Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hi all, I have been cycleing my tote system for 14 days now, and my ammonia is still at 4ppm, and I have no measurable nitrite level. My ph is 7.6 and temp is 80 degrees. I off gassed prior to cycleing with The AP Sources kit for 5 days. I have no plants, or fish in the system yet. What could be wrong here, or am I just being impatient? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Views: 311

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Don't sweat it. It took me almost three weeks to get my system cycled. It just takes time. If you want to speed up the process, buy some nitrifying bacteria or get some water from an already cycled tank.

Took me around 6 weeks... don't sweat it is right. The mistake I made was not running my pump 24x7 so make sure you are moving water around at all times.

Patience...It has taken a full 12 weeks to be fully cycled. 

Matt - I'm assuming you introduced a source of ammonia into your system, that is why you have a 4ppm reading on ammonia right?  What type of growing media are you using -or- are you raft?  How often is the water from your FT being cycled?  Continuous or on recycle timer?

I would really recommend a continuous flow or at least 30 minutes out of every hour having your media flood.  Bacteria like moist environments.  You want to keep conditions right.

Matt, I see that you are in Wisconsin and I'm betting it is getting pretty nippy up there at this point.  Bacteria reproduction rates are very sensitive to cold. It actually looks like this...

–Optimal temperature is between 77-86°F (25-30°C). 
–At 64°F (18°C) growth rates is decreased by 50%. 
–At 46-50°F (8-10 °C) it decreases by 75%
–All growth stops at 39°F (4°C).
–Die off at or below 32°F (0°C) and at or above 120°F (49°C). 
That, patience, and plenty of oxygen like these folks are telling you should get you there soon enough. ;-)

Yes. I did add the powdered ammonia. I am using Hydrocorn, which was rather pricey. I have a 100 gallon bed, that flows into a 150 gal. tank. (Mind you, I will only stock 100 gal.'s worth of fish). This is continuous flow at a rate of 4 times per hour. I am also airating the FT with a Whisper AP300 Deepwater air pump. (I wish they'ed tell you the flow rate on this thing). I also added NiteOut II nitrifying bacteria from the cycleing kit. I see now that its probably a matter of time.
Roger Emmick said:

Matt - I'm assuming you introduced a source of ammonia into your system, that is why you have a 4ppm reading on ammonia right?  What type of growing media are you using -or- are you raft?  How often is the water from your FT being cycled?  Continuous or on recycle timer?

I would really recommend a continuous flow or at least 30 minutes out of every hour having your media flood.  Bacteria like moist environments.  You want to keep conditions right.

Yes it is getting cooler here now. I have my system set up in the basement for now, until I can attach a GH to the south side of the house for the plants. I was thinking to save valuable grow space I would keep the fish down there and pump the water to the beds. Just seems efficient for several reasons. I do have two aquarium heaters 300 and 400 watts, keeping it at 80 degrees. You can see the flow rates on my previous reply. I do think like everyone is telling me; that it is just a matter of time. I still have my greens growing in the coldframe out back, and I'll just have to catch my fish through the ice for one more season. Thank you for your input Sylvia.

Sylvia Bernstein said:

Matt, I see that you are in Wisconsin and I'm betting it is getting pretty nippy up there at this point.  Bacteria reproduction rates are very sensitive to cold. It actually looks like this...

–Optimal temperature is between 77-86°F (25-30°C). 
–At 64°F (18°C) growth rates is decreased by 50%. 
–At 46-50°F (8-10 °C) it decreases by 75%
–All growth stops at 39°F (4°C).
–Die off at or below 32°F (0°C) and at or above 120°F (49°C). 
That, patience, and plenty of oxygen like these folks are telling you should get you there soon enough. ;-)

I just wish I could push it along. The hatchery where I'm buying the hybrid bluegill fingerlings from is closing for the season on November 15th. The ice starts to form, and everbody heads north for the deer hunting season. I guess you just can't rush a good thing. I may have to go with talapia, or wait til spring? I do now of an aquarium store that has a few Axolotls. Not a source of food however, and I am not sure how they would benifit the system.

You don't necessarily have to be fully cycled before you introduce your fish. Cycling with fish is an option too, although it has potential to be more stressful for you and the fish. Just be prepared to do water changes if the ammonia creeps too high. If it is a matter of getting your fish now or having to wait till next year, by all means do it now! There's my two cents.

Thanks Alex. I appreciate your input. I remember from having aquariums about the partial water chages to curb the ammonia. They always recommended a 1/4 total volume water change. I have chloinated city water so I plan on filling a 55 gal. drum of off-gassed water to supplement any emergencies. I am not sure if dechlorinators can be used in aquaponics, so I'll caution on the safe side. By the way; Just did a test an finally got a measurable amount of nitrite, without much of a drop in ammonia. Woohoo! Things are lookin up.

Alex Veidel said:

You don't necessarily have to be fully cycled before you introduce your fish. Cycling with fish is an option too, although it has potential to be more stressful for you and the fish. Just be prepared to do water changes if the ammonia creeps too high. If it is a matter of getting your fish now or having to wait till next year, by all means do it now! There's my two cents.

I agree, get your fish... Just not too many of them. I use just 2 adult goldfish in a 26 gallon tank with 4 cubic feet of grow bed. They provide enough nutrients for good plant growth and give me a lot of room for problems, like say when a hurricane knocks out power for 5 days. The fish survived just fine with no aeration and no pump. All i had to do was hand cycle the grow bed once every 2 days. What I learned from Sandy is that less is more when it comes to fish, unless you need to eat your fish.

Jonathan, Those goldfish can survive for way more than five days without aeration. They simply gulp air,a nd pass it through their gills. One of a few fish that can do so. There are some huge, and I mean huge ones I've seen in Lake Michigan that somehow survived a trip down the sewage system, or storm drains...

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service