Moses

Advice needed regarding water colour.

11 posts in this topic

Hello guys my name is moses, im new here as well in aquaponic. right now i am trying to make a small scale model if it works i am going to turn it into a commercial system cause i want to help my family financial problem. its pretty bad here so i needed this to works at least on a technical or back end level, at least my family wont need to buy food anymore.
so currently i have a fish tank set up trying to cycle the system, trying to get nitrobacteria to live on it. my current equipment includes:
1. Small koi fish (16), its just random breed so its quite affordable. i will change this to tilapia or carp once the small scale works.
2. Aerator
3. Filter. Will change this into media where bacteria will attach itself to when the bacteria starter pack has arrived.
4. Water Pump (to pump the water into the filter barrel and with the help of gravity flow back into the fish tank)

The currently problem i have is, the water being very cloudy and at times smelly. i have washed the filter once already and it has just been 5 days. its all red and full of fish waste, and i feed the koi 3 times a day. so what are your thoughts? is this the koi fish problem or there is currently no bacteria yet in the system?

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Moses,

Welcome to the APN forums.

There is 1 simple answer, you are correct, your system is not cycled and has no bacteria, this creates the smell.

To offer any real info, I have some questions...
What are the water testing parameters of your system (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc)? What size tank do you have ? What is it made of ? Is the koi 16cm or 16inches ? Or do you mean you have 16 koi in your tank ? What kind and size is the filter ? What is in the filter now ? How much water does the pump, pump ? What is your water source ? What are the water source testing parameters (pH etc)?

You say you want aquaponics to grow veggies.... what kind of growing setup did you intent on ?
Raft style ? Media bed style ? Hydroponic style in small pots ? ... then there is the iAVs method.

And some further thoughts...
Bacteria will occur naturally over time. This time is referred to as the Cycling Period. The cycling period goes through measurable changes in Ammonia, Nitrite then Nitrate.
Using the search function on top of the forum I found this current posting ...

Additionally I would think it would be best to...
Stop feeding the koi for 2 or 3 days, it will not die of starvation in this time.
I would NOT clean the filter again in the short term.
I would remove any uneaten food and rubbish from the bottom when draining out some water, then replace with fresh water.
If your source water has any chemicals added to it like chlorine you need to treat or age the water before use.

To aid in preventing infection and disease breakout, I would add some salt to the level of 3ppm or 3mg/ltr

I would post some pictures of your system if you can. This will also help others assist you greatly.
I would read many posts like the one above, this will assist you and your family greatly as to the overall performance of your system.

Start a new topic about your system and post some pics... we love pics, they help everyone understand what we each are talking about.

Aquaculture / Aquaponics can be a steep learning curve.
The best advice anyone can give you is to read, and read, and read... and then go slowly with the fish, go slowly with the feeding.

Again, welcome to the forum.

Cheers
Joe

Edited by Toga
Added information (see edit history)
ande, Moses and bigdaddy like this

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Hi Moses

Welcome to APN/HQ

16 koi in how big a tank ?

16 hours ago, Moses said:

 i have washed the filter once already and it has just been 5 days. its all red and full of fish waste, and i feed the koi 3 times a day. so what are your thoughts? is this the koi fish problem or there is currently no bacteria yet in the system?

When ever you wash the filter, you are back to start on establishing nitrifying bacteria, so stop that like Toga said.

cheers

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13 hours ago, Toga said:

Hi Moses,

Welcome to the APN forums.

There is 1 simple answer, you are correct, your system is not cycled and has no bacteria, this creates the smell.

To offer any real info, I have some questions...
What are the water testing parameters of your system (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc)? What size tank do you have ? What is it made of ? Is the koi 16cm or 16inches ? Or do you mean you have 16 koi in your tank ? What kind and size is the filter ? What is in the filter now ? How much water does the pump, pump ? What is your water source ? What are the water source testing parameters (pH etc)?

