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Discussion in 'Aquaponics Ideas' started by Bigtom856, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Bigtom856

    Bigtom856 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
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    Country:
    USA
    State:
    Nj
    City:
    Millville
    So I started my system about 2 weeks ago. My ph is 7.4 , ammonia 0.25, nitrite 0, nitrate 0. I started with 5 comets from petsmart (thriving). When I dumped the two bags of water in from petsmarts tanks.. Would that have been enough to introduce the proper bacteria? Knock on wood.. But my numbers are staying very consistent, the fish are thriving, and I have tomato sprouts (I know this should be planted in a more established system but I figured why not). Can anybody give me some feed back? I'm kind of walking blind here lol! Unfortunately I learned about the fishless cycling after I bought the fish (yes, I jumped the gun. I thought I did all the reading necessary). With that said, keeping my fish alive are obviously my main priority. Am I on the right track? Oh, and this is a dwc system for now.


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  2. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Country:
    Australia
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    W.A.
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    Perth
    Hi Tom, welcome.
    The bacteria naturally show up on their own, even if you don't "seed" the system with water from another aquarium or AP system etc.

    Even when starting a system with chlorine/chloramine treated scheme water and fishless cycling, the bacteria will still move into the system once the chlorine has evaporated, which is less than a day for chlorine, and less than 3 days for chloramine, provided the water is well aerated and exposed to UV light.

    If it is a DWC only system and you don't have any biofiltration, ie: gravel grow beds for the bacteria to colonise, you will eventually run into issues with Ammonia. It's just the volume of water in the system that will determine how long it takes for it to build up to toxic levels.

    Cheers!
     
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  3. Bigtom856

    Bigtom856 New Member

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    Millville
    Thanks for the input! I will change over to ebb/flow with media asap. I've read some people use lava rock .. Is that ok? Or should I use the clay pebbles?


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  4. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
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    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    ACT
    City:
    Canberra
    I've got lava rock in the bottoms of my grow beds and clay pebbles in the top 10cm or so, it works really well. Eventually they'll get mixed up, but for a while at least I'll have a top layer that's easier on my hands when I'm planting things. The lava rock was cheaper than doing it all in clay! One thing you do have to watch out for with lava rock is all the red dust that's in it - you need to wash it, and you'll still end up with cloudy red water. It should mostly settle out in a couple of days, but you might want to move your fish out until the worst is over.

    How big is your system and how is it set up? How many grow beds and how big are they? Depending on the size of your tank and growbeds, you might need to add a sump to do flood and drain without draining your fish tank too much. You can do constant flood media growbeds without needing to add a sump or change your pump settings / add siphons, and then add a sump later to switch to ebb and flow if you want.

    However you end up doing it, have fun (and show us pictures)! :thumbsup2:
     
  5. Bigtom856

    Bigtom856 New Member

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    Millville
    Ok so I just tested (I use the infamous master pond kit) my temp is 73. My ph is 7.6, ammonia 0.25, nitrites 0, and nitrates are definitely not yellow but not quite the full orange color.. If estimate somewhere around 3.0 ppm ish.. Any input?


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  6. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Queensland
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    Jimboomba
    Hi Bigtom856,
    Your systems very new , your water biologicaly will still be developing .
    If you monitor your water over a few more weeks you'll get a better idea of what it's doing and any adjustments that need to be made.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  7. Lizardking

    Lizardking New Member

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    Country:
    australia
    State:
    queensland
    City:
    gold coast
    Hi all I got my ebb and flow system cycling tonight i am using a 600 l sump tank i want to put redclaw into and a 950 litre IBC i am using for a fish tank i got a 3000 l ph pump and OMG i thought it wouldnt be big enough i have had to reduce the flow so i can let the 3 grow beds empty before they fill up they are 150 to 200 litre grow beds (water volume) , they take 8.5 mins to fill and 2.5 mins to drain my ph is 7.2 straight out of the tap i thought i washed my gravel well enough i have thrown some old towels on the grow bed as a filter to try and clean the water. How long should i cycle the system before i add any redclaw and what PH range should i look towards
     
  8. Bigtom856

    Bigtom856 New Member

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1458342832.432111.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1458342857.683027.jpg

    So I listened to the advice above. Before lack of media became an issue, we fixed it! Here's a 2 inch x 20 inch long homemade bio filter . Input is appreciated. I do know about the algae issue.. I have the stuff for a bigger set up. This is my smaller trial run


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  9. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi lizardking,
    Redclaw is something I can help with , any Ph over 7 is ok . Their shells are basically made of calcium so acidic water will cause moulting issues. Water temps under 15c shut them down , 25 to 28 is ideal to maximise growth rate and breeding ( which only occurs immediately after they moult) and under about 8C can be fatal. Crays shed their shell to grow and after doing so they are soft for a couple of days this is when Ph and calcium availability (water hardness) is most important. In soft acidic water their shells won't harden and sometimes the new shell is not strong enough to split the old one off properly causing death during the moult. Don't remove the old cast shell as the cray will eat it to try and recover the calcium lost. They also grow two small pebbles of calcium inside their "head"between moults which they can absorb afterwards to help build the new shell. Here's a free tip don't use pipes as hides , soft shelled crays will be easily killed and/or eat by others . They grab them from behind in the open ended tubes , easy pickings . If the pipes are blocked at one end they are easily trapped by others. They best habitat is orange onion bags on the floor of tank , concertinaed like a curtain the loose folds create tunnels and the open weave allows water movement through the hide and if attacked the cray can push under the mesh in any direction to safety. It's also perfect for breeding as when the female releases the live juveniles they fit through the mesh protecting them from predation by mum or any other tank inhabitants.
    I might start a thread about keeping and breeding redclaw in IBC's to share more info . I don't want to derail Bigtoms thread.
    Hope that helps
     

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