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Everything posted by Ravnis

  1. Camic, it looks to me like your dealing with new tank syndrome. The bacteria take some time to grow big enough to process the waste. Typical time at your temp is about 30 days as a WAG (Wild A.. Guess). The best thing you can likely do for your fish now is add some potassium chloride. A tablespoon or 2 should do it. Small quantities can be bought as salt substitute. Lowering the pH might help a little, but at the stage of cycling that you are in , it would likely be counterproductive. Add the salt and then sit on your hands and watch. By the way. How long did you let the silicon sit that you used to secure your outlet pipe? Was it fish safe aquarium silicon? Some of the cheaper grades release nasty things in the water during the curing process. To Camic and Jojo81023. I can just not bring myself to recommend hydroton anymore. For a good growth medium , find some ASTM c33 sand easily found at home depot or lowes. Some fine mesh plastic screen material to cover your outlet of your grow bed will keep the sand in as you pump to it every hour or two. Best of luck to you both.
  2. One thing that members have done in the past successfully is raise a cold water fish in winter such as trout and then switch to a warmer water fast growing fish in summer. Then they only have to keep the water from freezing point. The plants that I've tried to grow, don't do well in water temps below 55F, so also consider what plants you wish to grow in the winter if minimally or not heating the water.
  3. Electric heaters can cost you in electricity/money considerably, A propane instant water heater can be rigged to circulate through pipe in the fish tank and that can give you precise control, but again $$$. For low cost, solar water heater works out to be the cheapest, but you have the least control and amount of heating can vary widely. You're in a place that can get pretty cold in the winter. How warm are you trying to keep the water over outside temps? Points to consider. 1. copper coils in heaters/water heaters can release copper ions into the water and become toxic to your fish. There are variables such as water hardness, pH, and the kind of fish your raising that makes the copper more or less dangerous. You might do fine with copper or you might start loosing fish one or two at a time to poisoning. 2. If you flood and drain a grow bed filled with large pore media such as gravel or hydroton, the bed will act as a radiator and radiate your heat, so limiting flood cycles at night is very important if you want to retain heat. 3. If your not real careful , your fish can cost you $100 each due to heating. Best of luck with your adventure.
  4. I'm sorry, I didn't make it clear. The fish tank was the swimming pool. It was the solar water heater that I placed over the fish tank which was a 15 ft intex swimming pool.
  5. Not a silly question at all, very astute actually! I had a big fish tank (a 15' diameter swimming pool) so I just placed it on top of the fish tank inside the greenhouse. With it inside, I never had to worry about it freezing. If I had to do it over again, I would make sure I painted all pex pipe that was exposed black as some of my feeder lines were not painted and I had some trouble with algae growing in the exposed section and shrinking the inside diameter and thus decreasing flow. I could flush periodically, but a little more time and effort in the building stage would have saved me some headache. I had rushed it together due to time constraints and cut corners that later I regretted. If you put it outside the greenhouse you will have to be concerned with it freezing or have to put it an an elevation where it will drain back to tank. If you can find a way to position it in the greenhouse , it will make it much simpler to use. I do realize that greenhouse space is at a premium, so that is a judgement call the user will have to make.
  6. I found the link to the guide I used here.
  7. That's some really nice work there!
  8. Did you get your problem fixed? It sounds very similar to blossom end rot that tomatoes experience if the calcium level is low. Adding the lime should help both the pH as well as the calcium level. Just a word of caution: be careful not to add powered lime straight to the fish tank as it can kill your fish.
  9. I had the similar thoughts a while back. What I found is the amount of heat to heat the air is close to 1/4 of the amount needed to heat the water. I even tried to heat the water by running water through pex pipe and blowing hot air from a forced air kerosene heater and it had little effect. What I did have success with was heating the water with a solar water heater and would get between and 8-12F degree rise in water temperature. There is a guide on how to make such an animal out of pex pipe and radiant heater aluminum panels. I used that and painted the panels with flat black spray paint. Another simple way of cooling the greenhouse during the day was to run a fan from a high point in the green house and direct the air flow onto an open section of water. The air cooled as it hit the water and the water gained some of the heat. This helped the greenhouse to keep from over heating during the heat of the day. There are many options to choose from, good luck to you.