You say you want aquaponics to grow veggies.... what kind of growing setup did you intent on ?
Raft style ? Media bed style ? Hydroponic style in small pots ? ... then there is the iAVs method.

And some further thoughts...
Bacteria will occur naturally over time. This time is referred to as the Cycling Period. The cycling period goes through measurable changes in Ammonia, Nitrite then Nitrate.
Using the search function on top of the forum I found this current posting ...

Additionally I would think it would be best to...
Stop feeding the koi for 2 or 3 days, it will not die of starvation in this time.
I would NOT clean the filter again in the short term.
I would remove any uneaten food and rubbish from the bottom when draining out some water, then replace with fresh water.
If your source water has any chemicals added to it like chlorine you need to treat or age the water before use.

To aid in preventing infection and disease breakout, I would add some salt to the level of 3ppm or 3mg/ltr

I would post some pictures of your system if you can. This will also help others assist you greatly.
I would read many posts like the one above, this will assist you and your family greatly as to the overall performance of your system.

Start a new topic about your system and post some pics... we love pics, they help everyone understand what we each are talking about.

Aquaculture / Aquaponics can be a steep learning curve.
The best advice anyone can give you is to read, and read, and read... and then go slowly with the fish, go slowly with the feeding.

Again, welcome to the forum.

Cheers
Joe

 

7 hours ago, ande said:

Hi Moses

Welcome to APN/HQ

16 koi in how big a tank ?

When ever you wash the filter, you are back to start on establishing nitrifying bacteria, so stop that like Toga said.

cheers

"What are the water testing parameters of your system (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc)? What is your water source ? What are the water source testing parameters (pH etc)?
How much water does the pump, pump ? ..."

- I currently do not have means to test No2, No3, Ammonia, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium and DO. but the Ph is at 7 since i used filtered drinking water not tap water, my tap water comes from the well but it only has a ph  of about  4 or 5. the system still holds at 6.5-7 i cant be sure as i dont have digital means to read it, i tested before and after the system one day ago about the chlorine im not sure but some guys doing the business tested the water and it says this brand is the healthiest on the island as it is chlorine free and without funky drugs, it is also the only one brand that reaches Ph 7 . i used reagent since its the cheapest option for a small scale model. but i intent on purchasing the test kit for all other elements in the water. still thinking whether to go long way for the digital or the reagent test kit.  last night my nitrobacter starter came and i put two spoon of it into the filter, tested the water and it still holds at 6.5-7. i am currently waiting for my potassium hydroxide to arrive. The water pump, pumps about 2000L of water per hour, at least that is what the box says. its quite small and submersible.

 

"What size tank do you have ? What is it made of ? Is the koi 16cm or 16inches ? Or do you mean you have 16 koi in your tank ?"
APHQ : "16 koi in how big a tank ?"

- I think its about 40cm meter tall, 60Cm wide and 80cm long. I put 3 gallons of water and it is only  about 40 percent full. i think it is made of plastic and since there is no smell, and the water Ph doesnt change so i think its safe to use but maybe not in a long run. Sorry i am not really clear there, i have 16 koi in the tank, its quite small i think few measure about 6cm and few measure almost to 9cm or 10cm. the feed i use right now is Processed food that contains spirulina as i read online they say it is good food for the koi. its quite cheap as well as there is one that double in price but same quantity, i think about 5 US dollar per 1KG.

 

"What kind and size is the filter ? What is in the filter now ?"

