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About aquaponix

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  • Biography
    I am originally from South Africa but have been a resident in Texas for over 30 years. The saying "I'm not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could" rings true through every bone in my body. I am a medical assistant as well as a massage therapist, and work in an integrative medical facility specializing in regenerative and functional medicine.
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    aquaculture, organic foods, music and beer

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  1. Hi all, I appreciate the speedy responses from everyone and have taken the following steps: I was not able to see anything eventful under the microscope, yet I am no aquatic veterinarian and the closest to me is 3 hours away and I have to bring in a live one exhibiting signs of stress to sacrifice for science. Ravnis, I did take your advice and checked my water levels at the local petstore and they are exactly the same, so I can rule out faulty test kit on my end. They did test my water hardness and it came out to 300, which I believe is pretty hard. Not sure if this is a game changer or not. Mhaigh, I did also take your advice and tested my water at the bottom outlet valve of the IBC FT and the levels were the same except for a minor adjustment on the nitrites going from 0 to .15. I did install a circulating pump to stir things up a bit and to see if this would help with the temperature in the tank. Gary Donaldson, I appreciate the suggestion, but I don't think I can make this adjustment right now due to funds and the design of my system. It does seem like a better choice for reducing water and power usage. I guess hind site is 20/20! Anyway, again I want to thank all of you for your great suggestions and feedback to help me, I most heartedly appreciate it. I have stopped feeding my guys and hope that my deaths will level out. I did not find any other floaters this morning and have checked the pH in the morning and evening but it is constant. So any other suggestions, would definitely be welcome and won't fall on deaf ears. Cheer!
  2. Hi and thanks for the link. Since I have access to a microscope, I will definitely look into the parasite angle. I guess the salt option is a good and bad, but I am trying to salvage what I have left in the tank. I read that the redness of the gills is an ammonia issue but that doesn't seem to make sense with the low levels I have currently. I wonder if the heat is causing a majority of the problem.
  3. Hi all, I am in need of some expert help on why my fish are dying at a rate of 1-3 per day for two weeks now. I am pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the problem is. Let me give you all the particulars first: I have been running an IBC tote system in a greenhouse for 9 months now (based on Murray Hallum's IBC system) which is a 275 gallon tank with three 4x4.5 foot grow beds and a sump tank. I am using one pump to push water from the sump to the grow beds and fish tank. The fish tank return to sump tank is by gravity siphon and each grow bed is a flood and drain system with a bell siphon in each. The grow beds have hydroton material as substrate and are currently full with tomatoes, green onions, swiss chard, arugula, cucumbers, kale and sweet potato(all greens with no potato). I had around 50 (now more like 35) happy tilapia fish growing in my tank until around two weeks ago when all of a sudden I am experiencing fish death on a regular basis. My levels are currently set at: PH 7.2 (this is the only variable that changed in the past month), AMMONIA: 0.25, NITRITE 0, NITRATE 80-100. I run 7 air diffusers, with a cascading return from the sump tank to the fish tank. The temperature of the water is around 85-90 degrees, but I don't have fish gasping for air. I can see the bottom of the tank, so it's not a waste build up, yet I have been performing water changes every three days. The dead fish seem to have a redness around their gills and when they are about to die, I see some swimming slower and listing to the side at the bottom of the tank. I added about 5 kg salt to hopefully try and offset any stress they were experiencing, but don't see any difference in amount of loss. I was wondering if anyone else have had these problems all of a sudden and what solutions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!