  10. Seasons Greetings all. Wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.
  11. Yes. Greens are good at dropping nitrates, but the leaves curl a lot with high nitrate.
  12. My quick and dirty setup of an indoor IAVS. I repurposed one of my cement tubs. It has an overflow that should hopefully never be used, but it's there to prevent overflow onto the carpet that might result in being kicked outside without a doghouse. I'm using a 1 1/2" drain using a uniseal from Allied Aqua. The hole is covered with carbon fiber window screen material. It holds the sand in the grow well. Light is a Galaxy Hydro led grow light I found on clearance. Growth is 2 weeks and a few days. I had planted mesclun in the other row, but it did not come up. The seeds were about 4 to 5 years old, so that may have something to do with it. I replaced with more spinach seeds yesterday. Spinach seeds popped up 2 days after planting. I could never get spinach to grow outdoors, so I'm just tickled to death to get some to actually grow. It just would not come up in my gravel beds when I had them. Timer is digital timer and pumps 1 minute every 2 hours. Can see the algae layer growing even with just LED light. The bed does not get natural sunlight. I had the light to low at first and some of the leaves burned. It's hard to tell from the pics. I rigged up a hanger and have it about 6" from the plants and plants are still growing.
  13. My tank is buried right now. It's just a standard 75 gallon aquarium. I do have two hang on the back(HOB) filters going. I've got to restock my test chemicals before I cut them loose, so I can monitor parameters. I've got 7-8 tilapia in the tank around 3/4 to 1 lb in size. Noticed my spinach going to seed, so had to hurry and harvest everything. I'm still in the learning phase of the LED light and botched this growth cycle with lots of burned leaves. Had a little over 1/2 lb of greens after harvesting and separating the stalks from the leaves in a 30" x 20" growing area. Nothing to brag about, but gives a bench mark to improve upon. I did find out some things. My aquarium had been running for about a year as just an aquarium, no growing component. The nitrate levels were 160 ppm plus. I kept having problems with the pH jumping up due to the plants raising the pH as they sucked up the nitrate. Once the nitrate dropped to the 10 to 20 ppm range the pH stabilized. I kept getting worried as it was heading toward 7.6, but it's back down to 7.0 to 7.2. I can live with that for a bit.
  14. Nice. Let's hope they follow through. I remember it looking real promising when I read about it 23 years ago and a startup company got a big grant and then vanished. Tire liquefaction
  15. The seedling looks a lot better. That tells me it's more lack of nutrients. Do you know by chance what the rainwater pH is? The fighting issue that VKN raised is a possibility. Adding a few clay pots if you have them to give them a place to hide can diminish that factor. That's a nice size pleco. Mine would bully the tilapia when i fed them. They eat the algae, but will readily eat fish food too. Looking at your readings I have a hunch your not even close to cycled, the nitrite is too blue for sudden fish introduction. If your trying to be organic with this crop, you may want to find an organic way to lower the pH. If your not worried about adding chemicals, a little acid to drop the pH a few points would likely help your fish and plants. I'd shoot for a target of between 7.4 and 7.6 ish. Don't want to drop it too fast and stress the fish. I don't normally like making a lot of changes once in the middle of cycling, but that pH is very dangerous. This Chart will help you understand. As you can seen on the 2nd chart, at pH of 8.4 no detectable amount of ammonia is safe. At 7.4 pH your "safe" up to 2 ppm. At 7.0 pH your "safe" to 5 ppm. This is assuming room temp of 20 C. At the very least if pH of rain water is below 7, then I would do all top ups with that water. I do hope this helps and doesn't get too confusing. It's easy to be overwhelmed at first.