- i intent to make a bio-filter tank. right now my scale model filter consist of rocks ( river rocks, tested by submersing it for water for about a day, the water ph didnt change). a T pipe so that there is  a downward swirl, an aerator for oxygen, large cloth of wool filter and few cable to hold the T pipe upward and few cable to hold the wool filter so that it doesn't bloom or flow out when the water fills the filter tank / bucket.
1. i put the rocks at the bottom
2. Put the T pipe on reverse then at the end of the T i twist the it facing the downward a bit so that when the water flow out it creates a swirl
3. wear the T pipe with wool cloth and basically fill the bucket so it creates upper section and bottom section.
4. drill 2 round holes, one near the rocks and one at the top for overflow
5. attach the water pump hose to the top of the reversed T as when the water flow it basically creates a swirl ( i think it helps to keep the fish waste at bottom but i am not really sure is that the appropriate or does it even works that way)
6. then as the wool filter separate the solid fish waste and water thus trapping  it at the bottom, it will stay near where the rocks / media where the bacteria will grow converting the Ammonia to NO2 and then NO3
7. the water will the flow on top without the SFW then flow back into the tank on the top round hole which is usually use as the overflow hole thus keeping the water from actually spilling / overflowing, i plan to make it indoor as well if this succeed then i don't need to worry about rain or storm.  i hope the No3 doesn't have problem passing thru the wool filter. Of course i am aware also it wont keep No2 and Ammonia to flow thru as well if it doesn't trap the much needed one also.

if the water is cleaner, which means the bacteria starts to grow whether naturally or from the starter pack, i intend to add  grow bed for plants although  i read its best to plant lettuce first so maybe i will try that out. i will change the water to flow thru the grow bed first rather than directly from the bio-filter tank back to the fish tank, so its FT -> Bio-filter tank ->  Plant GB  -> FT, so i think this is ebb and flow style?  I am also interested in breeding BSF and using BSFL to feed the fish (which i will change to TIlapia for commercial means as we can eat those as well), so after this i think i will research on making housing to breed BSF as i dont wanna risk letting them out on the nature which they are not native to, don't wanna risk a nature disaster and getting jailed or fined.

 

"You say you want aquaponics to grow veggies.... what kind of growing setup did you intent on ?
Raft style ? Media bed style ? Hydroponic style in small pots ? ... then there is the iAVs method."

- i think i prefer using the raft style to the media bed as it is heavy and u cant stack it. so i guess i wont be using hydroponic style. although i am interested in including also vertical style but i think i am gonna try raft style and media bed style first. i saw the aeroponic where they grow their plants by spreading seeds across recycled cloth and they stack the grow rack on top pretty high, so maybe i thought using the raft system that is not very deep i can also incorporate such design but not that many stacks, i dont think that is possible with media bed as it consist for rocks or hydroton coupled with water which makes it quite heavy to stack.
- no i haven't learned about IAVs method.

 

Yes i am still learning and reading which is quite tiresome as it took a lot of time to learn to understand its concept, design and how we should actualize it (construct it) which is pretty hard for me. never touched those stuff before as i am more of a computer and nerd guy as i like reading philosophy book. the main reason i am selecting aquaponic as a commercial means is that the food here although not a big city already uses chemical mixed compose, pesticide, growth hormone which makes it not very healthy to consume which we can say not very organic i think. so with aquaponic we can have healthier means and it doesn't waste water and space, also we can have something that is healthy. i don't wanna see this island where i grow up became a commercial end island disregarding other principle of life in nature, only then to make it matters in the near future. i mean the chicken they sell only take about 40 days to grow and kill, i heard other saying they used hormone drugs for the chicken to drink but i am not really sure whether they used hormone stimulant or just the breed of the chicken to grow that fast.
I will also post a picture of it once it works and i replace the equipment with a better looking one, frankly the system i have now is quite lame looking hahaha, as an Asian i felt ashamed and not confident to post the picture if the system is in this state, but i promise to post some of the pictures once the water became clear and i added grow bed and replace the bio-filter with a tank rather than using a bucket and cables holding the T pipe and wool filter in place then putting the bucket on top of the FT.

