1. The Practical Aquaponics discussion forum has been in operation for the last 5 years...

    We have enjoyed giving this service free of charge however ongoing increasing financial costs of running this service is making it increasingly difficult. Up until now we have resisted advertising as a means of a revenue stream to help run this forum but it has become inevitable that extra revenue is required to run this forum.

    We have introduced a donate button to help offset the cost of running this forum. It is completely voluntary, but if you would like to donate, all donations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Murray..
    Dismiss Notice

Let it begin

Discussion in 'TotePonics - IBC - CHOP Systems' started by stuey, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Drdamage

    Drdamage Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    360
    What have your Nitrite readings been over the last week Stuey?
    The only things I have ever dosed either of my AP systems with are:
    Seasol
    Eco Rose
    Chelated Iron

    Absolutely nothing else. I wouldn't be stressing over the low ammonia reading.
     
  2. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Zero nitrite,Zero nitrate


    Been dosing with Seasol as well...
     
  3. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Ammonia has appeared..... Woohoo, probably too much now, sitting at 2ppm.

    Veggies are coming along nicely as well.....
     
  4. Danscraft

    Danscraft VIP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Messages:
    406
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    South East Victoria
    City:
    Frankston
    Patients before adding the fish!, that's my motto but I'm just a newbe but its all happening good. My 450lt system happened as, - Ammonia first and rose and peaked to between 4 to 8 by just adding little sprinkles of fish food and seasol, not that much. (anything decomposing in the water will cause ammonia). Then Nitrites showed up and Ammonia started falling. Over 8 days Amm fell and Nitrites peaked to between 2 to 5 while Nitrates rose as well and peaked at between 40 to 80!. This actually burnt a few seedlings it seemed, (too much fertilizer) but they recovered. While larger more established seedlings like Wom bok lettuces, and Pak Choi's BOOMED!, and other assorted yummies, through winter. This happened over 4 weeks. When Amm dropped to 0.25 and Nitrites dropped to below 2.0 I started adding yabbies' and fish. They have all been pretty happy. Although when everything leveled to zero I started to see nutrient deficiencies in the larger plants and seedlings struggled to kick off. But the fish were happy. I just accept that new systems may have that and more mature systems don't get nutrient deficiencies. I was reading this while my own notes are sitting beside me here, so I hope this helps.
     
  5. Danscraft

    Danscraft VIP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Messages:
    406
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    South East Victoria
    City:
    Frankston
    Oh yeah. PH always liked to hover around 7.5 to 8. I carefully buffered it down with tiny additions of Pool Acid. Like 1 tsp diluted with water and tipped into the syphon's. But it allways climbs back up again to around 7.5.
     
  6. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    My sump seems to run dry regularly any tips?
     
  7. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,881
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    W.A.
    City:
    Perth
    ...
    Bigger sump Stuey!
     
  8. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,881
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    W.A.
    City:
    Perth
    ...
    Looking at your pic you have 3 x IBC grow beds, if they have a 300mm gravel depth and are flooded to 250-260mm then each will hold about 100L of water when flooded. You need to allow for the timing of all three siphons lining up occasionally and all three beds being flooded at the same time, so 300L, plus enough water in the sump to cover the pump and still have about 6 inches spare, in an IBC sump this will be 200L at the very least for most pumps, some even more... so a sump capacity of at least 500L, preferably 600L.

    If you cant change the sump, then you could try taking the bell out of one of the tree siphons on a rotational basis, so that beds runs as constant flood. this will allow you to fit an extra 100L of water in your existing sump. Rotate the bells from bed to bed every day, or every few days. They don't mind being run as constant flood and the plants will do just as well... as long as your max flooded water level in the GB's isn't too high... it should be 40-50mm below the gravel surface.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  9. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Thanks yabbies, I think my water level is too high in my beds so I will adjust that but I will also add another sump for good measure...
     
  10. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    It has been an Interesting Couple of Months with mixed results, generally poorer than I expected.

    The System:
    The System is running well with Near Zero readings on Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates, I guess the plants are using the Nitrates up quickly. I added another sump and another Grow Bed which I am experimenting with rafts.

