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new system cycling, please help

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by tomer, May 31, 2017.

  1. tomer

    tomer New Member

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    Country:
    Australia
    State:
    North Melbourne
    City:
    North Melbourne
    Hi
    I just built a new system and started cycling with gold fish, I have 2 bath tubs, top filled with clay pebbles, bottom full to the top with 4 gold fish inside (started with a few so thing go slowly). also i already planted a full bed of veg, with seedlings which are going ok except growing very slowly and have slight yellowing.
    My question is, My Ammonia seem to be on 0 or very close to 0, my Nitrite is at about 0.5ppm and my nitrate seem to be 0 too.
    the nitrite has been like that for a few days, the others no change either.
    why is the ammonia 0 and nitrite high?
    why cant i see any nitrates yet?

    any help will be much appreciated
    Thank you.
     
  2. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    Hi Tomer, welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like your system is part way through cycling but not finished yet. There are two types of bacteria that are important here; the first type turns ammonia into nitrite, and the second type turns nitrite into nitrate. Because they don't start breeding/growing into a decent sized colony until they've got the food to support themselves, as a system is cycling you always see a nitrite spike when you get to the point where the first type have established themselves and are turning ammonia into nitrite as soon as the fish produce it, but the second type are still catching up. That's where you are. They'll catch up soon, but it might take anywhere up to a couple more weeks because temperatures are dropping and everything happens slower when it's cold!

    That's also why you're not seeing nitrates; the bacteria that make them aren't up to full strength yet. They're there, and they're making nitrates - if they weren't there at all you'd have a much higher nitrite reading - but right now they're only producing nitrates slowly, and your plants are taking them out of the water as soon as they arrive. Also, because you only have a few fish, even once your system is fully cycled you might not get a nitrate reading at all until you add another couple of fish. The yellowing leaves are probably due to nitrate deficiency (though there are a LOT of things that cause yellow leaves; depending on which leaves are changing colours in what way, you can diagnose a lot of different problems!). Photos will help us see exactly what's going on!
     
  3. tomer

    tomer New Member

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    thank you!
    I will attach pictures soon
     
  4. tomer

    tomer New Member

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    20170708_090116.jpg 20170708_090125.jpg 20170708_090134.jpg 20170708_090148.jpg Hi - Requiring some advice please.
    My system is up and running for 3 months now, it is fully cycled about a month ago after i put a heater in the fish tank.
    Straight after it was cycled i had a nice growth for a bit, and then it just stopped and the plant stay the same and grow very little since
    i dont know why they stopped growing?
    here is my systems details
    2 bathtub system around 350 Litre
    Flood and drain every 15- 20 min
    expanded clay
    13 gold fish
    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - 5-10ppm
    ph - 7.4-7.6
    Water temp - 21-22c
    i feed the fish flaked fish food
    I did a mistake the other day with testing the ph and got a low ph results so i added some eco-fungicide but just half a tea spoon (and i just did that 2 days ago so it wouldn't be the reason for the stunted growth)
    Also i live in Melbourne so its pretty cold environment even though the water stays warm with a heater.
    some plants went into flowering but are not produsing fruit the flowers just fall off.
    the curly lettuce in the pic has grown to that size in a month (almost not at all)
    everything is really slow or going to flowering.
    Any advise would be appreciated.
    pics attached
     
  5. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    Is your system indoors or outdoors Tomer?... If outdoors, why the LED lights?... and does it get any direct sunlight?... How much?

    If your system is outside, fruiting plants will not do anything this time of year, they should be planted in spring, ie: September/October. During the cooler months stick to leafy greens, such lettuce, spinach, rainbow chard, bok-choy and other Asian greens, herbs etc

    In regards to plant nutrients, Goldfish flakes won't provide anywhere near the levels required for good plant growth. I would suggest alternating every second day between a good quality commercial grade fish food, such as Skretting Nova, and the flakes. Don't feed gold fish only on the commercial grade feed, they will grow very well and provide good nutrients, but they will go the way of Elvis after a few months.

    As far as the Eco-Fungicide is concerned, it's 94% Potassium bicarbonate and 6% surfactants (detergents). I would recommend looking for and using a 100% Pure Potassium bicarbonate product.
     
  6. tomer

    tomer New Member

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    Thanks for the response Yabbies.
    My system is out door but in a corber where it gets really little sun light especially in winter. So i put a 600 watt led light which seem to do a good job i hace it on for 16 off for 8.
    I dont really have a choice with that since i have a tiny courtyard.
    Why do you thing the plants are not growing? Only the feed?
     
  7. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    Your system is still very 'young', and like Yabbies said the goldfish flakes don't provide a full range of nutrients, so although you've got enough nitrates you probably don't have much of the other micronutrients your plants need to really thrive. (Also, winter. Lots of things are going to basically sulk in winter.)

    To boost up the micronutrients you could get something like Seasol (not Seasol Powerfeed, you don't need nitrogen, and don't get any of the pre-mixed varieties; plain Seasol concentrate is much better value for money) and put a capful into your growbed every week or two. You might also need something to add a little phosphorous as that's the only one Seasol doesn't have much of. Your fruiting plants probably still won't do much until spring, but the lettuce etc should be happier.
     
  8. tomer

    tomer New Member

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    Thank you Mel
    I am putting seasol but only started about a week ago put a cap full every 3 days.
    How would i add phosphorous?
    Should i add iron?
     
  9. Mel Redcap

    Mel Redcap Active Member

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    To be honest, I just went to Bunnings and looked in the fertiliser aisle for something that said it had phosphorous in it. :whistle::LOL: I gather blood & bone is good?

    Seasol has a little iron in it; I wouldn't add extra unless you start seeing specific iron deficiency symptoms (interveinal chlorosis, young leaves going yellow/pale with the veins still looking green). It's a bit hard to tell with the coloured light but I can't see anything like that on your plants.
     

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