Thanks for the welcome guys, sorry if i typed neither efficiently nor correctly, since this is my third language so i hope you guys reading it will understand lols!
FYI : Indonesia is typically warm climate although each island differ from one another depending on the forest mass, industries, building mass and civilian mass also quantity of vehicle operating. here we range from 20c in the early morning to 30c on high noon. but its still cool and windy here, but you will sweat if  you move around without AC.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Moses,

Thanks for the detailed reply, and my apologies for my delayed reply.

Your comments and aspirations are great to hear.
Every person should aim for a level of self production of food at home or the community.

Yes, as you have stated and found out, there is a lot to learn to understand the basic concepts, and absolute requirements.
After all... fish are livestock !!!

Firstly, your small tank.
16 koi (of any size) in that size tank is a disaster waiting to happen... and it will happen unless you address this.
You need to consider reducing the numbers to perhaps 3 or 4... or increasing the size of the tank, considerably.
Even a sophisticated pump and filter system used by an experienced operator will be hard pressed dealing with that growing bio-load from the 16 koi fish waste and uneaten food particles, in such a small volume of water.

Next, your filter and pump.
Filter style and pump flow combinations have been highly discussed, there are many suitable designs, some more efficient to use and maintain than others.
Spend some time to read more about this... then combine that thought with my previous comments about your tank size.

Next, growing facilities.
Again, read more about these. To grow anything of substance and quality, the size of your growing facility should be in ration with the size of the fish tank / waste production.
You can not provide enough nutrients from a 10 gallon fish tank of koi to grow an acre of veggies raft style (or any style).
I would recommend you make a decision on what one single growing style suits you best to begin with, and start with that one... you can add on later.

Here is a link to the iAVs website - http://iavs.info/
The single most influencing factor to considering starting an iAVs growing system, is your local availability to the Correct Type of Sand.
NOT ALL SAND IS EQUAL !!!

IF the iAVs system is suitable for you (ie: IF you have access to the correct type of sand), then the iAVs system has specified ratios for tank size, fish numbers, water flow and growing system size... that have proven results, providing you follow all the correct needs and ratios.

Finally, testing your water quality conditions.
Knowing the current and past history of your systems water quality is paramount to the diagnosis of everything !
Fish problems or disease... plant, leaf and fruit growth and development or deficiencies... EVERYTHING is diagnosed through water testing !
(Except actual physical plant and fish inspection and pathology)
Digital meters are fantastic, easy to use, super quick results, super accurate results... and can be super expensive.
There are a range of simple and inexpensive liquid test kits for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate.
A simple iron test is also beneficial regarding plant monitoring and growth.
I would search your local online "Ebay" store for what is available in Indonesia.

Fish deaths, for what ever reasons, are the main reason people do not persist long with this type of venture.
The total system ratio of; Tank size / fish numbers and size / water pump flow / filter style / water quality / growing facility style / growing facility area...
Is crucial to determining the maximum success you may look forward to.
This ratio also determines the likelihood of disaster.

Cheers
Joe

Edited by Toga
Added information (see edit history)

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Great news, after the filter that i have added to the system (previously mentioned lame filter), not feeding the fish for a day since yesterday and adding Nitrobacteria starter, the water has become quite clear. it is not cloudy anymore. i think the yellow color is due to the slimy stuff / fish waste stuck on the surface thats why the water reflected yellow color. i tested the Ph and strangely it raised from 7 to 8, previously before adding filter and bacteria the Ph drop from 7 to 6.5-ish.

the gallon i mentioned if converted to liter is 19 liter per-gallon..so i used three gallon means i have 57 liter of water.
so from what i read is i have two problem regarding the water and tank, the water is too little and the tank is too small for 16 koi of any size.
if i were to understood from your reply that means 1 fish needs at least 14 liter of water is that correct?
if regarding the bio-filter then must i add the media ratio to about 50% of the amount of water for the bacteria to have a place to attach and grow and to properly process my fish waste? 1 fish - 14 liter of water - 7 liter of media for bacteria.
oh and below is the media i am washing that i used for the bio-filter, plan to add a bigger filter since you said the water is not enough. it is freshwater river rocks, it occasionally contain reefs and shell. tested the Ph by soaking it for 1 day, doesn't reduce or raise.
IMG_7947.JPG

As for the growing substrate i think i will use coco peat or coir rather than rock wool since i read it doesn't decompose, and yes i think i am going to use the raft style since it is easily done with material available and i think it is also one of the cheapest kind if i am not mistaken from reading the online resources but yes i will research more into that, mainly which media is more easier to manage.

