Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

It just turned cold here in sunny Florida.  Tonight it is going to be a whopping 23f.  I really wasn't prepared for it but a trip to Lowe's I was able to gather enough for survival of the next couple of nights (hopefully).  Is there any good advise to prepare for next year on a 200 gal. IBC?

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What kind of fish?

I was able to keep the temperature from dropping too much to my IBC tank at the market by closing the valve feeding the IBC for the night.  But I was dealing with catfish, bluegill and goldfish/koi.  Tilapia would be a different story.

well  have cat and i have 3 less cat and 2 less tilapia.  my temp dropped to 53f but today was up to 62f.  i dropped about 1/4 of the tank cleaning it and refilled it.  i'm also filtering it for a while then i'll take the filter out.  my grow bed did just great and is growing fast.

someting else is going on because i now have 2 more dead cats.


i did however read that the sunlight will cause alge to grow faster so i did place styofoam around my grow bed and tank

i tried to use the filter area as a bio filter, i just put a bunch of PVC pipe cuttings in it.  my tank water was a bit cloudy so i put the pool filter(new) in it for a half a day and my water is real clear now.

pH is 6.8 and ammonia is 0.5

oh yea, one more dead cat

if your ammonia is .5 what is your nitrite?  Stress and poor water quality can really be hard on catfish.

i took a sample of water to the pet store today and they said my nitrite and nitrate was high but everything else was fine.  they sold me something to balance everything. 

i'm still new to this and i am learning so much, but i still have so much to learn.  it is fun though!

I'm not terribly trusting of stuff pets stores sell to "balance" things.

Seeing as we don't want some of those chemicals in our food supplies and others might do things like lock up ammonia.

We want the nitrates for the plants and getting past the ammonia and nitrite spikes is part of cycling up a bio-filter.

I highly recommend getting a test kit so you can test pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate yourself.

If ammonia or nitrite are high, don't feed.

MD, When you said "Just Started" on your page, does that mean that you just started the cycling process or...?

i just started everything this year.  i started with the tank running for a week then added gravel grow bed then added some plants after another week.  about a month after water was started i added fish and from there i just kept adding plants until it became full, i figured i could put the plants in the ground if it got too full.  like i said it is all new to me and i have a lot of learning to do.

i think i will get a complete test kit

In the month before you added the fish MD, were you cycling by adding ammonia (and going through the whole fish-less cycling process) to prepare for the fish? If not, then you are currently cycling with fish, which is ok, but you really, really, need that test kit. (A lot of folks choose to cycle up their bio-filter fishlessly to avoid the stress of killing a bunch of fish, but you can cycle up the system with the fish in there as well). You can use the search field on this site to look up the topic of cycling, or check out the 'Rules of Thumb' page, I think there is a little bit of info there as well. Not cycling up an aquarium or AP system, and just putting in a bunch of fish, can be a good way to get some (hopefully not all) of them killed, as your system is not yet ready to process the ammonia and nitrites.

Get the test kit, and read up on cycling a bit to try and ease the situation with the die-off's and get your system cycled and your bio-filter 'on-line' and doing it's job.

Oh yeah, you in all likelihood do not want to add any ammonia/nitrite sequestering (or other) chemicals that the pet store gave you.

Keep in mind that in this type of system, you not only have the fish, plants and bacteria to consider...but yourself as well, since you will be consuming 2 of those 3. Hopefully on a regular and bountiful basis :)

i would like t think all that have responded and helped me. i am putting their knowledge and experience to work. it has really taught me a lot. my main problem i need to learn is patience. i was so caught up on one thing or another either being too high or too low when i just needed to let it cycle and wait to see if it would catch up on its own.

i don't think i'm going to add the chemicals that i bought from the pet store, but just wait until the bacteria catch up and if i make changes do it naturally and in small increments.

 once again i appreciate and enjoy listining to higher knowledge and experience

Hang in there.  Patience is the hardest ingredient to find for most people.

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