Aquaponic Gardening

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I just started my system 48 hours ago and when I was fixing my bellsifon problem I could smell something like amonia in the grow bed. Is that normal or should I be worried? I have a 30gal fish tank with only 2, 2.5inch long goldfish in it.

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Actually smelling ammonia from an aquaponics system is a very bad sign. 

Did you add anything to the system?  Many people will add ammonia when cycling fishless but if you are smelling it 48 hours later, you added too much!  And you should never be adding ammonia to a system with fish in it as you will probably kill them. 

Have you checked to make sure your fish are alive?

What do your water tests say?





What is the temperature?

Could there be any other organic matter breaking down to cause the ammonia smell?

Did you feed the fish too much?

Could the smell actually be coming from something else? other than the system (other pet cage or litter box near by?)

I have not added anything but the two small goldfish. I have not over fed them. The only things that are new in the system is the cpvc tubing, the plastic valve and the hydroton, also the pack of spinich seeds. the goldfish are very lively when I look at them. As for the tests don't know haven't bought a test kit yet, that is next thing I get. the water is crystal clear.

Time to get the test kit.

Borrow some one else's sniffer to check around and see if they can pinpoint the actual source of the smell or distinguish if it is actually something other than ammonia.

If a grow bed is not draining well or there isn't enough aeration (if some spot in the system is going anaerobic) you might get a pond bottom or hydrogen sulfide smell which I would think quite different from an ammonia (old urine) smell but still not good and probably even more objectionable.  But I don't really think you would be likely to get the hydrogen sulfide smell after only 48 hours with water in the system.  Other smells that could be possible with water that sits sometimes has to do with algae but again I wouldn't expect that after only 48 hours.  Sometimes water spilled in an un noticed place indoors will cause musty or mold smells which you want to clean up well as that can really mess with indoor allergies.

I don't think the smell is coming from two goldfish.  Do you have a cat?

I found the source of the smell. It is from the plywood that I reused from a whelping box I had for my dogs puppies.

that wood explain it.

sorry couldn't resist

Yes indeedy. It is a good thing that I live alone. If anyone had seen me sniffing around the system would have thought I was crazy.

Just glad you didn't have to taste anything to figure it out.

thank goodness I don't have to.

So I asked the wrong question.  Darn.

Really, really, bad.

TCLynx said:

that wood explain it.

sorry couldn't resist

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