Growing Facilities, i plan to make a green house(?) since i think it is safer for the system from the influence of outside element and safe from sabotage or theft ( believe it or not it is common for people to do that here!! if you park your motorcycle in front of a police station by the road it might be gone tomorrow if no one was there to look after it), i am not planning to plant this in the city where i stay since my place doesn't have a backyard so i am planning to plant it by the mountain sides or hill sides where there are still villagers (but most has left agriculture since the land is not really hospitable anymore due to bauxite mining). since no one is staying there by the site i am planning to build the system, i need to lock the place down securely. i have also seen a lot of people planting their fish tank and grow bed down, that way they can add another layer on top, which i think i will also implement, but of course i will count by the square feet. i think the ratio of FT and GB is 1:1 since i have read multiple post online stating they tested and it works, is that a safe ratio?

I have also just ordered various liquid test kits, which will arrive, i will update the stats of the test when it has arrived next week!
I have also recently ordered KOH Kalium Hydroxide (Potassium Hydroxide / lye) and plan to order flake version of Calcium, Iron, Phosphate and Magnesium, although if i added those can i still consider my system to be "organic" or harmful chemical free if properly controlled? i have read alot online people adding KOH or Bicarbonate Pottasium (but this add salt content as well) and they said it is ok, the fish survive this. i was wondering will the plant and fish be safe for consumption for the human in the long run. i mean i dont add chemical compound to the soil but adding those will it be the same? maybe i need to research more into this by comparing what compost compound do grower usually use.
i have also seen people recommending sea bird poop and Banana peel but i am a little skeptical adding those to my system, afraid that it will kill the fish in the long run, since the system is pretty much a made-up ecosystem, what if it doesnt have a necessary buffer like a natural pond or lake does.

Thank you for such a generous reply, i will also read the IAVs link! maybe even try it out making a small scale model as i am now as a side by side comparison to using coco peat for the substrate.

 

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Hi Moses,

In which part of Indonesia are you living?

Might be a good idea to check out your local Gramedia for books on aquaponics, I was in Indonesia last February and they carried some good books on the topic.  

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Hi again Moses

 

7 hours ago, Moses said:

the gallon i mentioned if converted to liter is 19 liter per-gallon..so i used three gallon means i have 57 liter of water.

You have to use known standards if you wan't serious answers to your Q's

Either use the metric liter, US gallon = 3,78541178 litere, or Imperial gallon = 4.54609 litere, and inform wich it is.

I suggest you read up in Garys Online Urban Aquaponics Manual

http://www.urbanaquaponics.com.au/

I would get rid of the koi they are not suited to live (thrive) in such small aquarium/tank

Also to look at more precice zises and readings/values/measures in general,

EG:

You say you have a pump that pumps 2000 liter/houer and a tank with 57 liter water so your pump is turning over the tank water 35 times/houer 

it should be more like, 1 to 2 times/houer.

You say your Ph is 6.5-7ish, it's a huge difference between Ph 6.5 and Ph 7 (in particular in fast swings to the fish)

 

I don't mean to disencoureage you but I fear you will fail fast unless you get the proportional numbers, volumes, zises, etc.  in order.

 

good luck

cheers 

 

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12 hours ago, phri said:

Hi Moses,

In which part of Indonesia are you living?

Might be a good idea to check out your local Gramedia for books on aquaponics, I was in Indonesia last February and they carried some good books on the topic.  

