Strider

Aloha from Hawaii

36 posts in this topic

Hi Strider,

 

Thanks Gary.  I know slow and sure are best but I do tend to panic as late after losing one small Talapia. I just read an article about high nitrates being bad for fish. So I probably need to get more pants in to take up those nitrates.

 

While I've read of the odd species that can't stand high nitrate levels, there's not many of them.....and Tilapia have a legendary reputation for toughness.

 

Too many nitrates is not likely to be your problem  Too many nitrites....that's a totally different proposition.  Something to know is that, in certain circumstances, nitrates will convert to nitrites.

 

Strider, I know you won't have confused the two....but I write for anyone who's likely to read your thread.

 

Just an update. My system is producing high amounts of nitrates. (off the scale). The EC has tripled too. The PH is at about 7. I attribute that to the oysters and shell grit i had in the tank. Still waiting for my Ph meter to come so I can get a more accurate measure.

 

Something to bear in mind......high nitrates in the presence of low oxygen creates the circumstances for denitrification.....an interesting other world within the nitrogen cycle.  Nitrates can reduce to nitrites in certain circumstances.  

 

Getting a good handle on the Nitrogen Cycle is probably the best favour that a backyard aquaponicist can do themselves.

 

I am starting to think i do not have a large enough GB footprint.

 

That's one way of dealing with the problem/opportunity........or you could use the water from your system to irrigate other parts of your garden replacing the with fresh water.

 

Pests are a problem. I am having to battle bugs that lay eggs in my fruits and the birds that eat anything that turns red. Decided to get some mesh bags to cover the tomatoes.

 

A backyard food production system will become more productive with the passage of time.  They mature.  As the population of beneficial bacteria, insects and other micro-organisms multiplies, so the yield increases.

 

No more fish fatalities but I am still trying to figure out the appropriate amount of food to give them. The fish are aggressive eaters. If I place my finger in the tank they attack it. Does that mean I am not giving them enough? 

 

The best way to determine how much food to feed your fish is as a percentage of their bod weight per day.  If you have 10 fish....and they each weight about 100g then you have a total fish weight of 1000g (one kg).  At that size, you'd be feeding 1% - 2% each day.....so that means a total of 10 to 20 grams......each day

 

So soon I will have the pain of having to move the whole system to the other (sunny) side of the house. Made some other changes and I have decided that I am not a big fan of the floating raft system and will replace that with a F&D GB.
I will also make a more easily accessible ST for cleaning and pump maintenance. I will attach a update video today.

 

 

Moving AP systems can be a pain.....but, if you're going to get better growing results, it's probably worth the effort.

 

A word to the wise.....you can go a little silly following.....and reacting to........the hourly movements of an AP system.  It's necessary to cultivate patience if you can.

 

Gary

Edited by GaryD (see edit history)

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You know I have never seen a Hawk in Hawaii.  But the neighbors have those life size owls hanging on their lanai. Have no clue if they work or not. May have to try that. 

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You know I have never seen a Hawk in Hawaii.  But the neighbors have those life size owls hanging on their lanai. Have no clue if they work or not. May have to try that.  But then again, there are no owls either.... The hawk is most likely on the Big Island where there is all sorts of game birds for it to eat.

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So my Ph is once again low (5.75)  I have bought and added Calcium Carbonate.  But how much to add?  Everyone says add small amounts over time but what constitutes a small amount? A Tablespoon, and cup, a gal?  

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I think that Paul has posted some formulas for figuring out how much too add for a desired change in pH, but I'd suggest that you start off with a tablespoon and take readings 24 hours later to see the effect. You'd continue adding every couple of days, at this level until your pH gets to your target range. Then figure out how much and how often you need to add to maintain your pH. This will vary with system maturity, feed rate, plant load, top off water source, etc. so it may take some time to refine your number.

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I think that Paul has posted some formulas for figuring out how much too add for a desired change in pH, but I'd suggest that you start off with a tablespoon and take readings 24 hours later to see the effect. You'd continue adding every couple of days, at this level until your pH gets to your target range. Then figure out how much and how often you need to add to maintain your pH. This will vary with system maturity, feed rate, plant load, top off water source, etc. so it may take some time to refine your number.

Thanks for the reply.  I added some potash and it came up to 6.7....now siting, as of this AM, at 6.5.   I attended a aquaponics class last week and they recommended Potassium to increase Ph as it adds to your plants needs.  

So I am looking for potash or potassium that is safe for my fishes.  Amazing how hard it can be to find stuff over here in this 3rd world state. 

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So it has been a while since I posted an update. Been busy "learning" or "relearning" aquaponics. I have been attending all he courses / meetings I can find. Every week I attend a class given by the Hawaii Dept of Agriculture.

And I just spent my whole day last Saturday at a meeting given by HAAA. (Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association.)This involved speeches by those in Hawaii in the aquaculture fields concentrating on Aquaponics.

A gentleman from Olomana Gardens talked about air pumps that I found interesting. In fact I am now considering using his ideas when I move my system. I like the idea of a single air line to my system vice electrical cords across the yard.

Seems the school system here is taking up the aquaponics idea as a learning tool. There are many that have built systems and as part of the classes we are taking on Satuday we assisted in two such builds at elementary schools.

But external filters such as RFF and Bio Filters are not used so much here. The lava rock beds are the bio filters / grow beds. Compost tea made from worm castings and red worms seems to be the trend here.

Always willing to try something new, but my filters stay. :)

Edited by Strider (see edit history)
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