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About Aqua-Ryder

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    N. California
  1. Months without food.... wow... I am truly amazed... life is such a mystery! Thanks for the link!
  2. Thanks for the reply... Well, that's interesting and all... But commonly, the advice I have been reading to combat algae bloom is to stop feeding. This is because feeding the fish allows the algae to grow, and the algae can kill the fish by denying them oxygen, and ruin the plants by denying them nutrition. So the question still is... Stop feeding fish = dead fish? In the case if Tilapia, ok, if they eat algae, they can survive, for a time then. But what of the fish that don't?
  3. Hi All, I have a new system with algae bloom... 400 gallons with 11 Tilapia. Recommendation is to stop feeding the fish (among other things). No food = dead fish, right? This bloom has been going on for weeks. I think I might die if I was not fed for weeks. What is the story here? Do the tilapia live OFF of the algae? Does this mean no food until the algae is clear? Thanks for your insights.
  4. my ph for the system has stabilized at around 8.2, and my top up water (which I've hot done yet) is also 8.2 The bloom is no longer white, and is a slight but definite green tint. Ammonia is just starting to barely register again.... Should I do something different given the green color that is forming? (algae bloom, I assume) Also, should I feed smaller portions, but maybe twice per day? Kinda lost here... this has never happened before. R
  5. Sounds like a good plan... I'm using gravel. (the same that is in my other nicely running system). When I tie in the grow bed... it will then include expanded clay. Guessing at water temp here... probably about 75F. I'm using the API master test kit. -R-
  6. Thanks Ravnis... The water has bloomed white. No plants yet. I will probably stop the spirulina for now... As far as not chasing the ph... I heard that ph above 8 stops the nitrificaiton cycle... so I have been beating it relentlessly. What is ph bounce??? Interestingly, I have only just started using it when my muriatic acid ran out! I had read that the ammonia comes directly from the fish (the gills specifically)... though it wouldn't surprise me to hear that misinformation happens. I'll watch for an ammonia spike... and if that happens... I'll move the fish over to the other system.
  7. Well, since the nitrites need ammonia to grow, and there is none... I have to wonder. On the other hand... what could have possibly gotten *rid* of 3ppm of ammonia!? (if it wasn't nitrates). Thx, Ryder
  8. Hi all, This is REALLY strange. Ammonia vanishing. I have a "fun sized" aquaponics system going... it's been very productive for two years, but I wanted to make a bigger system, so I did. I have an IBC with tilapia in it... maybe 110 gallons of water... 12 fish... and I've been waiting for it to kick off... been watching the ammonia levels rising... it got to about 3ppm, which is plenty high, but no nitrites or nitrates yet. I have been beating ph back with a stick... it keeps wanting to go above 8, so I started using white distilled vinegar to push it down... but it's a daily chore. No nitrites... or nitrates. Ever. Then I test the water today... after over a week of substantial ammonia levels, and guess what. AMMONIA GONE. I'm thinking... ok! The nitrites have kicked in hard... so I check nitrites. ZERO. SO... I'm now thinking... wtf? I test nitrates. NONE! The only other difference is that I started the tilapia (very happy fish) with a spirolina type fish food a few days back. Has anyone ever seen this before? What could be going on?
  9. Hi all, I made this system last year, with terrific results. The fish were the least reliable part of the system... a few jumped out! I solved that with wire mesh over the buckets. The system is simple, and can be set up in about an hour once you've collected materials. There are no fancy fittings or valves. Essentially, it's all just cutting hose and drilling holes! Here is a video. The thing that throws everyone is how the system drains... it does so simply by shutting off the pump. A "reverse siphon" forms in the lines that deliver the water... so the water simply returns into the sump below via the same tube. Enjoy!
  10. I'd say I was at a good five weeks... Bio loading? The only change would have the plants growing, and algae. Totally confused by all this.....
  11. Hi All... I started a new, small AP system (about 5 ga fish tank, two small koi approx 2"), with a 1 square foot grow bed.... another 4-5 gallons in a sump... figure 10 total gallons. Everything was peachy. Ammonia was barely detectable... Nitrites low, Nitrates low... with six very happy tomato plants. I let a week to ten days go by, and I did a full check. Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites ALL above measurable limits. I removed the fish, and transplanted the tomatoes out... Now... what the heck happened? I noticed pretty good algae growth on the fish tank walls... but other than that... the system cycled normally, I fed fish once per day... I can't imagine that two tiny fish could feed six tomato plants... and still overwhelm the system. Thoughts? Thank you. R
  12. My beds fill in 20 seconds. My timer is currently set to 1 minute on, 5 minutes off... so that's 10 flushes per hour, in Hydroton. R
  13. Well, given the notorious difficulties of bell siphons (just do a thread count! Can you say for sure that bell siphons are MORE reliable than a solid state timer? R
  14. Well, I don't think this is a thread about timer vs no timer. I think it's a thread about when you use a timer, which one is best. Now, what is the difference between a bio filter getting fresh water run through it 10 times an hour, vs. a constant flow system? I can't imagine that there'd be much of a difference, but I could be wrong... many systems (most?) simply have their bacteria in the gravel bed and grow medium.... and if you are flushing your grow medium several times an hour with a bell siphon... then how is that different from flushing several times an hour with a timed pump? R
  15. I recently found what seems like the ideal timer for AP system builders. I was looking for a timer to run system cycling... and was frustrated with the lack of control on commonly found timers. Meet the CAP ART-DNe Adjustable Recycle Timer The timer can run a pump from 1 second to 40 minutes.... then turn off between 1 minute and 8 hours! This is an amazing amount of control. It's a little pricy ($66 through Amazon), but the savings due to reduced pump usage should pay for itself, and end your reliance on bell siphons which can be very difficult to manage. The question I have now is, how does one find the optimal cycle times? Does it vary from plant to plant in the grow bed? Does it change due to the maturity of the plant? Regards, R