 

9 hours ago, ande said:

Hi again Moses

 

You have to use known standards if you wan't serious answers to your Q's

Either use the metric liter, US gallon = 3,78541178 litere, or Imperial gallon = 4.54609 litere, and inform wich it is.

I suggest you read up in Garys Online Urban Aquaponics Manual

http://www.urbanaquaponics.com.au/

I would get rid of the koi they are not suited to live (thrive) in such small aquarium/tank

Also to look at more precise sizes and readings/values/measures in general,

EG:

You say you have a pump that pumps 2000 liter/houer and a tank with 57 liter water so your pump is turning over the tank water 35 times/houer 

it should be more like, 1 to 2 times/houer.

You say your Ph is 6.5-7ish, it's a huge difference between Ph 6.5 and Ph 7 (in particular in fast swings to the fish)

 

I don't mean to disencoureage you but I fear you will fail fast unless you get the proportional numbers, volumes, zises, etc.  in order.

 

good luck

cheers 

 

Hello Phri, i live in an island near sumatera located west of indonesia. its a small island so i doubt you will know. where did you visit? bali or jakarta?
we dont have those book store over here but i do have ebook about it, this weekend i will read it if i can free up my slot.

Hello and good day to you, Mr.Ande. no i dont think your criticism on my technical understanding about measurement is huge discouragement since it offers something better to improve the system, and i should be thanking you instead. You have said it correctly also that i should use the term well so others may not misunderstood. I do know that from 6 to 7 is 10 tenth differences, but the problem is i dont have a digital reading and the water swings in the color between 6 and 7 according to the color measurement provided.

also an update, actually the photo of river rocks that i have posted did raise the water Ph when i soaked it for more than a day. i think now i will test the soaked stone every 4 hours to see how long does it takes for the water Ph to be affected. the previous water was 4 and then it raised to be neutral at 7.

Okay i will try to read that manual also after reading about IAV method

 

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2 hours ago, Moses said:

 

Hello Phri, i live in an island near sumatera located west of indonesia. its a small island so i doubt you will know. where did you visit? bali or jakarta?
we dont have those book store over here but i do have ebook about it, this weekend i will read it if i can free up my slot.

Hello and good day to you, Mr.Ande. no i dont think your criticism on my technical understanding about measurement is huge discouragement since it offers something better to improve the system, and i should be thanking you instead. You have said it correctly also that i should use the term well so others may not misunderstood. I do know that from 6 to 7 is 10 tenth differences, but the problem is i dont have a digital reading and the water swings in the color between 6 and 7 according to the color measurement provided.

also an update, actually the photo of river rocks that i have posted did raise the water Ph when i soaked it for more than a day. i think now i will test the soaked stone every 4 hours to see how long does it takes for the water Ph to be affected. the previous water was 4 and then it raised to be neutral at 7.

Okay i will try to read that manual also after reading about IAV method

 

Hi Moses,

Which island; Nias or one of the Mentawi islands?

I actually recently visited West-Sumatra and the Gramedia I mentioned was in Padang. Years ago I lived and worked in Padang so I do know Sumatra a little bit.

Ande, I do think that Moses his first language isn't English (btw neither is mine) and that's why I advised him to check out local resources.

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Hi phri

3 hours ago, phri said:

Ande, I do think that Moses his first language isn't English (btw neither is mine) and that's why I advised him to check out local resources.

Neither is mine :notfair:

I agree local resources is often worth it's weight in gold :D and offcourse language is a key to understanding of the same value.

 

Moses, there is a Malaysian siphon guru called Affnan, he has been in to aquaponics for years, and have a nice blog http://www.affnanaquaponics.com/

As far as I know/understand, Bahasa Melayu is closely related to Bahasa Indonesia, so Affnan might be a helpful resource to you ?

And also this APN/HQ member/thread might have a sort of "local" value for you.

cheers

 

 

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