  16. Changing the water out 10 to 20 percent probably won't hurt the fish... but you'll be loosing whatever nutrients you have in the system as well as slowing down the cycling process. Though at that high pH the plants are going to have a very tough time nutrient or not. If ammonia and nitrite levels are staying 0 then it is more likely the stress from putting them in the system in the first place. It can take several days for damage to internal organs to translate fish mortality. Just keep testing, I've read many posts where they had 0 readings and suddenly a spike. There are several "salts". I personally like either calcium chloride or potassium chloride. Either of these are elements used by the plants. Low levels of salt won't harm plants and the level BD mentioned will provide some protection without harming anything. Some parasites will be less likely to spread with salt in the water. Dr. McMurtry recommended sulfuric acid for bringing down the pH if you do add acid. I've used everything from vinegar to hydrochloric acid(muriatic) as it was easy to get. Vinegar will "bounce" and muriatic acid has been the most reliable method for me.
  17. Unless you have really low buffers in the system, don't expect the pH to drop anytime soon from nitrification. Typically takes months in a well stocked system. Are the fish from a breeder or fished from a lake/pond? Do take heart. The first system is always the toughest one.
  18. Without some testing I can only guess. The yellowing of the leaves is likely low nutrient level in the water. If the pH is still 8 that would cause nutrient lockout as well as make any ammonia in the system toxic to fish. Salt has been reported to be helpful. It does help reduce nitrite toxicity.
  19. http://www.worldcat.org/title/northlands-winter-greenhouse-manual-a-unique-low-tech-solution-to-vegetable-production-in-cold-climates/oclc/435438027 That link will provide you with a way to get the book from a library if you wanted to read it before you bought it. It sounds very similar to the Sunny John subterranean heating/cooling system. Beware those type of systems loose efficiency in damp/moist environments typical of an aquaponic setup , so your mileage may vary wildly depending on local climate and solar exposure. For your convenience a link to solar map is provided. The link that OP posted did have some useful information, but it's not spoon fed and was really similar to the preface of a book. The name of the book is provided and a simple google search yielded multiple hits.
  20. No problem with soot, but my greenhouse was not air tight being it was just plastic secured to a wooden frame. I used a carbon monoxide monitor in the greenhouse, but never got a detectable level above it's preset set point. You will need at least 4 ft of clear space in front of it. I had to tweak the fuel rate to keep the flames from extending past the metal casing. I had an adjustment on it that could be set with a screwdriver and it took a little trial and error. I've heard of models that output infrared heat that are supposedly more efficient, but have not really looked into them as this heater was easily purchased at a hardware or feed store. You will need some method of ventilation if your greenhouse is airtight. Carbon monoxide is no joke. Also, don't overlook the importance of setting up a solar water heater to heat the water. Just keep in mind that heat loss from the water goes up as the air temp goes down. I had looked into the radiant heater thing, but could not justify the added expense in zone 8, but in 5 it might be worthwhile. You could lay the insulation and radiant heating lines and build a wooden pallet type support over it to hold your system. You could make the wooden support rest on the concrete and the foam board cover the concrete in between depending on how large a system you built.
  21. I used something similar to this. It's a different brand, but they are all the same manufacturer. I used diesel fuel to heat my 24' x 32' greenhouse as it was a lot cheaper than kerosene, but did smell worse. WIth nightime temps in the 20's, it typically cost around $60 or so dollars to heat a month if I set the thermostat at 45F. It's pretty loud though.
  22. No clue as to what that is. The grains seem large, what size media is that? I'm most curious as to how your doing with the Macrobrachium as I plan to use them as well. Theres a juvenile supplier only 2 hours drive from me. Seems we think a lot a like on at least some things
  23. Oh, it's nothing fancy, just a chain and an eye hook. The hanging kit came with the light.
  24. Beautiful setup!