I stopped messing with it. Overnight the ammonia dropped to 4.0, the nitrite jumped to 5.0, and nitrates jumped to 20.

    FYI, I'm currently on day 13 of the cycling process.
     
  3. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Brisbane
    Sounds like it is happening for you. Yes, things often go better if you don't mess with it...
     
  4. Lau's-aquoponics-system

    Lau's-aquoponics-system New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2017
    Messages:
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    Country:
    Indonesia
    State:
    Kalimantan
    City:
    Palangka Raya
    Excuse me for jumping straight into this thread and for not reading the forum rules as of yet. I did try to enter a relevant thread for my current issue which is; the Tilapia in my 2 month old Flood and Drain System appear to be effected by Ammonia toxicity judging by the reddening around their gills it doesn't seem to be limited to their gills either.. I discovered that this is an indication of Ammonia toxicity this 2 days ago and since then I have not fed them I gave them a tiny amount of fish food this morning, perhaps even that wasn't necessary. I have also done a couple of small water changes, and I have just discovered whilst typing this -that increasing the Dissolved Oxygen level will help to some extent.

    Currently we have a small system containing 15 Tilapia and 5 Koi within 450 Litre's of water The grow bed is 1 meter square and 300ml deep. We our at present only growing Kangkung -Swamp Cabbage when translate to English, Spring Onions, Spinach and a couple of native Onion. No particle reason behind the choice of crops; I guess you could say that we are mainly just waiting for more nitrification to take place in order that the pH level reaches the tolerances range for all 3 organisms, before deciding what we would ideally like to grow. Our pH ranges from 7.3-7.5 at present. The GB floods and drains 5 times an hour.. Temperature ranges roughly from around 26-29 Celsius, likely higher on very hot days. The Ammonia reading was around 2.0 ppm + 3 days ago and 1.0 ppm a week earlier. Nitrate reading was high 3 days ago off the indication card so 160ppm + a week previous to that it was around 60 ppm . Since the high nitrate reading I have been doing small water changes using Well water not containing any amount of Nitrate according to the test kit. The Well water pH is pretty low around 5.5 ..
    PS. I only discovered Aquapoincs 2 months ago .
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  5. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Welcome.

    Your system is simply overstocked. A one square metre grow bed with 300mm gravel depth and flooding to around 250-260mm (you need a dry layer at the surface), would have a wet gravel volume of about 250-260L, which can safely sustain probably 10x Tilapia.

    With the amount of fish you have, and only the one grow bed, your Ammonia and Nitrate are only going to keep rising. There will be a lot of nitrification taking place in your system already, which creates natural acids, this in conjunction with using top-up water with a pH of 5.5, will see your pH start to decline very rapidly soon IMO. you would ant to catch it before that happens. High 6's is a happy medium to aim for, but the 7.3-7.5 that you have, will still provide good plant growth.

    My advice to you would be to stop feeding, add another grow bed yesterday, fill it with fast growing leafy green seedlings, and keep doing daily 25-30% water changes with aged water (aerated for at least 24hrs) until the system starts to take care of the Ammonia on it's own.

    If using the well water for the water changes, I would add some form of carbonate to it to get the pH up into the mid-high 6's before adding it into the system. Add Crushed limestone (Calcium carbonate), Potassium bicarbonate, Calcium Magnesium carbonate (Dolomite) etc, then test the pH about 3-4 hours later.

    Cheers.

    Hayden.
     
  6. Lau's-aquoponics-system

    Lau's-aquoponics-system New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Country:
    Indonesia
    State:
    Kalimantan
    City:
    Palangka Raya

    Thanks a lot for your swift response yesterday - Yes, we very much suspected it was overstocked. We do have 2 inches of dry area. Anyway, I abandon this response earlier to set about making a 30% water change and adding an air pump. It wasn't possible to add another grow bed today due to a number of reasons however I have fully stocked the grow bed out with more Swamp Cabbage seedlings (Kwangtung) which certainly is a fast growing leafy green.


    We did not add any form of carbonates to the well water. (we are limited to sourcing out some dolomite if need be) However, we have been making regular water changes and have only experienced a small decrease in the pH level, which leads us to suspect the well water has high carbonates hopefully no undesirable metals and other contaminates are present in the well water. We are having the water analysed very soon


    Our small Permaculture foundation is situated in a remote area close to the Jungle it's 36 Km to the nearest small city, which has very little limited recourses especially regarding Aquapoincs. We also rely heavily on funding and donations.


    We will continue to do small water changes and we also have RO water supply nearby with a pH that seems to range around the high 6's so we could make continuous small water changes from that source, and I am guess if we can't get around to extending the biological surface soon (We are flat out building a Grey water system for the local school with the intention of intergrading sustainability into the school's curriculum by means of permaculture which will include Aquapoincs) we should remove some fish. Incidentally- Can the Ammonia toxicity present in the Tilapia seen by the reddening effect be eliminated with no permanent damage to the fish? or perhaps that a hard question to answer?
    Cheers
    Laurence.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017

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