    Fish:
    Silver Perch are doing excellent with only 2 deaths in the last 4/5 Months. Visible growth and they are feeding well. The Yabbies are doing ok with 3 deaths due to cannibalism and a 2 Mystery Deaths. I found them both dead one morning at the bottom of the fish tank with no signs of Fighting but with very soft shells…

    Veggies:
    Very mixed results here, with general very slow growth (Lack of Nitrates?)
    Lettuce: Total Failure, minimal growth, even the ones I have started on the rafts are not Growing.
    Cucumber: Good start with several fruits from each plant then all the leaves went brown and crispy with very little new growth.
    Broccoli: Failure minimal growth then bolting…
    Cauliflower: Slow growth with Flowers starting to appear in the last couple of weeks, should be ready for harvest soon
    Capsicum: Failure, Plants did not seem to grow, approx. 2 fruits from each plant with 50% rotting.
    Chilli: Failure, Struggle to see any growth in 3 months, plants very small but green a healthy looking
    Tomatoes: General slow Growth and below average cropping
    Rock Melon: Some growth but no Fruits..
    Spinach: About my only true Success, Plants doing Very well and Booming.

    I am putting the poor results down to the system being so young and hopefully things will improve.
     
  11. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,881
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    W.A.
    City:
    Perth
    What is the system pH?
    Have you added any Seasol?
     
  12. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Ph is around 7 and i occasionally add Seasol but not very often
     
  13. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,881
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    W.A.
    City:
    Perth
    Without the benefit of pics, I would suggest that your system is deficient in Potassium. This is probably the most common deficiency in aquaponic systems, especially young systems that have been planted with fruiting plants prior to the nutrient bank being allowed to build sufficiently.

    I recommend my customers don't plant fruiting plants for the first 6 months of a new system, only leafy greens.

    This is only a general rule-of-thumb, but you can determine the exact point at which the system is ready for fruiting plants... If your system is well balanced (ie: good ratio of fish : gravel : plants), then for the first few months your Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates will all probably be 0.0, or you may have a small Nitrate reading of say 5.0 or 10.0ppm constantly, then after a few months it will begin to rise fairly rapidly, if it gets to 40ppm with the Amm and Nitrites still at 0.0ppm, then it's ready for nutrient hungry fruiting plants. My IBC display system did this at about the 4 month stage.

    To solve your current issue I would add Potassium bicarbonate at 1x level teaspoon per 1000L... If added in one hit this will normally lift your pH about 0.3-0.5, so maybe dissolve it in a bucket full of your system water and add it back into the system in 3 or 4 stages over a few hours.

    For established systems Seasol should be added at 1 capful (15ml) per 1000L, per week, for leafy greens... or 2 capfuls per week if the system contains fruiting plants.
     
  14. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Thanks yabbies, I will get some potassium and dose up.

    I will try and post Some pictures at the weekend
     
  15. Drdamage

    Drdamage Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    360
    I use the Eco Rose for potassium. Seems to work brilliant. ;)
     
  16. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,881
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    W.A.
    City:
    Perth
    500gm of Eco Rose, with surfactants, fillers etc, for $18... from a large national corporate...

    ...or 1kg of Pure Potassium bicarbonate for $19.90... from a small business.
     
  17. Drdamage

    Drdamage Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    360
    I got mine for $12 and it's going to last me for years...
     
  18. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,881
    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    W.A.
    City:
    Perth
    $18 for 500gm from big B stores now... you must've bought it a long time ago.
     
  19. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Some Pictures....
     

    Attached Files:

  20. stuey

    stuey Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Picture 1 shows a Booming Spinach ( Great Lamb Saag Last night ) and a Cauli, Maybe the Tomatoes are a bit wilty plus 2 underperforming Chilli Plants in the Foreground

    Picture 2 show Very Slow Growing Corn with Lines on leaves, Poor excuse for a Cos (left) and a non Growing Capsicum (Right) and a booming Spinach....

    Picture 3 Shows My Cucumber :(, New Butternut Pumkin Seedlings which the leaves are turning white on and You guessed it a Booming Spinach :facepalm:
     

Share This Page